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Frequently Asked Questions

What is a class action lawsuit?

Answer:

In a class action, one or more people, called class representatives sue on behalf of people who have similar claims. All of the people with similar claims comprise the “class” and are referred to as “class members”, except for those who exclude themselves from the class. U.S. District Judge Hamilton in the United States District Court for the Northern District of California is in charge of these class actions.

What is this lawsuit about?

Answer:

The lawsuit claims that Wal-Mart and Netflix reached an unlawful agreement under which Wal-Mart would withdraw from the online DVD rental market and Netflix would not sell new DVDs. The lawsuit claims that this agreement caused Netflix subscribers to pay higher prices for online DVD rentals. Wal-Mart and Netflix deny: (1) that they entered into such an agreement, (2) that they have done anything wrong, (3) that the Plaintiffs have been harmed in any way, or (4) that the price of online DVD rentals was raised or inflated by any agreement between Wal-Mart and Netflix.

Wal-Mart is not admitting that it did anything wrong, but both sides want to avoid the cost of further litigation. The Court has not decided in favor of the Plaintiffs or Wal-Mart. The Class Representatives and their attorneys think the Settlement is best for everyone who is affected. The Settlement provides the opportunity for benefits to Class Members. Netflix has not agreed to settle and continues to believe that the lawsuit has no basis. Additional money may become available in the future as a result of a trial or future settlement with Netflix. Alternatively, the litigation may be resolved in favor of Netflix and no additional money may become available.  On November 22, 2011, the Court granted Netflix’s Motion for Summary Judgment, resulting in the dismissal of the lawsuit. Plaintiffs can appeal this decision. 
 

Has the lawsuit been settled?

Answer:

A Settlement has been reached with Wal-Mart. Netflix has not settled the lawsuit and the litigation continues against it.  On November 22, 2011, the Court granted Netflix’s Motion for Summary Judgment, resulting in the dismissal of the lawsuit. Plaintiffs can appeal this decision.

Who is included in the Netflix Litigation Class?

Answer:

The Netflix Litigation Class includes any person or entity in the United States that paid a subscription fee to Netflix anytime from May 19, 2005 to September 30, 2010. You must have paid for a subscription to qualify for benefits. You are not included in the Litigation Class if you only had a free trial subscription.

Who is included in the Wal-Mart Settlement Class?

Answer:

The Wal-Mart Settlement Class includes any person or entity living in the United States or Puerto Rico that paid a subscription fee to rent DVDs online from Netflix anytime from May 19, 2005 to and including September 2, 2011. You must have paid for a subscription to qualify for benefits. You are not included in the Wal-Mart Settlement Class if you only had a free trial subscription.

What are the benefits of the Settlement with Wal-Mart?

Answer:

Wal-Mart has agreed to pay $27,250,000 to compensate Class Members who file valid claims. Class Members can decide whether they want to request a cash payment or a www.walmart.com gift card. The amount of your cash payment or gift card will be based on the total number of valid claims filed. Please note that you can give your gift card to someone else but it cannot be resold.

What rights am I giving up under the Wal-Mart Settlement?

Answer:

Unless you exclude yourself from both the Wal-Mart Settlement Class and the Netflix Litigation Class, you can’t separately sue Wal-Mart, continue to sue Wal-Mart, or be part of any other lawsuit against Wal-Mart involving the legal issues in this case. You also will be bound by any decisions by the Court relating to the Settlement. The “Release of Claims” is described more fully in the Settlement Agreement and describes exactly the legal claims that you give up if you get benefits from that Settlement. The Settlement Agreement is available on this website.

What are my rights in the Netflix Litigation Class?

Answer:
  • If you wish to remain in the Netflix Litigation Class, you do not need to take any action at this time. If there is a recovery from Netflix, you may receive further instructions at that time.
  • The deadline to exclude yourself from the Netflix Litigation Class (if you wished to keep your individual right to sue Netflix about the claims in this case) has passed.  

What are my rights in the Wal-Mart Settlement Class?

Answer:

The deadline to file a Claim Form, exclude yourself, or comment or object to the Settlement has passed.

How do I get a payment from the Wal-Mart Settlement?

