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Shiri Lasman

Why a Company Called ClaimClam Is Creating Controversy in the Class Action Bar

On Sept. 7, a handful of objectors raised concerns about Facebook’s $725 million settlement over the Cambridge Analytica scandal. But one of them got particular attention from lead plaintiffs lawyers in the deal.

ClaimClam, which uses artificial intelligence to identify class members in exchange for a 15% cut, had submitted claims on behalf of about 15,000 class members, but the settlement administrator rejected them, concluding that they lacked identifying information.

“As practitioners in this area, it does concern us,” Derek Loeser, a partner at Seattle’s Keller Rohrback, told U.S. District Judge Vince Chhabria at the final approval hearing. Third parties such as ClaimClam interfered with the settlement’s notice and administration, he said.

Matt Borden, a lawyer for ClaimClam, disputed that his client provided no benefit to the settlement, which brought in a record 17 million claims.

“There’s a lot of people in this class, and they have difficulty, some people, in making claims,” he said at the hearing. “If they want to hire a service like ClaimClam to do it, they should be allowed to do so.”

It’s not the first time ClaimClam has intervened in a class action. At a final approval hearing in the $255 million Juul settlement last month, U.S. Senior District Judge William Orrick, of the Northern District of California, ordered ClaimClam to provide identifying information about the 30,000 class members on whose behalf it made claims.

Steven Weisbrot, president and CEO of Angeion Group, the administrator of the Facebook settlement, said third-party filers are common in antitrust and securities class action settlements, which often involve corporate clients.

But that is a “stark contrast” to those involved in consumer claims, he said.