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Nakai, et al. v. Hearst Magazine Media, Inc., et al.

San Diego County Superior Court
Case No. 37-2021-00011096-CU-BT-CTL

Important Dates
Deadline to file a claim
Date of Preliminary Approval
Class Period
PAGA Period
Opt-Out Deadline
March 21, 2022
Objection Deadline
March 21, 2022
Dispute Deadline
March 21, 2022
Final Approval Hearing
May 6, 2022 8:30 AM
Disbursement Date
Expiration of Check Cashing Period
Important Documents & Info

IF YOU WERE ENROLLED IN AN AUTOMATIC RENEWAL OR CONTINUOUS SERVICE MAGAZINE SUBSCRIPTION THROUGH HEARST MAGAZINE MEDIA OR CDS GLOBAL, YOU MAY BE ENTITLED TO COMPENSATION.


What is the Litigation About?
The Lawsuit alleges that certain California consumers who enrolled in automatic renewal or continuous service magazine subscriptions for Hearst publications directly through Hearst Magazine Media, Inc. (“Hearst”) or CDS Global, Inc. (“CDS”) had charges posted to their credit card, debit card, or third party payment accounts without first being presented with all of the automatic renewal offer terms in a clear and conspicuous manner as required by California law. The Lawsuit alleges that Defendants have violated the California Automatic Renewal Law, Cal. Bus. & Prof. Code § 17600 et seq., and certain other provisions of California consumer protection law.

Although Defendants believe their practices complied with California law and deny the allegations of the Lawsuit, Defendants chose to settle this case without admitting any liability.


Am I a Class Member?

All individuals who, between January 1, 2015 and September 23, 2021, enrolled in at least one automatic-renewal or continuous-service magazine subscription for a Hearst publication directly through Defendants, paid for at least one renewal for a subscription, and who used a California street address as the shipping address for that subscription.

Each individual within the foregoing Class definition is referred to as a “Class Member.” Excluded from the Settlement Class are the judicial officers to whom this case is assigned.


What Does the Settlement Provide?

In full and complete settlement of the claims of the Class Members who do not exclude themselves, Defendants will pay the principal amount of $2,256,928.15 (the “Settlement Amount”). The Settlement Amount, plus any interest thereon, will be used to pay Class Counsel’s attorneys’ fees and litigation expenses (both as approved by the Court), any service payments that the Court may award to the Class Representatives, the expenses of settlement administration (including class notice), and the settlement payments to the Class Members who submit timely and valid Claims. If any funds are remaining by reason of uncashed settlement checks or otherwise, the remaining amount will be paid to one or more cy pres recipients approved by the Court, or as otherwise directed by the Court. In addition to the monetary consideration, the Settlement also includes injunctive relief.

WHAT ARE MY OPTIONS ?

FILE A CLAIM BY MARCH 21, 2022

To potentially qualify for a monetary payment from the Settlement, potential Class Members must file a Claim.
For detailed information about how to file a Claim, see FAQ 7.

DO NOTHING

If you do nothing, you will not be a Participating Class Member and you will not qualify to receive a monetary payment, but you will be bound by the release in the Settlement Agreement

REQUEST TO BE EXCLUDED BY MARCH 21, 2022

Any Class Member who wishes to be excluded from the Settlement must complete and return a request for exclusion via U.S. Mail, email, or personal delivery, and that request for exclusion must be validated by the Settlement Administrator.

For detailed information about how to exclude yourself from the Settlement, see FAQ 7.

OBJECT TO THE SETTLEMENT BY MARCH 21, 2022

Any Class Member who wishes to object to the Settlement may do so orally or in writing.

For detailed information about how to object to the Settlement, see FAQ 7.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

BASIC INFORMATION

1. What is the litigation about?

The Lawsuit alleges that certain California consumers who enrolled in automatic renewal or continuous service magazine subscriptions for Hearst publications directly through Hearst Magazine Media, Inc. (“Hearst”) or CDS Global, Inc. (“CDS”) had charges posted to their credit card, debit card, or third-party payment accounts without first being presented with all of the automatic renewal offer terms in a clear and conspicuous manner as required by California law. The Lawsuit alleges that Defendants have violated the California Automatic Renewal Law, Cal. Bus. & Prof. Code § 17600 et seq., and certain other provisions of California consumer protection law.


2. What is a class action lawsuit?

In a class action, one or more people called Named Plaintiffs or Class Representatives on behalf of people who may have similar claims. The people put together are a “Class” or “Class Members.”

