Frequently Asked Questions
- Why did I get this notice?
- What is this lawsuit about?
- Why is this a class action?
- Why is there a Settlement?
- How do I know if I am part of the Settlement?
- I’m still not sure if I am included.
- What relief does the Settlement provide to the Class Members?
- How can I get a Settlement Reward?
- When will I get a Settlement Reward?
- Do I have a lawyer in this case?
- How will the lawyers be paid?
- Will the Representative Plaintiff receive any compensation for his efforts in bringing this Action?
- What am I giving up to obtain relief under the Settlement?
- How do I exclude myself from the Settlement?
- How do I tell the Court that I disagree with the Settlement?
- What is the difference between excluding myself and objecting to the Settlement?
- What is the Fairness Hearing?
- When and where is the Fairness Hearing?
- May I speak at the hearing?
- How do I get more information?
- What if my address or other information has changed or changes after I submit a Claim Form?
1. Why did I get this notice?
You received this Notice because a Settlement has been reached in this Action. According to Staples’s available records you might be a member of the Settlement Class and may be eligible for the relief detailed below. This Notice explains the nature of the Action, the general terms of the proposed Settlement, and your legal rights and obligations. To obtain more information about the Settlement, including information about how you can see a copy of the Settlement Agreement (which defines certain capitalized terms used in the Notice), see FAQ 20 below.
2. What is this lawsuit about?
Plaintiff Neil Torczyner (the “Representative Plaintiff”) filed a lawsuit against Staples on behalf of himself and all others similarly situated. The lawsuit alleges that Staples engaged in unfair and deceptive business practices by not adequately disclosing that it utilized pro rata coupon accounting when it calculated Staples Rewards earnings in transactions involving product-specific coupons.
Staples denies each and every one of the allegations of unlawful conduct, any wrongdoing, and any liability whatsoever, and no court or other entity has made any judgment or other determination of any liability. Staples further denies that any Class Member is entitled to any relief and, other than for settlement purposes, that this Action is appropriate for certification as a class action.
The issuance of this Notice is not an expression of the Court’s opinion on the merits or the lack of merits of the Representative Plaintiff’s claims in the Action.
For information about how to learn about what has happened in the Action to date, please see FAQ 20 below.
3. Why is this a class action?
In a class action lawsuit, one or more people called “Representative Plaintiff(s)” (in this Action, Neil Torczyner) sue on behalf of other people who allegedly have similar claims. For purposes of this proposed Settlement, one court will resolve the issues for all Class Members. The company sued in this case, Staples, is called the Defendant.
4. Why is there a Settlement?
The Representative Plaintiff has made claims against Staples. Staples denies that it has done anything wrong or illegal and admits no liability. The Court has not decided that the Representative Plaintiff or Staples should win this Action. Instead, both sides agreed to a Settlement. That way, they avoid the cost of a trial, and the Class Members will receive relief now rather than years from now, if at all.
5. How do I know if I am part of the Settlement?
The Court has decided that everyone who fits this description is a Class Member for purposes of the proposed Settlement: All United States Staples Rewards® members who, during the Class Period,  bought a Rewards-eligible product and a non-Rewards eligible product in the same transaction,  used an item-specific coupon on the non-Rewards eligible product, and  were negatively impacted by Staples’s pro rata coupon accounting. The term “Class Period” means: March 24, 2009 through April 25, 2017. Excluded from the Class are Defendant’s Counsel, Defendant’s officers and directors, and the judge presiding over the Action.
6. I’m still not sure if I am included.
If you are still not sure whether you are included, you can write the Claims Administrator for free help. The email address of the Claims Administrator is Admin@TorczynervStaplesSettlement.com and the U.S. postal (mailing) address is Torczyner v. Staples, Inc. Settlement, c/o KCC, PO BOX 43484, Providence RI 02940-3484.
7. What relief does the Settlement provide to the Class Members?
Staples has agreed to provide to Class Members who complete a claim form $10 in Staples Rewards, subject to the following qualification.
- A Settlement Reward distributed pursuant to the Settlement Agreement shall be subject to the same terms and conditions as a Reward distributed by Staples as part of its Rewards program at the time the Rewards are distributed.
- If the Floor Settlement Amount is not reached, then additional subsequent rounds of distribution will occur. In each round, the maximum value of Settlement Rewards shall be $10. The maximum number of subsequent rounds shall be six (6). The Settlement Rewards’ period of usage distributed per each round will be successive.
- If, given the number of Authorized Claimants and the Claims Administrator Costs, the Maximum Settlement Amount will be exceeded by distributing $10 of Rewards in a single round of distribution to each Eligible Class Member, the distribution to the Eligible Class Members will be decreased pro rata.
