Frequently Asked Questions
- Why did I get the 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 does the Settlement provide?
- What can I get from the Settlement?
- Is my repaired or replaced Cooling Unit included in the Settlement?
- How much will I get from the Monetary Fund?
- Will Class Members be warned of the fire risk?
- How can I get a payment?
- When would I get my payment?
- What am I giving up to get a payment or stay in the Class?
- How do I get out of the Settlement?
- If I don't exclude myself, can I sue Defendants for the same thing later?
- If I exclude myself, can I get money from the Settlement?
- Do I have lawyer in this case?
- How will the lawyers and class representatives be paid?
- How do I tell the Court that I don't like the Settlement?
- What is the difference between objecting and opting-out?
- 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?
- What happens if I do nothing at all?
- Are there more details about the Settlement?
- How do I get more information?
1. Why did I get the Notice?
You or someone in your family may have owned or owns a recreational vehicle ("RV"), such as a motorhome, travel trailer, or boat, equipped with a Norcold 1200 Series, N6 Series or N8 Series Gas Absorption Refrigerator or Cooling Unit.
You are being sent the Notice because you have a right to know about a settlement of two class action lawsuits, and about your options, before the Court decides whether to approve the settlement. If the Court approves it and after objections and appeals are resolved, an administrator appointed by the Court will make the payments that the settlement allows.
The Notice contains an explanation of the lawsuits, the settlement, your legal rights, what benefits are available, who is eligible for them, and how to get them.
The Court in charge of the cases is the United States District Court for the Central District of California. The people who sued are called Plaintiffs, and the companies they sued, Thetford Corporation, Norcold, Inc., and The Dyson-Kissner-Moran Corp., are called Defendants.
2. What is this lawsuit about?
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.
3. Why is this a class action?
In a class action, one or more people, called Class Representatives, sue on behalf of other people who have similar claims. All these people are a Class or Class Members. One court resolves the issues for all Class Members, except for those who exclude themselves from the Class. U.S. District Court Judge Josephine L. Staton is in charge of these two class action lawsuits.
The Class Representatives appointed by the Court are:
- James Pearce
- Craig Post
- George Frederick
- Kathleen Frederick
- Charles Chow
- John Robinson
- Randy Dupree
- Ray Burkhead
- Linda Pierson
- Gordon Williamson
4. Why is there a Settlement?
The Court did not decide the merits of the claims alleged in the operative complaint in favor of Plaintiffs or Defendants. There has not been a trial. Instead, both sides agreed to a settlement after six mediation sessions supervised by a former Los Angeles County judge with experience handling complex class action litigation. That way, both sides avoid the risks and costs of a trial, and the people affected will get compensation. The Class Representatives and the attorneys appointed as Class Counsel think the settlement is best for everyone affected. The reason why the Notice is being sent to the Class Members – so everyone can make up their own mind, decide whether to support or object to the settlement, and let the Judge make the final decision as to whether or not the Settlement is fair, adequate and reasonable to the Class as a whole under the circumstances and should be approved.
5. How do I know if I am part of the Settlement?
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 by class members.
6. I'm still not sure if I am included.
If you are not sure whether you are included in the Class, you may contact the Claims Administrator at 877-449-8550. Please do not contact Defendants directly as the Court has ordered that all questions be directed to the Claims Administrator.
If you are not sure which model Norcold gas Gas Absorption Refrigerator you may own, visit the Models page of this website to review pictures of each model and try to match one of those models with your model. This website will also enable you to determine the date of manufacture of your Norcold Refrigerator or Cooling Unit based on its serial number. "Date of manufacture" means the date of manufacture of the Norcold Cooling Unit. You may also contact the Claims Administrator at 877-449-8550 for further assistance.
If you seek legal advice, you may contact Class Counsel at 1-800-487-6985. However, procedural questions about the claims process and for assistance on how to submit a claim should first be directed to the Claims Administrator.
