On October 31, 2018 the Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in Frank v. Goas. This appeal involves a class action settlement with Google where the class members alleged invasion of privacy and other claims against Google. The parties settled and their agreement provided that the 129 million class members would receive no compensation, the class action attorneys would received$2.125 million in attorney fees, and Google and the class counsel agreed to contribute $6.5 to be distributed to seven charitable and non-profit organizations as a cy pres resolution of the litigation. The Court will decide whether such cy pres-only awards in class action settlements, where the class members receive no compensation, charitable and non-profit entities receive settlement funds, and class counsel are awarded significant attorney fees, comport with the Rule 23(e) requirement that class settlements must be adjudged as “fair, adequate, and reasonable?”
Linda S Mullenix, 129 Million Class Members $0, Charities $6.5 Million, Attorneys $2 Million: Are Cy Pres-Only Settlements Fair, Adequate, and Reasonable?, 46 Preview of United States Supreme Court Cases 24 (October 29, 2018).