Class Action Settlement Distribution
There is often money remaining after class action settlement funds have been distributed. This is a result of class members who could not be located, are incarcerated or have passed away. Sometimes, class members are reluctant to cash or deposit a settlement check that arrives in the mail. They may fear that the check may be a scam of some sort. Occasionally, some folks are just busy with life and forget to deposit their check within the designated time period. When class settlement checks go uncashed, the remaining funds must be distributed appropriately.
Cy Pres Award
The law, in some instances, directs where these "residual funds" will go. For example, these funds may be designated to a state bar fund that supports legal programs for people who cannot afford a lawyer. In other instances, the funds can, with permission of the court, go to a legal aid organization, law school clinic, or other charity closely related to the goals of the class action lawsuit. The remaining funds distributed in this way are sometimes called "cy pres" (pronounced Sy-Pray) a term in the law that refers to the next-closest thing.
In some class action lawsuits, Flitter Milz as class counsel, has had residual funds, cy pres, approved for payment to legal aid societies, organizations that represent or counsel low income consumers, or ones that provide consumer credit education. Cy Pres, the next closest thing to distribution to class members who do not receive or cash their check.