The Court directed that this Notice be provided because you have a right to know about a settlement that has been reached in this class action lawsuit and about all of your options before the Court decides whether to grant final approval of the Settlement. If the Court approves the Settlement, and after objections or appeals, if any, are resolved, the Claims Administrator appointed by the Court will distribute the payments that the Settlement allows. This Notice explains the lawsuit, the Settlement, your legal rights, what payments are available, who is eligible for them, and how to get them.
The Court in charge of this case is the Circuit Court, First Judicial Circuit, Cook County, Illinois. The case is known as Nelson v. Bansley & Kiener, L.L.P., Case No. 2021CH06274 (the “Lawsuit”). The persons who filed the Lawsuit are called the Plaintiffs and the entity they sued, Bansley & Kiener, L.L.P., is called the Defendant.
Plaintiffs claim that Bansley was responsible for the Data Incident and asserts claims such as: negligence; unjust enrichment; breach of contract; and declaratory judgment. Plaintiffs seek, among other things, payment for persons who were injured by the Data Incident.
Bansley denies the claims and says it did not do anything wrong.
The Court has not decided who is right or wrong.
In a class action, one or more people called Class Representatives (in this case, Gregg Nelson and Daniel Cozza) sue on behalf of people who have similar claims. Together, all of these people are called a Class or Class members. One Court and one judge resolves the issues for all Class members, except for those who exclude themselves from the Settlement Class.
The Court did not decide in favor of the Class Representatives or Bansley. Instead, the Class Representatives negotiated a settlement with Bansley that allows both Class Representatives and Bansley to avoid the risks and costs of lengthy and uncertain litigation and the uncertainty of a trial and appeals. It also allows Settlement Class members to obtain payment without further delay. The Class Representatives and their attorneys think the Settlement is best for all Settlement Class members. This Settlement does not mean that Bansley did anything wrong.
Who Is Included in The Settlement?
You are part of this Settlement as a Settlement Class member if you previously received a notification from Bansley of the Data Incident.
Yes. Specifically excluded from the Settlement Class are: (i) Bansley and its partners; (ii) all Settlement Class members who timely and validly request exclusion from the Settlement Class; (iii) the Judge assigned to evaluate the fairness of this settlement; and (iv) any other Person found by a court of competent jurisdiction to be guilty under criminal law of initiating, causing, aiding, or abetting the criminal activity occurrence of the Data Incident or who pleads nolo contendere (a no-contest plea, while not technically a guilty plea, has the same immediate effect as a guilty plea and is often offered as part of a plea bargain) to any such charge.
The Settlement Benefits – What You Get If You Qualify
Bansley has agreed to pay $900,000 into a Settlement Fund.
The Settlement will provide payments to people who submit valid claims.
There are two types of payments that are available: (1) Ordinary Expense Reimbursement, including lost time (Question 8, below) and (2) Extraordinary Expense Reimbursement (Question 9, below). You may submit a claim for either or both types of payments. In order to claim each type of payment, you must provide related documentation with the Claim Form.
The Settlement also provides for twelve (12) months of identity theft protection service to all Settlement Class members who claim the service.
Class members are eligible to receive reimbursement of up to $1,000 (in total) for the following categories of out-pocket expenses resulting from the Data Incident:
- bank fees, long distance phone charges, cell phone charges (only if charged by the minute), data charges (only if charged based on the amount of data used), postage, or gasoline for local travel;
- fees for credit reports, credit monitoring, or other identity theft insurance products purchased between August 20, 2020 and December 12, 2022 (if Settlement Class member makes affirmative statement that it was purchased primarily because of the Data Incident);
- reimbursement of up to 5 hours of attested lost time (at $25 per hour) spent dealing with the Data Incident, e.g., time spent ordering and reviewing credit report, dealing with replacement card issues and/or reversing fraudulent charges.