7. What benefits does the Settlement provide?
The Settlement provides two major types of settlement benefits to the Class. First, Defendants have agreed to create an "all-in" Common Fund of $36,000,000 to resolve all eligible class claims of 1200 Series, N8 Series and N6 Series Gas Absorption Refrigerator owners in the Class and to fund all administrative and legal fees and costs associated with the proposed settlement. The Monetary Fund will be divided in the manner described in the Settlement Agreement's Allocation Plan, and be paid in four annual installments. To receive a payment, class members must timely file a Claim Form. Class members who file Claim Forms will be allotted a certain number of shares in the Monetary Fund based on factors attested to on their Claim Form such as model owned (1200, N8 or N6), whether they are a current or former owner, and whether any repair expenses were incurred due to a suspected cooling unit leak. The Allocation Plan is described more fully in the Long Form Notice and Settlement Agreement.
Second, for those Class Members who currently own N6 and N8 Series Gas Absorption Refrigerators manufactured between January 1, 2009 and December 31, 2013, Defendants will provide, at Defendants' sole expense, a three-year extended warranty covering replacement (parts and reasonable labor costs) of any cooling unit that fails due to a leak.
8. What can I get from the Settlement?
The Settlement provides two primary types of benefits to Class Members depending on what type of refrigerator they own or owned and whether or not they have incurred any out-of-pocket repair costs:
- a share of the $36 million Monetary Fund; and
- for owners of N8 Series and N6 Series Gas Absorption Refrigerators, an Extended Warranty against leaks in the cooling unit.
1. Monetary Fund: If the Settlement is finally approved by the Court, Defendants will pay thirty-six million dollars ($36,000,000.00) to the Class as an "all-in" common fund cash benefit settlement. The amounts will be paid in four annual installments, and distributed to Class Members who become Eligible Claimants by filing timely Claim Forms. Class Members will be asked to complete and timely submit a Claim Form before August 26, 2016, attesting to certain facts. Those who do this will be considered an Eligible Claimant. The Monetary Fund will be divided and paid out by shares allotted to Eligible Claimants according to the Allocation Plan. Claim Forms submitted may be subject to validation by the Claims Administrator.
The Allocation Plan is designed to work as follows:
Because Class Counsel do not have a complete list of all Class Members' names and mailing addresses, and do not know who currently own their refrigerators or paid for repair/replacement costs, Class Members must submit a Claim Form. The Claim Form is fairly simple and requests that the Class Member provide some basic contact information such as his/her current name, mailing address and phone number. In addition, each Class Member will be asked to state which type of Norcold Refrigerator (N6, N8 or 1200 Series) he/she owns or owned, if they currently own it, and if he/she spent any money on repairs related to the cooling unit. The answer to these questions will determine how many "shares" of the Monetary Fund the Class Member (and his or her spouse or any co-owner) will be given.
- Class Members who attest on the Claim Form that they currently own a Norcold 1200 Series Gas Absorption Refrigerator or Cooling Unit, manufactured between January 1, 2002, and October 1, 2012, shall be allotted 25 shares of the Monetary Fund;
- Class Members who attest on the Claim Form that they formerly owned a Norcold 1200 Series Gas Absorption Refrigerator or Cooling Unit, manufactured between January 1, 2002, and October 1, 2012, and incurred out-of-pocket to repair and/or to replace the Gas Absorption Refrigerator or Cooling Unit due to a suspected cooling unit leak or as a precautionary measure regarding a potential cooling unit leak (including parts, labor, or shipping costs), or incurred a related loss due to a suspected cooling unit leak, shall receive the following number of shares of the Monetary Fund, based on the aggregate amount of the repair/replacement costs, or losses incurred;
|From $1,360.01 to $1,700.00
|From $1020.01 to $1360.00
|From $680.01 to $1,020.00
|From $340.01 to $680.00
|From $68.01 to $340.00
|From $0.01 to $68.00
- Class Members who attest on a Claim Form that they formerly owned a Norcold 1200 Series Gas Absorption Refrigerator or Cooling Unit, manufactured between January 1, 2002, and October 1, 2012, but did not incur any out-of-pocket expenses to repair and/or to replace the Gas Absorption Refrigerator or Cooling Unit due to a suspected cooling unit leak, or as a precautionary measure regarding a potential cooling unit leak (including parts, labor, or shipping costs), and has not incurred a related loss due to a suspected cooling unit leak, shall be allotted 1 share of the Monetary Fund;
- Class Members who attest on a Claim Form that they currently own a Norcold N8 Series Norcold Gas Absorption Refrigerator or Cooling Unit, or Norcold N6 Series Norcold Gas Absorption Refrigerator or Cooling Unit manufactured between January 1, 2009, and December 31, 2013, shall be allotted 5 shares of the Monetary Fund. This benefit will be provided to such Eligible Claimants in addition to the three-year Extended Warranty for a cooling unit that fails due to a leak.
