October 31, 2003 - Contingent fees ruled unenforceable in Sulzer Hip class action
On October 31, 2003, the Honorable Kathleen M. O'Malley, Judge of the United States District Court for the Northern District of Ohio, issued an Order that provided that certain contingent fee contracts, executed after February 2, 2002 between attorneys and Sulzer Hip Class Members, contained unenforceable contingent fee provisions. The Order also stated a provision to return fees attorneys had collected from contingent fee contracts. The quote from the article is as follows:
"Any contingent fee agreement between an attorney and a plaintiff class member in this case, which was entered into after February 2, 2002 and was intended to allow the attorney to recover contingent fees in this case, is neither ethical nor permissible, and may not be enforced. Accordingly, no person may take any steps to enforce any such agreement, and any attorney who has obtained contingent fees pursuant to such a contract shall return those fees to the plaintiff class member."