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20 Oct 2007

Thank heavens for class action lawyers Email

If you had an e-mail address any time in the past six years, you've probably gotten spam for something called VigRX for Men, with fairly specific promises that it will make you, ah, manlier.

I always wondered how many nitwits could fall for this kind of nonsense. Thanks to a recent class action settlement, we now know that there have been quite a lot of them. A class action suit filed in 2001 in Colorado settled recently, with some quite amazing info in the documents available at LEM stands for Leading Edge Marketing, the name used by the defendants for several companies in the US, Canada, and the Bahamas.

The settlement says early on that the plaintiffs think this is the best deal they can get, because the defendants moved all their other assets to other countries. What they're getting is a house in Victoria BC worth about $3 million, a condo in Paradise Island, Bahamas, worth about $2 million, and enough cash to bring the pot to $6.51 million. Everyone who bought VigRX between 2001 and 2007 can get a $10 refund, less $3 tax withheld if they're outside the US.

But wait! Instead of the lousy ten bucks, you can get this fabulous set of prizes, worth over $105.

  • A valuable e-book whose title I'm not going to quote (it's on the web site.) Let's just say that it addresses the same issues as VigRX for Men.
  • A spam filtered e-mail address, assuming they can make a deal with the filtering company, and if they can't, well, they'll do something else, or maybe not.
  • A password to the fabulous web site. Should you not be familiar with the site, the name stands for Naked Women's Wrestling League. The settlement documents add the details that you get to see seven (7) matches and there's an intro by the highly definitive Carmen Electra.
  • Discount coupons to two web sites selling various kinds of stuff.

Purchasers under 21 don't get the 1st and 3rd items. Tough luck.

Under the terms of the settlement, LEM can continue selling VigRX for Men so long as they stop saying it'll make your whosit bigger. (It doesn't say anything about winks, nudges, and innuendo.)

I suppose this is the best deal the plaintiffs could get, but I'm kind of surprised that the judge allowed the non-cash alternative. Maybe he figured that anyone dumb enough to blow $60 on fake Viagra would like this other stuff, too.

In case you were wondering which option to take, here's a hint: the lead plaintiff gets a $10,000 settlement and the lawyers get $1.5 million in legal fees. They're taking them in cash.

posted at: 00:02 :: permanent link to this entry :: 2 comments
posted at: 00:02 :: permanent link to this entry :: 2 comments

comments...        (Jump to the end to add your own comment)

Class Action rule (proposed)
I think the attorney and "lead plaintiff" should get the same stuff as everybody else (albeit more of them). If the victims get, say, a coupon for $15 off an airline ticket, then the lawyers should be paid in that same "currency". That should keep settlements a lot fairer for the victims.

In this case, if lots of people take the junk instead of cash, who gets the remaining cash?

(by Seth Breidbart 18 Jun 2009 10:25)

What remaining cash?
In this case, if lots of people take the junk instead of cash, who gets the remaining cash?

I presume they paid the vendors $10 per sucker for the junk, so from their point of view it's a wash.

(by John Levine 10 Jul 2009 05:56)

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