895% Contingency Fee in Classmates.com Class Action:

The Center for Class Action Fairness has filed an objection to the proposed settlement in the Classmates.com class action:

You may have been one of the millions of people to receive asettlement notice regarding a class action against Classmates.com; the settlement notice implied that class members would receive $9.5 million (though only $2-$3 per person, and that mostly in coupons) and the attorneys would ask for $1.3 million.

You then probably received a supplemental notice saying that the attorneys were generously only asking for $1.05 million, and that, if you sent four letters to four different addresses, you could object to the fee request.

You probably didn’t object: it’s hardly worth your time to spend $1.76 in postage over a $2 or $3 settlement.

What you won’t see on either of the settlement notices or the settlement website is how much the class is actually recovering: out of millions of class members, there were fewer than 50,000 claims made. The class will receive only $117,374 (see page 4 of PDF). The attorneys are asking for a 895% contingency fee.

The lawyers defending the settlement argue that the small number of objections filed to the settlement shows that it is good for consumers.  My colleague Michael Krauss is one of the objecting class members.


Ted Frank, the head of the Center for Class Action Fairness, notes in the comments that the objection has not yet actually been filed but are preparing to do so.  The Center has provided a form on its website to email in the objection and save the postage.

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