3. Why is there a Settlement?

Although Defendants believe their practices complied with California law and deny the allegations of the Lawsuit, Defendants chose to settle this case without admitting any liability.

The parties have exchanged detailed information about the claims, defenses, and alleged damages in the Lawsuit. After lengthy settlement negotiations overseen by an independent mediator, the parties have reached a proposed Settlement that, if approved by the Court, will resolve the claims asserted against Defendants. Plaintiffs and their counsel believe the Settlement is fair, reasonable, and in the best interests of the Class Members. In entering into the Settlement, Defendants continue to deny any and all allegations of liability, fault, or wrongdoing asserted in the Lawsuit.


4. Did Hearst Magazine Media admit that it did something wrong? Did the court rule against Hearst Magazine Media?

No. In agreeing to the Settlement, the Defendant denies that it did anything wrong. The Court did not decide in favor of either the Named Plaintiffs, the Class, or the Defendant.


WHO IS IN THE SETTLEMENT?

5. How do I know if I am part of the Settlement?

The Settlement Class includes all individuals who, between January 1, 2015 and September 23, 2021, enrolled in at least one automatic-renewal or continuous-service magazine subscription for a Hearst publication directly through Defendants, paid for at least one renewal for a subscription, and who used a California street address as the shipping address for that subscription.

Class Members whose name, address, and/or email information is reflected in the business records produced by Defendants are being sent a Court-approved Summary Class Notice via email or mail, which includes a hyperlink to the Settlement Website or other information which enables those Class Members to submit a Claim electronically via the Settlement Website. Potential Class Members who do not receive a Summary Class Notice via email or mail may print a Claim Form here or request a Claim Form from the Settlement Administrator. The deadline for submitting a Claim is March 21, 2022.


SETTLEMENT BENEFITS

6. What does the Settlement provide?

In full and complete settlement of the claims of the Class Members who do not exclude themselves, Defendants will pay the principal amount of Two Hundred Fifty-Six Thousand Nine Hundred Twenty-Eight Dollars and Fifteen Cents ($2,256,928.15) (the “Settlement Amount”). The Settlement Amount, plus any interest thereon, will be used to pay Class Counsel’s attorneys’ fees and litigation expenses (both as approved by the Court), any service payments that the Court may award to the Class Representatives, the expenses of settlement administration (including class notice), and the settlement payments to the Class Members who submit timely and valid Claims. If any funds are remaining by reason of uncashed settlement checks or otherwise, the remaining amount will be paid to one or more cy pres recipients approved by the Court, or as otherwise directed by the Court. In addition to the monetary consideration, the Settlement also includes injunctive relief.

7. What are my options if I am a class member?

Class Members have four options under the Settlement. If you are a Class Member, you may:

1. File a Claim.
To potentially qualify for a monetary payment from the Settlement, potential Class Members must file a Claim.
(a) Class Members whose name, address, and/or email information is reflected in the business records produced by Defendants are being sent a Court-approved Summary Class Notice via email or mail, which includes a hyperlink to the Settlement Website or other information which enables those Class Members to submit a Claim electronically via the Settlement Website. The deadline for submitting a Claim is March 21, 2022. If you miss this deadline, you will not receive any money under the Settlement, but you will be bound by the other terms of the Settlement if you do not request exclusion from the Settlement.


(b) Potential Class Members who do not receive a Summary Class Notice via email or mail may print a Claim Form from the Settlement Website or request a Claim Form from the Settlement Administrator. A printed Claim Form must be completed, dated by the Claimant, signed by the Claimant, and returned to the Settlement Administrator via U.S. Mail, personal delivery, or email. Upon receipt of a Claim Form, the Settlement Administrator will verify whether the Claimant is a member of the Class by comparing the information provided on Claim Form against the records of Defendants. The deadline for submitting a Claim is March 21, 2022. If you miss this deadline, you will not receive any money under the Settlement, but you will be bound by the other terms of the Settlement if you do not request exclusion from the Settlement. If you submit a Claim that is timely and that is validated by the Settlement Administrator, you will be a Participating Class Member and, if the Settlement is given final court approval, you will be entitled to receive a settlement payment in accordance with the terms of the Settlement.

2. Do Nothing.
If you do nothing, you will not be a Participating Class Member and you will not qualify to receive a monetary payment, but you will be bound by the release in the Settlement Agreement.

