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Wayne A. Reaud

Wayne A. Reaud is the founder of Reaud, Morgan & Quinn, where he specializes in personal injury and asbestos mass torts. Reaud was one of the Tobacco Five lawyers who shared a $3.3 billion fee, in an agreement negotiated with former Attorney General and convicted felon Dan Morales.

Reaud and his firm gave  $84,560 to Democratic candidates and trial lawyer groups in 2010 and $337,000 in 2008.  

A $2 Billion Dollar Lawsuit with No Victims

In 1999, a “sensational” class action suit was filed against Toshiba Corp. by Wayne Reaud and others, built around a line of laptop computers with an alleged floppy-disk operating system flaw that could theoretically cause computer errors. There were no known “victims” of the supposed software flaw—even the class plaintiffs could not claim to have lost data as a result of the obscure flaw. The suit was based on a federal law targeted at computer hackers, not manufacturers, but the jittery Japanese defendant nevertheless agreed to a stunning $2.1 billion settlement. Reaud was awarded $147 million, and funds not collected by class members were placed in a trust controlled by the plaintiff lawyers.

Two years later, Reaud tried a similar case against Compaq Computer, but Compaq chose to fight back and the case was dismissed due to a lack of evidence. According to a report in Forbes Magazine, “Reaud’s team never supplied evidence that a customer suffered even $5,000 in damages, the threshold for suing under the federal anti-hacker law.”1

The Compaq case dismissal shed light on the farce of the Toshiba case, but victimless lawsuits persist. Legal scholar Michael Greve of the American Enterprise Institute said “the Toshiba case became a template.”2

Lester Brickman, a professor at Yeshiva University’s Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law, told Forbes that “The single most important thing these lawyers did was to bring the [Compaq] case in Beaumont, ” a notorious pro-plaintiff jurisdiction.

Wayne A. Reaud: Total 2010 Contributions: $84,560

1. http://www.forbes.com/forbes/2001/0416/062a.html
2. http://www.forbes.com/forbes/2007/0521/052.html