BRENDA LOPEZ v OLLIE'S BARGAIN OUTLET, INC.

Case No. 2020-CA-002511-OC in the Circuit Court of the Ninth Judicial Circuit in and for Osceola County, Florida, Civil Division

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. How do I get out of the Settlement?

    1. If you choose to be excluded from the Settlement, you will not be bound by any judgment or other final disposition of the lawsuit. You will retain any claims against Defendant you might have. To request exclusion, you must state in writing your desire to be excluded from the Settlement Class. Your request for exclusion must be sent by first class mail, postmarked on or before March 11, 2022, addressed to:

      Lopez v. Ollie’s Bargain Outlet, Inc. c/o Claims Administrator
      PO Box 23459
      Jacksonville, FL 32241

      If the request is not postmarked on or before March 11, 2022, your request for exclusion will be invalid, and you will be bound by the terms of the settlement  approved by the Court, including without limitation, the judgment ultimately rendered in the case, and you will be barred from bringing any claims which arise out of or relate in any way to the claims in the case as specified in the Release referenced above.

  2. Why did I get this notice?

    1. This notice has been sent for the benefit of potential members of the following Settlement Class:

      All of Defendant’s employees and job applicants who applied for or worked in a position with the Defendant in Florida, to whom Ollie’s provided FCRA disclosure and authorization forms in the same or substantially the same form as those provided to Plaintiff, within two years of the filing of the Complaint through the date of final judgment.

      Composition of the Settlement Class is based upon records available to Defendant. This Notice has been sent because members of the Settlement Class have a right to know about a proposed settlement of a class action lawsuit in which they are class members, and about all of their options, before the Court decides whether to approve the settlement. If the Court approves the settlement, and after objections or appeals relating to that settlement are resolved, the benefits provided for by the settlement will be available to members of the Settlement Class.

      This Notice explains the lawsuit, the settlement, your legal rights, what benefits are available, who is eligible for them, and how to get them. A full copy of the Settlement Agreement is available to Class Members Important Court Documents section of this website.

  3. What is this lawsuit about?

    1. Plaintiff alleges that Defendant’s Background Check Form, and Defendant’s alleged procurement of consumer reports on the basis of that form, violate the Fair Credit Reporting Act (“FCRA”).

      Based on this allegation, Plaintiff seeks statutory damages. Defendant disputes Plaintiff’s allegations and deny all liability to Plaintiff and the Settlement Class. In the lawsuit, Defendant has denied Plaintiff’s allegations and has raised a number of defenses to the claims asserted. No court has found Defendant violated the law in any way. No Court has found that the Plaintiff could recover any certain amount in this litigation. Although the Court has authorized Notice to be given of the proposed Settlement, this Notice does not express the opinion of the Court on the merits of the claims or defenses asserted by either side in the lawsuit.

       

  4. Why is this case a class action?

    1. Class actions are lawsuits in which the claims and rights of many people are decided in a single proceeding. In a class action, Representative Plaintiff (“Class Representatives”) seeks to assert claims on behalf of all members of a class or Class of similarly situated people. In a class action, people with similar claims are treated alike. The court is guardian of the class’s interests and supervises the prosecution of the class claims by Counsel for the Settlement Class to assure that the representation is adequate. Class members are not individually responsible for the costs or fees of counsel, which are subject to court award.

  5. Why is there a settlement?

    1. The Court did not decide this case in favor of the Class Representative or in favor of Defendant. Instead, Counsel for the Settlement Class investigated the facts and applicable law regarding the Class Representative’s claims and Defendant’s defenses. The parties engaged in lengthy and arm’s-length negotiations to reach this settlement. The Class Representative and Counsel for the Settlement Class believe that the proposed settlement is fair, reasonable, and adequate and in the best interests of the class.

      Both sides agree that, by settling, Defendant is not admitting any liability. Both sides want to avoid the uncertainties and expense of further litigation.

  6. How do I know if I am part of the settlement?

    1. Class. If you are not certain as to whether you are a member of the Settlement Class, you may contact the Claims Administrator to find out. In all cases, the question of class membership will be determined based on records reasonably available to Defendant.

