Frequently Asked Questions
- What is the Notice and why should I read it?
- What is a class action lawsuit?
- What is this lawsuit about?
- Why is there a Settlement?
- How do I know if I am in the Settlement Class?
- What were the allegedly unconsented calls about?
- What does the Settlement provide?
- How do I make a claim?
- When will I get my payment?
- Do I have a lawyer in this case?
- Should I get my own lawyer?
- How will the lawyers be paid?
- What happens if I do nothing at all?
- What happens if I ask to be excluded?
- How do I ask to be excluded?
- If I don’t exclude myself, can I sue the Defendant for the same thing later?
- If I exclude myself, can I get anything from this Settlement?
- How do I object to the Settlement?
- What’s the difference between objecting and excluding myself from the Settlement?
- When and where will the Court hold a hearing on the fairness of the Settlement?
- Do I have to come to the hearing?
- May I speak at the hearing?
- Where can I get additional information?
1. What is the Notice and why should I read it?
A Court authorized the Notice to let you know about a proposed Settlement with the Defendant. You have legal rights and options that you may act on before the Court decides whether to approve the proposed Settlement. You may be eligible to receive a cash payment as part of the Settlement. The Notice explains the lawsuit, the Settlement, and your legal rights.
Judge Matthew F. Kennelly of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois is overseeing this class action. The case is called Kolinek v. Walgreen Co., Case No. 13-cv-04806. The person who filed the lawsuit, Robert Kolinek, is the Plaintiff. The company he sued, Walgreens, is the Defendant. You need not live in Illinois to get a payment under the Settlement.
2. What is a class action lawsuit?
A class action is a lawsuit in which one or more plaintiffs—in this case, Robert Kolinek––sue on behalf of a group of people who have similar claims. Together, this group is called a “Class” and consists of “Class Members.” In a class action, the court resolves the issues for all class members, except those who exclude themselves from the class. After the Parties reached an agreement to settle this case, the Court granted preliminary approval of the Settlement and recognized it as a case that should be treated as a class action for settlement purposes.
3. What is this lawsuit about?
The lawsuit alleges that Walgreens placed Prerecorded Prescription Calls to certain pharmacy customers’ cellular telephones without their consent. The lawsuit alleges Walgreens violated a federal law called the Telephone Consumer Protection Act because consumers did not agree to receive these calls.
Walgreens denies these allegations and contends that it acted with customers’ consent and that Prerecorded Prescription Calls are necessary medical alerts authorized by law. No court has decided who is right. The parties are entering into the Settlement to avoid time-consuming and expensive litigation. The Settlement is not an admission of wrongdoing by Walgreens. More information about the complaint in the lawsuit and the Defendant’s answer can be found in the Court Documents section of the settlement on this website.
4. Why is there a Settlement?
The Court has not decided whether the Plaintiff or the Defendant should win this case. Instead, both sides agreed to a Settlement. That way, they can avoid the uncertainty and expense of ongoing litigation, and Class Members will get compensation now rather than years later—if ever. The Class Representative and his attorneys (“Class Counsel”) believe that the Settlement is in the best interests of the Class Members.
5. How do I know if I am in the Settlement Class?
The Court decided that this Settlement includes a Class of “all individuals in the United States to whom Walgreens placed a Prerecorded Prescription Call to their cellular telephone on or before April 3, 2015.” A “Prerecorded Prescription Call” is any prescription refill reminder call that Walgreens made to a cellular telephone using a prerecorded voice.
If you meet the above definition, you are a Class Member. Summary versions of the Notice will be sent to the Class Members via postcard or e-mail.
6. What were the allegedly unconsented calls about?
The calls covered by this Settlement were prerecorded messages reminding customers when their prescriptions at a Walgreens pharmacy were due for refill.
7. What does the Settlement provide?
Cash Payments to Class Members: Defendant has agreed to create an $11 million Settlement Fund, from which Class Members who submit valid claims will receive cash payments. To get a payment, Class Members must submit a valid claim before the deadline of July 22, 2015. The amount Class Members will receive will depend on the total number of valid claims received. If the number of valid claims is low, then the amount of individual payments will go up. But if the number of valid claims is high, then the amount of individual payments will go down.
If the individual payments per Settlement Class Member would be less than $15, you will have a second chance to exclude yourself from the Settlement or Walgreens may pay you the difference up to $15. The Settlement Administrator will post additional information about the payment amount on this website if necessary.
