Dashnaw, et al. v. New Balance Athletics, Inc.,

Frequently Asked Questions

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Questions

Answers

1. Why did I receive the Notice?

Answer:

You may have received the Notice because you may be a Class Member and may be able to receive payment under this class action settlement. The Notice explains the basic terms of the Settlement and your options and rights as a potential Class Member. The Amended Settlement Agreement, and related documents, give greater detail regarding the terms of the Settlement. Copies of these documents can be found in the Documents section on this website.

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2. Description of this lawsuit:

Answer:

This is a class action titled Sheila Dashnaw, et al. v. New Balance Athletics, Inc., Case Number 3:17-cv-00159-L-JLB (S.D. Cal) (the “Action”). Plaintiffs Sheila Dashnaw, William Meier, and Sheryl Jones (“Plaintiffs”) allege that New Balance Athletics, Inc. (“New Balance”) violated California consumer protection laws by advertising that some of its shoes are “Made in USA” when they are made from up to 30% non-domestic content. Plaintiffs also allege that New Balance charged a premium for such shoes. In their complaint, Plaintiffs request monetary relief and changes to New Balance’s business practices on their own behalf and on behalf of similarly situated persons. New Balance denies any wrongdoing.

The Court has not ruled on the merits of Plaintiffs’ claims or New Balance’s defenses. Both sides believe that the Settlement is a better result than continuing to litigate, and will provide substantial benefit to the Class. By settling, New Balance does not admit any wrongdoing. 

Because the parties decided to settle, the Court will not decide this Action. Instead, the Court has determined on a preliminary basis that certification of a class action is appropriate for purposes of settlement, and that the Settlement is sufficient to warrant a notice to the Class. The Court must still make a final determination, subject to any objections from the Class Members, whether the Settlement is fair, reasonable and adequate.

The Court appointed Plaintiffs as Class Representatives, and Plaintiffs’ attorneys Jason H. Kim of Schneider Wallace Cottrell Konecky Wotkyns LLP and Aubry Wand of The Wand Law Firm, P.C. as Class Counsel to represent Class Members for purposes of the Settlement. Class Counsel can be reached at:


The Wand Law Firm, P.C.

Aubry Wand

400 Corporate Pointe, Suite 300

Culver City, CA 90230

Telephone: (310) 590-4503

Schneider Wallace Cottrell Konecky & Wotkyns LLP

Jason H. Kim

2000 Powell Street, Suite 1400

Emeryville, CA 94608

Telephone: (415) 421-7100

 

The local attorney for New Balance is Garrett K. Sakimae, Fish & Richardson P.C., 12390 El Camino Real, San Diego, CA 92130; Telephone: (858) 678-5070.

The Court also appointed Heffler Claims Group as the Settlement Administrator for purposes of the Settlement. The Settlement Administrator can be reached at Dashnaw, et al. v. New Balance Athletics, Inc., c/o Settlement Administrator, P.O. Box 42220, Philadelphia, PA 19101-2220, as well as by calling toll free (844) 271-4789 or via the Contact section on this website.



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3. Am I a member of the Class?

Answer:

The Class includes all persons who bought any of the “Made in USA” Shoes listed in the table below from New Balance and/or its Authorized Retailers in California from December 27, 2012 through January 24, 2019. 


Eligible New Balance Shoe Models

601

ML996

M1140

ML997

M1290

MR1105

M1300

MR993

M1400

MW812

M1540

PM15

M1700

PM16

M2040

US574

M3040

US576

M498

US990

M574

US993

M585

US998

M587

W1140

M770

W1290

M990

W1400

M991

W1540

M995

W3040

M996

W498

M997

W587

M9975

W990

M998

W998

MK706

WK706

ML1300

WR993

ML1978

WW812

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4. If I'm still not sure if I'm included:

Answer:

If you are not sure if you are a Class Member, review this website, call (844) 271-4789, or contact Class Counsel, listed in FAQ 2 above.

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5. What do I need to do now?

Answer:

First, you must decide whether you wish to remain in the Class or exclude yourself from the Class. If you exclude yourself from the Class, you will not be eligible to receive compensation under the Settlement, or object to the Settlement, but you will retain the right to sue New Balance for the claims alleged in the Action. If you wish to exclude yourself from the Class, you must submit an Exclusion Form. The Exclusion Form can be found in the Documents section on this website.

