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Plaintiff In Tech Hiring Suit Asks Judge To Reject Settlement 215

An anonymous reader writes with news that Michael Devine, one of the plaintiffs in a lawsuit accusing tech firms including Apple and Google of conspiring to keep salaries low, has asked the court to reject a $324 million settlement. "Apple has more than $150 billion in the bank, eclipsing the combined cash reserves of Israel and Britain. Google, Intel and Adobe have a total of about $80 billion stored up for a rainy day. Against such tremendous cash hoards, $324 million is chump change. But that is what the four technology companies have agreed to pay to settle a class action brought by their own employees. The suit, which was on track to go to trial in San Jose, Calif., at the end of May, promised weeks if not months of damaging revelations about how Silicon Valley executives conspired to suppress wages and limit competition. Details of the settlement are still under wraps. 'The class wants a chance at real justice,' he wrote. 'We want our day in court.' He noted that the settlement amount was about one-tenth of the estimated $3 billion lost in compensation by the 64,000 class members. In a successful trial, antitrust laws would triple that sum. 'As an analogy,' Mr. Devine wrote, 'if a shoplifter is caught on video stealing a $400 iPad from the Apple Store, would a fair and just resolution be for the shoplifter to pay Apple $40, keep the iPad, and walk away with no record or admission of wrongdoing? Of course not.' 'If the other class members join me in opposition, I believe we will be successful in convincing the court to give us our due process,' Mr. Devine said in an interview on Sunday. He has set up a website, Tech Worker Justice, and is looking for legal representation. Any challenge will take many months. The other three class representatives could not be reached for comment over the weekend."
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Plaintiff In Tech Hiring Suit Asks Judge To Reject Settlement

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  • by ganjadude ( 952775 ) on Monday May 12, 2014 @10:21AM (#46978939) Homepage
    you dont join class actions. Everyone should know by now that the only people who get rich in class actions are the lawyers. If you believe you have been wronged, bring a suit yourself
    • by i kan reed ( 749298 ) on Monday May 12, 2014 @10:35AM (#46979039) Homepage Journal

      Which raises the question: Why does the legal system allow settling class action suits? When is that ever a desirable result for the government's interest(stability, rule of law)?

      • by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 12, 2014 @11:02AM (#46979277)

        because .....

        lawyers want it that way, because fast settlements are easy money for the lawyers (who often dont care which side they're on or even if they win or lose, so long as they cash in), and they pad the pocketbooks of those who make, enforce, and interpret the laws.


        big rich businesses and their fat-cat owners and executives want it that way, because fast settlements with (almost always) no admittance of guilt, no airing of dirty laundry, and for a mere fraction of what a suit is for, is what they want, and they stuff those same pockets.

        and as far as 'desired result' for the "government's interests" that's easy.. settlement means less workload for the 'system'.. they dont really care about outcomes, or fairness... because those who allow it to happen, happen to be the ones with the aforementioned pockets... fewer tax dollars supporting the 'system' means more available to give back to the rich via loopholes and credits, or to fund their favorite pork projects.

      • by kick6 ( 1081615 ) on Monday May 12, 2014 @11:23AM (#46979471) Homepage

        When is that ever a desirable result for the government's interest(stability, rule of law)?

        You seem pretty sure that stability, rule of law is the government's interest. Is it? Or is it re-election, campaign finance?

        • The courts aren't really subject to re-election pressures the same way officials in the other branches are. Even in states that elect their supreme court the incumbents almost always win. Federal judges are appointed for life so only truly bad behavior on their part will get them removed from office.

      • by Xicor ( 2738029 )
        because class action lawsuits are supposedly much cheaper per person than one person... a one person lawsuit would just get totally overpowered by a corporation until he was destitute and couldnt afford to continue the lawsuit.
        • by tlhIngan ( 30335 ) <> on Monday May 12, 2014 @11:57AM (#46979761)

          because class action lawsuits are supposedly much cheaper per person than one person... a one person lawsuit would just get totally overpowered by a corporation until he was destitute and couldnt afford to continue the lawsuit.

          Because a class action helps solve the "steal from many" problem.

          What's worse for society - someone that steals $1M from someone else? Or something that steals $1 from 1M people? The outcome is the same, yet there is willingness to pursue the former and ignore the latter.

