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Ultimate Antitrust Outline

Ultimate Antitrust Outline

What is an Antitrust?
 
 
An Antitrust – orAntitrust Law – is terminology that is used within the legal spectrum of business and commercial law. Antitrust Law mandates jurisdiction over business and commercial endeavors existing within the United States in order to regulate fair business practices, upkeep free trade, protect the ethics within the commercial market, and avoid monopolies.
 
 
What is a Trust?
 
 
With regard to commercial and business law, Antitrust Law strictly prohibits the usage of ‘Trusts’ within a commercial market; a trust is defined as an operational process in which a larger corporation – or commercial entity – maintains agency over smaller commercial factions in order to retain profit and administration of those secondary corporations – this is allows for the primary corporation to maintain control of entities other than the primary corporation.
 
 
The primary corporation, which is sometimes called an ‘Umbrella Corporation’, employs the formation of smaller companies; as a result of the formation of a trust, the umbrella corporation can operate in an indirect fashion – although the umbrella corporation maintains ownership of the faction corporations, a direct connection of association is not prevalent.
 
 
Antitrust vs. Monopoly
 
 
Within the scope of Antitrust Law, there exists a variety of associated terminology that is pertinent with regard to the legal review latent within legal stipulations expressed by Antitrust Laws; perhaps the most prominent term accompanying the term ‘Antitrust’ is the term ‘Monopoly’:
 
 
Antitrust Law
 
 
Antitrust Law, which is also classified as competition law, addresses the regulatory statutes and preventative measures that have the potential to exist within commercial and business endeavors. As previously stated, one of the many circumstances in which Antitrust Law can be violated is through the use of a monopoly.
 
 
Monopoly
 
 
A Monopoly is a circumstance in which a single business entity has disallowed for commercial competition or businesses within a competing market. A monopoly typically takes place in the event that a single business – or a provider of products or services – has maintained exclusive control of commercial activity with regard to the provision of specific products or services; this can be undertaken within a variety of methodologies:
 
 
1. Price Gouging: The notion of price gouging is a common violation of Antitrust Law; price gouging takes place in the event that a business has become the sole provider of specific products or services, resulting in the patronizing of that specific business as the only avenue for a consumer to obtain those specific products or services. Once this has taken place, the business may take advantage of the market by implementing higher prices, which is considered to be a form of consumer abuse; due to the lack of competition, consumers are forced to patronize that particular business in order to obtain those products or services.
 
 
2. Exclusive Dealings: Within the realm of Antitrust Law, the usage of Exclusive dealings is expressly prohibited. Exclusive dealings are defined as two separate bodies of production – such as retailers and manufacturers – acting in concert in order to remove competing business within the commercial market; in accordance with Antitrust Law, exclusive dealings is illegal due to the fact that is creates a monopoly of the individual products and services provided.

Thinkorswim

Thinkorswim

 


What is Thinkorswim?

 

Thinkorswim was one of the first website to specialize in online brokerage.  The company was founded in 1999 and gave a large amount of choices to independent stock and option traders.  It was one of the first websites to incorporate technology to make investing simpler for private investors. 

The company was bought by TD Ameritrade Holdings Inc in 2009, and the company sold for about $606 million.  TD Ameritrade is since one of the top performers in the online investing market, but the company faced several problems after it acquired Thinkorswim. 

 

Problems after the Integration

 

Shortly after Ameritrade acquired Thinkorswim, there was speculation into a software glitch that may have caused a security breach.  Additionally, there was an investigation into certain accounts not working.  Some options traders claimed they were unable to perform certain trades, and as a result, lost a significant amount of money. 

Ameritrade has acquired over 250,000 accounts, and some brokers were claiming losses over $100,000.  Ameritrade admitted that there were some problems when the accounts were transferred, but they reported that the fixed the problem and all clients could place trades in the middle of August starting in 2011. 

 

Rules when Using Thinkorswim

 

Even though the company was acquired by TD Ameritrade, clients can still use the company’s platform.  Make sure you regard the following rules when using the trading platform:

 

The Day Trading Margin Rule

 

On September 28, 2001 the NYSE and FINRA began to require a $25,000 equity requirement for “pattern day traders.”  If a client’s holdings fall below $25,000 and they have opened or closed on the same day for three days out of five days, the client is not allowed to open new positions until their account reached $25,000 or more or five days have gone by since the last opening. 