Second, if you remain in the Class and wish to receive compensation under the Settlement, you must submit a Claim Form. The benefits of the Settlement are explained in FAQ 8 below. If you disagree with the Settlement, you may also object to the Settlement. You can submit a Claim Form even if you object to the Settlement. Instructions for submitting a Claim Form and objecting are found in FAQ 9 and 18 below.


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6. What do I give up if I choose to stay in the Class?

Answer:

If you choose to stay in the Class, you will release certain claims you may have against New Balance and the Released Parties, as summarized in FAQ 16 below and fully stated in the Release and Waiver of Claims that can be found in the Documents section on this website. You will also be bound by the Court orders and judgment issued in this Action. You will not be able to sue or otherwise proceed against New Balance for certain claims related to this Action. 

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7. What if I do nothing?

Answer:

If you are a Class Member and do nothing, you will stay in the Class. You will give up certain rights as indicated in FAQ 6 above, but you will not get any payment from the Settlement. You must complete and timely submit a Claim Form to receive any payment under the Settlement. Instructions for submitting a Claim Form are found in FAQ 9 below. 

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8. What can I get from this Settlement?

Answer:

Monetary Compensation

The Settlement will provide a fund of $750,000 that, subject to Court approval, will be used to pay (i) valid and approved Claims submitted by Class Members; (ii) the costs and expenses associated with the Notice and claims administration in an estimated amount of $220,000; and (iii) enhancement payments of up to $5,000 to each of three Plaintiffs for their efforts and assistance in this Action on behalf of the Class. The $750,000 fund will not be used to pay New Balance’s attorneys’ fees and costs or Class Counsels’ attorneys’ fees and costs. If the payments are approved by the Court, it is estimated that $515,000 will be available to pay the claims of Class Members. 

The maximum award amount per pair of qualified “Made in USA” shoes purchased is $10, with a maximum of up to five purchases per person (i.e., $50) and $100 per Household. However, if the total value of all approved Claims submitted by Class Members exceeds the estimated amount of $515,000, each eligible Class Member’s award will be reduced on a pro rata basis. In other words, it could be that your award will be reduced by several dollars, depending on the number of qualified claims submitted. 

Changes to Business Practices

In addition to monetary compensation, New Balance has agreed to make changes in the marketing and sale of its shoes labeled “Made in USA” shoes to more accurately state the domestic content of its shoes, including but not limited to, the following: 

(1) Going forward the hangtag affixed to the “Made in USA” Shoes will no longer include the phrase “Made in the USA” on the front of the tag.  On the back, in clear readable font, the hangtag will include the following sentence, or words to similar effect, “New Balance ‘made’ is a premium collection that contains domestic value of 70% or greater.” These changes will remain in effect unless and until a change in either federal or California law obviates the need for such clarification.

(2) Going forward shoe boxes for the “Made in USA” Shoes will not include the phrase “Made in the USA” on the outside top panel of the box.  New Balance may indicate that the shoes are made in the United States on the side(s) of the shoe box if, on the end and/or side of the shoe box, in clear readable font, it states the following sentence, or words to similar effect, “New Balance ‘made’ is a premium collection that contains domestic value of 70% or greater.” These changes will remain in effect unless and until a change in either federal or California law obviates the need for such clarification.

Additional information about the changes to business practices New Balance must implement under the Settlement is included in the Amended Settlement Agreement, which can be found in the Documents section on this website.

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9. How can I make a Claim?

Answer:

To receive a payment under the Settlement, you must send in a Claim Form. A Claim Form and directions can be found in the Documents section on this website. Please read the instructions and certification carefully, and fill out the form completely and accurately. Claim Forms can be submitted electronically on this website or by mail to Dashnaw, et al. v. New Balance Athletics, Inc., c/o Settlement Administrator, PO Box 42220, Philadelphia, PA 19101-2220 postmarked no later than June 6, 2019. 

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10. What is the Claim process?

Answer:

The Settlement Administrator will review each Claim Form. You may be asked to verify your purchase of “Made in USA” Shoes, by providing receipt(s) or other documentation. Failure to respond to a request may result in the denial of your Claim. You will have thirty-five (35) days from the date of the Settlement Administrator’s request to respond. If you submit a valid claim, you will receive payment in the form of a check. 

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11. When will I get my payment, if any?

