The world’s least exciting class action case?

Bed, Bath and Beyond logoAfter reading thrillers from John Grishman and other lawyerly authors, and after having seen incessant solicitations from b-grade legal firms to join a wide variety of class action suits for mesothelioma and oh, so many other apparent crises in our contemporary life, I’m still rather amazed at an email I received from home goods retailer Bed, Bath & Beyond (Nasdaq: BBBY).
It’s all about thread count and the email from BB&B explains that the pending lawsuit “alleges that Bed Bath & Beyond, as well as Synergy, Inc., misrepresented the thread count in its two-ply bedding products sold in stores and on its website by stating the number of threads in the warp and filling directions in one square inch of fabric, rather than the number of yarns.”
Truth be told, I had to look this up to even understand what’s going on in this lawsuit.
The warp of a fabric is the yarn going horizontally in the fabric (well, technically, warp is the yarn arranged lengthways on a loom, crossed by the woof), but how it relates to the number of yarns, well, this has got to be one of the most obscure lawsuits I’ve ever seen. As best I can figure, the lawsuit alleges that BB&B counted the threads that comprised the yarn (which makes sense to me, since the measure is thread count not yarn count) rather than just the yarn itself when calculating the overall thread count “fabric density” of linens it sold, but I might be wrong here.
What I find interesting about this situation is that it highlights the obscure nuances of modern class action suits and just as non-medical experts trying to assess medical effects can often border on the idiotic, surely lawyers debating warp and woof must be utterly baffling to consumers too. It’s hard to imagine someone suing a linen store because they tore apart sheets and found that the “400 thread count” pillowcase was, in fact, only a 270 thread count fabric. And yet, somehow that’s what happened here.
Imagine you had received a notice from a law firm (Whatley Drake & Kallas, LLC of New York, NY in this instance) asking if you’d bought a specific set of sheets from Bed, Bath & Beyond. Not to be politically incorrect, but would anyone really care? I mean, I can understand why WD&K does: the lawsuit details attorney fees of “no more than” $290,000. That’s a lot of pillowcases.
Ah well, let’s end this by simply observing that if you are one of the people who are potentially affected by this class action lawsuit, you should immediately rush to BBB Thread Count to register your claim.

2 comments on “The world’s least exciting class action case?

  1. Dave, this is typical of many of the class action lawsuits filed today. A lawyer sees an opportunity to put a bunch of cash in his pocket, so he hunts for someone who has been “harmed” by some company. These suits are almost always initiated by the lawyers, not the plaintiffs.
    When the suit is settled, the plaintiffs who were [sarcasm]so horribly damaged[/sarcasm] get a $5 coupon to spend with the big, bad retailer and the lawyer walks away with a pile of cash.
    It is well past time to reform our legal system.

  2. Actually, you’re spot on, Cathy. I didn’t mention in my article, but the proposed settlement is a $10 gift certificate to … you guessed it … Bed, Bath and Beyond. How that’s a resolution is unclear since most won’t be used and those that are actually utilized are done so buying more stuff at BB&B. Reminds me of how Nintendo years ago sidestepped a big Department of Justice lawsuit by sending out coupons to all existing Nintendo owners. Coupons!

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