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Krinsk v. Monster Beverage Corporation

37-2014-00020192-CU-BT-CTL

Superior Court for the State of California, County of San Diego, Central Division


Krinsk v. Monster Beverage Corporation

Frequently Asked Questions

1.       Why is there a Notice?

2.       What is this about and why is there a Settlement?

3.       Why is this a Class Action?

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

5.       What does the Settlement provide?

6.       Settlement benefits and claims process

7.       How do I get out of the Settlement?

8.       How do I tell the Court if I do not like the Settlement?

9.       When and where will the Court decide whether to approve the Settlement?

10.   How do I get more information?

 

1.      Why is there a Notice?

The Notice advises you of a proposed class action settlement. The settlement comes from a lawsuit in which plaintiffs Mayan Mooney and Chayla Clay allege that during the relevant time periods, Defendants' products were labeled as being "natural" even though they contained synthetic or artificial ingredients and/or added colors.

 

The purpose of this notice is to inform you of the proposed settlement, and of a hearing to consider whether the settlement should be approved.  The hearing will be held on September 14, 2018 at 9:00 a.m., before the Honorable Joel Wohlfeil, Department C-73, San Diego Superior Court, Hall of Justice, 330 W. Broadway, Sixth Floor, San Diego, CA 92101.  The notice explains the lawsuit, how to participate in the settlement; how to object to the settlement if you wish; how to exclude yourself; and how to get more information. 

 

2.       What is this about and why is there a Settlement?

On June 19, 2014, a complaint was filed against Monster Beverage Corporation and Monster Energy Company (collectively, "Monster") in the Superior Court of California, County of San Diego, Case No. 37-2014-20192.  The First Amended Complaint was filed on March 11, 2015 and alleges causes of action based on violations of the Unfair Competition Law (Bus. & Prof. Code, §§ 17200-17209), the False Advertising Law (Bus. & Prof. Code, §§ 17500-17509), the Consumers Legal Remedies Act (Civ. Code, §§ 1750-1784), and unjust enrichment.

 

After reviewing the evidence produced in discovery and considering the risks of further litigation with an impending trial date, Plaintiffs and their counsel have concluded that it is in the best interests of the Settlement Classes to enter into this settlement.  Monster, while continuing to deny all allegations of wrongdoing and disclaiming any liability with respect to any and all claims, considers it in its best interests to resolve Plaintiffs' class allegations on the terms stated in the Settlement Agreement, in order to avoid further expense, inconvenience, interference with its ongoing business operations, and burdensome litigation.

 

3.       Why is this a Class Action?

In a class action, one or more people, called class representatives, sue on behalf of people who have similar claims.  All these people are a class or class members.  One court resolves the issues for all class members, except for those who exclude themselves.  The Honorable Joel Wohlfeil is in charge of this class action.

 

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

The Court has certified two classes ("Settlement Classes") consisting of: (1) all California consumers who purchased any of 21 Hansen's juice products (sold in bottles and boxes) or any of four Hansen's Smoothie Nectar products between June 19, 2010 and June 12, 2015, and (2) all California consumers who purchased any of 12 Hubert's lemonade or lemonade-tea products between June 19, 2010 and January 1, 2014.

 

If you qualify for either of these classes, you will be considered a member of the Settlement Classes ("Settlement Class Member"), unless you request to be excluded. Excluded from the Settlement Classes are officers, directors, and employees of Monster and its subsidiaries, as well as judicial officers and employees of the Court.

 

5.       What does the Settlement provide?

Monster has agreed to pay up to $3 million in Settlement Benefits to the Settlement Classes.  Plaintiffs will also seek incentive awards in an amount not to exceed $2,500, or $5,000 total for both representatives.  Class Counsel will also apply to the Court for an award of reasonable attorneys' fees and litigation costs consistent with California law, but not more than $1,175,000.  Monster has agreed to pay Plaintiffs' incentive awards and Class Counsel's reasonable attorneys' fees and costs separately from the Settlement Benefits, along with the costs related to notifying the classes about this lawsuit and settlement and administering the settlement.

 

6.       Settlement benefits and claims process

Class Members who made eligible purchases have the right to submit a Claim and receive a Settlement Benefit - reimbursement in the form of a check or electronic check or gift card.  A Claim will be valid only if submitted on a Claim Form.  Claim Forms must be submitted electronically through the Settlement Website at www.naturalbeveragesettlement.com.  Class Members who are unable to submit a Claim Form through the Settlement Website may request a paper Claim Form by contacting the Settlement Administrator.

                 A.                  Class Members who submit a valid claim, and who provide proof of purchase in the form of a receipt or other evidence will receive a refund for the purchase price(s) but limited to a maximum of $15 in total per Claimant. 

                                         Only one  Authorized Claimant per Household is entitled to receive a Settlement Benefit unless otherwise agreed to by the parties

                 B.                  Class Members who submit a valid claim and who do not provide proof of purchase will be entitled to up to a maximum of $5.00 total regardless of the flavors or products purchased, if they confirm under penalty of perjury that:

                 1.               They purchased at least one Hansen's Natural Juices (64 oz. bottles or 6.75 oz. boxes) between June 19, 2010 and June 12, 2015, will receive a refund of $1.25 per purchase, with a maximum of $5.00;

                 2.               They purchased at least one Hansen's Smoothie Nectars (11.5 oz. cans) between June 19, 2010 and June 12, 2015, will receive a refund of $0.50 per purchase, with a maximum of $5.00; and/or

                 3.               They purchased at least one Hubert's Lemonade or Hubert's Half & Half Lemonade Tea products between June 19, 2010 and January 1, 2014, will receive a refund of $1.00 per purchase, with a maximum of $5.00.

                 C.                  Class Members who do not provide proof of purchase under Section B.1-3 are limited to a Settlement Benefit of $5 in total.

