Author Solutions contests 'class action' claim

Author Solutions contests 'class action' claim

Lawyers for Author Solutions have said that a lawsuit against the company should not be allowed to progress as a class action.

In documents filed with the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York, law firm Dorsey & Whitney LLP says the theory that “every one of the thousands of authors who has ever purchased (for any reason) a bookmark, an advertisement a publicity campaign, a radio interview or any other marketing service offered by AS, has been deceived” should be rejected.

Penguin Random House-owned Author Solutions provides a variety of services direct to authors under a series of imprints, and also operates lists on behalf of traditional publishers such Simon & Schuster. The company has come under criticism, with claims of overpricing its publishing packages and marketing fees, and misleading writers about the potential of their titles.

There are currently three lawsuits filed against the company by New York law firm Giskan Solotaroff Anderson & Stewart.

In the New York case, Giskan Solotaroff Anderson & Stewart, has filed for class action status, which would allow a few people to sue on behalf of a larger group of people.

Dorsey & Whitney filed papers in opposition to the motion for class certification with the New York court on 15th May. The law firm says that plaintiffs, who have “twice amended their complaint…[and] have repeatedly revised their proposed class definitions on behalf of a shifting roster of named plaintiffs alleging continuously changing theories of purported misconduct”, are now claiming “that this case is really all about AS’s marketing services operation”.

The papers filed last week says the case is “unsupported by any persuasive evidence”, is “based upon pure conjecture and speculation”, and is “contradicted by substantial evidence regarding the breadth of AS’s marketing services operation”.

In its filing, Dorsey & Whitney says that “plaintiffs no doubt would prefer that the court kick the can down the road and await trial before actually assessing the evidence”.

Judge Denise Cote will now make a decision on whether class certification should be granted, although she can call for oral arguments before doing so.