We have been asked by individual boaters what they need to do to be part of the pending Class Action lawsuit. The short answer is: nothing at this time.
As you know, several boaters tied to Dana Point Harbor have joined in a Class Action lawsuit now pending before the Orange County Superior Court over the massive increase in slip fees imposed by the Dana Point Harbor Partners on October 1, 2021. We would like to clear up any confusion as to the mechanism of a Class Action and how it affects all boaters in DP.
A class action is a mechanism through which one or more people can file a lawsuit on behalf of a larger group, or “class”, who have suffered a similar loss or injury by the same responsible party. These “class representatives” have similar interests, and sometimes they are called “lead plaintiffs” or “named plaintiffs.” The class representatives actively participate in the lawsuit on behalf of the other injured people, and look out for their interests.
In our case, three boaters have agreed to act as class representatives, and only their names are listed on the Complaint, but all boaters are part of the class they represent. If you have a boat in the harbor, or had one at the time of the increase in fees, you are part of the class represented. You do not need to file anything with the Court at this point to participate. At some point, you may be asked to file a claim if you have some special damage caused by the management of the harbor, but you will be given plenty of notice if that is required.
Also, prior to the resolution of the class action, you would have the opportunity to “opt-out” and file your own lawsuit or settle with the harbor management on your own.
We intend to keep you informed of any significant events and progress in the lawsuit and ask for your patience as the legal proceedings play out.