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April 30, 2019

“Lawyers Win Big In The US Collective Action System”

In a letter to the editor of the Financial Times (paywall), U.S. Chamber Institute for Legal Reform President Lisa A. Rickard said European consumers “deserve a collective action system that is fair and just for them, not one designed as a payment scheme for plaintiffs’ lawyers and the third-party funders.” A bill currently before the European Parliament would institute a Union-wide class action system.

Rickard wrote in response to a piece that hailed U.S.-style class action lawsuits, or collective actions, as a meaningful mechanisms for consumer redress. However, she pointed to a 2015 study from the U.S. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau  of research that found that “just 13 per cent of US class actions result in a payout for consumers” and a 2018 study that found that “only 57 cents of every dollar went to plaintiffs.”

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