Frequently Asked Questions about the Katz v. Garmin International, Inc. Settlement
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1. What is a Class Action Lawsuit and who is involved?
In a Class Action Lawsuit, one or more persons called “Class Representatives” sue on behalf of other people who have similar claims. All of these people together are called a “Class” or “Class Members.” In this case, there are also “Subclasses,” in which subsets of Class Members have similar claims. The Class Representatives - and all Class Members like them - are called the Plaintiffs. The company they sued (in this case Garmin) is called the Defendant. The lawyers who represent the Class are called “Class Counsel.” In a class action lawsuit, all factual questions and legal issues are resolved for everyone in the Class - except for those people who choose to exclude themselves from the Class.
2. What is this Class Action Lawsuit about? Why is there a Settlement?
The plaintiffs in this case are Andrea Katz and Joel Katz. They allege, on behalf of themselves and other similarly situated individuals, that they purchased and/or owned a Garmin Forerunner 610 watch, and that the watchband was defective. Plaintiffs allege that Garmin breached its contract, breached its warranties, and committed other violations of law by selling Forerunner 610 watches with allegedly defective wristbands.
Garmin denies that it has acted unlawfully or improperly, denies that class certification is required or appropriate, and has contested Plaintiffs’ claims. Garmin contends that it has acted properly and prudently with regard to manufacture, production, marketing, and selling of the Garmin Forerunner 610 watch
The Court did not decide in favor of Plaintiffs or Defendant. Instead, both sides agreed to a Settlement, among others things, to avoid the costs and uncertainty of a trial, to avoid ongoing business interruption and resources demanded by litigation, and in order to provide certainty and benefits to the people affected. The Class Representatives and Class Counsel believe the Settlement is fair and reasonable for everyone who purchased and/or owned a Garmin Forerunner 610 watch in the relevant time period.
3. Am I part of the Settlement Class? Am I a member of any subclass?
If you purchased and/or owned a Garmin Forerunner 610 watch in the United States between April 2011 and July 2014 you are a member of the Settlement Class.
If you are a Class Member who has already purchased a replacement watchband to address the alleged design defect, then you are a member of Subclass 1. If you are a Class Member who paid to repair your watchband or watch as a result of the watchband detaching from the watch face, then you are a member of Subclass 2. Members of these Subclasses may be entitled to additional Settlement Benefits.
4. What are the Settlement Benefits?
If the Court finally approves the Proposed Settlement, Class Members who submit a valid Claim Form, in accordance with the procedure described below, may receive a repair or replacement of their watchband or watch at no cost. All Class Members, regardless of whether they submit a Claim Form will receive an extension of the One-Year Consumer Limited Warranty provided that the extension will only cover any damage to, or loss of the Watch as a result of the alleged defective watchband, for 12 months following the date of final approval of settlement. Members of Subclass 1 and Subclass 2 may receive cash payments.
Instructions on how to obtain free repair or replacement of watchbands or watches will be mailed to Class Members at the addresses stated on their respective Claim Forms. Cash Payment distributions will be made by mailing checks to Subclass Members at the addresses stated on their respective Claim Forms. In the event that a bankruptcy trustee or bankruptcy court orders, requests, or demands that a Class Member pay the Claim Consideration to the trustee or to the court, the Class Member shall inform Garmin of the order, request, or demand and comply therewith without contesting it, unless Garmin objects.
5. How much money will Subclass Members get?
Members of Subclass 1 (those who purchased a replacement watchband) may be eligible for cash payments of either: (a) the actual cost of the replacement watchband if the replacement watchband was purchased from Garmin or an authorized Garmin retailer; or (b) up to $50 if the replacement watchband was purchased from a third party and it was not a Garmin manufactured watchband.
Members of Subclass 2 (those who paid to repair the watchband or watch) may be eligible for cash payments of either: (a) the actual cost of the repair if done by Garmin; or (b) the actual cost of the repair up to $75 if repaired by a third party.
6. How do I receive my Settlement Benefit? What if I do not timely submit a completed Claim Form?
You have to do 3 things:
1. Complete the Claim Form;
2. On the Claim Form, sign and date at the bottom under penalty of perjury; and
3. Timely Submit the Claim Form: Claim Forms must be submitted to the Settlement Administrator, via First Class Mail, at the address stated on the Claim Form, postmarked no later than September 28, 2016.
Alternatively, a Claim Form may be submitted by the same date on this website under “Submit a Claim.”
As part of the Claim Form, you will attest under penalty of perjury that purchased and/or owned the Garmin Forerunner 610 watch between April 2011 and July 2014 in the United States and that the facts stated therein are true. Depending on the Settlement Benefit applicable to you, you may be required to submit supporting documentation.
If you fail to mail or electronically submit a completed Claim Form by the required deadline, you will not receive any Settlement Benefits other than the extension of the One-Year Consumer Limited Warranty. You will still be bound by the other Settlement Agreement terms and Release of Liability. Sending in a Claim Form late or without all the information will be the same as doing nothing.
