Let me first of all state that there are few joys in life that equal Sirius XM Satellite radio. Being able to drive around town or long distance and listen to Seriously Sinatra cannot be matched. My wife may not agree since she has to deal with the fact whenever I drive that is all I listen too. But hey, it is my vehicle. I am more than happy to listen to NPR if I am invited to be the passenger in her car.
Sorry, back to the blog. Anyways, the other day a lone email arrives announcing a class action settlement regarding Sirius, XM, or Sirius XM Satellite Radio. This announced a lawsuit finding that the merger between Sirius and XM violated federal anti-trust laws and that as a result of the merger Sirius XM raised its prices. Sirius XM denies it did anything wrong.
So as part of the settlement, Sirius XM has agreed not to raise the prices of its base subscriptions throughout 2011 and others can restart their plans at new lower subscription rates. The estimated value of the class action is $180 million. But I really do not get anything and quite frankly did not want anything. And while I am not an anti-trust lawyer, I did not think Sirius XM violated anti-trust laws.
The bigger issue is what did the trial lawyers get for this consumer saving lawsuit? Drum roll please: the class action counsel is asking for $13 million plus interest. And one of the firms involved is one of my favorites: Milberg LLP, one of the kings of class action lawsuits. Just Google them and Bill Lerach and that will keep you entertained for hours.
So, let’s recap: I get pretty much nothing. I simply continue to pay my subscription rate and hope that on January 1st, 2012 Sirius XM does not increase my subscription cost to cover the cost of this absurd lawsuit. And Milberg and Company walk away with $13 million. Nice haul.
Does anyone see the madness in this racket? These class actions are being filed day after day and no one is stopping it. And it seems every single time, the consumer walks away with little or nothing while the trial lawyers walk away with millions. And when you think about it, the consumer ends up paying for this class action one way or another.
This year California shot down class action reform again. Elections come and go, and the powerful lobbyists of the personal injury attorney ensure that every reform continues to be defeated. The abuse goes on and a group of class action attorneys get wealthier and wealthier. It is time to stop class action abuse. Reign in the abuse and reform the way class actions can be filed. Bad lawsuits cost good jobs.