A second class action lawsuit accusing Author Solutions of fraud was dismissed yesterday, ending the litigation against the self-publishing service provider after more than two years of legal wrangling. A brief notice filed September 14 showed the case against Author Solutions in Indiana was voluntarily dismissed, with prejudice, with the parties agreeing to end litigation and to pay their own costs and attorney fees.
The dismissal in Indiana comes after Judge Denise Cote dealt the original case against Author Solutions (first filed in New York in April, 2013) a fatal blow by denying class action status in late June. Weeks later, on August 12, Cote ordered the New York case discontinued, following notice of a private settlement involving the case's final two author plaintiffs.
In a statement, Andrew Phillips, Author Solutions president and CEO, said the company was “obviously very pleased with this outcome."
The class action lawsuit in Indiana (which included a handful of consolidated cases) was filed this past spring as the case in New York faltered (Indiana, where Author Solutions is based, is the state specified as the venue for disputes in Author Solutions contracts). The cases pressed similar claims against Author Solutions and argued that a common claim augured for class action status: that Author Solutions is engaged in “a fraudulent scheme" to sell worthless marketing services to unsuspecting authors. Attorneys for Author Solutions countered that the suit was "a misguided attempt to make a federal class action out of a series of gripes.”
After two amended complaints, a shifting roster of named plaintiffs, and some thorny legal and jurisdictional hurdles, Cote denied class action status in New York, citing no evidence of any “centrally-orchestrated scheme."