Answer:

The Court must give final approval to the proposed Settlement before any payments can be made. The hearing to decide whether to finally approve the Settlement is set for July 15, 2019 at 10:30 a.m. (the “Hearing”). The payment of valid Claims will begin 14 business days after the Settlement is approved and the judgment is final including any relevant appeals (the “Final Settlement Date”). Resolving appeals, if any are filed, takes time, sometimes more than a year. Finally, there remains a possibility that this Settlement may be terminated for other reasons, as explained in the Amended Settlement Agreement, which can be found in the Documents section of this website. The payment process must be completed within 180 days of the Final Settlement Date. 


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12. What happens after all claims are processed if there are funds remaining?

Answer:

If there are any funds remaining after all claims are processed, those funds will be distributed in equal parts to Public Justice Foundation and Consumer Federation of California, both of which are non-profit organizations for protection of consumer rights. No funds will be returned to New Balance.

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13. Do I have a lawyer in this case?

Answer:

The Court appointed Class Counsel to represent Class Members for purposes of the Settlement. Class Counsel is authorized to act on behalf of the Class Members with respect to the Settlement.

You have the right to retain and make an appearance through your own attorney to represent you in this Action, at your own expense, or represent yourself without an attorney. Any Class Member who does not enter an appearance through an attorney or on his or her own behalf will automatically be represented by Class Counsel.

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14. How will the lawyers and Class Representatives in the action be paid?

Answer:

On February 13, 2019, Class Counsel filed a motion for attorneys’ fees and costs not to exceed $650,000 and enhancement payments of up to $5,000 to each of the three Plaintiffs for their assistance in prosecuting this Action. Any attorney fees and costs approved by the Court will be paid by New Balance and will not reduce the Settlement relief available to Class Members. You have the right to review the motion before you decide whether to exclude yourself from the Class or object to the Settlement.  The motion for attorneys’ fees and costs can be found in the Documents section on this website.

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15. How do I Exclude myself from the Class?

Answer:

If you don’t want a payment from this Settlement, or you want to keep your right to sue or continue to sue New Balance on your own about the legal claims in this Action, you must exclude yourself from the Class. If you exclude yourself, you will not be able to object to the Settlement. 

If you want to be excluded from the Class, you must submit an Exclusion Form to the Settlement Administrator. An Exclusion Form can be found in the Documents section on this website. Exclusion Forms can be submitted electronically at on this website or postmarked by mail to Dashnaw, et al. v. New Balance Athletics, Inc., c/o Settlement Administrator, PO Box 42220, Philadelphia, PA 19101-2220, no later than June 6, 2019. If your Exclusion Form is late or deficient, it will not be effective to exclude you. 

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16. Can I sue New Balance later?

Answer:

If you exclude yourself, you can sue New Balance for any claims you may have against it. If you do not exclude yourself, your right to sue New Balance later will be limited. Upon final approval of the proposed Settlement, you will give up the Released Claims as fully stated in the Release and Waiver of Claims that can be found in the Documents section on this website. In summary, Released Claims are all claims asserted in this Action and any claim based on the identical factual predicate as this Action, i.e., “Made in USA” statement on the shoes listed FAQ 3 above. In addition, as part of this Settlement, all Class Members and/or their representatives who do not exclude themselves are barred and enjoined pending final approval of the Settlement from filing, commencing, prosecuting, maintaining, intervening in, participating in, conducting, or continuing litigation as Class Members, putative Class Members, or otherwise against New Balance (or against any of its related parties or affiliates), and/or from receiving any benefits from any lawsuit, administrative, or regulatory proceeding or order in any jurisdiction asserting any Released Claims. 

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17. Objecting to the Settlement:

Answer:

If you exclude yourself, you have no right to object to the Settlement.

If you do not exclude yourself, and you are dissatisfied with the Settlement or any part of it, you have the right to object. Objecting is a way of telling the Court that you don’t like something about the Settlement. Even if you object, and you submitted a valid Claim, you will still receive compensation under the Settlement. In other words, you can object to the Settlement and submit a Claim Form. In addition, you will be bound by the orders and judgment in this Action and you will give up the Released Claims as summarized in FAQ 16 above. 

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18. How can I Object to the proposed Settlement?

