Thursday, August 20, 2009

Class Action Suit Protagonist Files One for Himself

Life can be so ironic sometimes. The man who strongly opposed class action suits filed one for himself.

Fred Heistand is the general counsel for the business-backed Civil Justice Association of California. He is known to be the protagonist of consumer-oriented class-action lawsuits.

When Heistand filed a case in Superior Court over a parking spat, various form of ridicule came his way. In a 10 page suit, he alleged that the City of Sacramento illegally towed his car which was parked at a no-parking zone. He further claimed that the city signs failed to warn owners that cars parked in those areas would be towed.

The suit also accused the city of regularly charging “erroneous fines and towing costs while engaging in a financially beneficial relationship with private towing companies.”

Heinstand refused any settlement.

John Sullivan, President of the association and speaking in behalf of Heinstand, said that Heistand vowed to contribute any winnings to the association.

One files action because he wants to vindicate his right. If Heinstand felt that the city violated his right, he could file a case just like any other. Whether the case has merit or not would be decided upon by the court.

Even personal injury lawyers themselves could be plaintiffs in a suit. The courts cater not only to ordinary litigants but to lawyers as well who have cause of action.