Frequently Asked Questions
- Why did I get the Settlement Notice?
- What will the Settlement give me?
- How do I get the cash award?
- Do I have a lawyer in this case?
- How will Class Counsel be paid?
- Can I tell the Court that I don't like the Settlement?
- When and where will the Court decide whether to give final approval to the Settlement?
The Court has approved the Notice to tell you about a settlement in the class action lawsuit entitled In re Classmates.com Consolidated Litigation, United States District Court for the Western District of Washington, Case No. 09-45RAJ. The Settlement replaces the settlement you were notified about in 2010 (the â€śPrior Settlementâ€ť) because the Court did not give final approval to the Prior Settlement.
Each Settlement Class member who submitted a Valid Claim Form will receive a cash award (payable via PayPal or via physical check). The amount of the cash award cannot be determined in advance, but is estimated to be $10 for each Settlement Class member.
The cash award will be determined by dividing the $2.5 million that Classmates has agreed to pay by the number of Settlement Class members who submitted Valid Claim Forms. For example, if 250,000 class members submitted Valid Claim Forms, each will receive $10. As another example, if 500,000 class members submitted Valid Claim Forms, each will receive $5. There are as many as 60 million Settlement Class members. Based on the participation rates in the Prior Settlement, it is estimated that each participating Settlement Class member will receive about $10. This is only an estimate.
In addition to the cash award, the Settlement will require Classmates to change certain business practices for two years. Among other things, Classmates will no longer use the term â€śguestbookâ€ť as a stand-alone term in the subject line of the emails it sends to its subscribers, but will instead call it â€śClassmatesÂ® Guestbookâ€ť. The â€śClassmatesÂ® Guestbookâ€ť feature will be described in the footer of those emails as follows:
WHAT IS CLASSMATESÂ® GUESTBOOK?: When most Classmates members visit your profile, their names will automatically be listed in your ClassmatesÂ® Guestbook. Any member can leave their name in any other memberâ€™s ClassmatesÂ® Guestbook simply by visiting that memberâ€™s profile, so you might not know everyone who signed yours. For more information, see our ClassmatesÂ® Guestbook Help Article.
A complete description of the business practices that Classmates has agreed to change is available on this website.
To receive a cash award, you must have submitted a Valid Claim Form by November 18, 2011.
If you submitted a Valid Claim Form by November 18, 2011, you will receive your payment about 90 days after the court grants final approval of the Settlement, assuming that no one appeals.
The court has authorized these lawyers to represent Settlement Class members:
KELLER ROHRBACK L.L.P
Mark A. Griffin
1201 Third Avenue, Suite 3200
Seattle, Washington 98101
KABATECK BROWN KELLNER L.L.P.
Richard L. Kellner
644 South Figueroa Street
Los Angeles, California 90017
These lawyers are called â€śClass Counsel.â€ť Their representation will cost you nothing. If you want to be represented by your own lawyer, you may hire one at your own expense.
No later than August 5, 2011, Class Counsel will ask the court for attorneysâ€™ fees and costs. Classmates has agreed not to oppose Class Counselâ€™s request for attorneysâ€™ fees of $1,050,000.00, plus costs. Costs may include participation awards of up to $2,500 each for Anthony Michaels and David Catapano, the two Lead Plaintiffs in this lawsuit.
If the court grants Class Counselâ€™s request, Classmates will pay Class Counselâ€™s attorneysâ€™ fees and costs. This will cost you nothing, and Classmatesâ€™ payment will not reduce the $2.5 million it will pay in cash awards to Settlement Class members.
A copy of Class Counselâ€™s Motion for Award of Attorneysâ€™ Fees and Costs, including an accounting of Class Counselâ€™s costs and time spent on this lawsuit, will be available after August 5, 2011 on this website.
The deadline to object to the Settlement was November 18, 2011.
The court held a Final Approval Hearing on December 15, 2011, to decide whether to approve the Settlement and Class Counselâ€™s request for attorneysâ€™ fees and costs. On June 15, 2012, the Court approved the Revised Class Action Settlement as fair, reasonable and adequate.