UPDATE 1: my apologies.  I thought this was news, but it actually isn’t.  I ran across this Courthouse News Service story, and the plaintiff is a Tondia Johnson, not Matthew Melmed (as I mistakenly wrote), and the dateline of the Courthouse News Service story is December 9, so it’s month-old news.  As CNS says:

The class seeks restitution and punitive damages deceptive trade, unjust enrichment and breach of contract – the “perpetuation of the elaborate hoax on parents across the country.” They are represented by Marc Reich with Reich Radcliffe & Kuttler.

In a Class Action Central report, it sounds as if they are resting on the Today Show report about YBCR. See my discussion of the Today Show segment, which was ridiculously biased.

If the litigants are suing on the basis of that, they’ll fail, big time. The report even says, “The experts all agree that children cannot really learn to read until they are 4 or 5 years old because the brain has yet to develop the cognitive ability.” That children can learn to read before the age of four, using YBCR, is one the easiest things to prove, out of all the possible criticisms one can make of YBCR. There are lots and lots of kids who have learned to read before the age of 4, who used YBCR.

By the way, just to be clear, I have no relationship to YBCR myself. I am a supporter and satisfied customer, so much so that the non-profit I work for has purchased copies of the kits to place in Memphis-area preschools, and we are sponsoring a study of the program’s efficacy. This is one of five studies that I have heard about. I’m guessing that the studies are going to shame the supposed experts, as well as winning the case for YBCR against these money-grubbing lawyers.

As outrageous as this is, it could prove to be one of the best possible things that could happen for baby reading, especially if the case goes to trial.  It is hard to imagine that the class action suit would win, and if it goes to trial, the resulting exchange of arguments should be most illuminating.  I’m sure the plaintiffs will figure this out soon enough, however, and it won’t actually go to trial.

UPDATE 2: it turns out that there was a Class Action Central report a month before the class action suit was announced in early December, touting the Today Show segment.  Verrry interesting.

UPDATE 3: here is my analysis of the court filing.  Bottom line?  Not very compelling.