All un-cashed checks issued to Class Members and any unclaimed money in the Settlement Fund will be equally redistributed to the other claiming Class Members if practical, or otherwise as directed by the Court.
Change in Walgreens practices: As part of the Settlement, Walgreens has also agreed to implement procedures to ensure that customers have consented to receive Prerecorded Prescription Calls to their cell phones. Walgreens has agreed to use expert analysis and independent third-party data to identify which customer telephone numbers that have received Prerecorded Prescription Calls during the class period were assigned to cell-phone rather than landline service. Walgreens has also agreed to implement procedures to engage with customers to confirm the accuracy of their communications preferences on file, including their consent to receive prerecorded calls on the telephone numbers included in their customer/patient profiles. Walgreens has also agreed to provide or continue to provide customers with the option to elect to receive, and unsubscribe from, Prerecorded Prescription Calls through various channels such as Walgreens.com, Walgreens' telephonic customer service systems and by contacting Walgreens through other means.
8. How do I make a claim?
If you want to get settlement benefits, you must fill out and submit a valid Claim Form. An online Claim Form is available on this website and can be filled out and submitted online. If you received a postcard in the mail about the Settlement, the postcard contains a Claim Form. You can also get a paper Claim Form by calling 1-877-392-3209. We encourage you to submit a claim online. It’s faster and it’s free.
The Claim Form requires you to provide the following information: (1) your name and address, (2) the cellular telephone number at which you received Prerecorded Prescription Call(s), and (3) a sworn statement that you received the call or calls without your consent. If you affirm that you received the calls without your consent, you will not be eligible to receive these reminder calls on your cell phone in the future unless you provide consent for future calls, which you can also do on the Claim Form.
9. When will I get my payment?
The hearing to consider the fairness of the Settlement is scheduled for August 5, 2015. If the Court approves the Settlement, eligible Class Members whose claims were approved by the Settlement Administrator will be sent a check. Please be patient. All checks will expire and become void 90 days after they are issued.
10. Do I have a lawyer in this case?
Yes, the Court has appointed lawyers Jay Edelson, Rafey S. Balabanian, Ryan D. Andrews, and Benjamin H. Richman of Edelson PC as the attorneys to represent you and other Class Members. These attorneys are called “Class Counsel.” In addition, the Court appointed Plaintiff Robert Kolinek to serve as the Class Representative. He’s a Class Member like you. Class Counsel can be reached by calling 1-866-354-3015.
11. Should I get my own lawyer?
You don’t need to hire your own lawyer because Class Counsel is working on your behalf. But if you want your own lawyer, you will have to pay that lawyer. For example, you can ask your lawyer to appear in Court for you if you want someone other than Class Counsel to represent you.
12. How will the lawyers be paid?
Class Counsel will ask the Court for attorneys’ fees and expenses of up to 35% of the Settlement Fund and will also request an award of $5,000 for the Class Representative. The Court will determine the proper amount of any attorneys’ fees and expenses to award Class Counsel and the proper amount of any award to the Class Representative. The Court may award less than the amounts requested. Any money not awarded will stay in the Settlement Fund to pay Class Members.
13. What happens if I do nothing at all?
If you do nothing, you will receive no payment under the Settlement, you will be in the Class, and if the Court approves the Settlement, you will also be bound by all orders and judgments of the Court. Unless you exclude yourself, you won’t be able to start a lawsuit or be part of any other lawsuit against the Defendant for the claims or legal issues being resolved by this Settlement.
14. What happens if I ask to be excluded?
If you exclude yourself from the Settlement, you will receive no payment under the Settlement. However, you will not be in the Class. You will keep your right to start your own lawsuit against Defendant for the same legal claims made in this lawsuit. You will not be legally bound by the Court’s judgments related to the Class and the Defendant in this class action.
15. How do I ask to be excluded?
The Exclusion deadline was July 17, 2015.
You can ask to be excluded from the Settlement. To do so, you must send a letter stating that you want to be excluded from the Settlement in Kolinek v. Walgreen Co., Case No. 13-cv-04806. Your letter must also include your (1) name and address, (2) the cellular telephone number at which you received the Prerecorded Prescription Call(s), (3) a statement that you wish to be excluded from the Class, and (4) your signature. You must mail your exclusion request no later than July 17, 2015 to:
Kolinek v. Walgreen Co. Settlement Administrator
P.O. Box 43358, Providence, RI 02940-3358
You can’t exclude yourself on the phone or by email.
