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February 11, 2015

Ore. Bill Would Steer Leftover Class-Action Money to Charity

The Oregon House of Representatives passed legislation Tuesday that would direct at least half of any unclaimed money from class-action settlements to legal aid and other charitable causes, reports the Salem, Ore., Statesman Journal.

Oregon is one of a minority of states that allows defendants to keep leftover class-action funds rather than mandating a charity payout, a process known as "cy pres." Most states require cy pres funds to go to a cause related to the subject of the case—for example, an environmental charity in a pollution settlement. Oregon's bill, which now goes to the state Senate, would allow such related payments but generally directs leftover class-action money to the state bar's legal-aid fund