          Think of it this way - your phone bill goes up $5 per month. Over say, 5M subscribers, that's $25M more revenue per month, or a whopping $300M per year. Well, slightly less... see...

          And you know what? 99.99% of the people won't do a single thing - the cost to write in and complain is more than $5. For those that do the effort, well, just cut them a $5 cheque, or more likely a $5 credit off next month's bill. At which point they'll continue the $5 charge, repeating again.

          Oh, but you can't cancel, because you're in a contract. And some abusive ones really allow for "reasonable increase in costs".

          And now the CEO gets a new yacht and a big fat bonus. Next year they'll ding everyone $2 more.

          The class-action was formed for this abuse - because in the end, most people cannot be bothered to claim back what really amounts to a couple hundred bucks in the end by going to court, and it's easy to buy off those that do by writing them a cheque for the refund after making it as difficult as possible.

      • by TubeSteak ( 669689 ) on Monday May 12, 2014 @11:45AM (#46979653) Journal

        Which raises the question: Why does the legal system allow settling class action suits?

        If you look at the statistics, it's something like 80%~95% of lawsuits get settled, depending on the type of court.

        The legal system not only allows the settling of [any] law suits, it prefers them.
        Judges spend less time judging and more time signing/refereeing settlements.

        Settlements are the main means by which the law is imposed in the United States.

      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by Raul654 ( 453029 )

        > Why does the legal system allow settling class action suits?

        Because when all the basic facts are the same, it makes *a lot* more sense to have one trial covering 64,000 victims than it does to have 64,000 trials. The *only* people who benefit from having all those unnecessary trials are the lawyers. If anything, class actions are less profitable for lawyers than the alternative.

        Furthermore, unlike this case (where each plantiff suffered substantial harm: tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars each),

      • If plaintiffs are probably right, they are probably owed about $100 million, and the defendant offers to pay the $100 million, accepting that offer is obviously good. It's good for the plaintiffs, who get paid sooner and know that the approved settlement won't be appealed. It's good for the tax payer, who doesn't have to spend tax money on a long court battle. It's good for the defendant, who can get it over with and move on. The only people who prefer a trial are lawyers who get paid more to try a case

        • by sjames ( 1099 )

          There are much more egregious cases though. For example, a million plaintiffs owed $100 each. Company settles for 6 million to the lawyers and 1 million $10 off coupons on the same crappy product that caused the suit.

    • Everyone should know by now that the only people who get rich in ANY LEGAL actions are the lawyers.

      Fixed that for you.

      • by shadowrat ( 1069614 ) on Monday May 12, 2014 @10:44AM (#46979131)

        Everyone should know by now that the only people who get rich in ANY LEGAL actions are the lawyers.

        Fixed that for you.

        Don't be so pessimistic. I have it on good authority that several people i see on tv got hundreds of thousands of dollars after their accidents. They look real happy.

      • by jythie ( 914043 )
        Though to be fair, when looking at the actual income of most lawyers, that money gets pretty spread around. Handling such a suit requires a lot more then a few people sitting in an office writing stuff down. Research costs and expert witnesses, not to mention the mountain of data that needs to be looked at by hand, really ads up.

        That is not to say lawyers (at least partners) do not make a pretty penny, but it is not nearly as profitable to the individual as people tend to think.
      • by JMJimmy ( 2036122 ) on Monday May 12, 2014 @11:58AM (#46979781)

        Everyone should know by now that the only people who get rich in ANY LEGAL actions are the lawyers.

        Fixed that for you.

        As someone who has intimate knowledge of a very successful law office (1000+/hour rates) the number of times they almost went bankrupt or had to risk their personal financial well being to support the business is crazy. The number of hours and stress level is beyond anything I'd consider putting myself through. At the end of the day they pull in a lot of money but one big case going sour at the wrong time can ruin them.

        One problem most people don't consider is that these companies have dozens or hundreds of employees (depending on the size), most of them have to be skilled because one mistake can derail a case; that means high pay for quality employees. Then you've got the issue of delays - many cases can drag on for years, even decades, which means you've got to plan your revenue stream based on best guess of if/when cases will pay out and how much they'll bring in. All the while the employees, rent, taxes, loans, etc. need to be paid - a medium sized firm (15-30 people) can have up to $250,000 in costs/month. That's a lot of money for such an uncertain business model.