Answer:

Claim Forms must have been completed and submitted online (for gift cards only) by February 14, 2012 or mailed postmarked by that date. This deadline has passed.

When would I get my payment from the Wal-Mart Settlement Class?

Answer:

The Court granted final approval of the Wal-Mart Settlement on March 29, 2012. However, an appeal has been filed by an "objector", and the parties therefore cannot predict at this time whether and when the Settlement approval will become final and settlement payments can be issued.

How do I request exclusion from the Netflix Litigation Class?

Answer:

The February 14, 2012 deadline to exclude yourself from the Netflix Litigation Class has passed. Unless you have already excluded yourself from the Netflix Litigation Class, you have given up the right to individually sue Netflix for the claims asserted in the lawsuit.

How do I request exclusion from the Wal-Mart Settlement Class?

Answer:

The February 14, 2012 deadline to exclude yourself from the Wal-Mart Settlement Class has passed. If you want to bring your own separate lawsuit against Wal-Mart for the claims asserted in the lawsuit, you must have already excluded yourself from both the Wal-Mart Settlement Class and the Netflix Litigation Class.

How do I object to the Settlement with Wal-Mart?

Answer:

Your objection must have been postmarked no later than February 14, 2012 and mailed to the Court, Class Counsel, and Defense Counsel. This deadline has now passed.

What is the difference between objecting and asking to be excluded?

Answer:

Objecting is simply telling the Court that you do not like something about the settlement. Excluding yourself is telling the Court that you do not want to be part of the Class. If you exclude yourself, you have no basis to object because the case no longer affects you.

Will the Defendant retaliate against me?

Answer:

No. Retaliation against class members for exercising their rights under a class action settlement is strictly prohibited by state and federal law.

What if I do nothing?

Answer:

If you wish to remain in the Netflix Litigation Class, you do not need to take any action at this time. If there is a recovery from Netflix, you may receive further instructions at that time.

If you are in the Wal-Mart Settlement Class, and you do nothing, and the Court approves the Settlement, you will be bound by the terms of the settlement, but you will not receive any money under the Settlement.
 

Do I have a lawyer in the case?

Answer:

The Court has appointed the following “Class Counsel” to represent you and all Class Members: Robert G. Abrams of Baker & Hostetler LLP; Guido Saveri of Saveri & Saveri, Inc.; David Sorensen of Berger & Montague, P.C.; Joseph Tabacco, Jr. of Berman DeValerio; and Eugene Spector of Spector Roseman Kodroff & Willis, P.C.

How will Class Counsel be paid?

Answer:

Class Counsel will ask the Court to award attorneys’ fees of up to 25% of the Settlement Fund, plus costs that Class Counsel estimate at up to $1.7 million. The cash component of the Settlement will pay attorneys’ fees and costs.

Who are the Class Representatives?

Answer:

The class representatives in this case are Bryan Eastman, Amy Latham, Melanie Salvi, Stan Magee, Michael Orozco, Andrea Resnick, Liza Sivek, Michael Weiner, and Scott Caldwell.

What will the Class Representatives receive?

Answer:

Class Counsel will ask the Court to award $5,000 for each of the Class Representatives.

When and where will the Court decide whether to approve the Wal-Mart Settlement?

Answer:

The Court held a Fairness Hearing at 9:00 a.m. on March 14, 2012, at the United States District Court for the Northern District of California, and gave the Settlement final approval.

Do I have to come to the hearing?

Answer:

No. It was not necessary for you to attend the hearing.

May I speak at the hearing?

Answer:

The hearing date has passed.

How will I be notified of updates?

Answer:

Important information about the case will be posted on this website as it becomes available. Please register to be kept informed about any future distributions.

How do I get more information?

Answer:

For more information, call toll-free 1-877-389-4469 or write to: Wal-Mart/Netflix Online DVD Class, P.O. 2602, Faribault, MN 55021-9602.

Disclaimer

Please do not contact either the Defendants or the Court about this Settlement. Any and all callers will be directed to this website.  If you have questions, please refer to the Frequently Asked Questions and the other information posted here.

This site is not operated by the Plaintiffs or the Defendants.  This class action lawsuit is supervised by the Court and is administered by a claims administration firm that handles all aspects of claims processing.

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