Antitrust Class Action
Google, Apple, Intel and Adobe are close to reaching a settlement in an antitrust class action lawsuit for a reported $415 million.
There are 64,000 current and former workers are involved in the class-action lawsuit which alleges the four companies violated California labor laws by conspiring against their own employees. The complaint goes back to 2005, when Apple co-founder Steve Jobs asked Google CEO Eric Schmidt to stop poaching Apple workers.
According to a Jan. 14, 2015 New York Times report, this settlement proposal has increased from an earlier offer of $324.5 million, an amount that U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh rejected last August, when she agreed with one of the five plaintiffs, a former Adobe engineer. The former Adobe employee protested the amount, arguing that it wasn't enough money given the wealth of the companies and the scale of their collusion – their “non-poach” agreements. The plaintiffs figured that affected workers would end up with only a few thousand dollars each.
Settlement or Trial?
The most recent settlement amount is a drop in the bucket to the four silicon giants, and pundits have voiced their preference for a settlement over going to trial. A trial could be drawn out and could damage all four companies' reputations as progressive, yet employee-friendly organizations. However, there is a chance the plaintiffs could lose if it goes to trial. And it's a big gamble for their lawyers whose share in the settlement could be as much as 25 percent.
If the plaintiffs lose at trial, years of hard work by their attorneys will be all for not. On the other hand, a jury could award the plaintiffs a much higher figure–potentially in the billions. Reuters reported the plaintiffs lawyers previously estimated damages at $3 billion, an amount that would be tripled after a guilty verdict. The case is scheduled for a trial this spring in San Jose.
Experienced California Employment Lawyers
Consulting an experienced Los Angeles employment lawyer is an effective means for dealing with unfair treatment in the workplace. To further discuss this antitrust class action and/or the latest in employment law, or a potential claim on your behalf, feel free to contact leading California employment lawyers at Kingsley & Kingsley. Call toll-free at (888) 500-8469 or click here to contact us.