Five former Nextel employees who received settlements from a class-action discrimination lawsuit have filed suit against Nextel and the law firm that brokered the settlement, claiming the two struck a sweetheart deal to cap the settlement amount.
The employees, who worked in Nextel’s Rutherford office, allege that the law firm, Leeds, Morelli & Brown, originally sought a $2 billion settlement for the class-action suit, filed on behalf of nearly 600 Nextel employees for race and gender discrimination. The final settlement yielded $4.5 million for the employees and $7.5 million for the lawyers.
Nextel and the law firm argue that the employees signed off on the terms of the settlement and can’t revoke their consent now. The employees say the settlement papers they received did not fully disclose the financial terms of the agreement.