Frequently Asked Questions
- What is the purpose of the Notice?
- What does it mean if I received an email or postcard about this settlement?
- What is this class action lawsuit about?
- Why is there a settlement?
- How do I know if I am a part of the settlement class?
- Do I have lawyers in this case?
- How will Class Counsel be paid?
- What does the settlement provide?
- How much will my payment be?
- What am I giving up to stay in the Settlement Class?
- How can I get a payment?
- When would I receive a settlement payment?
- How do I get out of the settlement?
- If I do not exclude myself, can I sue Godiva for the same thing later?
- If I exclude myself, can I get a benefit from this settlement?
- How do I tell the Court that I do not think the settlement is fair?
- What is the difference between objecting and excluding yourself?
- What happens if I do nothing at all?
- When and where will the Court decide whether to approve the settlement?
- Do I have to come to the hearing?
- May I speak at the hearing?
- How do I get more information?
1. What is the purpose of the Notice?
The purpose of the Notice is to inform you that a proposed Settlement has been reached in the class action lawsuit entitled Muransky v. Godiva Chocolatier, Inc., Case No. 15-cv-60716-WPD (S.D. Fla.). Because your rights will be affected by this settlement, it is extremely important that you read the Notice carefully. The Notice summarizes the settlement and your rights under it.
2. What does it mean if I received an email or postcard about this settlement?
If you received an email or postcard describing this settlement, it is because Godiva's records indicate that you may be a member of the Settlement Class in this action. You are a member of the Settlement Class if a Godiva retail store located in the United States printed a point-of-sale credit card or debit card transaction receipt for you that included more than the last 5 digits of the card number, at any time between April 6, 2013, and November 20, 2015.
3. What is this class action lawsuit about?
In a class action, one or more people called Class Representatives (here, Plaintiff) sue on behalf of people who allegedly have similar claims. This group is called a class and the persons included are called class members. One court resolves the issues for all of the class members, except for those who exclude themselves from the class.
Here, Plaintiff claims that Godiva willfully violated FACTA by printing credit card and debit card transaction receipts at certain of its stores in the United States that included more than the last 5 digits of the credit or debit card number, between April 6, 2013, and November 20, 2015. Godiva denies these allegations and denies any wrongdoing. The Court has conditionally certified a class action for settlement purposes only. The Honorable William P. Dimitrouleas is the judge in charge of the lawsuit.
4. Why is there a settlement?
The Court did not decide in favor of Plaintiff or Godiva. Instead, both sides agreed to this settlement. That way, they avoid the risk and cost of a trial, and the Settlement Class members will receive compensation. Plaintiff and Class Counsel think the settlement is best for all persons in the Settlement Class.
5. How do I know if I am a part of the settlement class?
The Court has certified this case as a class action for settlement purposes. The Settlement Class is defined as:
(i) All persons in the United States (ii) who, when making payment at a Godiva retail store located in the United States, (iii) made such payment using a credit or debit card (iv) and for whom Godiva printed a point-of-sale receipt (v) which displayed more than the last 5 digits of the credit or debit card (vi) between April 6, 2013, and November 20, 2015.
Notwithstanding the foregoing, in compliance with 28 U.S.C. § 455, this class specifically excludes (A) The district judge and magistrate judge presiding over this case and the judges of the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit; (B) the spouses of those in category (A); (C) any person within the third degree of relationship of those in categories (A) or (B); and (D) the spouses of those within category (C).
"Settlement Class Member" is defined as any person in the Settlement Class who is not validly excluded from the Settlement Class. If you are still not sure whether you are included and you have questions beyond this website, you may write to the claims administrator at Muransky v. Godiva Chocolatier Claims Administrator, P.O. Box 43403, Providence, RI 02940-3403, or you may call the Toll-Free Settlement Hotline, 1-844-830-5222, for more information.
6. Do I have lawyers in this case?
The Court has appointed lawyers from the law firms of Scott D. Owens, P.A., Keogh Law, Ltd., and Bret Lusskin, P.A. as Class Counsel to represent you and the other persons in the Settlement Class. You will not be personally charged by these lawyers.
7. How will Class Counsel be paid?
Class Counsel will ask the Court to approve payment of up to one third of the $6,300,000 Settlement Fund, which is $2,100,000, for attorneys' fees, plus reasonable expenses. Class Counsel also will ask the Court to approve payment of up to $10,000 to Plaintiff for his service as Class Representative. The Court may award less than these amounts.
8. What does the settlement provide?
Settlement Fund. Godiva will pay the total amount of $6,300,000 into a fund (the "Settlement Fund"), which will cover: (1) cash payments to Settlement Class Members who submit timely and valid Claim Forms; (2) an award of attorneys' fees to Class Counsel, in an amount not to exceed one-third, which is $2,100,000, plus reasonable expenses, as approved by the Court; (3) service award to Plaintiff, in an amount not to exceed $10,000, as approved by the Court; and (4) the costs of notice and administration of the Settlement.