  7. What does the settlement provide?

    1. If you timely return the attached Claim Form or file a claim through the Settlement Website, and the Court grants final approval of the Class Settlement, you will be sent a Settlement. The amount of your Settlement Check will be determined by dividing: 100% of the Settlement Fund by the number of Class Members that timely return claim forms to the Class Settlement Administrator. Depending upon the cost of notice, administration, and other expenses approved by the court, the amount of each Settlement Check may be reduced on a pro rata (proportional) basis. Because no claims have yet been submitted, we do not know the amount you will be awarded. Based on historical class action participation rates, the Parties estimate that net payments to class members who timely file valid claims will be approximately $62.55.

      THE CLAIM FORM MUST BE RECEIVED BY THE CLASS SETTLEMENT ADMINISTRATOR NO LATER THAN MARCH 11, 2022.

  8. When would I get my benefit?

    1. The Court will hold the Final Approval hearing at 9:00 a.m. on March 28, 2022, Circuit Court of the Ninth Judicial Circuit, in and for Osceola County, Florida, 2 Courthouse Square Kissimmee, Florida 34741, via Webex at https://ninthcircuit.webex.com/meet/div22. The hearing may also be held via Zoom or by phone without further notice due to the ongoing pandemic. It is also possible that there may be appeals. Payments to members of the Settlement Class will be made only if the settlement is finally approved and all appeals are resolved. This may take some time, so please be patient.

  9. What am I giving up to get a benefit or stay in the class?

    1. Upon the Court’s approval of the settlement, all members of the Settlement Class who do not exclude themselves (as well as spouses, heirs, and others who may possess rights on their behalf) will fully release Defendant (and its affiliates, subsidiaries, employees, and others who may be subject to claims with respect to Defendant as specified in the Settlement Agreement) for all Fair   Credit Reporting Act claims, including claims for statutory damages and actual damages, arising out of or relating directly or indirectly in any manner whatsoever to the facts alleged or which could have been alleged or asserted in this case against a current, prospective, or former employer, including but not limited to any and all claims under the Fair Credit Reporting Act. This release may affect your rights, and may carry obligations, in the future. If the Court approves the settlement and you do nothing, you will be releasing your claims under the Fair Credit Reporting Act against Defendant and you will not receive your share of a class action settlement. The Full Release and Released Parties are available in the Important Court Documents.

  10. If I don’t exclude myself, can I sue Defendant for the same thing later?

    1. No. Unless you exclude yourself, you give up any right to sue Defendant for the Fair Credit Reporting Act claims that this settlement resolves against Defendant.

  11. If I exclude myself, can I get benefits from this settlement?

    1. No. If you exclude yourself, you are not part of the settlement.

  12. Do I have a lawyer in this case?

    1. The Court has appointed Brenda Lopez as Class Representative. The Court has appointed Wenzel Fenton Cabassa, P.A. as Counsel for the Settlement Class:

      Luis A. Cabassa, Esq. Brandon J. Hill, Esq.
      WENZEL FENTON CABASSA, P.A.
      1110 North Florida Ave., Suite 300
      Tampa, Florida 33602
      Telephone: (813) 224-0431

      Counsel for the Settlement Class represent the interests of the Settlement Class. You may hire your own attorney to advise you, but if you hire your own attorney, you will be responsible for paying that attorney’s fees.

  13. How will the lawyers be paid?

    1. Class Counsel intend to apply to the Court for an award of attorneys’ fees, in an amount not to exceed $100,000, plus their reasonably incurred costs of litigation of less than $2,000. Defendant has agreed to pay Plaintiff’s counsel’s fees separately from the Settlement Fund, so they will not impact your recovery. Plaintiff’s counsel’s litigation costs will reduce the Settlement Fund amount slightly. The Court may award less. Named Plaintiff Brenda Lopez will also ask for an incentive payment for serving as the Named Plaintiff in an amount not to exceed $2,500 from the Settlement Fund along part of the costs of settlement administration.

