Walmart Coupon Class Action Settlement
1. What is this lawsuit about?
A class action lawsuit was brought on June 8, 2013, which alleged that Pennsylvania law requires retailers like Walmart to deduct the value of coupons used in a purchase before calculating the amount of sales tax owed on the purchase. The lawsuit also alleged that Walmart’s receipts were confusing regarding the sales tax that was collected, and that Walmart was able to deduct the value of the coupon before charging sales tax, but did not do so. Walmart denies that it did anything wrong, and contends that it received an opinion from the Pennsylvania Department of Revenue that allowed Walmart to collect the tax.
This is only a summary. You can obtain more detailed information in the Notice and on this website.
2. Does this settlement apply to me?
Did you shop at a Walmart store in Pennsylvania on or after June 8, 2007, and use a coupon in purchasing a taxable item? If so, you are considered a member of the class and will be covered by the terms of this settlement unless you choose to exclude yourself. In order to obtain the benefits of this Settlement you will need to submit a claim on or before November 22, 2018.
3. How do I submit a Claim Form?
To submit your Claim, click here and provide all of the information required. You can only submit one Claim. Once submitted, the Claims Administrator will determine and confirm the validity of your Claim and information. If you are unable to submit a Claim or other required information electronically, you may contact the Claims Administrator as instructed on the above website, or by calling toll-free (855) 569-5890.
4. What are the deadlines?
PLEASE UNDERSTAND THAT THESE DEADLINES ARE IMPORTANT. YOUR FAILURE TO ACT BY THE RELEVANT DEADLINE WILL RESULT IN A DENIAL OF YOUR ABILITY TO PARTICIPATE.
The following strict deadlines and hearing date have been set by the Court:
(a) Deadline for submitting a claim form: November 22, 2018
(b) Deadline for written opt-out request: November 14, 2018
(c) Deadline for filing/service of objections: November 14, 2018
(d) Deadline to notify the Court and parties that you or your attorney will appear at the Final Hearing: November 14, 2018
(e) Date of Final Fairness Hearing: November 19, 2018
5. What is a class action and why does this apply to me?
In a Class Action lawsuit, one or more people, called “Class Representatives” (in this case Brian Farneth), sue on behalf of themselves and others who have similar claims. All of these people together are called a “Class” or “Class Members.” Walmart is called the Defendant. In a Class Action, one lawsuit resolves the issues for everyone in the Class, except for those who choose to exclude themselves from the Class.
On March 21, 2017, the Court decided this case should proceed as a Class Action. Because of this decision, all Class Members are bound by any court decision or settlement unless those Class Members take steps to exclude themselves from the case.
6. Has the Court decided who is right?
The Court has not decided whether the Class or Walmart is right. By authorizing this Notice, the Court is not suggesting which party will win or lose this case if there is a trial. However, if the Class Action Settlement is approved, there will not be a trial.
7. Am I a member of the Class?
The Judge in this case decided that the Class consists of all individuals who (a) on or after June 8, 2007, purchased any item(s) from a Walmart store in Pennsylvania that was subject to payment of sales tax, (b) received a discount on that item or those items by virtue of a “buy one, get one free” discount or coupon, a store coupon, or a manufacturer’s coupon, and (c) was charged or paid sales tax on the original purchase price of the item(s) without deducting the amount of the discount before calculating the sales tax.
If you meet the above criteria, you are a member of the Class. You will be a part of the final settlement unless you choose to exclude yourself. If you do not meet the above criteria, you are not a member of the Class, even though you received or viewed this Notice. If you are not sure whether you are a Class Member, you can get free help by emailing, calling, or writing to the Claims Administrator. DO NOT CALL THE COURT, THE PARTIES, OR THEIR COUNSEL.
8. What if I do nothing at all?
If you are a Class Member, regardless of whether you submit a Claim, once the Court enters an order granting final approval of the Settlement, you will be bound by the terms of the Settlement including the release of claims included in the Settlement Agreement, unless you have timely submitted an Opt-Out Letter. If you are a Class Member and you wish to receive a portion of the Settlement benefits, you must submit a Claim by November 22, 2018. If you are a Class Member and do not submit a Claim, and do not submit an Opt-Out Letter to exclude yourself from the Settlement, you will still be bound by the terms of the Settlement.
9. Why would I ask to be excluded?
If you already have brought a lawsuit against Walmart for similar claims and want to continue with it, or if you do not agree with the claims made in this lawsuit, you can ask to be excluded from the Class. If you remove yourself from the Settlement (sometimes called “opting out”) you will not get money or benefits from this Settlement. However, you may be able to sue or make a claim against Walmart on your own. If you start your own lawsuit or claim against Walmart after you exclude yourself, you will have to independently prove your claims, and you may have to hire and pay your own lawyer. If you do choose to exclude yourself, you should talk to your lawyer soon, because your claims may be subject to a statute of limitations, which means you only have a certain amount of time to file your own lawsuit.
10. How do I ask the Court to exclude me from the Class?
To be excluded, you must send a written request with all the required information, which you can get by clicking here. The letter must be signed by you, and must be filled out completely. You must submit your request by November 14, 2018. Once you choose to opt-out, you cannot change your mind and rejoin the Class.
11. Do I have an attorney in this case, or do I need to get my own?
The Court has made the Pittsburgh law firm of Rothman Gordon, P.C., Class Counsel. That means that they are the lawyers who represent the Class Members. If you are a Class Member and you do not choose to exclude yourself from the Class or object to this settlement, you do not need to hire an attorney because Class Counsel is working on your behalf. If you want to hire your own lawyer you can, but you will have to pay that lawyer. If you do hire your own lawyer, you can ask him or her to appear in a Court for you if you want someone other than Class Counsel to speak for you regarding the Settlement.
12. What are the terms of this Settlement?
Walmart has agreed to pay a minimum of $21,500,000, up to a maximum of $45,000,000, for the settlement of this case. From these amounts, up to $300,000 would be paid to the Claims Administrator for managing the claim and payment process. Up to $50,000 would be paid to Brian Farneth as a fee for his services and efforts as Class Representative, and up to $15,900,000 would be paid to Rothman Gordon, P.C., for its attorneys’ fees and expenses. After payment of these expenses, it is expected that Class Members will be eligible to receive a Gift Card of $30, up to a maximum of $100.
The total amount that will be paid to the Class Members depends on several factors, including the number of claims submitted, the number of Class Members who elect to “opt-out” of the Settlement, the fees and costs incurred in addressing any objections, and the approval of the Settlement by the Court.
Class Members who submit proper, timely, and verified claim forms will receive a Gift Card that can be used at any Walmart or Sam’s Club store, or online at walmart.com or samsclub.com. There will be no minimum purchase requirement to use the gift card.
13. What if I want to object to the Settlement?
If you do not elect to opt-out, but want to object to this settlement, you must file a written objection with the Court, signed by you or your attorney, by November 14, 2018. The objection must include evidence that you are a Class Member, as well as detailed reasons why you object to the Settlement. The Court also requires any objectors to either post a bond/security, OR to provide evidence that you cannot afford to pay the bond/security. You may present your objections in person or through an attorney (hired at your expense) at the Final Fairness Hearing, where the Court will consider and rule on your objection, and determine what bond, if any, you will need to post. More specific information and requirements for filing objections can be found here.
14. What if I still have questions?
If you have questions that are not answered here, DO NOT CONTACT THE COURT. All questions should be directed to the Claims Administrator:
Walmart Coupon Class Action Settlement
c/o A.B. Data, Ltd.
P.O. Box 173053
Milwaukee, WI 53217
Toll-Free Settlement Help Line: (855) 569-5890