Frequently Asked Questions
- What is this lawsuit about?
- Who is included in the class?
- What cash benefit does the settlement provide?
- What non-cash benefit does the settlement provide?
- How can I get a payment?
- When is the Claim Form due?
- Who decides my claim?
- When would I get my payment?
- How will the settlement be allocated?
- What happens if I do nothing at all?
- How do I get out of the settlement?
- Do I have lawyers in this case?
- How will the lawyers be paid?
- How do I tell the Court that I do not like the settlement?
- What is the difference between objecting and excluding?
- What am I giving up in return for these settlement benefits?
- 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?
- How can I get more information about the settlement?
1. What is this lawsuit about?
A proposed settlement has been reached in a class action lawsuit about the packaging of the following TRESemmé Naturals products: Nourishing Moisture Shampoo, Nourishing Moisture Conditioner, Radiant Volume Shampoo, Radiant Volume Conditioner, Vibrantly Smooth Shampoo, and Vibrantly Smooth Conditioner which are collectively called the “Products.” The plaintiffs in the lawsuit assert that the Products’ packaging falsely indicated they were natural. Defendant Conopco, Inc., d/b/a as Unilever, denies all the plaintiffs’ allegations and is entering into this settlement, among other reasons, to avoid burdensome and costly litigation. The settlement is not an admission of wrongdoing.
2. Who is included in the class?
You are a member of the Class if you purchased at least one of the following TRESemmé Naturals products: Nourishing Moisture Shampoo, Nourishing Moisture Conditioner, Radiant Volume Shampoo, Radiant Volume Conditioner, Vibrantly Smooth Shampoo, or Vibrantly Smooth Conditioner.
The following persons are excluded from the Class: the Defendant, the officers, directors, or employees of Defendant, any entity in which Defendant has a controlling interest, any affiliate, legal representative, heir, or assign of Defendant, the judge to whom this case is assigned and any member of the judge’s immediate family; all persons who submit a valid request for exclusion from the Class; and those who purchased the Products for the purpose of resale.
3. What cash benefit does the settlement provide?
Unilever will create a fund of $3.25 million to pay Class Members’ claims, attorneys’ fees, costs and expenses and certain administrative costs. You may obtain a cash payment from the fund if you purchased one of the Products. The amount of your payment will depend on the statements in your Claim Form and the support you may provide, as well as on the total volume of valid claims received.
4. What non-cash benefit does the settlement provide?
Unilever has agreed to discontinue sale of the Products under the “TRESemmé Naturals” label as a result of this Litigation.
5. How can I get a payment?
You must return a Claim Form to get a cash payment. The Claim Forms are simple and easy to complete. The Claim Form requires that you provide:
- Your mailing address;
- The number of each of the Products you purchased; and
- Your signature under penalty of perjury, confirming that the information provided is true and correct.
Claim Forms may be filled out and submitted online or they may be faxed or mailed to the Claim Administrator. Please submit a Claim Form if you think that you have a claim. Submitting a Claim Form is the only way to receive a cash payment from this settlement. No claimant may submit more than one Claim Form, and two or more claimants may not submit Claim Form for the same alleged damage.
You may claim up to ten Products per household without submitting any proof of purchase, but you may claim more than ten Products per household if you submit valid proof of your purchases along with your Claim Form. The Claim Administrator may request additional information if the Claim Form is insufficient to process your claim. Failure to provide any requested documentation may result in the denial of your claim and may limit the type of remedy you receive.
6. When is the Claim Form due?
If you mail or fax your Claim Form, it must be postmarked or faxed no later than October 24, 2016. Online submission of Claim Forms must be submitted by no later than October 24, 2016.
7. Who decides my claim?
The Claim Forms will be reviewed by an independent Claim Administrator according to criteria agreed to by the parties. The Claim Administrator may contact you or other persons listed on your Claim Form if he or she needs additional information or otherwise wants to verify information in your Claim Form. The Claim Administrator’s determination is final. Neither you, nor Plaintiffs’ Counsel, nor Unilever can appeal or contest the decision of the Claim Administrator.
8. When would I get my payment?
The Court will hold a hearing on October 17, 2016 to decide whether to approve the settlement. If the Court approves the settlement, after that there may be appeals. It is always uncertain whether these appeals can be resolved, and resolving them can take time, perhaps more than a year. Please be patient.
9. How will the settlement be allocated?
After payment of court-approved Attorneys’ Fees, Costs and Expenses and certain administration costs related to maintenance of the Settlement Fund and payment of the costs of notice and claims administration, the balance of the Settlement Fund will be distributed to Class Members who have filed Claims on the basis of the number of Products that they purchased, verified as necessary by the Claim Administrator. Class Members may receive a maximum of $5 for each Product purchased. Class Members may recover for up to ten Products purchased per household without submitting proofs of purchase, and may recover for more than ten Products per household by submitting valid proofs of purchase along with their Claim Form. If there are insufficient funds in the Settlement Fund to pay all claims in full, every claim will be reduced pro rata. Further details on allocation are in Exhibit A to the Settlement Agreement.
10. What happens if I do nothing at all?
If you do nothing, you will get no money from the settlement. But, unless you exclude yourself, you will not be able to start a lawsuit, continue with a lawsuit or be part of any other lawsuit against Unilever about the legal issues in this case.
