Petersen v. Costco Wholesale Co.
Hepatitis-Shot Class Settlement
8:13-cv-01292-DOC-JCG

Frequently Asked Questions

 

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  • The Notice explains your rights and options in the proposed Settlement of the lawsuit entitled Petersen et al. v. Costco Wholesale Co. et al., Civil Action No. CV-13-01292 pending in the U.S. District Court, Central District of California, Southern Division (the “Settlement”). This settlement applies to Arizona, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, and Washington Class Members. To submit a claim, or object to the terms of the Settlement, you must follow the steps described in the Notice within 21 days of receiving notice of the proposed Settlement, and in no case later than February 27, 2020.

    The deadline to object to the Settlement passed on February 27, 2020.

    The deadline to file a claim in the Settlement passed on February 27, 2020.

  • The Court granted class certification on January 25, 2016, and subsequently approved the plaintiffs’ Plan for Notice and Form of Notice on October 7, 2016. The Court approved Amended Notices to Class Members and Continuance of Trial Date and such notices were provided to potential Class Members subsequent to their modification by the Court’s Order to Extend the Opt-Out Deadline for Notice to Class members on February 2, 2018. That order issued an extended deadline by which Class Members could request to opt-out of participation in the class action lawsuit, with the new date being April 13, 2018. Postcard notices consistent with the Court’s order were mailed to potential Class Members on March 7, 2018. As of April 25, 2018, the Claims Administrator received 68 requests for exclusion postmarked before the April 13, 2018 deadline, and 4 requests for exclusion postmarked after the deadline. 

    Over the course of the litigation, the Court ordered the plaintiffs and defendants to mediation many times, and many times the pending litigation deadlines were extended to accommodate the continuation of negotiations.

    A mediation occurred in New York City on October 10, 2018, where the plaintiffs and the defendants worked with the mediator, Greg Lindstrom, of Phillips ADR. The first mediation involving the present claims and Mr. Lindstrom occurred nearly two years ago, on December 1, 2016. Although that first mediation did not achieve the desired settlement, Mr. Lindstrom stayed involved, worked with counsel for all parties by phone, and continued to act as a go-between for exchanging settlement offers.

    Plaintiffs’ Counsel proposed that damages for the Class Members were appropriately determined with a claims-made approach, an approach that was then more clearly explained at a Final Pretrial Conference on June 25, 2018. This approach sparked renewed negotiations, and with the continued assistance of Mr. Lindstrom, the parties were able to make sufficient progress for the Court to grant the most recent request for a trial continuance to allow for the last mediation to occur. That mediation resulted in settlement of the California Subclass only.

    Plaintiffs’ Counsel and the TFI Defendants’ Counsel then met in Washington, DC on June 26, 2019 to negotiate settlement of the eight remaining state subclasses: Arizona, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, and Washington (“Eight State Subclasses”). This negotiation resulted in the settlement of the remaining Eight State Subclasses.

    The Court held the Fairness Hearing on August 21, 2020 and issued the Final Order and Judgement on September 11, 2020. 

  • The Eight State Subclass Representatives, as advised by class counsel, have agreed to a settlement that involves Arizona, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, and Washington Class Members, with such settlement being on a “claims made” basis. Therefore, only eligible claims submitted will be paid under this class settlement, and no settlement funds or advance-funding mechanism will be established. Eligible claims will be paid after the appeal period is expired and no appeal is filed with the Court.

    The Maximum Amount Available to each eligible claimant under this proposed class settlement will be $200.00, with separate limits for the non-economic and economic damage components as defined below.

    Non-Economic Damages: For each eligible claimant, whether they received a Hepatitis A vaccination at Costco, or a Hepatitis A vaccination or immunoglobulin injection from a commercial entity or private medical-provider, the claimant will receive a payment of $80.00 as a recovery for non-economic damages under the proposed class Settlement provided that the claimant meet the following requirements:

    1. If the claimant purchased the Townsend Farms Antioxidant Blend (“Berry Mix”) under his or her Costco member number, the number must be provided;
    2. If the claimant did not purchase the Berry Mix under his or her Costco member number, the claimant must provide: (a) the Costco member-number for the purchaser of the Berry Mix consumed by the claimant; (b) the name of the holder of that Costco member number; and (c) a description of the location and manner of consumption in a declaration made under the penalty of perjury;
    3. If the claimant received a Hepatitis A vaccination free at Costco, the claimant will be checked against the list of recipients, and the claimant will be eligible only if found to be on the list of recipients;
    4. If the claimant received a Hepatitis A vaccination or immunoglobulin injection from a commercial entity or private medical provider, the claimant must provide documentary proof of the vaccination or injection; and
    5. Each claimant must provide a declaration under the penalty of perjury that he or she: (i) received a Hepatitis A vaccination or an immunoglobulin injection between May 31 and June 13, 2013, and (ii) was not immune to Hepatitis A on the date of consumption due to an earlier Hepatitis A vaccination or infection.

     

    Economic Damages. If a claimant received a Hepatitis A vaccination or immunoglobulin injection from a commercial entity or private medical provider, the claimant would be eligible for an additional payment for economic damages to reimburse for the actual cost of the vaccination or injection up to a maximum additional amount of $120.00. To be eligible for this additional amount, the claimant must meet the following requirements:

    1. The claimant must provide legible, documentary proof of the actual cost paid out-of-pocket by the claimant for a Hepatitis A vaccination or immunoglobulin injection (not the total cost of any visit, additional fees or amounts covered by insurance); and
    2. The claimant received a Hepatitis A vaccination or immunoglobulin injection between May 31, 2013 and June 6, 2013, the latter being the date Costco started to offer free vaccinations.