Also, a “pattern day trader” can only open new positions up to four times between the account equity and maintenance margin requirements. 

 

Rules for Order Routing

 

·         All order placed before 8:30 a.m. CST will take effect during the NYSE’s hours of 8:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. CST.  You have the option to place orders before and after the designated time, but you have to use the extended hours feature.

·         No order will be filled by the ISE if the order is deviated more than $1 from the actual market price.

·         The flat fee stock trading rate is $9.95 up to 5,000 shares market or limit only, and the OTCBB only accepts limit, market, or stop orders.

·         If you use the cancel/replace feature and the feature is used on an existing order, the replacement classifies as a new order. 

 

There are more order routing rules, and you can view these rules on the company’s website. 

Incorporation

Incorporation

What is Incorporation?
Incorporation refers to the process of turning a business or entity into a new corporation. Once finalized, incorporation allows the prospective business to be considered and recognized by law as a corporation. However, incorporation is not just limited to businesses, sports teams (or clubs), governments, non-profit organizations, and even newly formed cities and/or towns can be incorporated.
In order to incorporate a business or company, there are certain steps to follow. This process—and the laws that surround the process—will vary from state to state. The multifarious laws for incorporation, which can be found in a particular state’s Articles of Incorporation, must be complied with to legally incorporate an entity. 
The Articles of Incorporation will include the purpose or reason to incorporate, the location of the business, and the amount of outstanding stock at the time the application for incorporation is submitted to the state. Although the incorporation process varies from state to state, guidelines and surrounding regulations are somewhat uniform. Moreover, all states in the U.S. allow for online registration; an individual may incorporate an entity by accessing their state’s “On-line Business Filing and Registration Service” website. Listed below is the incorporation process for New Jersey: 
Incorporation Process:
A state’s online service will enable you to file new corporations, limited partnerships, limited liability companies, as well as, allow you to obtain authorizations for foreign businesses to conduct operations in the state. Furthermore, you may also register any business for employer contributions for unemployment and disability, taxes, and to obtain temporary certificates of authority for sales taxes. 
The first process required for incorporation is to choose the type of business entity you wish to incorporate—your state’s site will provide a drop-down menu that lists all entities eligible for incorporation (choose the formation that applies). Note: the choice of entity type and the effective filing date will have significant employer/tax implications. As a result, it is recommended that you consult with an attorney and/or a tax professional for guidance on said matters. 
After you select the entity type, you must enter the proposed name of your business at this point. The corporate name is comprised of three parts: a distinctive element, a descriptive element and a legal ending. The descriptive element is the name that separates your company from other entities; the descriptive element (not required) is the industry your business operates out of (i.e. Computers, Electronics, etc.) and the legal ending indicates the formation of the business (i.e. Corp., Inc., Ltd.).   
When you list the name, click ‘enter’ and then list the appropriate business designator, for example, corporation, incorporation, partnership etc. Once this is satisfied, you will be taken to the application, which will require the following information:
Your Employer ID number
The purpose of your business
Your NAICS code
The duration and total number of shares outstanding
Information concerning a Registered Agent
List the names and addresses for all Incorporators
The date of the application (the effective date for Incorporation purposes)
Once this information is recorded, you must sign the filing, pay the filing fee and confirm your wish to desire the said entity. 
Legal Benefits Attached to Incorporation:
Retirement Funds: When an entity is incorporated, retirement funds and plans may be established more easily.
Credit Ratings: Regardless of the owner’s personal credit score, a corporation can obtain its own credit rating and thus build a separate credit profile by applying for and using corporate loans, financing or credit.
Ability to Raise Funds: Corporations can raise capital from investors through the issuance and sale of stock.
Taxation Benefits: Corporations, in the United States, are taxed at lower rates than individuals. Moreover, a corporation can own stock in other corporations and obtain corporate dividends, which are 80% tax-free. 
Protection of Personal Assets: Corporations present the ability to safeguard personal assets against the claims of lawsuits and creditors. Other formations, such as sole proprietors and general partners, are responsible for the liabilities of the business. However, with a corporation, the shareholders, directors and officers are not liable for the entity’s obligations/debts—these individuals are limited in liability to the amount they originally invested in the corporation. 

Ariba

Ariba

 


Ariba is one of the largest software and information technology companies, and it is located in Sunnydale, California.  Ariba was acquired by SAP AG on May 22, 2012 for $4.3 billion, and now operates under Germany’s subsidiary, SAP America, Inc. 

