Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Lawyers, Litigants and Money... 10 Years Ago...

.. according to The Saginaw News - Bygone Days - Monday July25, 2005:
"1995: Lawyers were ready to claim $1 million of the
$2.5 million settlement for 888 plaintiffs
in a class action
suit against CSX Transportation Inc. and Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe for the
Freeland train derailment of 1989."
This left ~$1,690,000 for the litigants to divide among themselves before expenses of the lawyers... travel, room & board, cost of expert witnesses and other paper work which could add up to reducing the per litigant profit by at least $500/litigant for a balance of $1,190 or $198/year /litigant!!! Sure, some received a bit more and some received less, but isn't that what the lawyers are working with... averages?

Today: we have a lawsuit against Dow Chemical. 173 litigants want it to be a class action suit. Now, let me see... assuming just the 173 litigants are suing... let's say the average value of a home among litigants is $200,000... and there are 173 litigants. Gee, that's a lot of money!... $34.6million! Lawyers will collect about 40% of that... hey, they gotta make a living, don't they? Of course their expenses are not included in that 40%. Expenses... you know... travel, room & board, paper work... legal assistants and secretarial - and of course they travel & eat too... and then there are all the expert witnesses. They don't come cheap!

Being conservative, I'd say the owner of a $200,000 home would get about $100,000 for his/her property! Not bad, eh? ..and of course they will have to wait for a long time, perhaps up to 20 years the way things are going, what with appeals and all... hmmm!

Of course if it's a class action suit - and all the property owners along the Tittabawassee River floodplain choose NOT TO OPT OUT of the suit... there will be a number of more expensive homes included in the average. Since payouts are based on the individual 'injury' owners of those extra homes will get the larger portion of the payout!

Jeepers, Gosh and Golly Gee! Any one of the litigants would do better going with a land contract at current prices, don't you think?

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