     

    Total Damages and Cap on the Number of Eligible Claimants. For the avoidance of any confusion, no claimant is eligible to receive more than a total payment of $200.00 under the proposed class Settlement. The total number of claimants eligible for the class Settlement of all certified subclasses (including Arizona, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, or Washington and California) shall be capped at 3,000.

     

    The claim filing deadline passed on February 27, 2020.

  • As originally certified by the Court, the Class was defined to include nine state subclasses: Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, and Washington. The claims of the California Subclass settled in October 2018 and final approval was granted on September 26, 2019. This settlement involves only the Arizona, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, and Washington Subclasses. For purposes of the proposed Settlement, the Eight State Subclasses are defined as follows:

    All persons who (1) consumed Berry Mix that had been purchased at Costco in Arizona, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, or Washington prior to June 4, 2013, (2) were not immune to Hepatitis A on the date of consumption due to an earlier Hepatitis A vaccination or infection, and (3) received a Hepatitis A vaccine or immunoglobulin shot between May 31 and June 13, 2013.

    The definition of the Settlement Class is more specific, and it has two components that determine eligibility for Non-Economic Damages and eligibility for Economic Damages. These components only partly overlap, with fewer persons eligible for Non-Economic Damages.

    Settlement Class for Non-Economic Damages: Individuals who purchased the Berry Mix at a Costco in Arizona, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, or Washington and consumed Berry Mix and (a) received a Hepatitis A vaccination or an immunoglobulin injection between May 31 and June 13, 2013, and (b) were not immune to Hepatitis A on the date of consumption due to an earlier Hepatitis A vaccination or infection.

    Settlement Class for Economic Damages: Individuals who meet all the requirements of the Settlement Class for Non-Economic Damages and paid out of pocket for a Hepatitis A vaccination or immunoglobulin injection between May 31 and June 6, 2013 from commercial entity or private medical provider other than Costco.

    The claim filing deadline passed on February 27, 2020.

  • The claim filing deadline passed on February 27, 2020

  • The deadline to exclude yourself passed on February 27, 2020

  • The deadline to file an objection passed on February 27, 2020.

  • The Eight State Subclass Representatives have been designated by the Court as follows: Gayle Prather, on behalf of herself and each of the Arizona Class Members; Suzanne Faber, on behalf of herself and each of the Colorado Class Members; Leslie Lee, on behalf of herself and each of the Idaho Class Members; Thomas Fiore, on behalf of himself and each of the Nevada Class Members; Leslie Straka, on behalf of herself and each of the Oregon Class Members; David Troutman, on behalf of himself and each of the New Mexico Class Members; Andrea Medrano, on behalf of herself and each of the Hawaii Class Members; and Aerol and Amy Paden, on behalf of themselves and each of the Washington Class Members.

    The Court has appointed Marler Clark, LLP, PS, as the Class Counsel. If you have any questions for the Class Counsel, you may write to them at the address listed below.

    COURT ADDRESS:

    U.S. District Court for California, Central District of California, Southern Division
    Honorable David O. Carter, Judge
    411 West 4th Street, Dept. 9D
    Santa Ana, California 92701-4750

    CLASS COUNSEL ADDRESS:

    William D. Marler, Esquire
    MARLER CLARK, L.L.P., P.S.
    1012 First Avenue, Fifth Floor
    Seattle, WA 98104

    DEFENDANTS’ COUNSEL ADDRESS:

    Eric A. Kuwana, Esq.
    COOLEY LLP
    1299 Pennsylvania Ave., NW, Suite 700
    Washington, D.C. 20004

  • No attorney fees or expenses will be paid by Class Members. To make this settlement possible, counsel for plaintiffs and the Eight State Subclasses waive all attorneys’ fees and costs, and have agreed that they will not seek reimbursement, fees, expenses, or costs from the class Settlement or from the defendants.

  • The Eight State Subclass Representatives and the Class Counsel support the proposed Settlement because they believe it provides for prompt, efficient, and fair relief to the Class. In ultimately deciding to recommend this settlement, the Class Counsel considered the relative risks, costs, and benefits to the Class of settlement or continuing litigation. The Class Members incur no risk or cost in obtaining the proposed relief.

  • The Notice is only a summary of the circumstances surrounding the litigation, the claims asserted, the proposed Settlement, and related matters. You may seek the advice and guidance of your own private attorney, at your own expense, if you desire.

    If you wish to communicate with the Class Counsel identified above or wish to obtain relevant Court documents, you may do so by writing to the Class Counsel at the address listed below.

    COURT ADDRESS:

    U.S. District Court for California, Central District of California, Southern Division
    Honorable David O. Carter, Judge
    411 West 4th Street, Dept. 9D
    Santa Ana, California 92701-4750

    CLASS COUNSEL ADDRESS:

    William D. Marler, Esquire
    MARLER CLARK, L.L.P., P.S.
    1012 First Avenue, Fifth Floor
    Seattle, WA 98104

    DEFENDANTS’ COUNSEL ADDRESS:

    Eric A. Kuwana, Esq.
    COOLEY LLP
    1299 Pennsylvania Ave., NW, Suite 700
    Washington, D.C. 20004

    You may also obtain a copy of the Settlement Agreement and other important case documents on the Important Documents page.


    PLEASE DO NOT CONTACT THE COURT

     

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Mail

Shot Class Settlement
c/o JND Legal Administration
PO Box 91307
Seattle, WA 98111