ANSWERS: 4
  • That depends on whether you are willing to pursue a claim on your own. If so, you would need to be able to gather evidence to prove your claim, which basically means you need to hire an attorney and do some discovery. This will likely cost more than any recovery (assuming you recover anything). Also, you must have opted out of the class when you had the chance. Thus, for most, the $30 (or voucher) is the best deal you are going to get.
  • Thanks for your responses. FYI - The lawyer stated in his motion filed in June 2008 that because there was a low number of objections the deal is fair. I was just wondering if more people would have objected had they been aware of the COMIA laws –it could be argued that the settlement is made because - if a COMIA class is established…that is - if LensCrafters lost the law suit – then under the law, the class members are entitled to $1,000 - approximately 1.5 billion as opposed to a few million. Although, I don’t totally agree with your something is better than nothing argument. I can’t get past the lack of information that has been disseminated about the case. If this was not a class action, wouldn’t the lawyer be obligated to inform the plaintiffs of their rights before accepting a deal?
  • This answer is in response to the answer posted on July 8, 2008 at 2:44 pm, by Anonymous: The problem with your analysis is the statement "the class members are entitled to $1,000." This is an incorrect statement. A correct statement would be "each individual who is adjudicated as having their rights violated under COMIA is entitled to $1,000." At this time, Lens Crafters has denied any wrong doing, and nothing has been adjudicated. Thus, at this time, nobody is entitled to anything. Let's look at this in more detail. The allegation in this case is that Lens Crafters has forced its optometrists to divulge confidential information for marketing purposes. Who did they allegedly divulge this information to? Well, to themselves (or more specifically, Luxottica Group, which wholly owns Lens Crafters). Thus, if this where to go to trial on the merits, three things could happen: 1) Lens Crafters could be found liable for a violation of COMIA, 2) Lens Crafters could be found not liable because divulging information to yourself is NOT a disclosure under COMIA, or 3) Lens Crafters could be found not liable because they did not disclose information to anyone. You should notice that 2 out of the 3 possibilities results in $0 of liability, as opposed to $1.5 billion. Even if Lens Crafters were found liable, that still does not mean that they would necessarily be liable for $1.5 billion. Why? Well, lets take a look at the class. The class is defined as "all persons who had their eyes examined inside a California LensCrafters store and purchased eyewear on the same day from LensCrafters during the period from March 12, 1998 through February 4, 2008." You should notice that the class does not say "all people who had their confidential information disclosed." This is because even if LensCrafters did violate the law as to some of the class members, they most likely did no violate the law in respect to EVERY SINGLE class member. Thus, if we awarded $1.5 billion, this would almost certainly be over penalizing LensCrafters. To put this in a different perspective: Ask yourself why do people settle? Again, your premise is that each class member is entitled to $1,000. But again, at this point we do not even know if LensCrafters violated COMIA. So I ask you this? If you were Lens Crafters and you had opposing counsel say to you "pay me $1,000 per class member or I will take you to court," what would you do? If you were logical about this, you would weigh the risks and benefits (which all lawyers do). Your analysis would go something like this: If you accept the deal you will pay out $1.5 billion. If you reject the deal, you may win and have to pay $0. You may partially win, and have to pay more than $0 but less than $1.5 billion. Or you may lose and most likely have to pay $1.5 billion. Therefore, you should conclude that you will take your chances in court because the deal is about the worst it is going to get for you. Now imagine you were Plaintiffs counsel. What should you do? Again, as a lawyer you would weigh the risk and benefits. On one hand, if you prevail at trial, you could get $1.5 billion (although you would most likely get less, even if you won). On the other hand, you may get $0. MOST IMPORTANTLY: Since you are only entitled to $1000 per member if you win, at this point in time you have no entitlements.
  • WOW - to July 8 response - You sound like you have a good grasp of the situation. The intricacies of the case are a bit mind boggling – you mention three scenarios related to the merits of the case –you mention that the company is a wholly owned sub - you mention that the class is made up of many people who may not have had any confidential information disclosed - you mention that nothing may have been improper – WOW so much info to take in – and some advanced concepts. My reference to the $1,000 is an indirect quote based on a memorandum filed by Walkup partner Mathew Davis in support of his motion. The direct quote is “…if Plaintiffs succeeded in certifying a COMIA class, LensCrafters’ $1.6 billion exposure would certainly prompt an appellate challenge that would indefinitely delay benefit for the class.” Statistically speaking [and according to the 2004 US census] about 1.1 million class members did not pursue an education beyond high school. And about 225 thousand class members weren’t able to get that far. Geez considering that I am college educated and I am having trouble understanding why this action even exists, I can only hope other members understand it better - assuming they even care – I hope they do– But the lawyers for the plaintiffs must believe that LensCrafters is guilty or they would not have participated in the law suit. I HOPE! They must have believed at some point that they could win – RIGHT? You know - there are some studies that suggest that vouchers and rebates [similar to the vouchers being offered to class members in this suit and also similar to the class notice that was sent out] are a form of discrimination. Discrimination against those consumers or class members who are less “sophisticated” and who are less likely to send in a claim form - and also apposing studies that suggest that discrimination exists when people are not price sensitive. See Wikipedia - But why go into all those details???? - So many theories and so many lawyers that can explain them away. No wonder non-lawyers stay away from lawyerly areas. But I get it – that’s why there are so few objections to class actions – who really understands it but the lawyers? The lawyers are settling because they don’t think they can win…oh no because the odds of losing are too great. And then of course they wouldn’t get paid – and admittedly they do have a lot of hours into it – and at approx $450 an hour that’s a lot of lost time – I believe the amount is $4,000,000. Oh and let’s not forget the expenses – I think those were about $250,000. So to all of those class members who got their $30 and or vouchers…..I guess something is better than nothing! I hope LensCrafters doesn’t need to raise prices to compensate for this action – because then your vouchers might not be worth anything.

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