    • by coolsnowmen ( 695297 ) on Monday May 12, 2014 @10:39AM (#46979075)

      This has been covered here before

      You do not have the resources to beat the likes of apple in a case like this unless you have video of them laughing at your resume as they burn it and shout, "We're conspriing not to hire this guy!"

    • you dont join class actions. Everyone should know by now that the only people who get rich in class actions are the lawyers. If you believe you have been wronged, bring a suit yourself

      He probably will. But it would be prudent to try and get the Class Action back on track first.

    • by ehiris ( 214677 )

      Except, this is not about the money as much as about exposing the filthy disgusting shit these people do to keep people from earning what they are worth.

      And we should all wonder how that looks on the global scale. If they get away with this type of stuff in the US, image what they get away with in countries with extremely corrupt governments.

      • by tramp ( 68773 )

        If they get away with this type of stuff in the US, image what they get away with in countries with extremely corrupt governments.

        You really think there are countries which are more corrupt then the US government?

    • In this case it should be viewed as more a matter of hurting the corporations and making it unprofitable for them to try and do it again than about receiving money back.

      That said class actions are usually lacing regarding compensations because of settlings. THAT is a much bigger greater problem with the judicial system. As soon as something went to court settling should not be allowed anymore. Settling should be an option BEFORE going to court,
    • by jythie ( 914043 )
      While it is debatable how good a mechanism it is, class action lawsuits are supposed to make it so people who could not afford a lawsuit can band together to take on companies with significant legal resources. Lawsuits are EXPENSIVE, esp when you are going against big companies. Such a fight is out of the range of most average people, the research costs along would bankrupt them.
    • you dont join class actions. Everyone should know by now that the only people who get rich in class actions are the lawyers.

      It is not easy to get a US federal court to proceed with a class action --- and generally very bad news for the plaintiff when one goes forward.

      To assume that a class action benefits only the lawyers is nonsense.

      In a victory for opponents of mandatory arbitration, Charles Schwab & Co. has agreed to pay $500,000 and remove a controversial provision from customer contracts that would require arbitration of class action claims.

      The settlement stems from a complaint by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority Inc. in February 2012 that Schwab had violated Finra rules by including class action waivers in more than 6.8 million customer contracts.

      In February 2013, a Finra panel ruled that the Federal Arbitration Act superseded the regulator's rules and allowed Schwab to include language in its customer contracts blocking customers from consolidating multiple claims in arbitration or participating in judicial class actions, even when the agreement violated Finra rules.

      In this case, the board stepped in and overturned the hearing panel's initial decision, finding that ''the FAA does not preclude Finra's enforcement of its rules,â the board said in its decision.

      ''Over the last year, [a Schwab representative said,] we heard clearly that a number of our clients and members of the general public have strong feelings about maintaining access to class action lawsuits. 'We have agreed with Finra to remove the waiver from our account agreements, rather than seeking further legal appeals on the matter.''

      Schwab pays $500,000 to settle Finra dispute over class action waivers []

      This story gets all the more interesting when you realize what FINRA is and does.

      FINRA is a private corporation that acts as a self-regulatory organization (SRO). FINRA is the successor to the National Association of Securities Dealers, Inc. (NASD) and the member regulation, enforcement and arbitration operations of the New York Stock Exchange. It is a self-regulatory organization, a non-governmental organization that performs financial regulation of member brokerage firms and exchange markets. The government agency which acts as the ultimate regulator of the securities industry, including FINRA, is the Securities and Exchange Commission.

      All told, FINRA oversees about 4,250 brokerage firms, about 162,155 branch offices and approximately 629,525 registered securities representatives.

      FINRA offers regulatory oversight over all securities firms that do business with the public, plus those offering professional training, testing, and licensing of registered persons, arbitration and mediation, market regulation by contract for the New York Stock Exchange, the NASDAQ Stock Market, Inc., the American Stock Exchange LLC, and the International Securities Exchange, LLC; and industry utilities, such as Trade Reporting Facilities and other over-the-counter operations.

      FINRA operates the largest arbitration forum in the United States for the resolution of disputes between customers and member firms, as well as between brokerage firm employees and their firms.

      Financial Industry Regulatory Authority []

    • by plopez ( 54068 )

      Now you are blaming the victim. If Apple, Google setc. had, to coin a phrase, "Done no evil" we wpouldn't need lawyers now would we? So would your solution be to get rid of lawyers and allow evil to triumph?

