The remoras are loose again. - Hon. James M. Rosenbaum, In re UnitedHealth Group PSLRA Litig., 643 F. Supp. 2d 1107, 1108 (D. Minn. 2009)
Serial objectors “subsist primarily off of the skill and labor of, to say nothing of the risk borne by, more capable attorneys. These are the opportunistic objectors. Although they contribute nothing to the class, they object to the settlement, thereby obstructing payment to lead counselor the class in the hope that lead plaintiff will pay them to go away. Unfortunately, the class-action kingdom has seen a Malthusian explosion of these opportunistic objectors…” In re Cardinal Health, Inc. Sec. Litig., 550 F. Supp. 2d 751, 754 (S.D. Ohio 2008). Class action settlements are often delayed by serial objectors objecting to the suit.
Judges have routinely complained of serial objectors "who seek out class actions to simply extract a fee by lodging generic, unhelpful protests" (Shaw v. Toshiba Am. Info. Sys., Inc., 91 F. Supp. 2d 942, 973-74 & n.18 (E.D. Tex. 2000)), and who "maraud proposed settlements - not to assess their merits but in order to extort the parties ... into ransoming a settlement that could otherwise be undermined by a time-consuming appeals process." Snell v. Allianz Life Ins. Co., No. 97-2784 (RLE), 2000 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 13611, at *31 (D. Minn. Sept. 8, 2000).
Legal experts have also likened this practice to extortion and ransom, because in a large number of these situations the objectors have no intention of conveying any benefit to the class. As one commentator has stated, class action objectors are "the least popular parties in the history of civil procedure." See also Brunet, Edward, "Class Action Objectors: Extortionist Free Riders or Fairness Guarantors," 2003 U. CHI. LEGAL F. 403, 438-42 (providing a summary of several scholarly and judicial commentaries on objector "blackmail").