7th Circ. Ruling Should Deter Class Objector Side Deals

By Michael McTigue, Meredith Slawe and Max Kaplan (August 19, 2020, 12:31 PM EDT) -- On Aug. 6, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit issued an opinion addressing exploitation of the class action settlement process by individual objectors. The first sentence of U.S. Circuit Judge David F. Hamilton's opinion in Pearson v. Target Corp.[1] frames the issue: "We address here a recurring problem in class-action litigation known colloquially as 'objector blackmail.'"[2] 

This practice, in which objectors threaten to delay and unravel negotiated class resolutions absent payments to them, has occurred with greater frequency over the past few years. Concerns with coercive objector side deals even prompted a change to the Federal Rules of...

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