General Brnovich Urges Supreme Court to Protect Consumers in Class Action Settlements

PHOENIX – Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich, leading a coalition of 20 state attorneys general, filed an amicus brief urging the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) to grant certiorari in Lowery v. Joffe.  The case stems from the settlement of a 2010 class-action lawsuit where plaintiffs alleged that Google’s Street View cars collected millions of consumers’ private data (emails, passwords, usernames, etc.) on their WiFi networks without consumers’ knowledge. The parties settled and created a $13 million cash fund, but harmed consumers received nothing from the fund. Instead, Google would pay almost $4 million to attorneys and more than $9 million to select organizations that have nothing to do with the lawsuit.

"Class action settlements should benefit people who have been harmed and not just the attorneys," said General Brnovich. "That's why we are asking the court to ensure consumer interests are being faithfully represented."

Similar “cy pres-only” settlements, where class members receive no direct benefit, have garnered the attention of federal courts across the country, including the Supreme Court. 

This brief is a continuation of General Brnovich’s efforts to protect consumers from class action settlement abuse.  General Brnovich previously led coalitions in filing amicus briefs in the Northern District of California and the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. 
General Brnovich was joined in today’s brief by the attorneys general of Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, Florida, Idaho, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Texas, Utah, and Virginia.

Read a copy of the filed brief here