N.J. District Judge Awards Firm $2.3 Million In Fees In Eating Disorder Insurance Coverage Case.
The National Association of Legal Fee Analysis (NALFA), which has an excellent blog website, has reported on some recent class action fee recoveries.
The first one is an eating disorder insurance coverage class action. A New Jersey district judge awarded plaintiffs’ N.J. law firm $2.3 million in fees and expenses for its work in reaching a $1.18 settlement in the case. Plaintiffs requested a 1.4 multiplier-enhanced $2,196,580 in fees plus expenses bringing the total request to $2,309,086. The Newark-based judge appears to have awarded a fair amount of the request, although the fee award has been appealed to the Third Circuit.
Plaintiff Firm Garners $1.575 Million In Fees/Expenses in Philips/Magnavox Malfunctioning T.V. Class Action.
The second class action fee recovery involved a $4 million settlement confirmed by another N.J. district judge in the Philips/Magnavox malfunctioning television class action. Although awarding $1.575 million in fees/costs, the judge applied a .75 multiplier to the lodestar, which represented 39% of the cash portion alone under the recovery of fund method. (In re Philips/Magnavox Television Litig.)
First Circuit Seems Skeptical of Fee Award in Volkswagen Multidistrict Case.
The third matter was the First Circuit Court of Appeals argument relating to the fee award in Volkswagen Group of America, Inc. v. Peter J. McNulty Law Firm. There, a district judge awarded $30 million in fees and $1.2 million in costs to the plaintiff law firm in a multidistrict case. The parties had agreed to a “clear sailing” clause by which plaintiff would seek no more than $37.5 million in fees and $1.8 million in costs. VW did challenge basing the fee award on the percentage of fund measure because the settlement agreement apparently said fees would not be based on benefits. If the proper lodestar analysis was used, somewhere around $7.7 million would have been the fee award. Plaintiff law firm, in rebuttal, said that the lodestar was used by the district judge to “check” the percentage of recovery method. Apparently, the First Circuit had some concerns with the award at oral argument.
Irwindale Will Not Pay for Embezzlement Trial Defense of Councilman Garcia.
As reported by J.D. Velasco in a May 26, 2012 post in The San Gabriel Valley Tribune, the Irwindale City Council, with certain members recused, denied a request to reimburse attorney’s fees by an attorney representing Councilman Garcia in an embezzlement trial arising from charges that he and other councilpersons/a former city manager took lavish New York trips costing taxpayers $200,000 between 2001-2005.