• Hassett's Objections: It's About Time
  • May 7, 2007 | Author: Lewis E. Hassett
  • Law Firm: Morris, Manning & Martin, LLP - Atlanta Office
  • It seems that the Florida Court of Appeals has had enough. In Fung v. Florida Auto. Joint Underwriter's Assn., Case No. 3D03-3050 (Fla. Dist. Ct. App. April 6, 2005), the Florida Court of Appeals rejected a class settlement that would pay class members benefits totaling $10,000 with attorneys' fees of $200,000. That is the good news. The bad news is that the trial court still approved a fee of $135,000. That still is too much in comparison to the benefit conferred. Where the fee award is thirteen times the aggregate class recovery, something is wrong. Such a ratio reflects a wasteful use of societal resources. The purpose of class actions is to allow a large group to benefit from a single lawsuit where the damages to any one defendant would not justify the cost of litigation. Class actions should not be used to bring cases where the aggregate of all class damages is less than the expenses incurred in obtaining the award. Societal resources should not be so readily squandered.