The Allocation Plan referenced above is a mechanism which attempts to fairly allocate the Monetary Fund among Class Members, taking into account several relevant factors. Those factors include, but are not limited to, the lower acquisition cost or purchase price of N6 Series and N8 Series Gas Absorption Refrigerator Cooling Units, in comparison to 1200 Series Gas Absorption Refrigerator Cooling Units; the lower frequency of leak and fire claims on Cooling Units on N6 Series Gas Absorption Refrigerators and N8 Series Gas Absorption Refrigerators, in comparison to Cooling Units for 1200 Series Gas Absorption Refrigerators, as reported on Defendants' incident logs; and the lower damage (and certain defenses to, including standing challenges) claims of former owners of 1200 Series Gas Absorption Refrigerators who never incurred a leak or fire, never paid for repair costs related to the alleged defect, and no longer face the prospect of having to replace or repair their Cooling Unit as a result of any alleged defect.
At the end of the Claim Period, the Claims Administrator will tabulate the total number of timely submitted Claim Forms and the total number shares that those Class Members' Claim Forms represent pursuant to the four categories described above. The $36 million Monetary Fund, less any court awarded attorneys' fees and expenses, administrative expenses and Class Representative awards, will then be divided into that number of shares and a per-share value determined. Each Eligible Claimant will then be entitled to receive payment equal to the total number of shares he/she is allotted, multiplied by the per-share amount. Payments will be made to the Class Members who filed Claim Forms in four separate installments.
2. Extended Warranties for Owners of a Norcold N6 and N8 Series Gas Absorption Refrigerators: Defendants will provide a three-year Extended Warranty to Class Members who are owners of a Norcold N8 Series Gas Absorption Refrigerators or Cooling Units and/or Norcold N6 Series Gas Absorption Refrigerators or Cooling Units that were manufactured from January 1, 2009 to December 31, 2013, covering replacement (parts and reasonable labor costs) of any cooling unit that fails due to a leak. The Settlement Agreement serves as the written Extended Warranty for Class Members with N6 and N8 Gas Absorption Refrigerators entitled to receive the Extended Warranty. A Claim Form does not need to be returned for Class Members with N6 and N8 Gas Absorption Refrigerators to receive the coverage of the Extended Warranty provided. The Class Member, however, may be required to establish that he/she satisfies the criteria for membership in the Class at the time he/she makes a warranty claim.
9. Is my repaired or replaced Cooling Unit included in the Settlement?
The settlement only covers a specified Gas Absorption Refrigerator, Cooling Unit, or Replacement Cooling Unit that was manufactured by Norcold as original equipment. In addition, extended warranties are only extended to a N6 and N8 Series Gas Absorption Refrigerator and Cooling Unit that was manufactured by Norcold as original equipment. For the purposes of this settlement, "original equipment" means "such Norcold equipment as originally manufactured without unauthorized alterations, modifications, or repairs."
