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LinkedIn Must Pay $13M for Annoying People
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LinkedIn pays up for annoying people. Photo courtesy of Fortune.

Summary: LinkedIn emailed its users on Friday, saying they were eligible for part of a $13 million class action settlement.

Last Friday, LinkedIn users received a surprising email with the headline: “LEGAL NOTICE OF CLASS ACTION SETTLEMENT.”

  
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The social networking site for professionals has settled a class action suit for sending out too many emails. Buzzfeed states, “Essentially, LinkedIn’s ‘Add Connections’ feature was a quick way to connect with the people in a contact list — a one-click method to notify everyone that you had joined the service. However, LinkedIn used access to users’ contact lists to send two ‘reminder’ emails, which a court found had been sent without the users’ consent. Those additional emails are the focus of the lawsuit, and why LinkedIn will now pay out.”

It is noted that LinkedIn did not admit to wrongdoing but opted to settle.

LinkedIn notified everyone who used the “Add connections” function from September 17, 2011 to October 31, 2014 that they were entitled to a portion of the $13 million dollar settlement if they applied on the official website for the Perkins v. LinkedIn Class Action Settlement.

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CNN Money states that the lawyers representing the plaintiffs stand to earn $3.3 million, and that depending on how many plaintiffs file, plaintiffs could earn up to $1500 a piece. Engadget writes that LinkedIn will increase the settlement if plaintiffs end up receiving $10 or less.

The deadline to file a claim is December 14, 2015.



The legal firm Gilardi & Co. is handling the payouts. According to Gilardi’s website, members of the California-based firm are “the trusted experts in legal settlements and claims administration.”

Per Quartz, users first filed the suit in 2013 in the California district court of Judge Lucy Koh. They claimed that the “Add Connections” function violated their right of publicity. In the complaint, users stated how frustrated they were that LinkedIn sent so many spammy-looking emails on their behalf. The reminder emails were written in a way they appeared to be from the user, not LinkedIn. It was this appearance that bothered LinkedIn users, who were concerned the emails made them look unprofessional.

In 2014, Judge Koh allowed the lawsuit to move forward. According to Quartz, the judge wrote in her ruling, “the second and third endorsement emails could injure users’ reputations by allowing contacts to think that the users are the types of people who spam their contacts.”

In May, the company’s CEO Jeff Weiner told Buzzfeed that he was aware that the company sent out too many emails. After the class action notification was sent out on Friday, LinkedIn released a statement that was printed in CNN Money:

“Ultimately, we decided to resolve this case so that we can put our focus where it matters most: finding additional ways to improve our members’ experiences on LinkedIn,” the statement said.



 

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