Objector Bench Slapped by Northern District of Ohio

Posted on 4 January 2016.

In Ohio, a massive multi-district case has been winding through the Court since December 2010. The plaintiffs allege that manufacturers of polyurethane foam products conspired to fix their prices, to the detriment of consumers. In November of 2014, the District Court preliminarily approved a settlement between two manufacturers and Direct Purchaser Plaintiffs. Only one objection was filed to this settlement, by serial objector Michael Narkin. His objection is almost identical to objections he has filed in other cases, with only minor details changed. Furthermore, he does not seem to actually be a member of the settlement class, since he purchased flooring from Costco, making him an Indirect Purchaser, not a Direct Purchaser.

In the face of all this, Objector Narkin still appealed the Final Approval, first to the Federal Circuit and then to the Sixth Circuit. Judge Zouhary eventually grew tired of Objector Narkin continuing with his appeals despite not belonging to the settlement class. He wrote “his objections are meritless because (among other things) they are raised by a person without standing to object to the settlements...Despite being given more than enough opportunities to do so, Narkin provides no other evidence that he is a member of the settlement class...based on the composition of the settlement class it is implausible that other evidence exists...His continued objection SIMPLY WASTES THE TIME OF BOTH THIS COURT AND THE SIXTH CIRCUIT, AS WELL AS COUNSEL OF RECORD, AND NEEDLESSLY DELAYS DISBURSEMENT OF NET SETTLEMENT FUNDS TO ACTUAL CLASS MEMBERS (emphasis added)" (See 07/08/2015 Order, Docket #1807). He has also objected (using another identical boilerplate objection) to the Indirect Purchaser class. On November, 19, 2015, Judge Zouhary sanctioned Objector-Appellant Narkin $10,000 for pursuing his frivolous appeal.

Objector Narkin has a history of less than scrupulous dealings with the law. He was a practicing attorney until he withdrew his license in the mid-1990s, facing over a dozen disciplinary charges that he was defrauding his clients. He then set up an online law school, the Saratoga University School of Law, where he served as dean. In 2004, the state of California pulled the school’s credentials, over allegations that Narkin was defrauding students. Since 2014, he has filed identical objections in six cases. It seems that objecting to class action settlements and seeking large payments to a charity he runs in exchange for withdrawing his appeals is his new modus operandi, including this case (See Declaration of Adam B. Wolfson, ¶5-8, Docket #1819, Exhibit A).