Judge Cote Denies Class Action Cert in Lawsuit Against Penguin Random House, Author Solutions
The first class action lawsuit filed by authors against the infamous vanity press Author Solutions has suffered a blow this week. US District Court Judge Denise Cote has handed down a ruling that denied class action status.
This lawsuit was originally filed in 2013 by the law firm Giskan Solotaroff Anderson & Stewart on behalf of authors Jodi Foster, Kelvin James, and Mary Simmons. The authors claim that they had been fleeced by Author Solutions.
The authors alleged unjust enrichment, fraud, and violation of various statutes and consumer protection acts. More specifically, the authors said that ASI had neglected to send accurate royalty statements and failed to pay royalties, introduced errors into the authors' books, and sold the authors worthless marketing services.
Having completed discovery in February 2015, the authors' lawyers filed for class certification, and in doing so they aired a lot of ASI’s dirty laundry in public. That certification was denied this week. According to Writers Beware:
That certification has now been denied, in a decision handed down by Judge Denise Cote on July 1. From what I can tell on an initial reading, the decision seems to boil down to the fact that in one of the subclasses they were seeking to certify, plaintiffs weren’t able to meet certification requirements; and in the other, weren’t able to demonstrate a clear pattern of deception on the part of AS that could apply to everyone in the proposed class.
The ruling can be read in full here.
Giskan Solotaroff is probably going to appeal this decision. They are also pushing forward on the second lawsuit they filed against Author Solutions earlier this year. That suit has been consolidated with another lawsuit brought by two individual plaintiffs, Everette et al. v. Author Solutions LLC.
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