Class members who had other extraordinary unreimbursed monetary losses because of information compromised as part of the Data Incident are eligible to make a claim for reimbursement of up to $5,000. As part of the claim, the Class member must show that: (1) it is an actual, documented, and unreimbursed monetary loss; (2) the loss was more likely than not caused by the Data Incident; (3) the loss occurred during the time period from August 20, 2020 through and including December 12, 2022; (4) the loss is not already covered by one or more of the categories in Question 8; and (5) a reasonable effort was made to avoid or seek reimbursement for the loss.
More details are provided in the Settlement Agreement, which is available at here.
How to get Benefits – Submitting a Claim Form
To ask for a payment, you must complete and Submit a Claim Form. Claim Forms are available here, or you may request one by mail by calling 1-844-426-5046. Read the instructions carefully, fill out the Claim Form, and mail it postmarked on or before December 12, 2022 to:
Bansley Claims Administrator
P.O. Box 3654
Baton Rouge, LA 70821
The Claims Administrator will initially decide whether the information provided on a Claim Form is complete and valid. The Claims Administrator may require additional information from any claimant. If the required information is not timely provided, the claim will be considered invalid and will not be paid.
If the claim is complete and the Claims Administrator denies the claim entirely or partially, the claimant will be provided an opportunity to have their claim reviewed by an impartial Claim Referee who has been appointed by the Court.
The Court will hold a Final Fairness Hearing at 11:00 am on November 17, 2022 to determine whether the Settlement is fair, reasonable, and adequate. If the Court approves the Settlement, there may be appeals. It is always uncertain whether any appeals can be resolved favorably, and resolving them can take time, perhaps more than a year. It also takes time for all the Claim Forms to be processed, depending on the number of claims submitted and whether any appeals are filed. Please be patient.
Remaining in the Settlement
You do not have to do anything to remain in the Settlement, but if you want a payment you must submit a Claim Form online or postmarked on or before December 12, 2022.
If the Settlement becomes final, you will give up your right to sue Bansley for the claims being resolved by this Settlement. The specific claims you are giving up against Bansley are described in Section 1.22 of the Settlement Agreement. You will be “releasing” Bansley and all related people or entities as described in Section 6 of the Settlement Agreement. The Settlement Agreement is available here.
The Settlement Agreement describes the released claims with specific descriptions, so read it carefully. If you have any questions about what this means you can talk to the law firms listed in Question 18 for free or you can, of course, talk to your own lawyer at your own expense.
Excluding Yourself From the Settlement
If you do not want a payment from this Settlement, but you want to keep the right to sue Bansley about issues in the Litigation, then you must take steps to get out of the Settlement Class. This is called excluding yourself from – or is sometimes referred to as “opting out” of – the Settlement Class.
No. If you exclude yourself from the Settlement, you will not be entitled to any benefits of the Settlement, but you will not be bound by any judgment in this case.
No. Unless you exclude yourself from the Settlement, you give up any right to sue Bansley for the claims that this Settlement resolves. You must exclude yourself from the Settlement Class to start your own lawsuit or to be part of any different lawsuit relating to the claims in this case. If you exclude yourself, do not submit a Claim Form to ask for a payment.
To exclude yourself from the Settlement, you must send a letter by mail stating that you want to be excluded from the Settlement in Nelson v. Bansley & Kiener, LLP., Case No. 2021CH06274. Your letter must also include your name, address, and signature. You must mail your exclusion request postmarked on or before October 10, 2022 to:
Bansley Settlement Exclusions
P.O. Box 3654
Baton Rouge, LA 70821
The Lawyers Representing You
The court has appointed David K. Lietz and Gary M. Klinger of Milberg Coleman Bryson Phillips Grossman, PLLC; Terence R. Coates of Markovits, Stock & DeMarco, LLC; Kyle Pozan and Kate M. Baxter-Kauf of Lockridge Grindal Nauen PLLP; and Gayle M. Blatt of Casey Gerry Schenk Francavilla Blatt & Penfield, LLP, to represent the Settlement Class. These lawyers are called Class Counsel. You will not be charged for these lawyers. If you want to be represented by your own lawyer, you may hire one at your own expense.
