The left over money is called a cy pres, however, the policy is not to return the money to the defendant, but to gift it to a charity. I would vehemently object in a written timely objection filed with the court, to the left over money going back to the defendants. If there is still time to object (check your NOTICE OF SETTLEMENT), and assuming you do not opt out of the settlement, I suggest making a timely objection to the settlement and have the excess go to the class members who made a claim on a pro rata basis. Feel free to contact us directly at the link provided below for further free direction.
Please note that this answer does not constitute legal advice, and should not be relied on, as each situation is fact specific, and it is not possible to evaluate a legal problem without a comprehensive consultation and review of all the facts and court pleadings filed in the case. This answer does not create an attorney-client relationship.
It sounds like you are describing a claims made settlement. In a claims made settlement, there is typically a predetermined remedy for each class member who makes a claim. In other words, the amount that each class member receives will not be diminished by the number of claimants.
Typically, the defendant will put a cap on the amount of claims it will potentially pay out. However, that is not always the case. Sometimes the defendant will not place a cap on the amount of the claims, but instead the defendant will take out a policy of insurance to cover any claims in excess of a cap that the defendant and the insurance company agree to.
The other kind of settlement is a common fund settlement. In a common fund settlement, the defendant agrees to pay a specific amount to the class, and the defendant does not get any of it back regardless of the number of class members who make claims. Under a common fund settlement, each member of the class gets a pro rata share of the common fund.
Legal Information is Not Legal Advice My answer provides information about the law based on the limited information provided in the questions asked and is not intended to provide legal advice or opinions, and does not constitute an attorney-client relationship. The answer to the question is for educational and informational purposes only. The law differs in each jurisdiction and may be interpreted or applied differently depending on the jurisdiction or situation. Accordingly, I highly recommend that you consult with an attorney to discuss the details of your problem so you can get legal advice tailored to your particular circumstances.
Instead of reading about class actions on-line, you may wish to consult with a Class Action attorney here on AVVO to learn what your legal rights are. Good luck.
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