Attorney Fred Thompson of Motley Rice has a keen sense of the absurd. First, he tries to launch a class action suit on behalf of plaintiffs who have not been harmed. Then he admits that many of the compensation claims made by his clients are ludicrous.

Next, he complains that the judge who denied class certification was unduly swayed by the ludicrousness of those claims. Then he requests attorneys' fees for the aborted class action.

Finally, Thompson manages to achieve a $10 million settlement in 3,200 individual suits and requests $6 million in attorneys' fees and expenses on top of it. Meanwhile, he has neglected to negotiate a written fee agreement beforehand and discovers to his horror that he and the other members of the plaintiff steering committee may get nothing –- at which point he accuses his opponents of having tricked him.

You can't make this stuff up.

Three years ago, drug maker Actavis Totowa discovered 20 Digitek pills of double thickness at one of its manufacturing plants and recalled the batch. No Digitek user ever discovered a double-thick pill in their prescription, but Thompson and others filed suit just the same.

Last May, U.S. District Judge Joseph Goodwin denied certification of a class action against Actavis Totowa and distributor Mylan Pharmaceuticals. Conceding that his clients' claims for economic damages included enemas and other "ludicrous" items, Thompson nevertheless complained that Goodwin was unduly influenced by them. He then requested attorneys' fees for this fruitless effort.

In February, Thompson and his colleagues on the plaintiff steering committee requested $6 million in fees and expenses following the settlement of 3,200 individual suits against Actavis and Mylan. Actavis attorney Richard Dean, who has a keen sense of the appropriate, recommended that Thompson, et al. receive little or nothing for their efforts.

Actavis, Mylan, and their insurers spent $30 million defending themselves against a baseless charge. Shouldn't the attorneys who initiated this unneeded action pay a price, too?

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