 

Ariba was the largest and most successful “cloud-based business commerce network” before it was acquired by SAP AG in Germany.  According to the company’s website, a business joins the cloud-based network every 8 ½ minutes.  Over 730,000 businesses connect with trading partners using the cloud platform, and these businesses are located in 186 different counties.

 

According to company’s website, the businesses connected to the cloud platform will transact over $822 million, exchange about 60,000 purchase orders, and save about $82 million in supply costs in the next 24 hours alone. 

 

Because of the dominance of Ariba in the market, it’s no surprise that SAP acquired the company—even if that meant buying shares at $45.00.  SAP’s customer base is one of the largest in the world already, for about 63 percent of all the world’s transactions pass through a SAP system.  These companies include the largest buyers and sellers in the world, and the acquiring of Ariba will encourage even more companies to make transactions through SAP.

 

In a press release by Ariba on May 22, 2012, CEO Bob Calderoni commented, “In our personal lives, networks are playing an increasingly important role in how we connect, share, and shop—bringing more insight and efficiency into every we do.  Businesses are looking for the same connectedness, insight, and efficiencies in the processes and collaboration with customers, suppliers, and partners beyond the walls of their companies.  By combining Ariba’s open global trading network and SAP’s solutions and analytics, we are ushering in a new era of business-to-business collaboration and driving new levels of productivity.” 

Addamax

Addamax

 


Addamax was a software company founded by Dr. Peter A. Alsberg in 1986.  In 1991, the company filed an antitrust lawsuit against the Open Software Foundation (OSF), Hewlett-Packard Company and Digital Equipment Corporation. 

 

In 1987, the company began to develop security software used in Unix operating systems—which is a common operating system used for large computers.  The security software restricted the use of sensitive information and blocked outside access. 

 

During the time of development, the company chose to produce primarily B-1 software that is required by government users.  From 1988 to 1989, the company developed the B-1 security software for two different versions of Unix. 

 

As the company was developing security software, the inventor of Unix, AT&T, began to restrict the number of licenses it issued because a large amount of software modifications became available through individual licensees.  AT&T began to develop a close relationship with Sun Microsystems, and many hardware manufacturers believed that AT&T was attempting to form a single version of Unix to dominate the market. 

 

Large computer manufacturers like Hewlett-Packard and Digital Equipment Corporation decided to form the Open Software Foundation for non-profit research initiatives, and one of the objectives of was to create a competitive operating systems that could compete with the Unix system being developed by Sun Microsystems and AT&T. 

 

OSF-1 was undergoing development in 1989, and OSF decided to include B-1 level security software.  Only three companies produced the software at the time: AT&T, Addamax, and SecureWare, Inc.   “Request for technology” bids were sent to the companies—except for AT&T—and OSF accepted a bid from SecureWare on December 22, 1989.  Even though the security software from Addamax was more sophisticated, they asked for a higher price. 

Addamax continued sales of the B-1 software after losing the bid to OSF, but they began to turn away buyers in 1991 in order to devote funds to the development of new security software.  The company then filed a complaint against OSF, Hewlett-Packard and Digital in April of 1991 because they stated the companies violated both state and federal antitrust law. 

 

The company accused OSF with horizontal price fixing, boycotting, and other joint ventures that violated the Sherman and Clayton Acts.  The claims accused the defendants of driving down the price of security software below the free-market level to restrict competition from Addamax. 

 

The trial lasted for 12 days between November 18 and December 16 of 1996.  Witnesses were called including Dr. Alsberg, experts, and a customer.  The district court found that OSF and other defendants did not directly cause free-market values to drop, and the defendants were not charged. 

Addamax appealed the district court’s findings on the basis that the findings were not detailed and the court failed to address any evidence that was favorable to the prosecution.  However, the district court was not required to consider findings on every detail in the case because Addamax was responsible for most of the discovery in the first place.  The original findings of the district court were affirmed in the appellate court. 

Hologic

Hologic

 


Hologic

 

Hologic is a NASDAQ-traded technology company which manufactures technology used in the treatment of various women's health issues. It has been involved in a number of patent infringement lawsuits, both as the plaintiff and defendant.

