A class action suit filed in the Northern District of Illinois alleges a wide-ranging class action objection enterprise aimed at extorting money from class action settlements in exchange for dropping objections. Edelson P.C. alleges that Christopher Bandas (and his firm The Bandas Law Firm PC), Joseph Darrell Palmer (and his firm Darrell Palmer Law Office), C. Jeffrey Thut (and his firm Noonan, Perillo & Thut Ltd) and Gary Stewart conspired to object to class actions settlements (often using supposedly pro se clients) and attempted to extract confidential payments to dismiss those objections. Edelson P.C. claims that the Defendants threaten to delay payment of settlements for years, and that Class Counsels often find it necessary to make these payments to bring the cases to a resolution.
This civil RICO suit stems from an objection to a TCPA class action settlement in Illinois state court where Gannett Company, Inc. was making unsolicited robocalls to consumer cell phones. Gary Stewart filed an objection, represented by C. Jeffrey Thut (and his firm Noonan, Perillo & Thut Ltd). The trial court rejected Stewart’s objections, which lead to an appeal. At mediation, Gary Stewart, now represented by Christopher Bandas (and his firm The Bandas Law Firm PC), demanded between $225,000 and $445,000 to settle the outstanding issues, with no changes being made to the settlement. Ultimately, class counsel agreed to pay Christopher Bandas and his associates $225,000 to dismiss the appeal. Plaintiffs in the civil RICO case allege that payments like this constitute the modus operandi for the Defendants and amount to extortion.
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