In re Scotts EZ Seed Litigation

Frequently Asked Questions

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Questions

Answers

1. What is this Lawsuit About ?

Answer:

This lawsuit alleges advertising, warranty, contract, and unjust enrichment claims contending that EZ Seed® does not grow grass “50% Thicker With Half The Water* *Versus ordinary seed when each was watered at half the recommended rate.  Results may vary.” as advertised.  Scotts denies the allegations.  The Court has not determined which side is right.  Rather, the Parties have agreed to settle the lawsuit to avoid the uncertainties, expenses and expenditure of resources associated with ongoing litigation.

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2. What is a Class Action and who is involved ?

Answer:

In a class action lawsuit, one or more people called “Class Representatives” (in this case, Plaintiffs Michael Arcuri, David A. Browne, Gwen Eskinazi, Stacy D. Lombardo, Lance Moore, Vance Smith, and Nancy Thomas) sue on behalf of other people who have similar claims.  The people together are a “Class” or “Class Members.”  The named plaintiffs who sued  and all the Class Members like them are called the Plaintiffs.  The companies they sued (in this case, Scotts) are called the Defendants.  One court resolves the issues for everyone in the Class except for those people who choose to exclude themselves from the Class.

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3. Am I Part of this class?

Answer:

If you purchased any variety of Scotts EZ Seed® bearing the claim “50% Thicker With Half The Water* *Versus ordinary seed when each was watered at half the recommended rate.  Results may vary.” in California or New York from January 1, 2009 through September 30, 2014, inclusive, then you are a Class Member.

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4. What does the settlement Provide ?

Answer:

The Proposed Settlement allows Settlement Class Members who submit valid Claim Forms, along with Proof of Purchase showing the purchase price of Scotts EZ Seed to receive a full refund of the purchase price for up to six packages of product.  Settlement Class Members who submit valid Claim Forms with Proof of Purchase that does not reveal the purchase price will receive a payment of $15.00 for each such package up to six packages of product.  For Settlement Class Members who submit valid Claim Forms without Proof of Purchase, Scotts will pay up to $45.00, i.e., $15.00 each for up to three packages of Scotts EZ Seed.

The Parties have further agreed that Scotts will pay the costs to administer this Proposed Settlement, reasonable attorneys’ fees, costs and expenses, and a payment to the named Plaintiffs

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5. When will I get my monetary payment ?

Answer:

The hearing to consider the fairness of the Settlement is scheduled for December 19, 2018.  If the Court approves the Settlement, then eligible Class Members whose claim were approved by the Claims Administrator will receive their payment 30 days after the Settlement has been finally approved and/or after any appeals process is complete.  The payment will be made in the form of a check.

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6. How do I get a monetary payment ?

Answer:

If you are a Class Member and want to receive a payment under the Settlement, you must complete and submit a Claim Form no later than December 4, 2018.  Claims Forms can be found and submitted on-line, or they can be mailed and postmarked by December 4, 2018. You may have received a link to the Claim Form via e-mail, or in the mail as a postcard notice of the Settlement.

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7. What happens if I do nothing at all?

Answer:

If you do nothing, then you will remain in the Class and not receive any payment from this Settlement. If the Court approves the Settlement, you will be bound by its terms, you will no longer have the ability to sue with respect to the claims being resolved by the Settlement, and your claims will be released and dismissed. The Settlement Agreement describes the released claims in more detail, so please read it carefully. If you have any questions, you can contact the lawyers listed in FAQ 9 for free to discuss, or you can talk to another lawyer of your own choosing if you have questions about what this means. 

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8. How do I exclude myself from the Settlement?

Answer:

If you exclude yourself from the Settlement which is sometimes called “opting-out” you won’t get any money or benefits from the Settlement. However, you may then be able to separately sue or continue to sue Scotts for the legal claims that are the subject of the lawsuit. If you bring your own lawsuit against Scotts after you exclude yourself, you will have to hire your own lawyer for that lawsuit, and you will have to prove your claims.

To exclude yourself from the Settlement, you must mail a written request for exclusion to the Claims Administrator, stating that you “want to be excluded from the Settlement in In re Scotts EZ Seed Litigation, Case No. 7:12-cv-4727 (VB) (PED).” Your written request for exclusion must also include your name, current address, and telephone number. And the request must be signed and dated by you. Your request for exclusion must be mailed and postmarked on or before October 19, 2018 to:
 
Scotts EZ Seed Litigation
c/o Claims Administrator
PO Box 8748
Philadelphia PA, 19101-8748

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9. How do I object to the Settlement?

Answer:

If you are a Class Member, you can object to the Settlement if you don’t like any part of it. You can give reasons why you think the Court should not approve the Settlement. The Court will consider your views. To object, you must file with the Court a written objection entitled “Objection to Class Settlement in In re Scotts EZ Seed Litigation, Case No. 7:12-cv-4727 (VB) (PED)” that identifies all the reasons for your objections and any legal and factual support for those reasons. Your written objection must also include your name, address, telephone number, and email address if available, and it must state information showing that you are a Class Member (i.e. Proof of Purchase or a verification under penalty of perjury as to the date and location of your Scotts EZ Seed purchase(s)). It must also state if you are represented by legal counsel, and if so, provide contact information for your lawyer, including his or her email address if available. If you or an attorney assisting you with your objection have objected to any class action settlement in the previous 5 years, then you must include a list of those objections identifying each case by its caption or title. If you or your attorney have not objected to any class action settlements in the previous 5 years, then your objection will state that. If you intend to appear and speak at the Final Approval Hearing to object to the Settlement, with or without a lawyer (explained in FAQ’s 13,14 and 15), you must also state your intention to appear in your written objection.

