$375,000 Cy Pres Award Advances Consumers Interests

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thanks-for-your-supportTURN was honored to be the recipient of a $375,000 Cy Pres award, thanks to noted anti-trust lawyer Daniel Mogin.   The funds arise from a class action lawsuit filed by Mogin on behalf of customers of Honeywell, who were overcharged for thermostats they’d purchased. “TURN’s goals are the same as the goals of our lawsuit- to hold corporations accountable for fair prices and consumers’ rights,” Mogin said. “It’s a perfect match.”

Cy Pres, which is pronounced “sigh prey,” comes from the French phrase, cy pres comme possible, which translates to “as near as possible.”  After a class action suit is settled and all of the funds awarded are distributed to class members, there is always some money left unclaimed or undeliverable. Cy Pres allows residual funds to be distributed to a suitable nonprofit organization that works to correct wrongs similar to the wrongs of the lawsuit.

As the only independent, statewide utility consumer advocate in California, TURN welcomes Cy pres awards to support our consumer protection and empowerment work. Attorneys representing consumers in class action lawsuits are able to nominate nonprofits like TURN to receive settlement funds, rather than have the unclaimed portion go back to the defendant corporation. Mogin, who also teaches law at the University of San Diego, clearly did his homework in finding the close alignment between TURN and the consumers he represented!

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TURN invites inquiries from attorneys in areas related to our work, which includes gas, electric and phone utilities. Awards in the past have been dedicated to projects including universal access to phone service, privacy and other core consumer concerns. Please contact executive director Mark Toney at 415.929.8876 ext. 301 for more information.