 

In 2012, Hologic was involved with three separate patent infringement lawsuits. Early in 2012, Hologic discontinued manufacture of Adiana, a method of permanent birth control for women. Adiana works by inserting two small silicone tubes into the fallopian tubes via the vagina, making the use of surgical incision unnecessary. Once inserted, scar tissue is created in the fallopian tubes, blocking them off and making fertilization impossible.

Hologic was sued by Conceptus over Adiana and was awarded $18.8 million by the jury. In order to forego payment, Hologic agreed to discontinue manufacture of the drug and give Conceptus the intellectual property rights to all items related to Adiana. As part of this agreement, the two companies also agreed to terminate a false patent marketing case.

 

In September of 2012, Hologic lost another lawsuit filed by Smith & Nephew. The lawsuit concerned two separate patent infringements, which were consolidated into a single trial which took place in Massachusetts District Court. The lawsuit concerned the MyoSure Tissue Removal Device, which is used in pre-operative procedures concerning the removal of cancerous tissues. The patent for MyoSure was purchased by Hologic as part of the acquisition of another company, Interlace Medical. The jury awarded Smith & Nephew $4 million in lost profits. Hologic plans to appeal the verdict and will continue to manufacture and sell the product.

 

In October of 2012, Hologic won one of the preliminary stages of a lawsuit filed against Becton Dickinson & Co. The lawsuit concerned five separate infringed patents related to automated nucleic testing, as well as products used in the treatment of gonorrhea and chlamydia. Hologic won its case relating to claims for three of the patents, though two of the claims were dismissed. Hologic filed motions seeking summary judgment to all five of these patents and will proceed with the case.

 

Some of the issues that remain to be resolved in the case of Hologic v Becton Dickinson & Co.  concern whether the latter company's actions have led to its customers infringing upon the patent possessed by Hologic, whether the infringement committed was done deliberately, and what the size of the damages awarded to Hologic should be. Hologic has filed a request seeking that whatever financial award is ordered be tripled. Hologic is also requesting a permanent injunction to prevent the possibility of further infringement.

 

Another lawsuit with which Hologic has been involved in the past was initiated in 2008 and achieved a resolution in 2011. This lawsuit was filed against SenoRx, Inc. and concerned infringements of patents for technologies related to the treatment of breast cancer via brachytherapy, an alternative treatment which eliminates the need for external radiation surgery. The company lost its initial lawsuit but won the case on appeal.

Bridgeport & Port Jefferson Ferry

Bridgeport & Port Jefferson Ferry

 

What is the Bridgeport & Port Jefferson Ferry?

The ferry transports individuals and vehicles across Long Island Sound and carries people between Bridgeport, Connecticut and the Long Island village of Port Jefferson.  There are currently three vessels that travel throughout Long Island Sound: the P.T. Barnum, the Park City, and the Grand Republic. 

 

Quick Facts about the Bridgeport & Port Jefferson Ferry

The ferry respects pet owners and lets pets on the ferry at no extra charge.  The pet must be leashed or in a pet carrier, and the pets are only allowed in the back and upper decks on the outside of the main cabin. 

 

Smoking is still permitted on the ferries and is limited to the back and upper decks.  The ferry has a strict policy on baggage and states that all passengers must stay with their baggage the whole time. 

 

Bridgeport & Port Jefferson Ferry Lawsuit

In May of 2009, the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit heard Bridgeport and Port Jefferson Steamboat Company v. Bridgeport Port Authority.  The lawsuit occurred because the port authority increased fees for passengers taking the ferry from Port Jefferson to Bridgeport from $1.00 to $2.00. 

 

The lawsuit occurred because the U.S. Constitution strictly regulates taxes and fees a port authority can charge a ferry and the passengers.  During the appeal, the executive director for the Port Authority stated that passenger fee and the dock lease pay for most operating expenses, payments to port authority employees, taxes, and more.  Many of these expenses were unrelated to the services and facilities provided to the ferry and related operations. 

 

During a brief to the appeals court, Port Authority’s General Counsel stated, “Passenger vessels need dock facilities—some place to land.  As most vessel operators do not own such facilities, they must negotiate and pay for their use.  Many such facilities are owned or controlled by port authorities or other local government entities.  These authorities generally have the power to assess user fees on the vessel or its passengers (or both).  The temptation to over-assess is especially strong during times of financial crisis, when local governments face budget shortfalls that are politically and economically difficult to meet by increasing local taxes.” 

