Consumer Class Action Settlements More than Doubled from 2010 to
Privacy Violation Cases on the Rise
Consumer Class Action Settlements: 2010 – 2013: Settlements Increasing, With a Focus on Privacy analyzes settlements in consumer class actions based on a proprietary database created by NERA. These settlements were associated with a wide range of allegations, including consumer fraud, antitrust-related claims such as price fixing, false advertising, or product liability claims.
NERA identified 479 consumer class actions with either a preliminary or final settlement reached over the course of the 2010 to 2013 period. Of these, 321 cases had a reported settlement fund value. In 2013, NERA found 161 consumer class action settlements compared to 141 in 2012 and 66 in 2010.
Of the 321 cases with a reported settlement value, 84 percent included a monetary payment to plaintiffs as at least one component of the settlement. Only 26 percent of cases included a non-monetary payment, and only 6 percent included a donation to charity as a major component of the settlement.
Aggregate settlement values varied from year to year, ranging from
Privacy Violation Cases
Settlements related to cases in which plaintiffs alleged a violation of privacy increased from 2010 to 2013, with a total of 84 settlements being reached during this period. These cases fell into two categories: SPAM and improper handling of personal information.
Of the settlements related to alleged violations of consumer privacy, those in the retail, business/consumer services and entertainment/social media industries were more likely to be related to improper use of personal information. Settlements in the banking/finance and telecom industries were more likely to be related to SPAM than the improper use of personal information.
"We found that consumer privacy allegations varied by industry – in the retail, business/consumer services and entertainment/social media industries, settlements were likely to be related to improper use of personal information. In banking, finance and telecommunications industries, on the other hand, settlements were more likely to be related to SPAM. Both improper use of personal information cases and SPAM cases continue to be filed across industries, so it is likely this category of settlements will continue in the coming years," said NERA Vice President
Key Trends in Consumer Class Action Settlements: 2010 – 2013
Consumer Class Action Settlements: 2010 – 2013: Settlements Increasing, With a Focus on Privacyis authored by NERA Vice President Dr.
The study can be downloaded here: http://www.nera.com/67_8631.htm
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