  14. How do I tell the Court that I don’t like the settlement?

    1. You can object to any aspect of the proposed settlement by filing and serving a written objection. Your written objection must include: (1) your name, address, telephone number, email address and  signature; (2) a detailed statement of the specific factual and legal basis for the objection(s) being  asserted; (3) a notice of your intent to appear at the final Fairness Hearing at 9:00 a.m. on March 28, 2022,  if you intend to appear; and (4) a detailed description of any and all evidence, including copies of any exhibits, which you may offer at the Fairness Hearing. Additional details about objecting are included in the Court’s Order Granting Preliminary Approval of the Settlement, which is available in the Important Court Documents.

      You must file any objection with the Clerk of the Court at the address below by March 11, 2022:

      Clerk of the Court, Circuit Court of the Ninth Judicial Circuit, in and for Osceola County, Florida, 2 Courthouse Square Kissimmee, Florida 34741, File: Lopez v. Ollie’s Bargain Outlet, Inc., Case No.: 2020-CA-002511-OC;

      Any member of the Settlement Class who does not file and serve an objection in the time and manner described above will not be permitted to raise that objection later.

  15. What’s the difference between objecting and excluding?

    1. Objecting is simply telling the Court that you don’t like something about the Settlement. You can object only if you stay in the Settlement. Excluding yourself is telling the Court that you don’t want to be part of the Settlement. If you exclude yourself, you have no basis to object because the lawsuit no longer affects you. If you exclude yourself, you will not receive any payment from the Settlement.

  16. Where and when will the Court decide whether to approve the settlement?

    1. There will be a Fairness Hearing to consider approval of the proposed settlement 9:00 a.m. on March 28, 2022, Circuit Court of the Ninth Judicial Circuit, in and for Osceola County, Florida, 2 Courthouse Square Kissimmee, Florida 34741, via Webex at https://ninthcircuit.webex.com/meet/div22. The hearing may be postponed to a later date without further notice, but that information will be available on the settlement website should the hearing be rescheduled.

      The purpose of the hearing is to determine the fairness, reasonableness, and adequacy of the terms  of settlement; whether the Settlement Class is adequately represented by the Class Representative  and Counsel for the Settlement Class; and whether an order and final judgment should be entered approving the proposed settlement. The Court also will consider Settlement Class Counsel’s application on an award of attorneys’ fees and expenses and Class Representative’s Service Award.

      You will be represented at the Fairness Hearing by Counsel for the Settlement Class unless you choose to enter an appearance in person or through your own counsel. The appearance of your own attorney is not necessary to participate in the Fairness Hearing.

  17. Do I have to come to the hearing?

    1. No. Counsel for the Settlement Class will represent the Settlement Class at the Fairness Hearing, but you are welcome to come at your own expense. If you send any objection, you do not have to come to Court to talk about it. As long as you filed and mailed your written objection on time, the Court will consider it. You may also pay your own lawyer to attend if you wish.

  18. May I speak at the hearing?

    1. You may ask the Court for permission to speak at the Fairness Hearing.

  19. Are there more details about the settlement?

    1. This Notice is only a summary. For a more detailed statement of the matters involved in the lawsuit or the settlement, you may refer to the papers filed in this case during regular calendar hours at the office of the Clerk of the Court, Circuit Court of the Ninth Judicial Circuit, in and for Osceola County, Florida, 2 Courthouse Square Kissimmee, Florida 34741, File: Lopez v. Ollie’s Bargain Outlet, Inc., Case No.: 2020-CA-002511-OC. The full Settlement Agreement and certain pleadings filed in this case can also be requested, in writing, from the Claims Administrator, identified above, and also accessed on the website created for this settlement by the Claims Administrator, available in the Important Court Documents.

  20. How do I get more information?

    1. You can contact the Claims Administrator, identified above, or Class Counsel for Plaintiff, or Defendant’s counsel, at the below contact addresses with questions:

      Brandon J. Hill, Esq. Luis A. Cabassa, Esq
      WENZEL FENTON CABASSA, P.A.
      1110 North Florida Ave., Suite 300
      Tampa, Florida 33602 Class Counsel for Plaintiff
      or
      Matthew R. Simpson
      [email protected]

      JonVieve D. Hill
      [email protected]

      FISHER & PHILLIPS, LLP
      1075 Peachtree Street NE, Suite 3500
      Atlanta, GA 30309
      Telephone: (404) 231-1400
      Facsimile: (404) 240-4249
      Attorneys for Defendant