As used in the Settlement Agreement, the term “Floor Settlement Amount” is five hundred thousand dollars ($500,000) total, in Settlement Rewards. As used in the Settlement Agreement, the term “Maximum Settlement Amount” means two million dollars ($2 million) total, in Settlement Rewards and U.S. dollars. The Maximum Settlement Amount includes distributions to Class Members in the form of Settlement Rewards and all Claims Administrator Costs. The Maximum Settlement Amount does not include payment of Plaintiff’s individual settlement award and Class Counsel’s attorneys’ fees and costs award.
8. How can I get a Settlement Reward?
To qualify for a Settlement Reward, you must submit a Claim Form. The Claim Form may be submitted electronically or by postal mail. Read the instructions carefully, fill out the form, and postmark it by July 24, 2017 or submit it online on or before 11:59 p.m. (Pacific) on July 24, 2017.
9. When will I get a Settlement Reward?
As described in FAQ 17 and FAQ 18, the Court will hold a hearing on August 28, 2017 at 10:00 a.m., to decide whether to approve the Settlement. If the Court approves the Settlement, after that, there may be appeals. It’s always uncertain whether these appeals can be resolved, and resolving them can take time, perhaps more than a year. You can check on the progress of the case on the home page of this website. Please be patient.
10. Do I have a lawyer in this case?
The Court has ordered that the law firm of Hach Rose Schirripa & Cheverie, LLP (“Class Counsel”) will represent the interests of all Class Members. You will not be separately charged for these lawyers. If you want to be represented by your own lawyer, you may hire one at your own expense.
11. How will the lawyers be paid?
Staples has agreed to pay Class Counsel’s attorneys’ fees and costs up to $500,000, subject to approval by the Court. You will not be required to pay any attorneys’ fees or costs.
12. Will the Representative Plaintiff receive any compensation for his efforts in bringing this Action?
The Representative Plaintiff will request a service award of up to $5,000 for his services as class representative and his efforts in bringing the Action. The Court will make the final decision as to the amount to be paid to the class representative.
13. What am I giving up to obtain relief under the Settlement?
If the Court approves the proposed Settlement, unless you exclude yourself from the Settlement, you will be releasing your claims against Staples. This generally means that you will not be able to file a lawsuit, continue prosecuting a lawsuit, or be part of any other lawsuit against Staples regarding the allegations in the Action. The Settlement Agreement, can be found on this website in the Court Documents section.
14. How do I exclude myself from the Settlement?
You may exclude yourself from the Class and the Settlement. If you want to be excluded, you must send a letter or postcard stating: (a) the name and case number of the Action; (b) your full name, address, email address associated with your Staples Rewards account (if any email address is associated), Rewards Membership Number (if known) and telephone number; and (c) a statement that you do not wish to participate in the Settlement, postmarked no later than July 24, 2017 to the Claims Administrator at:
Torczyner v. Staples, Inc. Settlement
PO Box 43484
Providence, RI 02940-3484
If you timely request exclusion from the Class, you will be excluded from the Class, you will not be bound by the judgment entered in the Action, and you will not be precluded from prosecuting any timely, individual claim against Staples based on the conduct complained of in the Action.
15. How do I tell the Court that I disagree with the Settlement?
At the date, time, and location stated in FAQ 18 below, the Court will hold a Fairness Hearing to determine if the Settlement is fair, reasonable, and adequate, and to also consider Class Counsel’s request for an award of attorneys’ fees and costs, and a service award to the Representative Plaintiff.
If you wish to object to the fairness, reasonableness, or adequacy of the Settlement Agreement or the proposed Settlement, you must file a written objection with the Court and serve such objection on Class Counsel and Staple’s Counsel at the addresses set forth below no later than (i.e., postmarked by) July 24, 2017.
|FRANK R. SCHIRRIPA
HACH ROSE SCHIRRIPA & CHEVERIE LLP
185 MADISON AVE, 14TH FL.
NEW YORK, NY 10016
|MICHELLE C. DOOLIN
4401 EASTGATE MALL
SAN DIEGO, CA 92121-1909
|U.S. DISTRICT COURT
SOUTHERN DIST. OF CALIFORNIA
333 WEST BROADWAY
SAN DIEGO, CA 92101
Any written objections must state: (a) the name and case number of the Action; (b) your full name, address, email address associated with your Staples Rewards account (if any email address is associated), Reward Membership Number (if known) and telephone number; (c) the words “Notice of Objection” or “Formal Objection”; and (d) in clear and concise terms, the legal and factual arguments supporting the objection, including an attestation under the penalty of perjury of facts demonstrating that the person objecting is a Class Member. You may, but need not, submit your objection through counsel of your choice. If you do make your objection through an attorney, you will be responsible for your personal attorney’s fees and costs.
