Free money? Lawsuit dishes it out

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Oh, so it’s Wednesday.

I had to be reminded because journalists are pretty much the worst people on Earth when it comes to sorting out days of the week — especially after a holiday weekend.

But, hey, I’m pretty sure that now we’re in North Idaho, and since I’ve figured out the day of the week, then obviously ...

It’s Chat Day!

ITEM: Have you received any marketing calls from DISH-TV?

Idaho has had a rash of them over the past few years.

I’m only asking because you might want to check the trash for old mail, or look at the call history on your phone.

What’s happened, according to the Wall Street Journal, is that a lot of people are due healthy sums of money — but they can’t be reached because a letter from some attorneys in West Virginia gets tossed out, and calls turn into instant hang-ups.

The law office of Bailey & Glasser won a $20.4 million class action verdict against DISH last year for excessive and annoying marketing calls — an award that was tripled to $61 million by the judge.

As a result, people who received the calls are each eligible to receive anywhere from $2,400 to $30,000.

And with class action suits, you might not even recall that you were a plaintiff. That letter might have been chucked in the bin, as well.

Anyhow, attorneys and paralegals began making calls after fewer than 8 percent of clients who received a letter about the verdict failed to return the required forms.

There’s money in the wind.

Bill Brooks will be shocked, but sometimes you get a message that is NOT from an African prince.

ITEM: In last week’s look at the plusses and minuses of Kootenai County’s remarkable growth, the subject of frustrating traffic popped right up.

Everyone’s bugged, it seems.

Judy Lane of Hayden, however, has a very specific gripe.

“Red light runners,” she said. “Every day when I commute in our area, I see someone run a red light.

“Don’t people realize that they could end up dead?”

Good point, Judy.

Try rhyming red with dead, you morons.

ITEM: Much like the rest of the nation, Idahoans seem to be having fewer children.

These first figures come from the Annie E. Casey Foundation ...

“Over the last two decades, the population count in every state has increased, resulting in a 20 percent uptick in the nation’s total population (going from 269.4 million Americans in 1996 to 323.1 million in 2016).

“Despite this growth, 21 states and the District of Columbia saw their number of children shrink from 1996 to 2016.

“Across the country, kids now represent a smaller share of the population, going from 26 percent to 23 percent over the same time period.”

The Idaho Department of Labor’s stats don’t match those exact years or ages of children, but they make it pretty clear that we’re one of those 21 states with a decreasing percentage of youngsters.

“In Idaho, the number of children (under 15 years old) has gone up in absolute terms, from 300,290 in 2000 to 359,180 in last year’s estimates,” said department analyst Sam Wolkenhauer.

“However, this is a slightly lower percentage of the total population, from 23.2 percent to 21.7 percent.

“Even though the number of children has grown, the number is shrinking as a percentage of the total.”

C’mon, North Idaho.

Our population keeps getting older. How about more toddlers?

You DO remember how to create them, yes?

Any doubt, we can just pull out this video player and ... (SNIP — Press editors)

Aw, sure, you still know.



Steve Cameron is a columnist for The Press.

A Brand New Day appears Wednesday through Saturday each week. Steve’s sports column runs on Tuesday.



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