Thursday, February 02, 2006

Stick It To Em!

From my That's Just Plain Stupid files:

There's been a number of class action lawsuits in the last few years, some big (such as the tobacco settlements) some ridiculous (such as the McDonalds suits - both the spilled coffee AND the "I got too fat" suits) and some probably necessary (such as claims against drug companies who put out harmful or poorly tested products).

But in the February edition of the Reader's Digest there is a full page legal notice that describes a class action lawsuit against 3M for the way they handled their rebate program relating to, get this, INVISIBLE TAPE of all things.

And to me, that's funny - or at minimum a bad skit on SNL.

But the funniest part of the whole deal is the seriousness for which this has been approached. I suppose it's all necessary, since this is a real lawsuit - but full page ads in major magazines? And - they've even created this very helpful website to guide you through the red tape of actually participating in the class action.

So if you do, here are few helpful hints to keep in mind as you attempt to navigate the sticky world of the "Invisible Tape Trials":

  • Make sure you don't sue for the wrong tape. Click here to find out which specific tapes apply to you and avoid the embarrassment of showing up to court only to find out your case won't stick.
  • For as necessary as it might seem, you do NOT need to hire your own lawyer. The plaintiffs already have three highly paid attorneys on this case. Click here and here for more information.
  • You DO have the right to speak at the hearing. For those of you who feel you have not been represented aggressively enough during the Invisible Tape Trials, you CAN attend the proceedings and state your case yourself! You'll simply need to file your Notice of Appearance first.
  • And finally, you DO have the right to object to any settlement reached, but you'll need to write to the Invisible Tape Settlement Administrator (I'm not making this up) at this address.
The reality is, 3M did screw around with their rebate program and if they lose they will be required to donate $41 million worth of supplies to charity organizations, so this one will at least provide some benefit in the end. But come on, how do you take a trial about invisible tape seriously?

I just can't see it.

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