Week Adjourned: 8.14.09

no-soliciting-sign-taggedTop Class Actions

Tagged! You’re it! Would have been an appropriate tag line (bad pun, I know) for this social networking site. Tagged.com is facing a potential class action lawsuit, filed by to ladies in California, over allegedly illegal harvesting of their email contacts. This resulted in those contacts receiving unsolicited, misleading ads via email: the messages appeared as if they were invitations to join the online community. Can you say “deceptive business practices” and possibly even trespassing?

According to news reports, Tagged.com harvested millions of email addresses from consumers who were unaware they had joined the site. The lawsuit claims that this is in violation of the federal Stored Communications Act and Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, among other laws. Even the Attorney General of New York—Andrew Cuomo—is going after them, citing invasion of privacy, engaging in a deceptive business practice and false advertising. I say Go Get’Em! One less source of unwanted advertising has to be a good thing.

Curious about what being a victim of Tagged.com feels like, check out Abi’s latest post

Top Settlements

Self-love investment strategy gone wrong? GE got its knuckles rapped this week to the tune of $40 million. The settlement was approved in a class action brought against the company because it tried to pad out its investment and matching contribution in its retirement program with its own stock. Not an “economically prudent” investment decision the plaintiffs alleged, and the judge agreed. Would this not be an economics 101 lesson? The pensions of possibly 318,000 class members were at stake.

In a moment of clarity, GE also agreed to make another $30 million in “structural changes” to the retirement plan. 

Social Unsecurity? Never mind giant corporations—the government had even bigger plans to avoid meeting its financial responsibilities. Thankfully, it has not been allowed to get away with it. A preliminary $500 million settlement has been reached in the class action lawsuit brought against the US Social Security Administration, over allegations that the administration “unlawfully” withheld benefits from 80,000 eligible recipients.

The settlement, if approved, will result in thousands of people finally receiving benefits after having them suspended or denied beginning in January 2007.

That’s a wrap…see you at the Bar!

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