 

According to the Supreme Court, passenger fees must be imposed for all international commerce in a way that is not discriminatory.  The Court said there was no discrimination in the Bridgeport & Port Jefferson Ferry case, but fair approximation for passenger use was not considered.

 

The appeals court quoted a Supreme Court statement that said, “This Court has never held that the amount of a user fee must be precisely calibrated to the use that a party makes of Government services.”  However, the court said the amount that the Port Authority took in were disproportionate and claimed the fees were excessive. 

 

The court determined that the increased fee violated the Commerce Clause of the Constitution and ordered the Bridgeport Port Authority to pay the Bridgeport & Port Jefferson ferry $1,171,524.75. 

 

Pepco

Pepco

 


What is Pepco?

 

Pepco stands for Potomac Electric Power Company.  The company provides power to the city of Washington, D.C., as well as communities throughout Maryland.  The company has been at the middle of several lawsuits and controversies in the last couple of years, and consumer reports have bashed the company for poor quality standards. 

 

Satisfaction Rating

 

On June 29, 2011, Business Insider released satisfaction ratings for companies in the United States and described the “19 most hated companies in America.”  Pepco was number 1 for the most hated company in the country. 

 

At the time of the article’s publication, the electric company has a satisfaction rating of 54 out of 100.  Customer dissatisfaction was associated with

high occurrences of outages.  Pepco customers saw 70 percent more outages than customers of other large city electric utility companies, and the power stayed out twice as long compared to other utility companies as well. 

 

Because of the company’s poor services, the “Pepco bill” was passed in March of 2011 and allows the state’s Public Service Commission to make electric provider responsible for quality standards. 

 

The company was criticized again in June of 2012 after straight-line wind storms ripped across Montgomery County in Maryland and other surrounding areas.  The company took up to a week to respond to residents with power outages, and the company charged customers $0.50 if they were without power and their electric meters were not running. 

 

Pepco and Deborah Royster

 

On September 12, 2011, Deborah Royster sued the company because she claimed she was denied a promotion after she alerted her superiors that a female support staff member was sexually harassed by two attorneys.  As a result, the company fired two attorneys in 2009, and one of the attorneys proceeded to sue Pepco.  The company was left to pay over $1 million for attorneys’ fees. 

 

The complaint stated the company used a “secret process” to:

 

·         “create a vacancy and insert an extra level of supervision between Plaintiff General Counsel Deborah M. Royster and her boss the General Counsel”

·         “pass Plaintiff over to promote a less qualified white male to a position that will groom him to be the next General Counsel at Pepco”

 

Royster claimed that there was sexism, racism, and retaliation involved in the company’s decision.  In pursuing the lawsuit, she caused some tension with the Democratic National Committee.  There were claims that she quit her Democratic post, but she claimed she put in a temporary absence because of the demands of her job. 

 

The Democratic National Committee does not allow a member to miss three meetings in a row, but Royster stated she would appeal the removal from the Committee and become re-certified with the D.C. Democratic State Committee within 30 days. 

Bourne Co. Music Publishers

Trademark

Bourne Co. Music Publishers

 

What is Bourne Co. Music Publishers?

Bourne Co. Music Publishers is located in New York and is one of the largest international music publishers around the world.  They specialize in the publishing of sheet music, and according to the Music Publishers Association of the United States, they hold the following imprints:

 

Schumann Music Co.

Murbo Music Publishing, Inc.

International Music Co.

Goldmine Music Company

Van Heusen Music

Bogat Music

Bourne Co.

Ben Bloom Music Co.

Better Half Music

Beebourne Music Co.

Bach Music Company

A B C Music

 

Lawsuits Involving Bourne Co. Music Publishers

The music publisher has been involved in several cases, and the majority of the cases occurred in the mid to late 1990s.  Some of the cases are described below:

 

Woods v. Bourne 60 F. 3d 978 (2d Cir. 1995)

The case involved rights of the plaintiff, Wood, to terminate a license or transfer under the Copyright Statute, §304.  During the case, heirs of composer Harry Woods wanted to claim royalties that were generated by the use of the song “When the Red, Red, Robin Comes Bob, Bob, Bobbin’ Along.” 

