This case involves a class action suit by passengers against a cruise for "unjust enrichment and mis-representation of port charges." Originally the trial court refused to certify the suit as class action but approved and agreed to a settlement. The settlement, which has become typical in other class action lawsuits. Offered to pay past passengers anywhere from $10 to $50 which was predicated on the number of days the suing passengers were aboard the vessels of Holland American.
The passengers involved with the filing of the suit did not like the terms of the settlement so they filed an appeal. Under the settlement the passengers would receive vouchers good for three years on another HAL cruise, subject to "capacity control" that limited their use only in travels booked less than 45 days from the date of departure. The Court of Appeal reversed the trial court so the matter ended up in the Supreme Court of the state of Washington, which upheld the original agreement.
Some background facts. HAL had estimated the face value of the suit might be in excess $20 million dollars to compensate approximately 750,000 passengers. Fifty passengers opted out and I suppose we are two for these for I am opposed to this type of suit since the only ones who profit are the trial lawyers.. There is no information that might provide information on how many passengers may use the vouchers. Nor is there any reference as to the lawyer fees. It might of interest how much this finally cost HAL . One might assume the plaintiff's lawyers received millions of dollars in fees. We should not forget the expenses of the defense lawyers who get paid, win or lose. This decision on November 29, 2001 is a rather long, but well worth reading. It is known as Pickett, etal v. Holland American Line, recorded in 35 Pacific Reporter page 351. Possibly readers may be a party to lawsuit since it covers port charges from April 1992 to 1996 when the suit was originally filed. The author is not a lawyer and not offering legal advise. The information has been submitted for reader interest and educational purpose.