Example 1: Original Equipment Manufactured During the Class Period
- If you purchased a 2004 RV that contained a Norcold 1200 Series Refrigerator as original equipment, that Refrigerator would be included in the settlement.
Example 2: Original Equipment Manufactured Outside of the Class Period
- If you purchased a 1999 RV, however, that contained a Norcold Refrigerator as original equipment, that Refrigerator would not be included in the settlement because it falls outside of the Class Period.
Example 3: Original Equipment Manufactured Outside of the Class Period, With a Replacement Cooling Unit
- If you purchased a 1999 RV that contained one of the Norcold Subject Refrigerators as original equipment, and later installed a Replacement Cooling Unit manufactured by Norcold during the Class Period (i.e., installed a 2010 Replacement Cooling Unit), then that Replacement Cooling Unit would be included in the settlement.
10. How much will I get from the Monetary Fund?
At this time, we do not know how many Class Members will participate in the settlement and submit a Claim Form. Because we do not how many claims will be submitted, we do not know the number of settlement shares the Monetary Fund will be divided into. All we can do at this time is provide an estimate of the payment each type of Class Member will receive based on hypothetical claim rates (the percentage of Class Members that submit a Claim Form).
In addition to the future claims rate, we do not know the exact number of Class Members, but we do know the exact number of refrigerators sold each year during the Class Period. We estimate that 15% of the Norcold refrigerators manufactured during the Class Period are no longer in service and the estimated number of current Class Members reflects that reduction.
In addition, we do not know the total number of former owners. We have estimated the number of former 1200 series refrigerator owners at 202,289 based on RV surveys relating to turnover. We have also estimated that of the approximately 92,494 retrofitted refrigerators, half of those are now owned by a new owner. We think it is reasonable to assume that approximately 46,247 former 1200 Series Refrigerator owners have out-of-pocket expenses based upon their knowledge of the safety related defect and their participation in the recall. Consequently, we assume that the remaining former owners (156,042) do not have out-of-pocket expenses.
A chart is provided below that projects the amount each Class Member may receive as his/her settlement benefit based upon many potential claim rates, ranging from a low of 5% to a high of 100%. The amounts listed are each Class Member's share of the total settlement, before any Court-approved reductions for the cost of class notice, settlement administration fees, and attorneys' fees and costs. In some consumer class actions, the total claims rate is less than 5%. As it relates to this case, approximately 67% of Norcold Refrigerators were involved in certain recall efforts and have been retrofitted. A 100% claims rate for a Class of this size is unlikely and would only occur if every single Class Member submitted a Claim Form.
Estimated Gross Amount Paid To Each Class Member At Various Claims Rates
|Type of Class Member
(Percent of Class Members Submitting Claim Forms)
Current Owner of 1200 Series Refrigerator
a Former Owner With Expenses
Former Owner of 1200 Series Refrigerator Without Expenses
Current Owner of N6 or N8 Series Refrigerator
11. Will Class Members be warned of the fire risk?
Yes. All owners of Norcold Gas Absorption Refrigerators should be warned of the risk of a gas leak which in certain circumstances can possibly result in a fire and be advised to take corrective action.
Norcold has recalled all Model 1200 Series Refrigerators manufactured prior to October 6, 2010. The purpose of the recall is to remedy a safety related defect by installing a High Temperature Sensor (HTS). Therefore, if you own such a refrigerator and have not had the HTS installed, you should turn off your refrigerator immediately and call the Norcold Recall Department at 1-800-767-9101 to make arrangements to have the HTS installed at no charge to you.
If the HTS has been installed and it trips (red light continuously lit), the Refrigerator must always be brought in and checked by a trained technician. It is imperative that you never bypass the HTS.
Norcold had previously recalled 6 cubic foot and 8 cubic foot refrigerators with serial numbers1038000 to 1099000. If you own one of these refrigerators and you have not had the original cooling unit replaced you should immediately turn off your refrigerator and contact the Norcold Recall Department at 1-800-767-9101 to make arrangements to have your original cooling unit replaced at no cost to you.
