The Price of Silence: $19

The Daily Business Review reported on a federal class action settlement by Sharper Image over its air purifiers. Unfortunately, for Sharper Image, Judge Cecilia Altonaga denied the settlement without prejudice. Fortunately, for us, Sharper Image had filed the Settlement Agreement already with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. Here are some of the more interesting provisions:

§ 10.2 Settling Defendant agrees to pay an amount not to exceed $1,875,000.00, plus the additional expenses outlined in paragraph 9 above, subject to application for an award of attorneys’ fees and expenses and Court approval, as full payment for all attorneys’ fees, costs, and expenses incurred in connection with this Class Action.

For $1,875,000, the settling defendants’ lawyers got them…

§ 8.2.2 One (1) Merchandise Credit in the amount of $19.00 shall be made available to each Settlement Class Member, limited to one (1) per Household (regardless of the number of Ionic Breeze® products Purchased by said member or the amount spent on said products) who is either (1) found in the Ionic Breeze® Database; or (2) provides Proof of Purchase as set forth herein.

19 bucks…

§1.24.2 Merchandise Credits can only be redeemed from (1) Sharper Image retail stores in the United States; (2) Sharper Image’s online store at www.sharperimage.com; or (3) by phone or mail order directly from Sharper Image.

which must be spent at Sharper Image…

1.24.1 “Merchandise Credit” means the credit given to Settlement Class Members that are redeemable only for Sharper Image Branded Products to which Settlement Class Members are entitled as provided in § 8.

and only on Sharper Image Branded Products, meaning you cannot apply the coupon to the i-Dog Musicial Companion for iPod and MP3 Players. Full price, baby!

§ 14. Agreement Not to Disparage Ionic Breeze® Products. Settlement Class Counsel, Plaintiffs, and the Settlement Class Members agree not to disparage the Ionic Breeze® or Sharper Image and its products, and expressly waive any right to assert First Amendment, Free Speech, or anti-SLAPP protection in any action to enforce this provision.

And, while you can criticize the settlement, you can’t talk smack about the Ionic Breeze® or Sharper Image and its products (so there goes the “sucks” site). You have to spend the $19 with them, on their house branded products, and in return, you have to pledge an oath of silence? But, that’s not all…

§ 8.2.3 The Merchandise Credit shall be valid for one year from the date of Notice of Final Approval.

This is a limited time offer. Operators are standing by.

§ 10.6 Each of the two Settlement Class Representatives will receive an incentive award of $10,000.

And two lucky plaintiffs receive an “incentive award” of $10,000, presumably in cold, hard cash. No coupon with a one-year expiration date for Sharper Image branded products for them! I presume the attorney’s fees won’t be paid in store credit either.

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