Not that I understand much about class actions, but I sure as heck understand unexpected checks that arrive in my mailbox, courtesy of someone else's class action lawsuit.
Yesterday, I was sent a copy of a legal settlement, and informed that I would soon be receiving a check for $327.38. Unless, of course, I objected. Say what? Grace is not about to object to getting $327.38.
As it turns out, back in 2003, my state got the not-so-hot idea of cutting back adoption assistance payment by 7.5% in order to help balance a budget shortfall--nothing like saving money on the backs of foster children or children adopted from foster care. To whom are they going to complain? Foster parents and adoptive parents were given a choice--(1) sign papers "voluntarily" allowing the reduction; or (2) lose their entire adoption subsidy or foster care payment.
Gee--that was some choice! So I signed. Most families did.
But several braver families sued instead.
First, they lost.
Then, they appealed.
Then they won.
Then the state appealed.
Then the state lost.
Then the state appealed to the US Supreme Court.
Then the Supreme Court said "We've got better things to do, so go away."
Ergo--five years later, Grace will get back money for the nine months her payments were reduced.
Actually, this isn't the first time I've taken advantage of someone else's class action. Back in the '70s, I bought a prep course put out by Harcourt, Brace, Jovanovich to study for my licensing exam. For reasons I never understood, HBJ was sued. I was offered a choice of $12 cash or two books from their inventory. This is how Alice Walker's "The Color Purple," and "In Search of Our Mothers' Gardens" wound up on my book shelf.
And Qwest gave me a $5.50 cent credit on my phone bill for four months as part of another class action settlement.
Gotta love it!