Tuesday, April 23, 2013

New 9th Circuit Consumer Law Opinion! - Radcliffe v Experian


Radcliffe v Experian (9th Cir. 2013)

The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals reversed approval of a Fair Credit Reporting Act class action settlement because absent class members weren't adequately represented.

The court reasoned that conditioning class representatives’ incentive awards on support for the settlement “created a patent divergence of interests” between the representatives and the class.

Staton v. Boeing Co., 327 F.3d 938, 977 (9th Cir. 2003) was cited for the general proposition that incentive awards, although sometimes appropriate, should not become routine practice.

The record indicated class counsel told a plaintiff he, “would not be entitled to anything” if he did not support the settlement. The record also indicated the representative incentive awards ($5,000) greatly exceeded payments to absent class members ($26 to $750).

Read the full opinion for complete analysis: http://cdn.ca9.uscourts.gov/datastore/opinions/2013/04/22/11-56376.pdf