Answer:

Any Class Member may appear at the Hearing and object to the Settlement (“Objectors”). Objectors may choose to present evidence and/or file briefs relevant to the issues to be heard and determined by the Court. Objectors are encouraged to file their objection with the Clerk of the Court at United States District Court for the Southern District of California, 333 West Broadway, Suite 420, San Diego, California 92101 by not later than June 14, 2019.

If you file a written objection, it should include: (1) your full legal name, address, and telephone number; (2) the words “Notice of Objection;” (3) proof of purchase of “Made in USA” Shoes as specified in the Claim Form, Option B, found on the Documents section on this website; (4) the arguments supporting the objection in clear and concise terms; (5) any witness(es) you intend to call to testify at the Hearing; (6) your signature; and (7) attach true and correct copies of any exhibit(s) you intend to offer at the Hearing. You must reference the case name Dashnaw et al. v. New Balance Athletics, Inc., and number 3:17-cv-159-L-JLB. Any interested party may file a reply to objections no later than June 21, 2019.



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19. The Final Approval Hearing:

Answer:

On July 15, 2019, at 10:30 a.m., the Court will hold a Hearing at the United States District Court for the Southern District of California, before the Honorable M. James Lorenz, in Courtroom 5B, Edward J. Schwartz U.S. Courthouse, 221 West Broadway, San Diego, California 92101. At the Hearing, the Court will consider all necessary matters concerning the proposed Settlement, including whether to grant final certification to this Action as a class action for settlement purposes, whether to approve the proposed Settlement as fair, reasonable, and adequate, and whether to grant the motion for attorney’s fees and costs of Class Counsel and for enhancement payments to the Plaintiffs. 

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20. Do I have to come to the Hearing?

Answer:

No. Class Counsel will appear on behalf of all Class Members to answer any questions the Court may have at the Hearing. But you are welcome to attend in person or through your own attorney at your own expense. Please note that the Court may change the date and/or time of the Hearing and/or the matter may be submitted on the briefs without further notice. If you are planning to attend, you should confirm the date and time before going to the Court.


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21. What do I have to do to speak at the Hearing?

Answer:

If you are a member of the Class, and you (or your attorney) want to appear and speak at the Hearing, you (or your attorney) are encouraged to file a Notice of Intent to Appear with the Clerk of the Court at the address listed in FAQ 18 above no later than July 8, 2019.

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22. Getting additional information:

Answer:

The Notice summarizes the proposed Settlement and does not cover all of its terms. The Amended Settlement Agreement and all documents filed in this Action are available for review by visiting the office of the Clerk of Court for the United States District Court for the Southern District of California at 333 West Broadway, Suite 420, San Diego, California 92101 during normal business hours, Monday through Friday, 7:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. PT, or accessing the files through the Court’s Public Access to Court Electronic Records (PACER) system at https://pacer.login.uscourts.gov/csologin/login.jsf. You can also visit this website, or contact the Settlement Administrator or Class Counsel. Their contact information is found in FAQ 2 above.

PLEASE DO NOT CALL THE COURT OR THE CLERK OF THE COURT

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This website is authorized by the Court, supervised by counsel and controlled by the Settlement Administrator approved by the Court. This is the only authorized website for this case.

For more information please call 1-844-271-4789

Submit Exclusion

Submit Exclusion Request

Documents

Please read for a full explanation of the settlement and your options and all applicable timelines.

Contact

Contact us with any inquiries, comments, and/or requests.

Submit Claim

Click here to safely and securely submit a Claim Form.

Important Dates

  • Claim Form Deadline.

    Thursday, June 6, 2019
    The Claim Form must be completed and submitted electronically or by mail no later than June 6, 2019
  • Exclusion Deadline.

    Thursday, June 6, 2019
    The Exclusion Form must be completed and submitted electronically or by mail no later than June 6, 2019
  • Objection

    Friday, June 14, 2019
    An objection may be in writing and filed with the Court. You are encouraged to do so by June 14, 2019.  An objection may also be raised in person at the Hearing.
  • Final Approval Hearing Date.

    Monday, July 15, 2019
    The Final Approval Hearing is scheduled for July 15, 2019 at 10:30 a.m.  The Court will hold a Hearing at the United States District Court for the Southern District of California, before the Honorable M. James Lorenz, in Courtroom 5B, Edward J. Schwartz U.S. Courthouse, 221 West Broadway, San Diego, California 92101. Please check this website for updates.

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