Frequently Asked Questions
- What is this lawsuit about?
- What is the proposed settlement?
- How do I know if I am included in the Class?
- What are my options?
- What am I giving up under the settlement?
- When will the Court decide whether to approve the settlement?
- Who represents the Class?
- Where can I get more information?
1. What is this lawsuit about?
Suzanne Degnen, D.M.D., P.C. d/b/a Sunset Tower Family Dentistry ("Plaintiff") sued Zimmer Dental, Inc. ("Zimmer Dental") and Amy Beth Gerzog (collectively, "Defendants") alleging that it received unsolicited fax advertisements from Zimmer Dental promoting its goods or services that did not contain a proper opt out notice. Plaintiff alleged that these faxes violated the Telephone Consumer Protection Act ("TCPA"). Zimmer Dental denies these allegations, but agreed to settle to avoid the costs and uncertainties of litigation.
2. What is the proposed settlement?
Without admitting any fault or liability, and in exchange for a release of all claims against it, if the Settlement is finally approved, Zimmer Dental, Inc. has agreed to pay $100 per claim or $100 per fax, depending on the claims method selected on the Claim Form. Zimmer Dental will create a guaranteed Settlement Floor of $1,600,000 to pay those class members who submit a Claim Form, to pay an incentive award to Plaintiff for serving as the class representative, and to pay attorney's fees and litigation expenses to Plaintiff's attorneys (the "Agreed Payments"). Plaintiff's attorneys will request fees and expenses in an amount not to exceed 1/3 of the Settlement Floor. If the Agreed Payments exceed $1,600,000, Zimmer Dental will pay all necessary funds to meet the Agreed Payments; in other words, the Settlement Floor has no ceiling. If the Court approves the settlement, all of the Class members who submit a valid and timely Proof of Claim Form will be mailed a check for either (a) $100, per claim, which may be increased pro rata up to $1,500 per claim, or (b) $100 per fax, which may be increased pro rata up to $1,500 per fax, depending on the option selected by the Class member on the Claim Form. The per claim and per fax awards are not subject to reduction. The Court has preliminarily approved this settlement, subject to a fairness hearing that will occur in Court Room 10 South of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri, Eastern Division, 111 South 10th Street, St. Louis, Missouri, 63102 on April 14, 2016, at 2:00 p.m. central.
3. How do I know if I am included in the Class?
Zimmer Dental's records show that you were sent one or more faxes promoting its goods/services and may be included in the Settlement. Specifically, the Court certified a "Settlement Class" of:
All persons who:
- on or after February 17, 2011 through November 24, 2015,
- were sent a telephone facsimile message of material advertising the commercial availability or quality of any property, goods, or services by or on behalf of Defendants,
- with respect to whom Defendants cannot provide evidence of prior express permission or invitation for the sending of such faxes,
- with whom Defendants does not have an established business relationship,
- which did not state that the recipient may make a request to the sender of the advertisement not to send any future advertisements to a telephone facsimile machine or machines and that failure to comply, within 30 days, with such a request meeting the requirements under 47 C.F.R. § 64.1200(a)(4)(v) is unlawful, or
- which did not include a facsimile number for the recipient to send an opt-out request.
4. What are my options?
Submit a Claim Form. You must complete and submit a Claim Form by February 29, 2016 to receive a cash payment. The value of each individual settlement payment cannot be determined until the Claims Deadline has passed and all claims have been verified. If your payment exceeds $599.99 you will be sent and be required to complete and submit a W-9. If you are entitled to receive over $599.99 and you do not submit a completed W-9 as well as your Claim Form, your payment will be $599.99.
