Week Adjourned: 2.27.10

Top Class ActionsGetting charged for a phone that hasn't yet graduated to smart?

Lacking Phone Smarts at Verizon. For those of us who do not have ‘smart phones’ but are getting dinged for data service, you may be interested to know that Verizon got hit with a class action this week over this very issue.  

According to the press release on the lawsuit, Verizon charged $1.99 at a time for data service people were not using—or should that be could not use. So the lawsuit is seeking to reimburse folks who got dinged. There’s no doubt about it, at the rate we use our cell phones, $1.99 could certainly add up. But this suit also begs the larger question—do you know if your phone is smart? (mine certainly isn’t!)

Top Settlements

Lawsuit Stops Bouncing Around. A 30-year old man from Chicago who was chronically injured on a mini-trampoline when he was in the eighth grade, has finally received justice in the form of a $14.7 million settlement.

Ryan Murray, who is quadriplegic as a result of the accident, sued the Chicago Board of Education. After several years of wrangling—you can sue a government entity—no you can’t—yes you can if the action that led to the injury was intentional… a decision was finally reached: Yes—he could sue and he would have his day in court.

Fortunately, however, Mr. Murray will actually be able to get on with his life as the whole thing has been settled—out of court. Talk about stalling tactics.

Nothing Like Paying a Premium. Boy, does it pay to have insurance. Remember Moneygram? No? MoneyGram International was the subject of a securities class action in May of last year, over allegations that it committed securities fraud stemming from $1.6 billion in losses it suffered on subprime and other risky asset-backed securities in 2007 and 2008.  

I can see how this would have gotten lost in the noise of all the other similar lawsuits last year…Anyway, I digress. 

The lawsuit was settled this week for a cool $80 million—$60 million of which will be paid by its insurance company to the shareholders who took the losses. While this is nowhere near the value of the assets lost, the deal certainly puts the importance of insurance in a entirely new light…

Reports in the media state that the three directors of Moneygram who were on the board when everything went sideways, remain in their seats but will not seek re-election. That’s big of them. 

I wonder how many of these types of settlements insurance companies can afford to pay out on… 

That’s it for this week—see you at the Bar!

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