 

The plaintiffs claimed that had rights to terminate the rights of Bourne’s interests in the song because they has statutory rights under 17 U.S.C. §304(c).  The defendant, Bourne, claimed they were entitled to all royalties because of post-termination rules during a time in copyright law called an extended renewal term.  In other words, Bourne claimed they could use the song because they developed “derivative works” before the plaintiff’s terminated the license or transfer. 

 

The royalties were generated by use of the song on television programs and movies, radio performances, and sales of the published song material. 

 

The district court ruled in favor of the plaintiffs, but Bourne Co. Music Publisher appealed the findings and won the case.  The appeal court found that audio and visual works were allowed to “continue to exploit the underlying work reproduced within them regardless whether the reproduction standing alone qualifies as a derivative work.” 

 

The court did find that the published sheet music was not “substantially different from the underlying work,” and they were ordered to stop exploiting the song through the printed media. 

 

Bourne v. Walt Disney Co., 68 F.3d 621 (2d Cir. 1995)

During the same year, Bourne Co. Music Publishers filed a complaint against the Walt Disney Company for copyright infringement.  Bourne claimed that Disney committed copyright infringement after they sold videocassettes that used Bourne’s published compositions for “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs” as well as “Pinocchio.” 

 

Bourne also claimed Disney committed copyright infringement by using compositions in television commercials.  The court sided with Disney as far as copyright infringement with the videos, but the court sided with Bourne about the television commercials. 

 

Bourne Co. Music Publishers has faced criticism from the public community several times as well.  In one case, Bourne demanded payments for copyright fees after a girl ten years of age used the song called “Smile” for an online video used for charity. 

 

Source: https://cip.law.ucla.edu/cases/1990-1999/Pages/woodsbourne.aspx

Wisconsin Energy Corporation

Wisconsin Energy Corporation

 


What is Wisconsin Energy Corporation?

 

The company is based in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and it provides electric to customers in Wisconsin and the upper part of Michigan.  The company has two subsidiaries, We Energies and Wispark, LLC.  We Energies is mainly responsible for natural gas projects and the construction of generating plants, while Wispark, LLC is mainly responsible for real estate initiatives. 

 

According to its website, Wisconsin Energy Corporation (WEC) ranks among the top of 4,300 companies for its governance practices by an independent rating agency called GovernanceMetrics International.  WEC has received a perfect 10 rating 30 out of 31 times in the last eight years.  It’s the only company in the world to receive such distinction under the rating agency. 

 

Notable Achievements within the Last Decade for Wisconsin Energy Corporation

 

The company has completed impressive projects since 2005, and these accomplishments are listed below:

 

·         2005, the first of two 545-megawatt natural gas units comes into operation at the Port Washington Generating Station

·         2006, We Energies records the highest-ever demand for electricity, a total of 6,505 megawatts on July 31

·         2007, WEC sells the Point beach Nuclear Plant to FPL Energy for $934 million

·         2008, the Blue Sky Green Field Wind Energy Center, comprised of 88 turbines on 10,600 acres, begins operation and produces up to 145 megawatts

·         2008, the second 545-megawatt natural gas unit begins service, and the $669 million project is completed on time

·         2010, the first 615-megawatt coal unit at the Oak Creek expansion site begins operation on February 2

·         2011, the second 615-megawatt coal unit at the Oak Creek expansion site begins operation on January 12

·         2011, 90 turbines at the Glacier Hills Wind Park begin supply energy to Randolph and Scott in Wisconsin

 

Lawsuit against Wisconsin Energy Corporation

 

In April of 2012, a lawsuit was settled between employees and Wisconsin Energy Corporation because the company mishandled retirement plan accounts.  The class action claimed that the company failed to credit participants for partial year’s service, failed to provide interest credits established in contracts, mishandled the early commencement discount during the plan formula for the lump sum option, and more. 

 

Notice was sent to a large number of employees, and Alan M. Downes and Terry Kumbera represented the 31 plaintiffs during the class action lawsuit.  Initially, the plaintiffs and their attorneys asked for a settlement of $45 million, but court ruled the settlement was too high. 

 

The court finally approved a settlement of $13.5 million.  Attorneys were awarded 30 percent of the settlement and received costs and expenses of $524,003.65 as well.  The company was responsible for the litigation costs of $477,753.65 and the notices costs of $46,250.  The named plaintiffs received $7,500 from the total settlement amount for working with the plaintiff’s counsel.  The company denied the claims from the plaintiff’s but the court ruled in the plaintiff’s favor.