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US: Plaintiff wants Silicon Valley non-poaching settlement tossed

 |  May 12, 2014

In what reports describe as a rare gesture, Michael Devine, a freelance programmer who was one of four plaintiffs named in a high-profile non-poaching suit against Silicon Valley’s largest firms, has reportedly sent a letter to US District Judge Lucy H. Koh asking her to reject the $324 million settlement negotiated by Devine’s own lawyers.

”The class wants a chance at real justice,” the programmer wrote. “We want our day in court.”

The settlement offered by the tech giants, including Apple, Google, Intel and Adobe, is only one-tenth of the $3 billion estimated to have been lost by the 64,000 class members in the non-poaching collusion, the letter wrote. Plus, Devine wrote, the settlement is an easy fix for the companies in making an embarrassing lawsuit go away.

The companies were sued by the class for allegations of unfairly agreeing not to hire each others’ employees, artificially keeping wages low and stifling competition. The suit was set for trial at the end of the month until lawyers negotiated the settlement deal.

Before a settlement was reached, reports said a trial was set to unleash embarrassing and damaging revelations of the tech companies and how they operate. A rejected settlement could place that damning trial back on track.

But according to experts, a significant portion of the class would need to back Devine for a successful rejection of the settlement.

Full content: NYTimes

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