BYU Law Review


This Article uses two recent decisions — one prohibiting incentive awards to class representatives and one permitting disgorgement of side payments to class objectors — to explore deeper connections between class action settlements and the law of restitution. The failure to correctly apply the law of restitution led both courts astray. First, courts can approve incentive awards, as long as an award properly reflects the benefit that the representative's efforts bestowed on the class. Second, restitution provides a basis to disgorge improper side payments to objectors, but only under conditions different from those that the court described. More broadly, attention to the substantive and remedial principles of restitution can provide useful solutions to vexing problems of class action practice.


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