Welcome to the Etter et. al. v. Norcold, Inc. settlement website.
March, 27, 2017
Dear Class Member:
As Class Counsel for the settlement class, we wanted to provide you an update of where things currently stand with regard to the settlement and distribution of the settlement funds to those who filed timely claims.
While we have received numerous inquiries requesting a status update, unfortunately not much has happened since the Court granted final approval to the settlement in October, 2016. There remains one motion that is unresolved and still pending before the Court. Until the Court decides that pending motion and enters judgment, allowing the “Effective Date” of the settlement to pass (once the appeal period passes), the Claims Administrator cannot start to distribute the settlement benefits to members of the class who filed timely claims in accordance with the payment schedule. We are as concerned with the situation as you as we would like to start to distribute the settlement funds, but until the Court actually enters judgment and the Effective Date passes we cannot. The Court has not given us any indication as to when it may rule on that last motion.
To recap: On October 26, 2016, Judge Staton of the United States District Court for the Central District of California granted final approval of the class action settlement, awarded counsel attorney fees equal to 25% of the gross settlement, awarded each of the ten settling and seven non-settling plaintiffs an incentive award of between $1,580 and $7,500, and took the motion regarding the allocation of the attorney fees between Class Counsel and Non-Settling Plaintiffs’ Counsel under advisement. That motion remains pending before the Court and is still undecided. A copy of the Court’s Order granting Final Approval to the settlement and finding it to be fair, adequate and reasonable to the settlement class may be found under court documents at the Norcold Class Action Settlement website. (Docket No. 539).
Once that last motion is decided by the Court it will enter the final judgment; absent any appeal or further delay, the Effective Date will pass allowing the Claims Administrator to start to advance the first settlement payment to those claimants in the class who submitted timely claim forms. This will be approximately 15 days after the Final Effective Date of the Settlement. The Final Effective Date is currently unknown because that one motion remains undecided. We hope that Judge Staton will rule on this issue shortly and issue a Final Judgment, allowing the Final Effective Date to then pass approximately 35 days later.
The distribution of settlement proceeds, however, will be subject to further delay if any party who timely objected chooses to appeal the Court’s Order approving the settlement to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.
We hope this answers some questions you may have about the distribution date and explains the still unknown facts regarding the timing of the distributions to the Class. We will update the settlement website (www.norcoldclassaction.com) as soon as further developments occur that allow us to better predict when settlement funds may be distributed. Please check that website regularly for further updates.
ZIMMERMAN REED LLP
This website contains information regarding a proposed class action settlement that has been preliminarily approved by the Court in Etter et. al. v. Norcold, Inc., Case No. 8:13-CV-0081-JLS-RNB.
NATURE OF THE SETTLEMENT
Generally, the lawsuits allege that Defendants' Norcold 1200 Series, N8 Series and N6 Series Gas Absorption Refrigerators, typically installed in RVs (motorhomes, travel trailers, and boats), share a safety related defect in the cooling unit which, in certain circumstances, causes the boiler tubes to corrode and leak flammable gas, exposing owners and other users of the RVs to the risk of fire. The lawsuits allege class claims for breach of state consumer protection statutes and for breach of express and implied warranties. Full copies of the complaints and other relevant pleadings can be reviewed on the Court Documents page of this website. Those claims are being settled and released as part of this settlement, should it be approved and should you elect to remain in the class and accept the benefits offered and terms. Claims for personal injury, wrongful death and for damage to property other than to the subject refrigerators are called Reserved Claims and are not released under the settlement.
Defendants deny any wrongdoing and have denied all allegations in the complaints and asserted many defenses. In addition, Defendants have recalled the 1200 Series Refrigerators and retrofitted them with a device aimed at preventing a fire in the certain circumstances of a leak.
THE SETTLEMENT CLASS
You are included in the Settlement Class if you:
- Currently own, or formerly owned, a Norcold 1200 Series Gas Absorption Refrigerator or Cooling Unit that was manufactured between January 1, 2002, and October 1, 2012; OR,
- Currently own a Norcold N6 Series Gas Absorption Refrigerator or Cooling Unit, or a Norcold N8 Series Gas Absorption Refrigerator or Cooling Unit, that was manufactured between January 1, 2009, and December 31, 2013.
Owners of other Norcold Gas Absorption Refrigerator models and manufacture years are not in the Class, and are not releasing any claims. Also, specifically excluded from the Class are:
- any officers, directors or employees of Defendants;
- any judge assigned to hear this case (or spouse or family member of any assigned judge);
- any employee of the Court;
- any juror selected to hear this case;
- any person who had claims against Defendants for personal injury, wrongful death or for damage to property in relation to an alleged defective Gas Absorption Refrigerator or Cooling Unit which were fully resolved by way of settlement, dismissal or judgment prior to July 21, 2014;
- any person who as of July 21, 2014, had a separate lawsuit pending against Defendants in any state or federal court asserting claims related to an alleged defective Gas Absorption Refrigerator or Cooling Unit;
- any person who purchased a Norcold Gas Absorption Refrigerator as used equipment, either as a standalone product or as a component part of a used RV sale, that no longer had a Norcold Cooling Unit installed at the time of purchase but rather had a cooling unit manufactured by a manufacturer other than Norcold at the time of purchase; and
- persons who timely and properly exclude themselves from the Class as provided in this Agreement.
The settlement does not involve claims of personal injury, wrongful death or damage to property other than to the Norcold Refrigerator they own or owned, as a result of a leak or fire. Such claims are reserved and are not released.