It is essential that if you are experiencing cooling performance issues with your Refrigerator you immediately take it to a dealer and have it checked by a trained Technician.
FAILURE TO FOLLOW THESE INSTRUCTIONS CAN RESULT IN FIRE, CAUSING PROPERTY DAMAGE, INJURY OR DEATH.
Class Members are instructed to maintain a copy of this warning with the RV and Refrigerator manuals and to provide it to subsequent owners/users of their RV and Refrigerator.
12. How can I get a payment?
To be eligible for payment from the Monetary Fund, you must complete and send in a Claim Form before the deadline. You may also call 877-449-8550 to request a copy of the Claim Form. You may submit a distinct Claim Form for each Refrigerator or Cooling Unit owned. Read the instructions carefully, fill out the form, include all the necessary information the form asks for, sign it as being true and accurate to the best of your knowledge, and mail it postmarked no later than August 26, 2016. Late Claim Forms will not be accepted.
13. When would I get my payment?
The Court will hold a fairness hearing on September 16, 2016 at 2:30 p.m., to decide whether or not to approve the Settlement. If the Judge approves the Settlement, the first payments should be sent to Eligible Claimants approximately forty-five (45) days after the Final Effective Date of the Settlement. The second, third and fourth installments will be sent to Eligible Claimants on the first, Second and third anniversaries of the Final Effective Date of the Settlement. Please note, however, there may be appeals that could delay all payments. Please be patient. Updates will be published on the Home page of this website. Please check that site regularly to stay informed of the progress of the Settlement.
14. What type of release of claims am I providing to the Defendants if I stay in the Class?
Unless you exclude yourself, you will be considered a member of the Settlement Class and that means that you cannot sue, continue to sue, or be part of any other lawsuit against any or all Defendants asserting the class claims resolved by this Settlement. It also means that all of the Court's orders and the Release will apply to you and legally bind you.
The Settlement does not include claims for personal injury, wrongful death or actual physical property damage arising from a leak, fire or other incident involving the Norcold Refrigerator you currently own and/or previously owned. Such claims are NOT released under the Settlement and are expressly Reserved. You will be able to pursue these limited claims in a separate lawsuit at your own expense, even if you participate in this Settlement and file a claim.
15. How do I get out of the Settlement?
To opt-out and exclude yourself from the Settlement and preserve all rights you may have, you must send a letter to the Claims Administrator by U.S. mail, e-mail or fax by August 26, 2016, saying that "I, [your name], want to be excluded from the Norcold Refrigerator Class Action Lawsuit."
Be sure to include your:
- telephone number, and
- your signature
You must mail your exclusion request postmarked no later than August 26, 2016, or send it by fax or e-mail before midnight Pacific Time on August 26, 2016, to:
Norcold Refrigerator Claims Administrator
P.O. Box 43308
Providence, RI 02940-3308
If you do not take steps to opt-out in the manner described, you will remain in the Settlement Class and will be bound by the settlement terms and the Release.
You cannot exclude yourself by phone. It must be in writing by mail, e-mail, or fax. If you ask to be excluded, you will not receive any settlement payment or the extended warranty (if eligible), and you cannot object to the Settlement. You will not be legally bound by anything that happens in these lawsuits and you will not release any claims that you may have. You may then be able to sue (or continue to sue) any or all of the Defendants (Norcold, Inc., Thetford Corp. or The Dyson-Kissner-Moran Corp.) in the future.
16. If I don't exclude myself, can I sue Defendants for the same thing later?
No. Unless you exclude yourself, you give up the right to sue any or all Defendants for the claims that this Settlement resolves and releases. If you have a pending lawsuit on those claims, speak to your lawyer in that lawsuit immediately. Remember, the exclusion deadline is August 26, 2016.
