In Bernstein et al v. Cengage Learning, Inc. (1:19-cv-07541), Vega and Dr. Daniel Spulber of Northwestern University were engaged by a putative class of authors who allege its publisher diluted net sales and underpaid contracted royalties. The class alleges that the publisher applied arbitrary and inappropriate haircuts to the authors’ work. Dr. Spulber was engaged to provide an expert analysis as to a damages methodology that reflects the value lost due to the publisher’s royalty reductions.
U.S. District Judge Andrew Carter Jr. has ruled in favor of a group of writers who were seeking proper payment for their contributions to Cengage Learning Inc.'s MindTap and Cengage Unlimited products.
Judge Carter granted class certification, upholding the recommendation made by U.S. Magistrate Judge Sarah Cave in June. Judge Cave had suggested certifying the class in two groups. Despite Cengage's objection that the authors' separate contracts and incentives for individual claims should prevent class certification, Judge Carter agreed with Judge Cave's recommendation. As a result, he approved Plaintiffs' motion for class certification, class representatives, and Counsel.
The proposed methodology, presented by Vega's expert Dr. Daniel Spulber, for calculating damages for the class was also deemed sufficient.
The full order is available here.