David Manning Settlement
A week or two ago papers were reporting the final verdict in the class-action suit against Sony stemming from the David Manning phony critic case
. Sony got slapped with a $1.5million fine that was supposed to compensate moviegoers who felt defrauded by the fake ads. But William Booth of the Washington Post did some research and found out that not all was as it seemed
with the payout:
News of the settlement created a stir in cyberspace and the entertainment press, with visions of tens of thousands of chagrined rubes lining up around the studio with their palms outstretched. Like, right on! Multiplexers unite! We did some follow-up and learned that Sony paid out $5,085 — total — to 170 real, honest-to-goodness ticket buyers. The rest of the cash? Brace yourself, Virginia: According to court papers, the attorneys for the plaintiffs got $458,909. Sony paid an additional $250,000 for administrative fees and costs associated with alerting moviegoers to the settlement and processing the claims — all 170 of them. Not a bad payday. The settlement, in which Sony conceded no wrongdoing, stipulated that any money left over from the $500,000 the studio set aside for claims would go to charity. And indeed it did, with $494,915 donated to the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation and the Women’s Care Cottage in Los Angeles.
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