Exclude Yourself. You have the right to exclude yourself from the settlement by sending a written request for exclusion. Your request must list your name, fax number, street address, and the name and number of this case, and must request exclusion (for example, "Exclude me from the Zimmer Dental case"). You must send your exclusion request by February 29, 2016 to the Settlement Administrator at the following address, postmarked by that date:
Zimmer Dental Fax Settlement Administrator
P.O. Box 43398
Providence, RI 02940-3398
Object to the Settlement. If you object to the settlement, and wish to file an objection rather than simply excluding yourself, you must file a written objection with the Clerk's Office the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri, Eastern Division, 111 South 10th Street, St. Louis, Missouri, 63102. Your objection must be postmarked by February 29, 2016, and must refer to the name and number of this case. You must also serve copies of your objection on Class Counsel and Defendants' attorneys at the address below. Your objection must include (i) the objector's name (or business name, if the objector is an entity), and address; (ii) the telephone number for the facsimile machine on which the Settlement Class Member was sent the fax; (iii) a statement of the objection to the Settlement Agreement; (iv) an explanation of the legal and factual basis for the objection; and (v) documentation, if any, to support the objection. The right to object to the proposed settlement must be exercised individually by an individual member of the Settlement Class, not as a member of a group or subclass. It is not sufficient to simply state that you object; you must state the reasons why you believe the settlement should not be approved. Additionally, if you want the Court to consider your objection, then you must also appear, either in person or through counsel, at the final approval hearing in Courtroom 10 South, on April 14, 2016, at 2:00 p.m. central. You are not required to attend this hearing unless you object to the settlement.
|Counsel for Plaintiff and Class
||Counsel for Defendants
||Counsel for Defendants
|Ronald J. Eisenberg
Mary B. Schultz
Schultz & Associates LLP
640 Cepi Drive, Suite A
Chesterfield, MO 63005
|David S. Almeida
Sheppard Mullin Richter
& Hampton LLP
70 West Madison Street
Chicago, IL 60602
|Jonathan H. Garside
FOX GALVIN, LLC
One S. Memorial Drive
St. Louis, MO 63102
Do Nothing. If you do nothing you will not receive a cash recovery, but you will be bound by all the terms of the Settlement Agreement.
5. What am I giving up under the settlement?
If the settlement becomes final, you will be releasing Zimmer Dental for any claims you may have relating in any way to any unsolicited advertising faxes it sent to you during the class period. The Released Claims are fully explained in the Settlement Agreement.
6. When will the Court decide whether to approve the settlement?
The Court has scheduled a Final Approval Hearing before Judge White on April 14, 2016 at 2:00 p.m. central in Courtroom 10 South of the United States District Courthouse for the Eastern District of Missouri at 111 South 10th Street, St. Louis, MO 63102. You or your attorney may attend this hearing if you desire and request to address the Court regarding any matters relating to this Settlement.
7. Who represents the Class?
Suzanne Degnen, D.M.D., P.C. d/b/a Sunset Tower Family Dentistry is the Class Representative. Its attorney is Class Counsel. Class Counsel is Ronald J. Eisenberg, Mary B. Schultz, and Robert Schultz of Schultz & Associates LLP, 640 Cepi Drive, Suite A, Chesterfield, MO 63005.
As part of the settlement, Plaintiff will request that the Court award it an incentive award of $10,000 for its service on behalf of the Class in this litigation. Plaintiff will further request that the Court award attorneys' fees to Class Counsel of 1/3 of the Settlement Floor, inclusive of costs and expenses.
8. Where can I get more information?
If you have questions about the settlement, write to Class Counsel at the address above. Include the case number, your name, your fax number and your current street address on any correspondence. Alternatively, you can call Schultz & Associates LLP's office at (636) 537-4645. You may also contact Zimmer Dental TCPA Administrator at 1-888-649-0914. The Notice only summarizes the litigation and the settlement. The court files for this case are available for your inspection at the office of the Clerk of Court for the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri, Eastern Division, 111 South 10th Street, St. Louis, Missouri, 63102.
DO NOT CONTACT THE JUDGE, JUDGE'S STAFF, OR CLERK OF THE COURT BECAUSE THEY ARE NOT PERMITTED TO ANSWER YOUR QUESTIONS ABOUT THIS SETTLEMENT.