• January 24, 2020
Drawing of Anger, made possible by Creative Commons, http://goo.gl/pYeceX

Long-time Minnesota litigators all know retired U.S. District Court Judge James M. Rosenbaum (D. Minn.). (Here is our interview with him from about five years ago.) How many of us would have predicted that, after his retirement from the bench, he’d opt for being the named plaintiff in a consumer class action? Not me.

I totally get it. In my family, I call myself “The Crotchety Consumer” because of my occasional fury (not overstating the emotion, unfortunately) at the nickle-and-diming that I feel that I (and all Americans) live with in dealing with commercial behemoths (“…your call is very important to us….”) almost every day.

(Xfinity f/k/a Comcast: are your ears ringing?) (It is unfair to single out Xfinity f/k/a Comcast when this is a systemic problem with large consumer-facing corporations but so be it. Readers can fill in the name of their own bedeviling business nemeses.)

Thus, I identify with Judge Rosenbaum’s obvious frustration at the apparent slow response by defendants The Whirlpool Corporation, KitchenAid, Inc., and Jenn-Air Corp. to their allegedly dangerous (spontaneously combusting?) stoves. This is not to say that his claim has merit, of course. Time will tell.

Query whether Judge Rosenbaum, who, in his retired life, promotes himself as a neutral, might be jeopardizing that work by “taking sides,” in a sense, in a consumer class action?