What Happens to Class Action Against John O’Quinn?

Class action lawsuits may not be the most exciting way to spend a day in court, but they certainly make for great stories in the headlines.  In class action suits, a large number of people who have been injured or otherwise adversely affected by the actions of a company are brought into the legal process as if they were a single entity.  Cases like the thousands who have suffered from asbestos coming to get at least part of their just rewards, appeals to the underdog in us all, and the outcomes of these cases are often spectacular things to see.  However, in the case of John O’Quinn, the outcome of the class action lawsuit against him was a little less exciting, because it is still so bogged down in legal terms.

In a nutshell, this prominent Texas lawyer made a career and a substantial fortune, by helping those who were mistreated in breast implant cases, from big tobacco companies, and medical facilities.  Many of the cases he took have iconic places in the U.S. pop consciousness as big offenders in our lives, and his excellent record of winning cases helped to boost our sense of worth and value, or at least helped to take away some of the powerlessness we feel at the foot of these giants.

In an interesting turn of events, however, for one of his cases, in which he won against a silicon company on behalf of thousands of women, it was discovered that he had overcharged his clients.  This was in 1999.  They, in turn, formed another class action suit against O’Quinn, for damages and for overcharging.  Their suit won, and in 2007 he was paying a large portion of his won winnings from the case, for their settlement.  The portion was still only somewhere around 10-20 percent of his gains, but still signifies a substantial amount.  This is even more interesting in light of the recent death of John O’Quinn in a car crash in October, 2009.  The other man in the car, Johnny Cutliff, also died in the crash, and his estate is now suing O’Quinn’s estate, in an endless circle of litigation.  It’s always interesting to see how class action suits play out, and this is a life of class actions, the results of which continue to unfold even after the life has passed.

This entry was posted on Friday, March 12th, 2010 at 4:39 pm and is filed under Medical. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.


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