16. If I don’t exclude myself, can I sue the Defendant for the same thing later?
No. Unless you exclude yourself, you give up any right to sue the Defendant for the claims being resolved by this Settlement.
17. If I exclude myself, can I get anything from this Settlement?
No. If you exclude yourself, do not submit a Claim Form to ask for a payment.
18. How do I object to the Settlement?
The Objection deadline was July 17, 2015.
If you do not exclude yourself from the Class, you can object to the Settlement if you don’t like any part of it. You can give reasons why you think the Court should deny approval by filing an objection. To object, you must file a letter or brief with the Court stating that you object to the Settlement in Kolinek v. Walgreen Co., Case No. 13-cv-04806 no later than July 17, 2015. Your objection should be sent to the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois at the following address:
|CLERK OF THE COURT|
|Everett McKinley Dirksen United States Courthouse|
219 South Dearborn Street
Chicago, IL 60604
If you are represented by a lawyer, the lawyer must file your objection through the Court’s Case Management/Electronic Case Files (“CM/ECF”) system. Include your lawyer’s contact information in the objection.
The objection must be in writing and include the case name Kolinek v. Walgreen Co., Case No. 13-cv-04806. Your objection must be personally signed and include the following information: (1) your name and address, (2) all arguments, citations, and evidence supporting your objection, including copies of any documents you rely on, (3) a statement that you are a Class Member, and (4) the cellular telephone number at which you received the Prerecorded Prescription Call(s). If you wish to appear and be heard at the hearing on the fairness of the Settlement, you or your attorney must say so in your written objection.
In addition to filing your objection with the Court, you must send copies of your objection and any supporting documents to both Class Counsel and the Defendant’s lawyers at the addresses listed below:
|CLASS COUNSEL||DEFENSE COUNSEL|
Benjamin H. Richman
350 North LaSalle Street
Chicago, IL 60654
Bradley J. Andreozzi
DRINKER BIDDLE & REATHE LLP
191 North Wacker Drive
Chicago, IL 60606
Class Counsel's request for fees and expenses will be posted on the website no later than July 3, 2015.
19. What’s the difference between objecting and excluding myself from the Settlement?
Objecting simply means telling the Court that you don’t like something about the Settlement. You can object only if you stay in the Class. Excluding yourself from the Class is telling the Court that you don’t want to be part of the Class. If you exclude yourself, you have no basis to object because the case no longer affects you.
20. When and where will the Court hold a hearing on the fairness of the Settlement?
The Court will hold the final fairness hearing at 9:30 a.m. on August 5, 2015, before the Honorable Matthew F. Kennelly at the Everett McKinley Dirksen United States Courthouse, 219 South Dearborn Street, Chicago, IL 60604 in Courtroom 2103. The purpose of the hearing is for the Court to determine whether the Settlement is fair, reasonable, and adequate, and in the best interests of the Class. At the hearing, the Court will hear any objections and arguments concerning the fairness of the proposed Settlement, including those related to the amount requested by Class Counsel for attorneys’ fees and expenses and the incentive award to the Class Representative.
Note: The date and time of the final fairness hearing are subject to change by Court Order. Any changes will be posted at this website and through the Court's Public Access to Court Electronic Records (PACER) system at https://ecf.ilnd.uscourts.gov.
21. Do I have to come to the hearing?
No. Class Counsel will answer any questions the Court may have. But you are welcome to come to the hearing at your own expense. If you send an objection, you don’t have to come to Court to talk about it. As long as your written objection was filed or mailed on time and meets the other criteria described in the Settlement, the Court will consider it. You may also pay a lawyer to attend, but you don’t have to.
22. May I speak at the hearing?
Yes. If you do not exclude yourself from the Settlement Class, you may ask the Court for permission to speak at the hearing concerning any part of the proposed Settlement. If you filed an objection (see FAQ 18 above) and intend to appear at the hearing, you must state your intention to do so in your objection.
23. Where can I get additional information?
The Notice summarizes the proposed Settlement. For the precise terms and conditions of the Settlement, please see the Settlement Agreement available on this website, contact Class Counsel at 1-866-354-3015, access the Court docket in this case through the Court’s PACER system at https://ecf.ilnd.uscourts.gov, or visit the office of the Clerk of the Court for the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, Everett McKinley Dirksen United States Courthouse, 219 South Dearborn Street, Chicago, IL 60604 between 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, excluding Court holidays.
Please Do Not Contact the Court, the Judge, or the Defendant with Questions about the Settlement or Claims Process.