However, if you have a claim for personal injury, wrongful death or actual physical property damage arising from a leak, fire or other incident involving the Norcold Refrigerator you currently own and/or previously owned, such claims are not released under the Settlement. Such claims are considered Reserved Claims under the settlement. You will be able to pursue (or continue pursuing) these limited claims in a separate lawsuit at your own expense.
17. If I exclude myself, can I get money from the Settlement?
No. If you exclude yourself, do not send in a Claim Form requesting to share in the Monetary Fund. However, you may sue, continue to sue, or be part of a different lawsuit against any or all Defendants.
18. Do I have lawyer in this case?
The law firms of Zimmerman Reed, LLP, with offices in Los Angeles, CA, Scottsdale, AZ and Minneapolis, MN, have been appointed by the Court to represent you and the other Class Members. Together, the lawyers are called Class Counsel. You will not be charged directly for these lawyers' services. Instead, Class Counsel intend to petition the court for their professional fees and out-of-pocket costs to be paid out of the Monetary Fund created by the Settlement. They may request up to 25% of the Monetary Fund, but the final amount awarded will ultimately be determined by the Court. If you want to be represented by your own lawyer, you may hire one at your own expense and have him/her enter an appearance on your behalf.
19. How will the lawyers and class representatives be paid?
Class Counsel will ask the Court to approve their request for attorneys' fees and expenses up to 25% of the $36,000,000 Monetary Fund. Each Class Representative may also petition the Court seeking an incentive award up to $7,500 for his/her time, effort and risk undertaken to help secure the Settlement Fund for the Class. The Court will make the final determination of the amounts to be paid to each lawyer, law firm and Class Representative after reviewing each of their petitions outlining the work done, time spent, costs advanced and risks undertaken to help secure the Settlement Fund for the Class. The Court may award less than the amounts requested, or more. The amounts finally approved and awarded by the Court will then be deducted and paid from the Monetary Fund.
20. How do I tell the Court that I don't like the Settlement?
If you're a Class Member, you can object to the Settlement if you don't like or agree with any part of it. Any Class Member (including Plaintiffs and Class Representatives) who has not filed a timely written request for exclusion and who wishes to object to the fairness, reasonableness, or adequacy of the proposed Settlement, or to the award of attorneys' fees and expenses, or the individual awards to the Class Representatives, must submit a written statement describing his or her objections in the specific manner set forth below. All objections must be filed with the Court, and copies mailed to Class Counsel and Defendants' Counsel, before August 26, 2016.
Any such objection shall include:
- the Full name of Objector;
- the Full address of Objector;
- the specific reason(s), if any, for the objection, including any legal support the Class Member wishes to bring to the Court's attention;
- copies of any evidence or other information the Class Member wishes to introduce in support of the objections;
- a statement of whether the Class Member intends to appear and argue at the Fairness Hearing; and 6. the individual Class Member's written signature, with date.
Class Members may do so either on their own or through an attorney retained at their own expense, however, each individual Class Member objecting to the Settlement, in whole or part, shall personally sign the objection. The objection must also include proof that he or she falls within the definition of the Class, including identification of the Gas Absorption Refrigerator owned. In addition, any Class Member objecting to the Settlement shall provide a list of all other objections submitted by the objector, or the objector's counsel, to any class action settlements submitted in any state or federal court in the United States in the previous five years. If the Settlement Class Member, or his, her or its counsel, has not objected to any other class action settlement in the United States in the previous five years, he, she or it shall affirmatively so state in the objection. Class Members who file an objection may be subject to discovery on matters related to their objection, including depositions.