    • True. While I have received $1,000+ in class action lawsuits that is an insufficient amount of money to make me "rich". Where can I find a lawyer who is willing to sue a corporation for $500?

  • by Joe_Dragon ( 2206452 ) on Monday May 12, 2014 @10:22AM (#46978945)

    Time for a union that is only way to get the power to the workers!

    • by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 12, 2014 @10:36AM (#46979047)

      Really as much as the libertarian crowd hates unions here, this is the kind of thing they were created to stop- worker exploitation and malfeasance by those who own the means of production.

      • by clarkkent09 ( 1104833 ) on Monday May 12, 2014 @12:09PM (#46979881)

        Libertarians are not against unions. Show me one source that shows that libertarians are against the right of people to associate or not associate however they wish. They are against laws that force employers to recognize unions and bargain with them as well as the laws that force employees to become paying union members even if they don't want to.

        • [] section 2.7
          " employer should have the right to recognize or refuse to recognize a union. We oppose government interference in bargaining, such as compulsory arbitration or imposing an obligation to bargain."

        • by ColdSam ( 884768 )
          So they are just against effective unions then.
          • Your comment makes sense only if you think that what Apple, Google, etc. did was right, and that freedom is bad.

            The libertarian platform says that if workers want to have a union, they can. If they don't like particular union, they can form another, or choose no union at all. That's called freedom. The opposing view is that workers should be forced to a work for a union, with union bosses controlling what workers can do. Aka socialist totalitarianism.

            The other part is how employers interact with unions.

            • by Yakasha ( 42321 )

              Your comment makes sense only if you think that what Apple, Google, etc. did was right, and that freedom is bad.

              Or if you have an understanding of history, the market, resources, and human psychology.
              With $150 billion in the bank, Apple can suck it up, wait it out, sue, issue propaganda, or do whatever else is necessary to break a union. There are enough people out there desperate for a job that Apple will win. The average plebeian, fresh out of college with $100k in student loans, or later on in life with a mortgage payment and a family to support, does not have that luxury.

              An ant isn't concerned with freedom wh

    • Which text the official text editor of this union?

      I will not be associated with beeping VI users.

      Emacs is my favorite operating system, even if the text editor is a bit on the weak side.

    • by Charliemopps ( 1157495 ) on Monday May 12, 2014 @10:42AM (#46979115)

      Time for a union that is only way to get the power to the workers!

      Apparently you've never worked for a union. You just pass your power on to the union, whose best interest is the union, not you. I'm not against organized labor, but unions in this country are usually even worse than they corporations they are supposed to protect you against.

      I've worked for 3 different union shops in my time and they were all the same. Got seniority? You can't get fired... ever. People would come in drunk and the UAW would protect them. We had teams of people that sat reading books at a picnic table all day just in case someone went home sick, they were making $25/hr to do that. I also worked for AT&T. At one point I had a customer having a problem with a particular database. It was outside my normal functions but they were dead in the water and the department that was supposed to handle it wasn't returning their calls. I fixed it, got commended by management. A month later I had a union grievance filed against me for doing the work someone else should have done. They actually tried to fine me. Luckily I got a new job before they could complete the case and I just told them to stuff it when they decided against me.

      This is all anecdotal personal experience so take it with a grain of salt. Maybe I just had bad luck. But I'm done with unions.

      • by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 12, 2014 @11:01AM (#46979269)

        I worked in IT at Ford in a non-union building and got in trouble for moving the overhead bin in my cubicle a level higher on the pegs so my 22 inch CRT (in 2010) Monitor would fit underneath it.

        Apparently they have union guys come in to move the desks..... We were told to log a ticket and wait many weeks while not having a monitor on my desk. Just sit there and earn what was at the time $70,000 billed hourly until someone fixes it and gets a working computer setup at the desk.

        They were happy to pay me $35/hr to sit and read printed manuals because their own issued computer wouldn't fit inside their own issued desk.

        Don't miss that gig :)

      • by garcia ( 6573 )

        I had a grievance filed against me for "not doing enough work" because my desk was...wait for it...too clean.

        Yes, I had to go through 5 weeks of 3-5 FTEs spending several hours each week discussing the fact that someone claimed I was not busy enough because my desk was neat and tidy.

        Want to know it was resolved? They came and looked at my desk and then we went to their office and looked at their desk (a fucking disaster area) and then it was dropped.

