Class Action Dilemmas: Pursuing Public Goals for Private Gain

By Deborah R. Hensler; Nicholas M. Pace et al. | Go to book overview

information, but the supreme court ruling would have adversely affected the plaintiffs' negotiating position. One of the Rosenthal plaintiffs who did not bank at Great Western and had therefore never signed an arbitration clause, had been brought into the litigation by Linfield for the express purpose of bringing suit under the California Business and Professions Code. The code allows any citizen to bring suit on behalf of the general public against a company allegedly engaging in unfair business practices, and provides for both injunctive relief and disgorgement of profits, which could potentially involve millions of dollars. As we went to press, this part of the Rosenthal suit was still ongoing.

Key Events Date
Pinney I (federal) action commenced March 31, 1995
Defendants file to dismiss Second Amended Complaint August 16, 1995
Plaintiffs file motion to certify the class September 25, 1995
Certification hearing October 16, 1995
Defendants answer the Second Amended Complaint October 26, 1995
Class certification granted November 22, 1995
Pinney II (state) action commenced March 15, 1996
Defendants move to decertify the class and September 1996
plaintiffs move to expand class to state of California
Parties settle
November 1996
Plaintiffs expand class to state of California December 23, 1996
Stipulation of Settlement entered January 28, 1997
Preliminary approval order February 4, 1997
Opt-out and settlement objection deadline March 25, 1997
Final fairness hearing April 14, 1997
Final approval order April 14,1997
End of claiming period June 18, 1997
Rosenthal case settled November 1997

NOTES
1
As part of our research on this litigation, we interviewed key plaintiff attorneys and reviewed most of the pleadings and papers filed in this class action. We also xamined media coverage of the main class action and related litigation. Great Western and its counsel declined to participate.

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