Cash Payments. All Settlement Class Members are eligible to submit a Claim Form and receive a cash payment. Please review Question 11 for additional information.
No Portion of the Settlement Fund Will Return to Godiva. All money in the Settlement Fund beyond the funds the Court authorizes to be paid for the costs of notice and administration of the settlement, attorneys' fees and costs to Class Counsel and any service award to Plaintiff, will be divided and paid pro rata to the Settlement Class Members who submitted valid and timely Claim Forms. All unclaimed funds shall be paid to a charity or charities as a cy pres award on behalf of the Class. Plaintiff proposes the National Consumer Law Center, Inc., and Godiva proposes Save the Children Federation, Inc. Based on the Parties' input, the Court may order the unclaimed funds to be distributed to a charity or charities, and may allocate the funds to more than one charity. No portion of the Settlement Fund will return to Godiva.
9. How much will my payment be?
Your share of the Settlement Fund will depend on the number of valid Claim Forms that Settlement Class Members submit. Class Counsel estimate that the amount of the cash award (while dependent upon the number of claims) may be around $235. This is an estimate only. The final cash payment amount may be higher or lower than $235 and will depend on the total number of valid and timely claims submitted by Settlement Class Members.
10. What am I giving up to stay in the Settlement Class?
Unless you exclude yourself from the settlement, you will be part of the Settlement Class and will be bound by the release of claims in the settlement. This means that if the settlement is approved, you cannot rely on any released claim to sue or continue to sue Godiva or any other released parties, whether on your own or as part of any other lawsuit, as explained in the settlement agreement. It also means that all of the Court's orders will apply to you and legally bind you. Unless you exclude yourself from the settlement, you will agree to release Godiva and any other released parties, as defined in the settlement agreement, from any and all claims that arise from printing a credit or debit card transaction receipt that included more than the last 5 digits of the credit or debit card number.
In summary, the Release includes, without limitation, all claims that arise, could arise, were asserted or could have been asserted based on the printing of Godiva credit and debit card transaction receipts at retail stores that include more than 5 digits of the card number or other credit or debit card information, including, but not limited to, claims under FACTA, the Fair Credit Reporting Act, or any other statute or the common law, for any form of relief.
If you have any questions about the Release or what it means, you can speak to Class Counsel, listed under Question 6, for free, or you can, at your own expense, talk to your own lawyer. The Release does not apply to persons in the Settlement Class who timely exclude themselves.
11. How can I get a payment?
To receive a payment, you must submit a Claim Form by August 23, 2016. You may file a Claim Form on this website, or you may have one mailed to you by calling the Toll-Free Settlement Hotline, 1-844-830-5222. Read the instructions carefully, fill out the form completely and accurately, sign it and submit it on a timely basis. To be valid, the Claim Form must be completed fully and accurately, signed and submitted timely, either by filing online through this Website or by mail to the claims administrator at: Muransky v. Godiva Chocolatier Claims Administrator, P.O. Box 43403, Providence, RI 02940-3403.
If you are submitting your claim via this Website, it must be received electronically no later than August 23, 2016. If you are mailing your Claim Form to the claims administrator, it must be postmarked by that same date.
12. When would I receive a settlement payment?
The Court will hold a hearing September 21, 2016 at 2:00 p.m. to decide whether to approve the settlement. If the Court approves the settlement, after that, there may be appeals. It is always uncertain whether these appeals can be resolved, and resolving them can take time, perhaps more than a year. Everyone who sends in a Claim Form will be informed of the progress of the settlement through information posted on the main page of this website. Please be patient.
13. How do I get out of the settlement?
If you want to keep the right to sue or continue to sue Godiva or a released party, as defined in the settlement agreement, then you must take steps to get out of the Settlement Class. This is called excluding yourself from, or opting-out of, the Settlement Class.
To exclude yourself from the settlement, you must send an exclusion request to the claims administrator. To be valid, an exclusion request must: (i) be signed by the person in the Settlement Class who is requesting exclusion; (ii) include the full name, address, and phone number(s) of the person in the Settlement Class requesting exclusion; and (iii) include the following statement: "I, the undersigned individual, hereby request to be excluded from the settlement in Muransky v. Godiva, and I understand that I will consequently not be entitled to receive any proceeds of the class Settlement Fund." No request for exclusion will be valid unless all of the information described above is included. No person in the Settlement Class, or any person acting on behalf of or in concert or participation with that person in the Settlement Class, may exclude any other person in the Settlement Class from the Settlement Class.
