Judge rejects $140K in legal fees in meatpacking suit

July 17, 2013
| By AP |
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A judge has rejected $140,000 in fees for attorneys who settled a lawsuit for seven Michigan meatpacking workers for a bit more than $1,000.

Federal Judge Paul Maloney calls the request "exorbitant."

He says dozens of plaintiffs who still are part of the lawsuit haven't recovered anything yet.

The lawsuit accuses JBS Plainwell in Allegan County of failing to pay workers when putting on or taking off protective wear. Seven people took settlements ranging from $110 to $215.

Matt Turner of the Sommers Schwartz firm and other lawyers asked the judge to order the meatpacker to pay $140,000 in fees. But fees won't be addressed until the case ends.

Turner defended the request, saying the seven plaintiffs benefited from legal work done so far for the entire class of workers.

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