                 D.                  Only one Authorized Claimant per Household is entitled to receive a Settlement Benefit unless otherwise agreed to by the parties.  If more than one Claim is received from a Household, the Settlement Administrator may

                                       contact Claimants to request additional information and documentation to determine the validity of any Claim as described in Section III.2.

                 E.                   If the sum of all Claims by Authorized Claimants exceeds $3 million, the Settlement Benefit for each Authorized Claimant shall be calculated as described above but adjusted and distributed pro rata based on the amount claimed.  In no

                                       event shall Monster be required to pay any money in excess of $3 million for Settlement Benefits to the Settlement Classes.

                 F.                   All Settlement Benefits will be issued in the form of a check or electronic check or gift card.  Settlement Benefits shall be issued within 90 days after the Settlement Date.

                 G.                  Authorized Claimants shall have 180 calendar days from the date of issuance to negotiate the check or gift card.  Any checks or gift cards not negotiated within the 180-day period shall be cancelled or expired.

                 H.                  Under the terms of the Settlement Agreement, upon entry of the Final Order and Judgment, all Class Members (except any person who has filed a proper and timely request for exclusion from the Settlement Classes) will be deemed to

                                       release and forever discharge Monster from any and all of the Settled Claims.

 

7.       How do I get out of the Settlement?

You have the right not to be part of the lawsuit by excluding yourself or "opting out" of the Classes.  If you wish to exclude yourself, you must submit a written request for exclusion by first-class United States Mail, postage paid, to the Claims Administrator, Krinsk v. Monster Administrator, CPT Group, Inc., 50 Corporate Park, Irvine, CA, 92606. A request for exclusion from the Class(es) must set forth your full name and current address, must be postmarked on or before October 12, 2018, must be in writing, and must be signed under penalty of perjury.  If you exclude yourself, you will not receive reimbursement or benefits from the Settlement.  You must exclude yourself to continue your own lawsuit for monetary relief.

 

8.       How do I tell the Court if I do not like the Settlement?

You have the right to object to the fairness, reasonableness, or adequacy of the Settlement Agreement.  If there is something about the settlement that you do not like, you may file an objection and may appear at the Fairness Hearing with an attorney at your own cost.  Even if you object, you may return the Claim Form to receive a Settlement Benefit.  In other words, even if you object, you will still be in the Settlement Class(es) and will receive a Settlement Benefit if the settlement is approved and you timely submit your Claim Form.  If you want to object, you must submit a written statement by first-class United States Mail, postage paid, to the Claims Administrator, Krinsk v. Monster Administrator, CPT Group, Inc., 50 Corporate Park, Irvine, CA, 92606.  Your written statement must describe your objection in specific terms and the reasons for any such objection, including any evidence and legal authority the you wish to bring to the Court's attention and any evidence you wish to introduce in support of your objection, as well as your name, email and postal addresses, and telephone number, and information demonstrating that you are entitled to be included as a Member of the Class(es).

 

All objections to the Class Settlement must be submitted by August 15, 2018 or will not be considered. If you have timely objected, you may also appear at the Fairness Hearing, in person or through counsel, to show cause why the proposed Settlement should not be approved as fair, adequate, and reasonable, or to object to any petition or application for attorneys' fees, representative class plaintiff incentive fees, or reimbursement of litigation costs and expenses. To appear at the Fairness Hearing, you must file with the Court a Notice of Intention to Appear at the Fairness Hearing at least 30 days before the Fairness Hearing.  The Notice of Intention to Appear at the Fairness Hearing must include copies of any papers, exhibits, or other evidence that you will present to the Court.  You must also send a copy of your written objection to counsel:

 

 

 

 

·         For the Classes:

John H. Gomez

Deborah S. Dixon

GOMEZ TRIAL ATTORNEYS

655 West Broadway, Suite 1700

San Diego, CA 92101

 

Jeffrey R. Krinsk

Trenton R. Kashima

Lauren R. Presser

FINKELSTEIN & KRINSK

550 West C. Street, Suite 1760

San Diego, CA 92101

 

·         For Monster:

Marc P. Miles

Frank C. Rothrock

Naoki S. Kaneko

SHOOK, HARDY & BACON L.L.P. Jamboree Center

5 Park Plaza, Suite 1600

Irvine, California 92614

 

9.       When and where will the Court decide whether to approve the Settlement?

The Court has scheduled a Fairness Hearing on September 14, 2018 at 9:00 a.m., before the Honorable Joel Wohlfeil, Department C-73, San Diego Superior Court, Hall of Justice, 330 W. Broadway, Sixth Floor, San Diego, CA 92101.  At this hearing, the Court will consider whether the settlement is fair, reasonable, and adequate.  If there are objections, the Court will consider them.  The Court may also decide how much to pay the attorneys for the Class.  After the hearing, the Court will decide whether to grant final approval of the settlement.

 

10.   How do I get more information?

For the precise terms and conditions of the settlement, please see the Settlement Agreement and other related documents, which are here.  Other papers filed in this lawsuit are available at the office of the Clerk of the Superior Court, 330 W. Broadway, San Diego, CA 92101, during its regular business hours.

 

If you have additional questions, please contact your own attorney, or if you would like more information, you may contact:

Krinsk v. Monster Administrator

CPT Group, Inc.

50 Corporate Park

Irvine, CA 92606

 

or

 

Class Counsel:

John H. Gomez

Deborah S. Dixon

GOMEZ TRIAL ATTORNEYS

655 West Broadway, Suite 1700

San Diego, CA 92101

 

Jeffrey R. Krinsk

Trenton R. Kashima

Lauren R. Presser

FINKELSTEIN & KRINSK

550 West C. Street, Suite 1760

San Diego, CA 92101