3. To Be Excluded From the Settlement.
Any Class Member who wishes to be excluded from the Settlement must complete and return a request for exclusion via U.S. Mail, email, or personal delivery, and that request for exclusion must be validated by the Settlement Administrator. The request for exclusion must be in writing, and must list the Class Member’s name, address, and telephone number, along with the statement: “I wish to be excluded from the Nakai v. Hearst Magazine Media Settlement”, or words to that effect, and must be dated and personally signed by the person requesting exclusion. To be timely, the request for exclusion must be returned to the Settlement Administrator no later than March 21, 2022. You may not submit both a Claim Form and a letter requesting to be excluded from this Settlement.

4. To Object to the Settlement.
Any Class Member who wishes to object to the Settlement may do so orally or in writing. Any written objection must be filed with the Court and served on Class Counsel, Defendants’ counsel, and the Settlement Administrator, no later than March 21, 2022.

For more information regarding your options as a Class Member, please read the Long Form Notice here.

8. Do I have a lawyer in this case?
The Court appointed the law firm of Dostart Hannink as Class Counsel for the settlement purposes.

CLASS COUNSEL
Dostart Hannink LLP
4225 Executive Square, Suite 600
La Jolla, CA 92037-1484
Tel: 1-858-623-4265
Email: cklobucar@sdlaw.com

Class Counsel represent the interests of the Settlement Class. If you want to be represented by your own lawyer, you may hire one at your own expense.


9. How will the lawyers be paid?
Class Counsel will file a motion requesting an award of their attorneys’ fees plus actual litigation expenses. If the Court approves Class Counsel’s requests for attorneys’ fees and costs, as soon as practicable following the Effective Date of the Settlement, the Settlement Administrator will pay the attorneys’ fees and litigation expenses awarded by the Court to Class Counsel from the Settlement Fund.

THE COURT’S FAIRNESS HEARING

10. When and where will the Court decide whether to approve the Settlement?
The Court will hold a hearing on May 6, 2022 at 8:30 a.m. to determine whether the Settlement should be finally approved and to rule on Class Counsel’s motion for award of attorneys’ fees, reimbursement of litigation expenses, and class representative service payments. The Court is located at 330 West Broadway, Department 74, San Diego, CA 92101. Pursuant to court procedures implemented in response to COVID-19, the Court may conduct this hearing remotely via video or audio conference using the free Microsoft Teams App. Persons interested in attending or participating in the hearing should consult the Court’s website, https://www.sdcourt.ca.gov/sdcourt/civil2/civilicvirtualhearings, for further information. The hearing may be continued without further notice. YOU ARE NOT REQUIRED TO ATTEND THE HEARING, BUT YOU MAY IF YOU CHOOSE.


11. Do I have to come to the final approval hearing?
No. Class Counsel will be prepared to answer any questions the Court may have at the Fairness Hearing. However, you are welcome to attend the Fairness Hearing at your own expense. If you send an objection, you do not have to come to Court to explain it. As long as you mailed your objection on time as set out in the Long Form Notice the Court will consider it. You also may pay another lawyer to attend on your behalf, but this is not required.

GETTING MORE INFORMATION

12. What if I have other questions about the Settlement?
The Long Form Notice contains a summary of the terms of the proposed Settlement. You may view the Settlement Agreement and other important documents here
You may also review the pleadings and other papers filed in the Lawsuit at the Court’s Business Office, located at 330 West Broadway, San Diego, CA 92101.

PLEASE DO NOT CONTACT THE COURT ABOUT THIS NOTICE.
If you have questions about the Settlement, please contact the Settlement Administrator or Class Counsel, as follows:

SETTLEMENT ADMINISTRATOR Nakai v. Hearst Magazine Media
Settlement Administrator
c/o CPT Group, Inc.
50 Corporate Park Irvine, CA 92606
Tel: 1-888-694-2499
Email: HearstMagazineSettlement@cptgroup.com

CLASS COUNSEL
Dostart Hannink LLP
4225 Executive Square, Suite 600
La Jolla, CA 92037-1484
Tel: 1-858-623-4265
Email: cklobucar@sdlaw.com

Court Documents

The files below are PDF downloads that are relevant to this specific case. Please review them and if you have any questions, or would like additional information, please contact us Toll Free by calling 1-888-694-2499 or by sending an email to HearstMagazineSettlement@cptgroup.com.

FIRST AMENDED COMPLAINT

SETTLEMENT AGREEMENT

PRELIMINARY APPROVAL ORDER

LONG FORM NOTICE

CLAIM FORM

FINAL ORDER AND JUDGMENT

Questions?

Please Call Toll Free
1(888)910-0257

Questions?

Please Call Toll-Free
1-888-694-2499HearstMagazineSettlement@cptgroup.com

CPT GROUP, Inc.
50 Corporate Park,
Irvine, CA 92606

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