You must file your written objection with the Court and mail a copy to the following persons and places, postmarked no later than October 19, 2018.

Court

Class Counsel

Defendants’ Counsel

The Honorable Vincent L. Briccetti

United States District Court for the Southern District of New York

300 Quarropas Street, Room 620

White Plains, NY 10601

 Scott A. Bursor

Bursor & Fisher, P.A.

888 Seventh Avenue

New York, NY 10019

Samuel A. Danon
Hunton Andrews Kurth LLP
1111 Brickell Avenue
Suite 2500
Miami, FL 33131




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10. What is the difference between objecting and excluding myself from the Settlement?

Answer:

Objecting means telling the Court that you don’t like something about the Settlement. You can object only if you stay in the Class. Excluding yourself from the Settlement means that you do not want to be part of the Class. If you exclude yourself, then you have no basis to object to the Settlement because the case no longer affects you.

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11. Do I have a lawyer in this case?

Answer:

The Court appointed the law firms of Bursor & Fisher, P.A. and Faruqi & Faruqi, LLP to represent the Plaintiffs and all Class Members as “Class Counsel.” Class Counsel believe, after conducting an extensive investigation, that the Settlement is fair, reasonable, and in the best interests of the Class Members. You will not be charged for these lawyers. If you want to be represented by a different lawyer in this case, you may hire one at your own expense.

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12. How will the lawyers be paid?

Answer:

In addition to the monetary benefit to be paid to the Class Members, Scotts has agreed to pay Class Counsel’s fees, costs, and expenses in an amount to be determined by the Court not to exceed $9,700,000. The Court may award less than this amount. Any fees, costs, and expenses that are awarded to Class Counsel will be paid separately by Scotts and in addition to the monetary benefits to Class Members.

Also, subject to approval by the Court, Scotts has agreed to pay $10,000 to each of the seven Class Representatives, in recognition of their efforts on behalf of the Class Members throughout this case.

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13. Where and when will the Court decide whether to approve the Settlement?

Answer:

The Court will hold the Final Approval Hearing at 9:30 a.m. Eastern on December 19, 2018 in Courtroom 620 at the Federal Building and Courthouse, Room 620, 300 Quarropas Street, White Plains, NY 10601. The purpose of the hearing will be for the Court to determine whether to approve the Settlement as fair, reasonable, adequate, and in the best interests of the Class; to consider Class Counsel’s request for attorneys’ fees, costs and expenses; and to consider the request for the incentive awards to the Class Representatives. At that hearing, the Court will be available to hear any objections and arguments concerning the fairness of the Settlement.

The hearing may be postponed to a different date or time without notice, so please check this website or call 1-844-271-4786 from time to time. If, however, you timely objected to the Settlement and advised the Court that you intend to appear and speak at the Final Approval Hearing, you will receive notice of any change in the time and date of such hearing.

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14. Do I have to come to the Final Approval Hearing?

Answer:

No. You do not need to attend the Final Approval Hearing. Class Counsel will answer any questions the Court may have on behalf of the Class Members. But, you are welcome to attend the Final Approval Hearing at your own expense. If you submit an objection or comment, 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 to have another lawyer attend on your behalf, but that is not required.

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15. May I speak at the Final Approval Hearing?

Answer:

Yes. You may ask the Court for permission to speak at the Final Approval Hearing. To do so, you must include in your written objection to the Settlement a statement saying that it is your intent to appear at the Final Approval Hearing in In re Scotts EZ Seed Litigation, Case No. 7:12-cv-4727 (VB) (PED). Your written objection and notice of intent to appear must be filed with the Court and postmarked no later than October 19, 2018, and sent to the addresses listed in FAQ 9.

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16. Are more details available?

Answer:

This website summarizes the Settlement. More details are in the Settlement Agreement, which can  found in the important documents section of this website. You may also write with questions to Scotts EZ Seed Litigation c/o Claims Administrator, PO Box 8748, Philadelphia, PA 19101-8748. You can also call the Claims Administrator at 1-844-271-4786 or Class Counsel at 646-837-7150, if you have questions.

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This website is authorized by the Court, supervised by counsel and controlled by the Claims Administrator approved by the Court. This is the only authorized website for this case.

For more information please call 1-844-271-4786

Documents

Please read for a full explanation of the settlement and your options and all applicable timelines.

Contact

Contact us with any inquiries, comments, and/or requests.

Submit Claim

Click here to safely and securely submit a Claim Form.

Important Dates

  • Exclusion Deadline.

    Friday, October 19, 2018
    You must complete and mail your request for exclusion form so that it is postmarked no later than Friday, October 19, 2018.
  • Objection Deadline.

    Friday, October 19, 2018
    You must mail your objection(s) and/or notice of intent to appear at the Final Approval Hearing so that it/they are postmarked no later than Friday, October 19, 2018.
  • Claim Form Deadline.

    Tuesday, December 4, 2018
    You must submit your Claim Form on-line no later than Tuesday, December 4, 2018, or mail your completed paper Claim Form so that it is postmarked no later than Tuesday, December 4, 2018.
  • Final Approval Hearing Date.

    Wednesday, December 19, 2018
    The Final Approval Hearing is scheduled for Wednesday, December 19, 2018 at 9:30 a.m. Eastern Please check this website for updates.

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