        FTEs = Me, my union rep, the individual filing the grievan

      • by sjames ( 1099 )

        If you dig deep enough in most of those absurdist situations, you'll find that for each perverse rule the union demands, there is a corresponding attempt by management to screw the union that resulted in that rule.

        In the database situation, perhaps the point was to make the management get what they pay for and someone was dragging their feet in hiring enough people at the agreed rate of pay.

        The guys on standby were probably the result of a chronically understaffed department in the past.

    • Time for a union that is only way to get the power to the workers!

      bah. the heyday of unions was back when people were literally being worked to death. i make really good money. I have a really safe job environment. I get more vacation than i know what to do with. Honestly, I've only ever worked one weekend that wasn't my choice. I was able to quit that job on a whim and get a better one.

      Other than that, the worst parts of my career are the times when i feel like i have to work with a technology that isn't my favorite technology. I'm not about to start paying dues to som

      • by Junta ( 36770 )

        I get more vacation than i know what to do with.

        You obviously aren't inventive enough. Personally, if I had 365 days of vacation a year I'd still want more (that one day in February every few years would suck).

    • by gnupun ( 752725 )
      Unions means the smart programmer and the average programmer get almost the same salary. Do you want that?
      • by pnutjam ( 523990 )
        I don't know about you, but I like to fix things, not avoid them because I think they are broken.
        • by gnupun ( 752725 )
          Your so-called solution does break more things than it fixes. Who wants a second unreasonable boss?
          • by pnutjam ( 523990 )
            I'm not talking about fixing the situation by creating a union. I'm talking about finding a way to fix unions so they work. It's not impossible.
            • by gnupun ( 752725 )

              Unions would still suck. Why should we be stuck in the industrial age with unions etc. when the age of the internet is already here?

              A website, regulated by the govt, that allows employees to negotiate wages from various potential employers would be a better solution. The negotiation would be based on experience, performance, skill, programmer supply/demand etc.

              There should also be consideration for passing company profits to employees if their work is above that required by a common employee. Apple has clo

    • So in this case, the person is in a class action suit. His frustration is that the lawyers who effectively control the thing from the plaintiff perspective have a significant conflict of interest and his voice is likely to go unanswered. The lawyers want the easier money which will be a large amount for them and a moderate amount for the members of the class. Most of the class would be happy to get a moderate amount and fully expect that they were just screwed. He would rather go through the effort to g

    • It is wearying to see people shout for unions as if theyre a panacea or dont have scores of their own issues. Anyone remember the thuggish behavior of the Verizon unions a few summers back, where they were pissed that their non-profitable department was not making as much as other, profitable departments? To prove their point, they went around slicing through fiber lines []... one might almost dismiss the "verizon reps say" as just a smear campaign, except for all of the tech support calls I got during that

      • by Junta ( 36770 )

        went around slicing through fiber lines

        Talk about a new take on the whole 'broken glass' fallacy.

  • by penguinoid ( 724646 ) on Monday May 12, 2014 @10:23AM (#46978953) Homepage Journal

    That never turns out badly.

  • by jmcbain ( 1233044 ) on Monday May 12, 2014 @10:29AM (#46978997)
    From the NY Times article:

    Mr. Devine said he told his lawyers that he found the settlement inadequate as it was being negotiated, but they ignored him. Lawyers in the case declined to comment on Sunday. ... As a class representative, he is eligible for an incentive award for the time and effort he put into the case. His lawyers have asked the court to approve a $20,000 payment for each representative from settlements reached last year against three other defendants in the suit — Lucasfilm, Pixar and Intuit. A similar payment might be forthcoming from the settlement with Apple, Google, Intel and Adobe. Even if the case went to trial and the plaintiffs got the full $9 billion, he would not get much more.

  • ouch... so low (Score:4, Informative)

    by CamelTrader ( 311519 ) on Monday May 12, 2014 @10:41AM (#46979103) Homepage

    assuming that attorneys don't eat all the settlement money, this is what, like $6,000 bucks per person in the class?

  • by Opportunist ( 166417 ) on Monday May 12, 2014 @10:47AM (#46979159)

    (fine as in punishment not as in splendid. But it's fine too)

    If you are found guilty (or if you settle, don't think you get off cheaply), you're not fined a fixed sum. You're fined a part (or even multiple) of your annual income. That can be quite substantial in case of corporations. Which is also the reason for the insane fines you hear about when some corporation gets slammed by the EU or a state around here again.

