A federal judge has approved a $30-million settlement of a class-action lawsuit that accused Publishers Clearing House of misleading its sweepstakes entrants.
The suit claimed the company duped people into buying magazines by falsely leading them to believe it would increase their chances of winning millions of dollars.
The settlement had won preliminary approval in June by U.S. District Judge G. Patrick Murphy. But attorneys general from many states objected, contending it would prevent further claims.
Murphy’s order, issued Friday, doesn’t stop the states from pursuing their own legal actions. However, they can’t sue for further restitution.
The suit was filed two years ago on behalf of people who received Publishers Clearing House solicitations between February 1992 and June 1999. Publishers Clearing House admitted no wrongdoing in the settlement.
Mailings went out to 42.5 million people who had entered the sweepstakes, and lawyers estimated as many as 25,000 claims might be processed.
Murphy said as much as $21 million will be paid in claims, with each claimant getting 100% of what he or she paid the company.