7. When do I get my payment or instructions for free repair or replacement of my watchband or watch?
The Court will hold a fairness hearing on November 3, 2016 to decide whether to approve the Settlement as fair, reasonable, and adequate. If the Court approves the Settlement, there may be appeals which may delay the conclusion of the case. It is always uncertain when and whether these appeals can be resolved. The Settlement Agreement provides that settlement payments will start being made within 45 calendar days after all such issues have been resolved and the Court’s judgment becomes final. Resolving such issues can take time, perhaps more than a year.
8. What am I giving up to get a Settlement Benefit and stay in the Class?
Unless you exclude yourself, you will be part of the Settlement Class. The Court’s orders approving the Settlement and the judgment in the case will apply to you and legally bind you.
Upon Final Settlement Approval, you unconditionally, fully and finally release and forever discharge the Released Persons from each of the Released Claims, as defined in Sections 4.01 and 4.02 of the Settlement Agreement, and agree to abide by the terms of the Release. In so doing, you are agreeing not to sue Garmin ever again about any past, present or future claims based on or related to the conduct covered by the class action. You can read the full text of the definition of Released Claims and the Release in Appendix A to the Settlement Notice Document found under the important documents section of this website.
If you want the right to sue Garmin on your own about conduct covered by the class action, you must exclude yourself from the Settlement Classes in this case. If you exclude yourself, you will not be eligible to recover any benefits as a result of the settlement of the action
9. How do I get out of this Settlement?
To exclude yourself from the Settlement, you must send a letter by U.S. mail saying that you want to be excluded from Andrea Katz and Joel Katz, on behalf of themselves and all persons similarly situated v. Garmin International, Inc., No. 14-165 (D. Utah). To be valid, your exclusion request must include:
• Your full name, current mailing address, and telephone number;
• A copy of the receipt showing proof of purchase of the Garmin Forerunner 610 watch, or Objective Evidence of Proof as that term is defined in paragraph 1.23 of the Settlement Agreement that the Garmin Forerunner 610 watch was purchased or owned between April 2011 and July 2014;
• The following statement “I/we request to be excluded from the class settlement in Andrea Katz and Joel Katz, on behalf of themselves and all persons similarly situated v. Garmin International, Inc.”; and
• Your original signature or the original signature of a person previously authorized by law to act on your behalf
You must mail your exclusion request to the three addresses that appear below in question 14 so that it is postmarked no later than October 14, 2016.
Requests for exclusion from the Settlement Class that are not postmarked on or before October 14, 2016 will not be honored. You cannot exclude yourself from the Settlement Class by telephone or email. You cannot exclude yourself by mailing a request to any other location, or after the deadline.
10. If I don’t exclude myself, can I sue Garmin later?
No, not for the same or similar legal claims at issue in this litigation matter.
11. If I exclude myself, can I get any Settlement Benefits from this Settlement?
No. If you exclude yourself from the Class you will not get any money or benefits from this Settlement. If you exclude yourself, you should not submit a Claim Form to ask for money from the class action Settlement. You cannot do both.
12. Do I have a lawyer in this case? Should I get my own lawyer?
The Court has decided preliminarily that the law firms of Heideman Nudelman & Kalik, P.C as lead counsel and Hatch, James, Dodge, P.C. are qualified to represent you and all Class Members. Together these law firms are called “Class Counsel.” They are experienced in handling similar cases. More information about these law firms, their practices, and their lawyers’ experience is available at www.hnklaw.com.
You do not need to hire your own lawyer because Class Counsel is working on your behalf. If you want your own lawyer, you may hire one at your own cost.
13. How will the lawyers be paid and will there be incentive payments?
Class Counsel has not received any fees or reimbursement for any of the expenses associated with this case. The parties have agreed that Garmin will pay Class attorneys’ fees and expenses in the amount of $385,000.00. In addition, Class Counsel will ask that the Court award each of the Class Representatives a $1,250.00 service award in recognition of their efforts on behalf of the Class. Any fees, expenses or incentive awards that Class Counsel Requests must be approved by the Court. Class Counsel will request that their fees and expenses, and the incentive awards, be paid directly by Garmin, which means they will not reduce the recovery to you and other members of the Class. Garmin has agreed that it will not object to these requests by Class Counsel and the Class Representatives.
14. How do I tell the Court that I like or do not like the Settlement?
If you are a Class Member, you can tell the Court you like the Settlement and it should be approved, or that you object to the Settlement if you do not like any part of it. The Court will consider all comments from Class Members.
To object, you must send a letter saying that you are commenting on the Settlement in Andrea Katz and Joel Katz, on behalf of themselves and all persons similarly situated v. Garmin International, Inc., No. 14-cv-165 (D. Utah), and you must include your full name, current address, telephone number, documents sufficient to show you are a Class member, your factual and legal grounds for objecting, any documents supporting your objection, your signature, and whether you are represented by counsel with respect to the objection. Any Class Member objecting to the Settlement must provide a detailed list of any other objections submitted by the objector, or the objector’s counsel, to any class action settlements submitted in any court in the previous five (5) years. If the Class Member or his or her counsel has not objected to any other class action settlement in any court in the United States in the previous five (5) years, he, she or it shall affirmatively so state in the written materials provided with the objection. If you intend to appear at the fairness hearing through counsel, your comment must also state the identity of all attorneys representing you who will appear at the fairness hearing. Be sure to send your objection to each of the three different places set forth below such that it is postmarked no later than October 14, 2016.