    Personally, I consider it a good system. Nobody can simply ignore the law because fines are a pittance to them. A year's income is a year's income, and losing that HURTS. Whether you make 4 or 7 digits (or in case of a corporation, 10+).

    The nice side effect is that this also means we have more people paying fines rather than sitting in some prison because they can't. Fines put money in the state treasury. People in jail cost money.

    • In the event of a breach of civil law (non criminal), aren't fines proportional to the tort the breach has caused? Judges usually take into account the ability to pay of the corporation when deciding on the amount. If it has to be exemplary, then the amounts would be significant. In all cases, the objective is not to kill the company but to ensure they put to settled the tort caused and more important, put in place better practices to prevent re-occurrence.
  • I want to know when I'm going to get mine from the early 90s when HP actually announced to employees that they were colluding with other tech employers to fix pay and benefits. I went to job interviews at other companies at the time and the story was always the same- no increase in pay and reset vacation time back to 10 days per year.

    Time to LAWYRUP !

  • by bigpat ( 158134 ) on Monday May 12, 2014 @11:13AM (#46979365)

    This is a case of criminal conspiracy that rippled through the economy. Where billionaires conspired to keep middle class wages lower because they wanted to make even more money for themselves. Not just people in these companies were affected. The illegally restrained salaries at these companies set the bar for millions of people in the industry. They need to pony up a few Billion more at least.

    These class action lawsuits themselves seem like blatant ways of companies limiting their own liability... they simply conspire with some lawyers to sue themselves, settle for pennies on the dollar and just a few individuals that proactively reject the settlement can ever get the full amount they are due. And the incentive of those so called lawyers who are getting a percentage commission is to settle for whatever makes them millionaires, not whatever will make people they don't really represent whole.

    I think in the future that the courts should require proactive agreement in writing from at least a majority of the class for the settlement to be accepted. And then let anyone that doesn't proactively accept the settlement sue later on. The opt-out system that we have now doesn't result in equitable resolutions.

  • by peccary ( 161168 ) on Monday May 12, 2014 @11:50AM (#46979687)

    EVERYONE who works in tech has been damaged by this conspiracy. I don't work at Google or Apple, but my compensation is very much influenced by what my employer believes I could reasonably expect to earn if I went to Google.

  • ... but it's probably just enough to pay off the lawyers. Going to trial would put them out a lot more in time and expenses and the payoff would be proportionately lower due to haveing to split the take with the plaintiffs.
  • Back in the day, unions were established to stop worker exploitation. One of the most visible of the exploited workers was the coal mine workers. They were forced to work in unsafe conditions and endure very long work hours. All so that greedy business owners could make more money off the backs of their employees.

    Fast forward to today and it's a similar condition for today's tech workers. Many of them are forced to work very long hours without any overtime pay. All so that greedy business owners could make more money off the backs of their employees.

    Although unions have become somewhat of a dirty word these days I can see the case for having unions for tech workers.

  • by TRRosen ( 720617 ) on Monday May 12, 2014 @05:35PM (#46984003)

    There is no smoking gun because "no hire agreements are not per se illegal". You have to prove the agreement resulted in a "naked restraint of trade". The likelyhood of this case being won in court was nil. Courts have rarely if ever made such findings without evidence that employees where prevented from leaving or initiating contact with other companies. All we have here is a no poach agreement which has no chance of being viewed as restraint of trade. All in all, this is just a nuisance suit that was cheaper to settle then defend and that caused so amount poor publicity.

  • by ( 771661 ) on Monday May 12, 2014 @08:27PM (#46985503) Homepage Journal
    I was also annoyed by the possible $3B win vs. $324M settlement, so I contacted one of the class action plaintiff's lawyers. He called back and I spent about 20 minutes on the phone with him. Among other things, he pointed out the defendants in the case (Apple et. al) have monster legal budgets, and the case will very likely (after many years) be fought all the way to the Supreme court. The current SCOTUS is more corporate than citizen friendly (witness Citizens United, etc.) and a win there is -not- assured. It is sickening to see the lawyers get a big payday, while you (the class member engineers you) are getting a new TV instead of a new car. But the TV is a sure deal, the car most likely is not.

"What the scientists have in their briefcases is terrifying." -- Nikita Khrushchev