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SDMomChef
01-31-2006, 01:42 PM
I just heard a clip on the radio that a class action lawsuit has been initiated against James Frey and Random House alleging deceptive sales practices, fraud, gross negligence and seeking damages for not only the purchase price of the book but "lost time" in reading the book (which seems a stretch to me). Has anybody else heard about this?

Grace
01-31-2006, 01:44 PM
Ha!! Now that's funny! :D :rolleyes:

GingerPow
01-31-2006, 01:47 PM
Who initiated the suit?

Jazzmatazz49
01-31-2006, 01:50 PM
That is the most ridiculous thing I've heard.

LA98
01-31-2006, 01:55 PM
At least a week ago Random House stated they were offering a refund for people who wanted their money back. Talk about frivolous lawsuits... :rolleyes:

SDMomChef
01-31-2006, 01:56 PM
Ridiculous, but I can't say that in this case I feel sympathetic to either random house or Frey. Here's a quote from the WSJ:

"The Chicago law firm Dale and Pakenas filed suit in Cook County, Illinois state court on behalf of Pilar More, a mother of two who felt cheated by the news last week that questions the truthfulness of the book. The suit seeks class-action status.

Says More’s lawyer Thomas Pakenas: “If somebody sells you a cashmere jacket and it turns out to be polyester, you would feel cheated, right? And even if the collar and lapels were cashmere, it still would be consumer fraud. To defend the book as telling the quote ‘emotional truth‘ is just crap.”

zwieback
01-31-2006, 01:58 PM
It'll only put money in the pockets of the lawyers. Good luck seeing a dime!

Dahlia
01-31-2006, 02:00 PM
Pppth!

While you're at it, why not sue Oprah for having endorsed the book? After all, it was her endorsement that attracted the huge readership in the first place, right? Sheesh...

:rolleyes:

Meganator
01-31-2006, 02:11 PM
How is this much different than any one of a hundred books about Princess Di, or the Kennedys, or any number of famous people that contain some less-than-factual information? I don't remember Kitty Kelley ever being the object of a class action suit.

Meganator
01-31-2006, 02:12 PM
It'll only put money in the pockets of the lawyers. Good luck seeing a dime!

Yeah, but you could get a $0.50 coupon off of a Random House book!!! :rolleyes:

DeeK
01-31-2006, 02:43 PM
I just heard a clip on the radio that a class action lawsuit has been initiated against James Frey and Random House alleging deceptive sales practices, fraud, gross negligence and seeking damages for not only the purchase price of the book but "lost time" in reading the book (which seems a stretch to me). Has anybody else heard about this?

Okay ...I joked about it last week in a previous thread. But, I swear, it wasn't me that started the class action suit. ;) :p

I agree ....it's pretty silly considering what was "lost" ....like $15 each? I don't know how you could ever put a dollar value on time lost. :rolleyes:

Wendy w
01-31-2006, 02:52 PM
Here's a related article.

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20060131/ap_en_ot/books_culture_of_trust;_ylt=Ajco7UXaq.hcK9kIgZyZj2 xxFb8C;_ylu=X3oDMTA5aHJvMDdwBHNlYwN5bmNhdA--

SDMomChef
01-31-2006, 03:28 PM
In general, I think that there does need to be some reforms in class action lawsuits. However, one of the benefits (arguably) of a class action is that it can bring about change, and I think that the publishing companies need to be reformed. If they are not willing to do it voluntarily, maybe a lawsuit will make them think twice. I think it is deceptive to just take a book at face value and market it as a true story, and hold yourself out as just "publishing" what was provided. A publisher does more than print - it also promotes and takes actions to induce consumers to buy its books - promos; book signings, etc. While it may be impossible to verify every statement that is in a book, there has to be at least some level of diligence if the book is to be marketed as non-fiction.

With respect to Frey, a number of people, including some on this BB commented that they would not have read the book if they had known it was in essence a work of fiction. So, one could argue that the actions by Frey and Random House were fraudulent - random house/frey made a false representation that the book was based upon true facts and persons, with either knowledge of its falsity (frey) or in reckless disregard for the truth (random hose) with the intent to induce consumers to purchase the book, and thereby inducing the purchase of the book to the consumer's detriment (price of book and - if you want to be on the extreme - the lost opportunity costs of reading that book versus doing something else with your time).

So, I may be in the minority, but I applaud a class action if it brings about some change in what I deem as a big loophole in the publishing business.

beacooker
01-31-2006, 04:04 PM
I agree with SDMomChef. While I think suing for the time spent reading the book is ridiculous, I am glad that the publisher and Frey might have to pay for their deceits, and refund people's money. The price of the book to individuals isn't the point - the fact that Frey and RandomHouse made millions off of fraud is. And as I understood it, Random House was only planning on refunding money to people who bought the book directly from them.

zwieback
01-31-2006, 04:07 PM
Yeah, but you could get a $0.50 coupon off of a Random House book!!! :rolleyes:


:D :D :D :D

Kristilyn1
01-31-2006, 04:10 PM
sign me up! I want my $15 back. I can't say I need the time wasted money though.

I do understand that for the most part, class action suits are to line the pockets of attorneys, not to help the cheated public like me.

Kristi

DeeK
01-31-2006, 04:16 PM
The price of the book to individuals isn't the point - the fact that Frey and RandomHouse made millions off of fraud is. And as I understood it, Random House was only planning on refunding money to people who bought the book directly from them.

Yes ....true ...the point is the deception and how to prevent it in the future. My previous post was not well-worded. It should have said I don't care that "I" lost $15 particularly. I've spent money poorly before and probably will again.

The deception factor is much more important in this case. I was one of those that would not have purchased the book had I known that it was a work of fiction. Also, I thought Random House's solution of refunding the price to those who bought the book directly was a poor solution. Not many bought the book directly, I would think, AND how many people keep a receipt for a book purchase. I know I don't.

I guess I can't be part of the class action suit though. I no longer have the book. I tossed it in the wastecan last trash day. Maybe I should have held off on that. ;)

Paula H
01-31-2006, 04:28 PM
Dr Love finds the whole deal with the publisher saying "not our responsibility" to fact check most amusing/fascinating - he's currently writing for several "geek" gaming books (one of several authors in each book) and the amount of fact checking they have to do for FICTION is amazing. All week he's been trying to get verified info on the population of some city in 1278 (or sometime in the 1200s - I can't remember the exact year), because some of the proofreaders/testers are quarrelling about census figures.

Good grief people, this is a book that features ghosts and wizards and spells and mythical creatures, and it's got more fact checking than Frey's "non-fiction" book!!

Escher
01-31-2006, 04:46 PM
In Escher's world, plaintiffs are only granted compensatory damages. So, a cap of maybe 30$/person would be warranted. Any punitive damages (to discourage future such actions) would be given to a charity...in this case, perhaps a charity that fights illiteracy would be appropriate, no?

Everyone should live in Escher's world.

Jazzmatazz49
01-31-2006, 06:00 PM
Why not sue me for raving about this book several months ago, I believe it was before Oprah discovered it. Go ahead, make my day. :eek: