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McKinney, Koller et al. v. Consumer Reports, Inc.

San Diego County Superior Court
Case No. 37-2020-00046677-CU-BT-CTL


Important Dates
Deadline to file a claim
September 27, 2021
Date of Preliminary Approval
Class Period
PAGA Period
Opt-Out Deadline
September 27, 2021
Objection Deadline
September 27, 2021
Dispute Deadline
Final Approval Hearing
November 5, 2021 10:30 AM
Disbursement Date
Expiration of Check Cashing Period
Important Documents & Info

THE DEADLINE TO SUBMIT A CLAIM FORM EXPIRED ON SEPTEMBER 27, 2021.

IF YOU WERE ENROLLED IN AN AUTOMATICALLY RENEWING OR CONTINUOUS SERVICE PROGRAM THROUGH CONSUMER REPORTS, INC., YOU MAY BE ENTITLED TO MONEY.

WHAT THE LITIGATION IS ABOUT?

Defendant Consumer Reports, Inc. (“Defendant”) provides consumers with product reviews and other information through Consumer Reports magazine, Consumer Reports magazine, Consumer Reports On Health, Consumer Reports Online, and Consumer Reports All Access. The Lawsuit alleges that Defendant enrolled certain California consumers in automatically renewing or continuous service programs, and posted charges to the consumers’ credit card, debit card, or third party payment accounts, without first presenting the consumers with all of the automatic renewal offer terms in a clear and conspicuous manner as required by law. The Lawsuit alleges that Defendant has violated the California Automatic Renewal Law, Cal. Bus. & Prof. Code § 17600 et seq., and certain other provisions of California consumer protection law.

Although Defendant believes that its practices were in compliance with California law, Defendant chose to settle this case, without admitting liability, to focus time, effort and resources on protecting consumers, and not on additional legal fees and the uncertainty of litigation. The Court has not decided which party is right. Rather, the parties have agreed to a Settlement to provide certain benefits to eligible Class Members and to resolve the case without any admission of liability or wrongdoing.

AM I A CLASS MEMBER?

All individuals in California who, between March 2, 2016 and November 5, 2020, (i) enrolled in an automatic renewal or continuous service program through Consumer Reports for Consumer Reports magazine, Consumer Reports On Health, Consumer Reports Online, and/or Consumer Reports All Access. , and (ii) were charged for an automatic renewal of such subscription. Excluded from the Class are the judicial officers to whom this case is assigned.

WHAT RELIEF DOES THE SETTLEMENT PROVIDE?

In full and complete settlement of the claims of the Class Members who do not exclude themselves, Defendant will pay the principal amount of One Million One Hundred and Fifty Thousand Dollars ($1,150,000.00) (the “Settlement Amount”). The Settlement Amount, plus any interest thereon, will be used to pay Class Counsel’s attorneys’ fees and litigation expenses (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 SEPTEMBER 27, 2021
To potentially qualify for a monetary payment and participate in the Settlement, you must submit a timely Claim on or before September 27, 2021, which must be validated by the Settlement Administrator.

You may submit a Claim by clicking here.

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 SEPTEMBER 27, 2021
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 more information on excluding yourself from the Settlement, please read the Notice of Class Action Settlement, by clicking here.

OBJECT TO THE SETTLEMENT BY SEPTEMBER 27, 2021
Any Class Member who wishes to object to the Settlement must do so in writing. Any written objection must be filed with the Court and served on Class Counsel, Defendant’s counsel, and the Settlement Administrator, no later than September 27, 2021.

For more information on objecting to the Settlement, please read the Notice of Class Action Settlement, by clicking here.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS


BASIC INFORMATION

+ 1. What is the lawsuit about?
Defendant Consumer Reports, Inc. (“Defendant”) provides consumers with product reviews and other information through Consumer Reports magazine, Consumer Reports On Health, Consumer Reports Online, and Consumer Reports All Access. The Lawsuit alleges that Defendant enrolled certain California consumers in automatically renewing or continuous service programs, and posted charges to the consumers’ credit card, debit card, or third-party payment accounts, without first presenting the consumers with all of the automatic renewal offer terms in a clear and conspicuous manner as required by law. The Lawsuit alleges that Defendant has 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 (in this case, Nino Koller and Michelle Brown) sue 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 Defendant believes that its practices were in compliance with California law, Defendant chose to settle this case, without admitting liability, to focus time, effort and resources on protecting consumers, and not on additional legal fees and the uncertainty of litigation. The Court has not decided which party is right. Rather, the parties have agreed to a Settlement to provide certain benefits to eligible Class Members and to resolve the case without any admission of liability or wrongdoing.

The parties have reached a proposed Settlement that, if approved by the Court, will resolve the claims asserted against Defendant. Plaintiffs and their counsel believe the Settlement is fair, reasonable, and in the best interests of the Class Members. In entering into the Settlement, Defendant continues to deny any and all allegations of liability, fault, or wrongdoing asserted in the Lawsuit.

+ 4. Did Consumer Reports admit that it did something wrong? Did the court rule against Consumer Reports?
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 in California who, between March 2, 2016, and November 5, 2020, (i) enrolled in an automatic renewal or continuous service program through Consumer Reports for Consumer Reports magazine, Consumer Reports On Health, Consumer Reports Online, and/or Consumer Reports All Access, and (ii) were charged for an automatic renewal of such subscription. Excluded from the Class are the judicial officers to whom this case is assigned.

Class Members whose name, address, and/or email information is reflected in the business records produced by Defendant 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 September 27, 2021. 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.

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, Defendant will pay the principal amount of One Million One Hundred and Fifty Thousand Dollars ($1,150,000.00) (the “Settlement Amount”). The Settlement Amount, plus any interest thereon, will be used to pay Class Counsel’s attorneys’ fees and litigation expenses (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. In order to receive a payment under the Settlement, Class Members must submit a Claim that is both timely and validated by the Settlement Administrator. To be timely, the Claim must be submitted to the Settlement Administrator on or before September 27, 2021. To submit a Claim online, please click here.

(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 McKinney, Koller et al. v. Consumer Reports, Inc. Settlement”, or words to that effect, and must be dated and signed by the person requesting exclusion. To be timely, the request for exclusion must be returned to the Settlement Administrator no later than September 27, 2021. 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 must do so in writing. Any written objection must be filed with the Court and served on Class Counsel, Defendant’s counsel, and the Settlement Administrator, no later than September 27, 2021.

For more information regarding your options as a Class Member, please read the Notice of Class Action Settlement here.

THE LAWYERS REPRESENTING YOU

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

CLASS COUNSELDostart Hannink & Coveney LLP
4180 La Jolla Village Dr., Ste. 530
La Jolla, CA 92037
Tel: (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 November 5, 2021, at 10:30 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 68, San Diego, CA 92101. Due to Court procedures implemented in response to Covid-19, the hearing may be conducted remotely via CourtCall. 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 Notice of Class Action Settlement, 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 Notice of Class Action Settlement 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 ADMINSTRATORCLASS COUNSEL
McKinney, Koller v. Consumer Reports, Inc.
Settlement Administrator
c/o CPT Group, Inc.
50 Corporate Park Irvine, CA 92606
Tel: 1-888-975-2280
Email: magazineautorenewalsettlement@cptgroup.com
Dostart Hannink & Coveney LLP
4180 La Jolla Village Dr., Ste. 530
La Jolla, CA 92037
Tel: (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 1-888-975-2280 or by sending an email to magazineautorenewalsettlement@cptgroup.com

SECOND AMENDED COMPLAINT

SETTLEMENT AGREEMENT

PRELIMINARY APPROVAL ORDER

NOTICE OF CLASS ACTION SETTLEMENT

CLAIM FORM


Questions?

Please Call Toll Free
1(888)910-0257

Questions?

Please Call Toll-Free
1-888-975-2280magazineautorenewalsettlement@cptgroup.com

McKinney, Koller et al. v. Consumer Reports, Inc.
Settlement Administrator
c/o CPT Group, Inc
50 Corporate Park
Irvine, CA 92606

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