Honda Civic Hybrid Settlement.
As reported by the AP in a March 16, 2012 story in The Washington Post, San Diego County Superior Court Judge Timothy Taylor approved a class action settlement by which Honda Civil hybrid owners will receive up to $200 each for fuel economy mishypes. The potential fly in the ointment was Ms. Heather Peters, an attorney who won a $9,867 small claims judgment against Honda for the same alleged problem, which is set for a superior court de novo trial on April 13. (Honda has said it has won 5 of 6 small claim cases on this topic.) In overruling objections, Judge Taylor valued the settlement at $170 million, with the plaintiffs pegging it in the $875-466.3 million range. The attorneys in the case will receive more than $8 million in fees, with one of the lead counsel billing at $675-750 per hour.
Oakland “Pantsing” Civil Rights Settlement.
A March 22, 2012 story from sfgate.com tells us that the Oakland City Council recently voted to pay $832,639 in attorney’s fees to civil rights attorneys John Burris and Michael Haddad, who represented Spencer Troy Lucas and Kirby Bradshaw in a civil rights case stemming from having been “pantsed” in public by the police. This settlement occurred after plaintiffs won a bench trial in which a federal district judge respectively awarded the plaintiffs $105,000 and $100,000 in compensatory damages as against the city and respectively awarded each $25,000 and $15,000 as against the “pantsing” police officer (with the officer, on disability, asking the city to indemnify him for these damage awards). The payout of fees will come out of city funds.