As the Department of Justice has shown increased interest in making sure class action lawsuits are fair to consumers, a surprising range of products has come under scrutiny. However, that isn't because the DOJ is suddenly fascinated by consumer goods.

Burt Rublin, a litigation partner in Ballard Spahr's Philadelphia office, called the DOJ's newly proactive stance "a clear shot across the bow of the plaintiffs' class action bar."

Mr. Rublin said there is some suspicion that some plaintiffs' class-action law firms had been crafting settlement deals with defendants that ultimately benefited the law firm more than the supposedly injured parties.

"The objections by DOJ should give serious pause to any lawyers contemplating such deals, including defense counsel," said Mr. Rublin.

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