At Meyerkord & Kurth, our St. Louis personal injury lawyers are committed to supporting and giving back to our local community, as well as efforts that support local residents in need. On Thursday, June 17, our firm hosted a cy pres donation event, and we are proud to announce that the event was a great success.
Cy pres is a French phrase that means "as near as," and it refers to situations where awards from class action settlements or verdicts can't be fully distributed to some or all of the class members. This may be caused by difficulty finding or identifying plaintiffs, or because the costs of distributing funds in simply not feasible. When this happens, the cy pres doctrine allows the class action funds to be distributed to not-for-profit organizations that support work to benefit the class and public interests.
There are times when class action cases are resolved and it is not possible to distribute all of the money to class members. Rather than giving unclaimed money back to defendants, cy pres distributes the money to non-profits that support related causes. Our firm's fund was created by Attorney John S. Steward through a large class-action recovery which completed a 12-year litigation journey. The funds were distributed as follows:
- Legal Services of Eastern Missouri received in excess of $2 million in a lump sum distribution.
- Washington University Clinic received $450,000 in a distribution.
- Gateway Legal Services received a $150,000 distribution.
The cy pres donations will aid these organizations in supporting positive causes and public interests. For example, Legal Services of Eastern Missouri is an organization that provides legal services for low income families. Below are a few pictures from the donation event held at our St. Louis office.