To be valid, you must mail your exclusion request postmarked no later than August 23, 2016 to the claims administrator at Muransky v. Godiva Chocolatier Claims Administrator, P.O. Box 43403, Providence, RI 02940-3403.
14. If I do not exclude myself, can I sue Godiva for the same thing later?
No. If you do not exclude yourself, you give up any right to sue (or continue to sue) Godiva or any released parties for the claims that this settlement resolves.
15. If I exclude myself, can I get a benefit from this settlement?
No. If you ask to be excluded, you will not be able to submit a Claim Form for a settlement payment and you cannot object to the settlement.
16. How do I tell the Court that I do not think the settlement is fair?
If you are in the Settlement Class, you can object to the settlement or any part of the settlement that you think the Court should reject, and the Court will consider your views. If you do not provide a written objection in the manner described below, you shall be deemed to have waived any objection and shall forever be foreclosed from making any objection to the fairness, reasonableness, or adequacy of the settlement or the award of any attorneys' fees and expenses and/or service award.
To object, you must make your objection in writing, stating that you object to the settlement in Muransky v. Godiva Chocolatier, Inc., Case No. 15-cv-60716-WPD (S.D. Fla.). To be considered by the Court, the written objection must: (i) attach documents establishing, or provide information sufficient to allow the parties to confirm that the objector is a Settlement Class Member; (ii) include a statement of the specific objections; and (iii) state the grounds for objection, as well as identify any documents which the objector desires the Court to consider.
To be considered, you must file your objections with the Court and mail your objections to the addresses below no later than August 23, 2016.
|Michael S. Hilicki, Esq.
Keogh Law, Ltd.
55 West Monroe Street
Chicago, IL 60603
Dykema Gossett, PLLC
4000 Wells Fargo Center
90 South Seventh Street
Minneapolis, MN 55402-3903
The Court's address can be found in Question 19.
Even if you timely and properly object, to obtain a benefit from this settlement, you must submit a Claim Form. If you object but fail to submit a Claim Form, you will not receive any monetary award.
17. What is the difference between objecting and excluding yourself?
Objecting is telling the Court that you oppose something about the settlement. You can object only if you stay in the Settlement Class. Excluding yourself means that you do not want to be part of the Settlement Class. If you exclude yourself, you have no basis to object because the case no longer affects you.
18. What happens if I do nothing at all?
If you do nothing, you will not receive any monetary award and you will give up your rights to sue Godiva and/or any other released parties on a released claim. For information relating to what rights you are giving up, see Question 10.
19. When and where will the Court decide whether to approve the settlement?
The Court will hold a Final Approval Hearing at 2:00 p.m. CST on September 21, 2016 at the United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida, U.S. Federal Building and Courthouse, 299 East Broward Boulevard, Courtroom 205F, Fort Lauderdale, Florida 33301. At this hearing, the Court will consider whether the settlement is fair, reasonable and adequate. If there are valid objections that comply with the requirements in Question 16, the Court will also consider them and will listen to people who have asked to speak at the hearing. The Court may also decide how much to pay to Class Counsel and Plaintiff.
The Final Approval Hearing may be moved to a different date or time without additional notice, so it is a good idea to check the Settlement Website for updates.
20. Do I have to come to the hearing?
No. Class Counsel will appear on behalf of the Settlement Class. But, you are welcome to come, or have your own lawyer appear, at your own expense.
21. May I speak at the hearing?
You may ask the Court for permission to speak at the Final Approval Hearing, but only in connection with an objection that you have timely submitted to the Court according to the procedure set forth in Question 16. To speak at the Final Approval Hearing, you must also file a document with the Court stating your intention to appear. For this document to be considered, it must include your name, address, telephone number and your signature. The document must be filed with the Court no later than August 23, 2016. You cannot speak at the hearing if you exclude yourself from the settlement.
22. How do I get more information?
The Notice is only a summary of the proposed settlement. You can view or download a complete copy of the settlement agreement by reviewing available posted Court documentation, or you can write to Muransky v. Godiva Chocolatier Claims Administrator, P.O. Box 43403, Providence, RI 02940-340, or you may call the Toll-Free Settlement Hotline, 1-844-830-5222. You can also call class counsel with any questions at 1-866-726-1092.
DO NOT CALL OR WRITE TO THE COURT, THE CLERK OF THE COURT, GODIVA OR GODIVA'S COUNSEL ABOUT THE SETTLEMENT.
TELEPHONE REPRESENTATIVES WHO ANSWER CALLS MADE TO THE TOLL-FREE NUMBER ARE NOT AUTHORIZED TO CHANGE THE TERMS OF THE SETTLEMENT OR THIS NOTICE.