To be valid you must mail the objection to all three (3) of these places postmarked no later than midnight on August 26, 2016:
|Clerk of the Court
United States District Court
Central District of California
411 West Fourth Street
Santa Ana, CA 92701-4516
|Hart L. Robinovitch
ZIMMERMAN REED, LLP
14646 N. Kierland Blvd.,
Scottsdale, AZ 85254
|Bryan A. Merryman
WHITE & CASE LLP
555 S. Flower Street
Los Angeles, CA 90071
21. What is the difference between objecting and opting-out?
Objecting to a settlement is simply telling the Court that you don't like something about the settlement. You can object only if you stay in the Class. Opting-out or excluding yourself is telling the Court that you don't want to be part of the Class and therefore, wish to be excluded from the Class and not bound by any court orders. If you exclude yourself, you have no basis to object because the cases and proposed settlement no longer affect you. You will have preserved all of your rights and can seek the relief you desire in your own, separate lawsuit.
22. When and where will the Court decide whether to approve the Settlement?
The Court will hold a final Fairness Hearing Friday, October 14, 2016 at 2:30 p.m., at the United States District Court for the Central District of California, 411 West Fourth Street, Santa Ana, CA 92701-4516, in Courtroom 10A. At this hearing, the Court will consider whether the settlement is fair, reasonable, and adequate and should be approved. If there are objections, the Court will consider them at that time. The Judge will listen to people who have asked to speak at the hearing. The Court may also decide how much to pay Class Counsel for their fees and costs, as well as any incentive awards to the Class Representatives. After the hearing, the Court will decide whether or not to grant final approval of the Settlement. We do not know how long these Court decisions will take. Sometimes the court decides these issues at the final Fairness Hearing, other times the Court takes the matter under advisement after hearing arguments and then issues an order at a later date.
23. Do I have to attend the hearing?
No. Class Counsel will answer any questions the Judge may have. You are, however, welcome to attend the hearing at your own expense. If you submitted an objection, you do not have to attend to the hearing to talk about it. As long as you mailed your written objection on time and in the manner directed, the Court will consider it. You also have the right to hire your own lawyer to attend the hearing and represent you at your own expense.
24. May I speak at the hearing?
You may ask the Court for permission to speak at the Fairness Hearing. To do so, you must send a letter saying that you intend to appear in person. Your letter should state at the top "Notice of Intention to Appear in Etter v Norcold, Case No. 13-CV-00081." Be sure to include your name, address, telephone number, and your signature. Your Notice of Intention to Appear must be postmarked no later than August 26, 2016, and be sent to the Clerk of the Court, Class Counsel and Defense Counsel, at the three addresses listed FAQ 20. You cannot speak at the hearing if you excluded yourself from the Settlement Class.
25. What happens if I do nothing at all?
If you do nothing, you'll get no money or other benefits from this Settlement. To receive money from the Settlement, you must file a Claim Form. If you fail to file a Claim Form, but remain in the Class, you will still release your claims (but not the Reserved Claims). If you wish to reject the settlement and preserve your claims so you can file your own lawsuit, you should exclude yourself in the manner described in FAQ 15.
26. Are there more details about the settlement?
The Notice summarizes the proposed settlement. More details are in the Settlement Agreement. You can get a copy of the Settlement Agreement by writing to Class Counsel: Hart L. Robinovitch, Christopher Ridout and Caleb Marker, ZIMMERMAN REED, LLP, 14646 N. Kierland Blvd., Suite 145, Scottsdale, AZ 85254.
27. How do I get more information?
You can call 877-449-8550; write to Norcold Refrigerator Claims Administrator, P.O. Box 43308, Providence, RI 02940-3308 or e-mail the Claims Administrator at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you seek legal advice, as opposed to questions regarding the administration of the Settlement (such as manner in which to file a claim form), you may call Class Counsel confidentially at 1-800-487-6985. You may also write Class Counsel at: Hart L. Robinovitch, Christopher Ridout and Caleb Marker, ZIMMERMAN REED, LLP, 14646 N. Kierland Blvd., Suite 145, Scottsdale, AZ 85254. The Settlement website has a mechanism for class members to send confidential emails to Class Counsel.
PLEASE DO NOT TELEPHONE OR WRITE THE COURT OR THE CLERK OF THE COURT SEEKING ADDITIONAL INFORMATION.