If the Settlement is approved and becomes final, Class Counsel will ask the Court to award attorneys’ fees up to $300,000 and expenses not to exceed $15,000. Class Counsel will also request approval of a $5,000 service award for the Class Representatives (for a total award of $10,000). If approved, these amounts, as well as the costs of notice and settlement administration, will be paid from the $900,000 settlement fund established by the Settlement.
Objecting to the Settlement
You can tell the Court that you do not agree with the Settlement or some part of it.
If you are a Settlement Class member, you can object to the Settlement if you do not like it or a portion of it. You can give reasons why you think the Court should not approve the Settlement. The Court will consider your views before making a decision. To object, you must file with the Court and mail copies to Class Counsel and Bansley’s Counsel a written notice stating that you object to the Settlement in Nelson v. Bansley & Kiener, L.L.P., Case No. 2021CH06274.
Your objection must include:
- your full name, address, telephone number, and e-mail address;
- information or proof showing you are a Settlement Class member;
- the reasons why you object to the Settlement, including any documents supporting your objection;
- the name and address of your attorney, if you have retained one;
- the name and address of any attorneys representing you that may appear at the Final Fairness Hearing;
- a statement confirming whether you and/or your counsel intend to personally appear and/or testify at the Final Fairness Hearing;
- your signature or the signature of your attorney or other duly authorized representative (along with documentation illustrating representation).
Your objection must be filed with the Clerk of the Circuit Court, First Judicial District, Cook County, Illinois on or before October 10, 2022. You must also mail copies of your objection to Class Counsel and Bansley’s Counsel postmarked on or before October 10, 2022, at all of the addresses below.
Terence R. Coates
Christopher A. Wiech
Objecting is 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 in this Settlement. If you exclude yourself from the Settlement, you have no basis to object or submit a Claim Form because the Settlement no longer affects you.
The Court’s Final Fairness Hearing
The Court will hold a hearing to decide whether to approve the Settlement. You may attend and you may ask to speak, but you do not have to. You cannot speak at the hearing if you exclude yourself from the Settlement.
The Court will hold a Final Fairness Hearing at 11:00 am on November 17, 2022, in the Circuit Court, First Judicial District, Cook County, Illinois. At this hearing, the Court will determine whether the Settlement is fair, reasonable, and adequate. The Court will take into consideration any properly-filed written objections and may also listen to people who have asked to speak at the hearing (see Question 20). The Court will also decide whether to approve fees and costs to Class Counsel, and the service awards to the Class Representatives.
No. However, you are welcome to attend at your own expense. If you file an objection, you do not have to come to Court to talk about it. You may also hire your own lawyer to attend, at your own expense, but you are not required to do so.
Yes, you may ask the Court for permission to speak at the Final Fairness Hearing. To do so, you must follow the instructions provided in Question 20 above. You cannot speak at the hearing if you exclude yourself from the Settlement.
If You Do Nothing
If you do nothing, you will not receive any compensation from this Settlement. If the Court approves the Settlement, you will be bound by the Settlement Agreement and the Release. This means you will not be able to start a lawsuit, continue with a lawsuit, or be part of any other lawsuit against Bansley or related parties about the issues involved in the Lawsuit, resolved by this Settlement, and released by the Settlement Agreement.
Getting More Information
Yes. This Notice summarizes the proposed Settlement. More details are in the Stipulation and Settlement Agreement, which is available here, or by writing to the Bansley Claims Administrator, P.O. Box 3654, Baton Rouge, LA 70821.
This notice summarizes the proposed Settlement. For precise terms and conditions of the Settlement, please see the Settlement Agreement available here. You may also call 1-844-426-5046 or write to Bansley Claims Administrator, P.O. Box 3654, Baton Rouge, LA 70821.
Please do not call the Court or the Clerk of the Court for additional information.
They cannot answer any questions regarding the Settlement or the Lawsuit.