Clerk of the Court
United States District Court
For the District of Utah
351 S. West Temple, Rm1.100
Salt Lake City, UT 84101
Heideman Nudelman Kalik, P. C.
c/o Noel J. Nudelman
1146 19th Street, NW, 5th FL
Washington, DC 20036
Bryan Cave LLP
c/o Jena Valdetero
161 N Clark Street, Ste 4300
Chicago, IL 60601
If you file an objection, Class Counsel or Counsel for Garmin are allowed to notice and take your deposition consistent with the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure at an agreed-upon location before the fairness hearing and to seek any documentary evidence or other tangible things that are relevant to the objection. Failure by an objector to comply with discovery requests may result in the Court striking the objector’s objection and otherwise denying that person the opportunity to make an objection or be further heard. The Court reserves the right to tax the costs of any such discovery to the objector or the objector’s counsel should the Court determine that the objection is frivolous or is made for an improper purpose. If you do not submit a written comment on the proposed Settlement or the application of Class Counsel for Incentive Awards, attorneys’ fees and expenses in accordance with the deadline and procedure set forth above, you will waive your right to be heard at the fairness hearing and to appeal from any order or judgment of the Court concerning the matter.
15. What is the difference between objecting and excluding?
Objecting is simply 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, and you will not be entitled to receive Settlement Benefits from the Settlement or be subject to the Release of the Released Persons. If you exclude yourself, you have no basis to object because the case no longer affects you.
16. When and where will the Court decide to approve the Settlement?
The Court will hold a fairness hearing at 1:30 p.m. on November 3, 2016 in Courtroom 7.300, United States District Court for the District of Utah, 351 S. West Temple, Salt Lake City, UT 84101. At this hearing, the Court will consider whether the Settlement is fair, reasonable, and adequate. If there are objections, the Court will consider them. The Court may listen to people who have asked to speak at the hearing. The Court may also decide how much to pay Class Counsel or whether to approve incentive awards. After the hearing, the Court will decide whether to approve the Settlement. We do not know how long it will take for the Court to make its decision.
Once the Court approves the Settlement and such order becomes final following any appeals, the Court will enter any order and judgment in this action. All of the claims of the Class will be dismissed with prejudice, whether or not a Claim form has been submitted.
17. Do I have to come to the hearing? May I speak at the hearing?
No. Class Counsel will answer questions the Court may have, but you are welcome to come at your own expense. If you send an objection, you do not have to come to Court to talk about it. As long as you sent your written objection such that it is received on time, the Court will consider it. You may also pay your own lawyer to attend, but it is not necessary.
If you do not exclude yourself, you may ask the Court’s permission to speak at the hearing concerning the proposed Settlement or the application of Class Counsel for attorneys’ fees and expenses. To do so, you must send in a letter saying that it is your notice of your intention to appear at the fairness hearing in Andrea Katz and Joel Katz, on behalf of themselves and all persons similarly situated v. Garmin International, Inc., No. 14-cv-165 (D. Utah). The letter must state the position you intend to present at the hearing, state the identities of all attorneys who will represent you (if any), and must include your full name, current address, telephone number, and all documents identified above under question 6 sufficient to show you are a Class Member. You must send your notice to the Clerk of the Court, Class Counsel, and defense counsel at the three addresses listed under the question “How do I tell the Court that I like or do not like the Settlement” above, such that it is postmarked no later than October 14, 2016. You may combine this notice and your comment (described under question 14) in a single letter. You cannot speak at the hearing if you excluded yourself.
18. What happens if I do nothing at all?
If you do nothing, you will remain a member of the Settlement Class and you will be bound by the terms of the Settlement and Release of the Released Persons, but you will get no Settlement Benefits from this Settlement, other than the extension of the One-Year Consumer Limited Warranty (see question 4). Unless you exclude yourself, you won’t be able to start a lawsuit, continue with a lawsuit, or be part of any other lawsuit against Garmin about the legal issues in this case, ever again.
19. Are there more details available?
If you need an additional copy of the Claim Form, you may contact the Settlement Administrator, Heffler Claims Group, at 1-855-585-1129 or download a Claim Form on this website under the important documents section. The Settlement Administrator can provide a copy of the Settlement Agreement upon request. You may also call Class Counsel at 202-463-1818 or write them at the addresses in question 14 above. The pleadings and other records in this litigation, including copies of the Settlement Agreement, may be examined during regular office hours at the office of the Clerk of Court of the United States District Court for the District of Utah.
PLEASE DO NOT CONTACT THE COURT OR THE CLERK OR GARMIN INTERNATIONAL.