Westlaw News

9th Circuit asked to overturn 'self-dealing' Wesson oil settlement

The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Monday heard arguments about whether to throw out a class action settlement over ConAgra’s labeling of Wesson cooking oil as “natural” in which plaintiffs’ lawyers got $6.8 million while class members got less than $1 million.

“A seven-to-one ratio is just simply unacceptable,” said Ted Frank of the non-profit Hamilton Lincoln Law Institute, representing the sole objector to the deal, University of Chicago Professor Todd Henderson. “That’s attorneys working for their own benefit at the expense of the class.” Frank is well-known as an advocate against settlement agreements he says are unfair to consumers.

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