The Nov. 14 front-page story about class-action "paper" settlements confirmed my suspicions that these so-called settlements are useless to consumers.

I apparently was in two class action settlements unbeknown to me against large U.S. companies. I have been unable to use most of the coupons that I received because of the fine-print constraints.

In the first instance, I received "vouchers" in a variety of denominations for discounts on air fares. The vouchers were settlement from a class-action suit against all the major airlines.

Because most of my travel consists of short hops along the Eastern Seaboard of relatively low ticket price, I was able to use only two of the lowest denomination "$25 off" vouchers during the course of the five-year redemption period. I was unable to use the higher denomination vouchers because they were tied to the purchase of a higher-priced ticket.

The second settlement was with the Goodyear Tire and Auto Co. Again, although I was unaware of this, I was part of the consumer class awarded a big $15 in coupons for overpricing of tires I had purchased.

The coupons were in $5 denominations each and expired Nov. 1. I was able to use only one of them before the expiration date.

As the article pointed out, consumers are the last to be considered in these lawsuits. As a result, they are left holding the vouchers and little else.

MARION MORRIS

Washington