IF YOU DO NOT TIMELY MAKE YOUR OBJECTION, YOU WILL BE DEEMED TO HAVE WAIVED ALL OBJECTIONS AND WILL NOT BE ENTITLED TO SPEAK AT THE FAIRNESS HEARING.
If you file and serve a written objection, you may appear at the Fairness Hearing, either in person or through personal counsel hired at your expense, to object to the Settlement Agreement. You are not required, however, to appear. If you, or your attorney, intend to make an appearance at the Fairness Hearing, you must include on your timely and valid objection a statement substantially similar to “Notice of Intention to Appear”.
If you intend to appear at the Fairness Hearing through counsel, you must also identify the attorney(s) representing you who will appear at the Fairness Hearing and include the attorney(s) name, address, phone number, e-mail address, and the state bar(s) to which counsel is admitted. Also, if you intend to request the Court to allow you to call witnesses at the Fairness Hearing, such request must be made in your written objection, which must also contain a list of any such witnesses and a summary of each witness’s expected testimony.
16. What is the difference between excluding myself and objecting to the Settlement?
Objecting is simply telling the Court that you disagree with something about the Settlement. You can object only if you stay in the Settlement Class. Excluding yourself is telling the Court that you don’t want to be part of the Settlement Class. If you exclude yourself, you have no basis to object because the Settlement no longer affects you.
17. What is the Fairness Hearing?
The Court has preliminarily approved the Settlement and will hold a hearing to decide whether to give final approval to the Settlement. The purpose of the Fairness Hearing will be for the Court to determine whether the Settlement should be approved as fair, reasonable, adequate, and in the best interests of the Settlement Class; to consider the award of attorneys’ fees and expenses to Class Counsel; and to consider the request for a service award to the Representative Plaintiff.
18. When and where is the Fairness Hearing?
On August 28, 2017 at 10:00 AM, a hearing will be held on the fairness of the proposed Settlement. At the hearing, the Court will be available to hear any objections and arguments concerning the proposed Settlement’s fairness. The hearing will take place before the Honorable Jeffrey T. Miller in Courtroom 5D (5th Floor) of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California, located at 333 West Broadway, San Diego, CA 92101. The hearing may be postponed to a different date or time or location without notice. Please check back at this website for any updates about the Settlement generally or the Fairness Hearing specifically. If the date or time of the Fairness Hearing changes, an update to the Settlement website will be the only way you will be informed of the change.
19. May I speak at the hearing?
At that hearing, the Court will be available to hear any objections and arguments concerning the fairness of the Settlement.
You may attend, but you do not have to. As described above in Section 15, you may speak at the Fairness Hearing only if (a) you have timely served and filed an objection, and (b) you have timely and validly provided a Notice of Intent to Appear.
If you have requested exclusion from the Settlement, however, you may not speak at the Fairness Hearing.
20. How do I get more information?
To see a copy of the Settlement Agreement, the Court’s Preliminary Approval Order, Class Counsel’s application for attorneys’ fees and costs, and the operative complaint filed in the Action, please visit the Court Documents section of this website. Alternatively, you may contact the Claims Administrator at the email address Admin@TorczynervStaplesSettlement.com or the U.S. postal (mailing) address: Torczyner v. Staples, Inc. Settlement, c/o KCC, PO Box 43484, Providence, RI 02940-3484.
This description of this Action is general and does not cover all of the issues and proceedings that have occurred. In order to see the complete file you should visit www.pacer.gov or the Clerk’s office at 333 West Broadway, San Diego, CA 92101. The Clerk will tell you how to obtain the file for inspection and copying at your own expense.
21. What if my address or other information has changed or changes after I submit a Claim Form?
It is your responsibility to inform the Claims Administrator of your updated information. You may do so by emailing the administrator at Admin@TorczynervStaplesSettlement.com or by mailing to the address below:
Torczyner v. Staples, Inc. Settlement
PO Box 43484
Providence, RI 02940-3484
DO NOT ADDRESS ANY QUESTIONS ABOUT THE SETTLEMENT OR THE LITIGATION TO THE CLERK OF THE COURT OR THE JUDGE.
|Dated: April 25, 2017
||By: Order of the Southern District of California|
HONORABLE JEFFREY T. MILLER
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT JUDGE