A challenge to the use of a cy pres charitable donations to settle privacy claims against Google will be heard by the Supreme Court.  In Frank v. Gaos, petitioners seek reversal of lower court decisions rejecting their objection to an $8.5 million settlement of claims arising from Google’s transmission of users’ search terms to third-party websites.  Because the proposed settlement amount could not feasibly be distributed to the estimated 129 million class members, the settlement called for Google to pay the settlement proceeds, less class counsel fees, to certain privacy-related charities.  The trial court awarded 25% of the settlement —  or $2.125 million – to class counsel; the balance went to the charities.  The petitioner’s objections to the settlement were overruled.

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