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Boston Scientific Corporation Message Board

  • rktjockey rktjockey Nov 9, 1998 11:58 AM Flag

    No "try" at all, JusticeReed

    Since I am a physicist, not a lawyer, I can only
    state what has happened as it has appeared to me, not
    the finer points of the law. Thanks for the
    info.

    Looking at the process *as a layman*, there is little
    apparent difference between an "out of court" settlement
    and a court-approved agreement between parties: in
    either case, rather than court-stipulated damages the
    two (or more) parties come to a settlement. That
    stated, the distinction may be important; I do not have
    the training to tell ( however, if you want a
    discussion on the difference between momentum and inertia,
    I'm your guy :) )

    When looking at the suits as
    publicised by the firms, again as a layman, the class action
    is generally announced and the law firm filing calls
    for members of the class to contact them.There is
    usually no indication of the original party to the suit.
    The appearance is that the firm is soliciting
    customers. Appearance may not be reality, but appearance is
    usually accepted as reality.

    Perhaps you can
    clarify one more point: is the suit typically filed on
    behalf of an individual and expanded to a class, or is
    it filed on behalf of the class in the first
    place?

    Damages in any suit rarely, if ever match the award
    granted. I do not expect anything else: the Dow/Corning
    company, for example, does not have total assets worth a
    major fraction of the breast-implant damages in that
    suit. However, I do for some reason expect people to
    realize the money they lost is gone, never to
    return.

    The distribution of money was as was told to me by an
    ex-corporate lawyer who has defended against class actions. It
    was apparently (again, the appearance thing) backed
    up by the cash distribution in a couple of suits I
    followed affecting companies in my geographical
    area.

    I don't fault the insurance companies for limiting
    their liability and urging a settlement. I would likely
    do the same, and legal responsibility is important.
    I must admit, however, that it has the feel of a
    profit-making enterprise placing itself above the position and
    authority of the court.

    And, at the last, if the
    idea is to curb fiscal misconduct toward shareholders
    , I would think going after the individuals who did
    so with criminal or civil charges and not involving
    corporate resources would make more sense. In the final
    analysis, use of corporate money is ultimately use of
    stockholder money, so the corpora are using stockholder money
    to defend themselves against the stockholders, who
    will then take a portion of their money (if they win a
    settlement) and give it to themselves.

    Which then
    brings another question to mind: since, in this case,
    the people charged with misconduct are major
    shareholders of record during the class period, are they also
    eligible for a share of the award, if any, that is
    portioned out?

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    • There has to be at least one plaintiff, or you
      can't file to begin with. But it's usually a strawman
      type of plaintiff. I am sure JR will try to convince
      you otherwise -- he is a regular contributor to all
      of the boards in which his firm has a financial
      stake. P.S. Have you noticed that some of these firms
      send out multiple announcements -- let's hope it's
      because they aren't getting as much interest as they'd
      like. Unfortunately, these things usually travel as
      opt-out classes . . . so you can respond, get the info,
      and opt out. You may not collect anything, but at
      least JR won't collect on your behalf.

 
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