The not-for-profit watchdog organization Consumer Reports reached a $16.3 million deal to settle a lawsuit, and wasn’t happy about it, The New York Post reports.
The class-action lawsuit, which originated in Michigan, “claimed the company sold personal information about its subscribers to list brokers without the consumers’ permission,” The Post reports. “The suit was originally filed by Don Ruppel, who claims as a result of the sale of the subscription list, he is ‘being inundated with a barrage of unwanted junk mail and telephone solicitations.’”
“Not surprisingly, CR is angry,” The Post adds. The report quotes a spokesman for Consumer Reports saying: “Allegations about CR in the suit were misleading, unfounded, or untrue, and brought forward by opportunistic attorneys who understood that while CR did not have the resources to engage in extended litigation, we had the insurance coverage needed for them to reap a large settlement payout with substantial legal fees.”
Ruppel “claims the brokered list included the names and titles of magazines he subscribed to and other demographic information ‘such as gender, age, ethnicity, income, religion, parental status and political information,’ according to the suit,” The Post reports.
The report adds: “Other major publishers to be hit with lawsuits derived from the Michigan state law included Hearst, Condé Nast, Time Inc. and Rodale. They all reached settlements of seven or eight figures in recent years.”