Court Approves $13 million Consumer Class Action Settlement in Blair v. Rent-a-Center

On January 24, 2020 the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California granted final approval of a $13 million dollar settlement to benefit low-income consumers in California who alleged they were overcharged in violation of California’s Karnette Act when purchasing appliances and other household items from defendant Rent-a-Center.  The settlement requires Rent-A-Center to pay class members an amount that its own experts calculated would amount to more than 100 cents on the dollar, and also enjoins Rent-a-Center from continuing its challenged practices and from imposing mandatory arbitration agreements on customers that strip them of their right to pursue public injunctions in future cases. 

The District Court’s final approval order specially noted that counsel for the class “deserves credit for . . . the hard work they’ve done in achieving an excellent outcome for the class,” including for taking “a chance by basing part of their claim on an untested statute whose application was unclear,” and  specifically commended Altshuler Berzon LLP partner Michael Rubin for his “excellent work” on behalf of the class.  Altshuler Berzon LLP served as class counsel along with the San Diego law firm of Dostart Hannick & Coveney.