11. How do I get out of the settlement?
If you do not wish to be included in the Class and receive settlement benefits, you must send a letter stating that you want to be excluded from this lawsuit. Be sure to include your name, address, telephone number, and your signature. You must mail your exclusion request postmarked no later than September 29, 2016 to:
Morales v. Conopco Claims Administrator
P.O. Box 43426
Providence RI 02940-3426
If you asked to be excluded, you will not get any settlement payment, and you cannot object to the settlement. You will not be legally bound by anything that happens in this lawsuit. You may be able to sue or continue to sue Unilever in the future.
If you have a pending lawsuit against Unilever, speak to your lawyer immediately. You may need to exclude yourself from this lawsuit in order to continue your own lawsuit. Remember, the exclusion deadline date is September 29, 2016.
12. Do I have lawyers in this case?
The Court appointed the law firm of Izard Kindall & Raabe LLP to represent you and other Class Members. These lawyers are called Class Counsel. If you want to be represented by your own lawyer, you may hire one at your own expense.
13. How will the lawyers be paid?
Class Counsel will ask the Court to award them attorneys’ fees from the Settlement Fund established as a result of this Litigation, in an amount not to exceed 30% of the Settlement Amount, together with payment of litigation costs and expenses. The four named plaintiffs will also ask the Court for an award for their time and effort acting as plaintiffs and for their willingness to bring this Litigation and act on behalf of consumers. These amounts, if approved by the Court, will be paid by the Defendant separate and apart from the Settlement Fund, and will not exceed $15,000 in the aggregate for all named plaintiffs.
The costs to administer the settlement, to review Claim Form, and notify Class Members about this settlement will be paid out of the Claim Fund.
14. How do I tell the Court that I do not like the settlement?
If you are a Class Member, you can object to the settlement if you do not like any part of it and the Court will consider your views. To object, you must send a letter to the Court and the parties saying that you object to the settlement. Be sure to include your name, address, telephone number, your signature, and a statement under penalty of perjury that you purchased one of the Products during the Class Period, as well as the reasons you object to the settlement. This objection must be postmarked no later than September 29, 2016. Send your objection to:
|Mark P. Kindall
IZARD KINDALL & RAABE LLP
29 South Main Street, Suite 305
West Hartford, CT 06107
Telephone: (860) 493-6292
Facsimile: (860) 493-6290
|Jay P. Lefkowitz, P.C.
KIRKLAND & ELLIS LLP
601 Lexington Avenue
New York, N.Y. 10022
|Clerk of Court
Eastern District of California
Robert T. Matsui United States Courthouse
501 I Street
Sacramento, CA 95814
15. What is the difference between objecting and excluding?
Objecting is telling the Court that you do not like something about the settlement. You can object only if you stay in the Class. Excluding yourself is telling the Court that you do not want to be part of the Class or the lawsuit. You cannot request exclusion and object to the settlement. If you exclude yourself, you have no basis to object because the case no longer affects you.
16. What am I giving up in return for these settlement benefits?
If the Court approves the proposed settlement and you do not request to be excluded from the Class, you are releasing or giving up all claims that are subject to the Release, and the case will be dismissed on the merits and with prejudice.
If you remain in the Class, you may not assert any of those claims in any other lawsuit or proceeding. This includes any other lawsuit or proceeding already in progress.
17. When and Where will the Court decide whether to approve the settlement?
The Judge will hold a Final Approval Hearing at 1:30 p.m. on October 17, 2016 at the United States District Court for the Eastern District of California, Robert T. Matsui United States Courthouse, 501 I Street, Sacramento, CA 95814.
At this hearing, the Judge will consider whether the settlement is fair, reasonable and adequate. If there are objections, the Judge will consider them. The Judge will listen to people who have asked to speak at the hearing. After the hearing, the Judge will decide whether to approve the settlement. We do not know how long this decision will take.
18. Do I have to come to the hearing?
No. Class Counsel will answer questions the Judge may have. But, you are welcome to come at your own expense. If you submit an objection, you do not have to come to the Court to talk about it. As long as you delivered your written objection on time, the Judge will consider it. You may also pay your own lawyer to attend, but it is not necessary.
19. May I speak at the hearing?
You may ask the Court for permission to speak at the Final Approval Hearing. To do so, you must file with the Court a “Notice of Intention to Appear” in Morales, et al. v. Conopco, Inc. d/b/a Unilever, 2:13-cv-02213, (E.D. Cal.). Be sure to include your name, address, telephone number, your signature and a statement under penalty of perjury that you are a member of the Class meaning that you purchased one of the Products. Your Notice of Intention to Appear must be sent to the Clerk of the Court, Class Counsel, and Defense Counsel at the three addresses listed in FAQ 14, postmarked no later than September 29, 2016.
20. How can I get more information about the settlement?
For more details regarding this settlement, please view the Stipulation of Settlement. You may also ask the Claim Administrator to send you a copy of the settlement through the mail. The Claim Administrator may be reached at Morales v. Conopco Claims Administrator, P.O. Box 43426, Providence Rhode Island 02940-3426. You can also call the settlement helpline, (844) 824-5798. The Claim Administrator can also assist you with any questions about how to complete a Claim Form. You can also contact attorneys for the class at (860) 493-6292.
Please do not call or write to the Court for information or advice.