Alvarez v. Kmart Corporation

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Why did I receive a notice?
  2. What is this lawsuit about?
  3. Why is this a class action?
  4. Why is there a settlement?
  5. How do I know if I am a part of the Settlement?
  6. What does the Settlement provide?
  7. How can I participate in the Settlement?
  8. When will I receive my Settlement benefits?
  9. What am I giving up to stay in the Class and receive a benefit?
  10. If I do not exclude myself, can I sue Kmart for the same thing later?
  11. If I exclude myself, can I still benefit from the Settlement?
  12. Do I have a lawyer in this case?
  13. What is the difference between objecting and excluding?
  14. What happens if I do nothing at all?
  15. Are there any more details about the Settlement?
  16. How do I get more information?
  1. Why did I receive a notice?

    The Court ordered a notice to be sent to you because you have a right to know about a proposed Settlement of a class action lawsuit of which you may be a member, and about your options, before the Court decides whether to approve the Settlement.

    If the Court approves it, and after any objections and appeals are resolved, if you submit a valid Claim Form, Kmart will provide you with either the Cash Award, Merchandise Voucher or Shop Your Way Rewards Points. The notice explains the lawsuit, the Settlement, your legal rights, the benefits available, who is eligible for them, and how to get them.

    The Court in charge of the case is the Superior Court for the State of California, County of San Diego, and the case is entitled Alexandra M. Alvarez v. Kmart Holding Corporation, Case No. 37-2008-00097746-CU-BT-CTL.

    The person who sued is called the Plaintiff, and the companies she sued, Kmart Corporation and Sears Holding Corporation (“Kmart”), are called the Defendants.

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  2. What is this lawsuit about?

    The lawsuit claimed that Kmart violated California Civil Code Section 1747.08 by requesting and recording personal identification information, in the form of ZIP codes, from its customers who paid for merchandise with a credit card at retail stores located in California. Kmart denies that it violated the statute.

    On October 22, 2015, the Parties participated in a mediation presided over by Judge Edward Infante, Ret., of JAMS – San Francisco. Following mediation, the Parties reached an agreement to settle this case fully and finally. Kmart does not admit any liability or that they have in any way violated Civil Code Section 1747.08 or any other provision of law.

    Under the Settlement, Class Members are entitled to receive one of three awards:

    1) A Cash Award, which is a check for $10;

    2) a $15 Merchandise Voucher, which is a voucher redeemable for use during a single purchase at Kmart, is good on all sale and discounted merchandise and can be used in connection with all promotions, is fully transferrable, and will expire after five (5) years from the date issued; or

    3) $15 worth of Shop Your Way Rewards Points, which are points for use during any purchase at Kmart, are good on all sale and discounted merchandise and can be used in connection with all promotions, will expire after one (1) year from the date issued, and are otherwise subject to the current Shop Your Way Rewards terms and conditions.

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  3. Why is this a class action?

    In a class action, one or more people, called Class Representatives (in this case Alexandra M. Alvarez), 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 ask to be excluded from the Class. Superior Court Judge Joel Pressman is in charge of this class action.

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  4. Why is there a settlement?

    Both sides agreed to the Settlement. Plaintiff and her attorneys think the Settlement is best for the Class Members because it will avoid the cost and delay of appeals, and the risks inherent with continuing to litigate the claims.

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

    You are part of the Settlement if:

    1.  You used a credit card issued for consumer credit purposes to purchase goods from a Kmart retail store in the State of California during the period of time from December 10, 2007 through December 8, 2008 (“Class Period”); and

    2.  A Kmart employee requested and recorded your ZIP code in conjunction with the credit card transaction, unless one of the following applies (“Excluded Transactions”):

    a.  You used a credit card issued to a business;

    b.  The information was requested in connection with a special order, delivery, cash advance or layaway, tailoring or alterations, installation, tax exempt transactions, or gift registry; or

    c.   The transaction was a return or exchange of purchased merchandise.

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  6. What does the Settlement provide?

    The Settlement provides for Kmart to establish a monetary fund in the amount of $21,000,000. This monetary fund paid by Kmart will be available to satisfy: (a) Cash Awards to Class Members; (b) Merchandise Vouchers to Class Members; (c) Shop Your Way Rewards Points to Class Members; (c) the Class Representative Payment, as discussed below, approved by the Court; (d) Class Counsel Fees and Litigation Expenses Payment, as discussed below, approved by the Court; and (e) settlement administrative costs.

    Under the Settlement, Class Members can elect one of three awards:

    1) A Cash Award, which is a check for $10;

    2) a $15 Merchandise Voucher, which is a voucher redeemable for use during a single purchase at Kmart, is good on all sale and discounted merchandise and can be used in connection with all promotions, is fully transferrable, and will expire after five (5) years from the date issued; or

    3) $15 worth of Shop Your Way Rewards Points, which are points for use during any purchase at Kmart, are good on all sale and discounted merchandise and can be used in connection with all promotions, will expire after one (1) year from the date issued, and are otherwise subject to the current Shop Your Way Rewards terms and conditions.

    After all timely Claims are submitted, any remaining money from the $21,000,000 Settlement Fund, after subtracting out all Claims benefits, Class Representative Payment, Class Counsel Fees, Class Counsel Expenses, and Administration Costs, will be distributed on a pro-rata basis to the non-claiming Known Class Members. Non-Claiming Known Class Members Who Are Shop Your Way Rewards Members shall receive their pro rata portion of the Fund Residue in the form of Shop Your Way Rewards Points. Non-Claiming Known Class Members Who Are Not Shop Your Way Rewards Members shall receive their pro rata portion of the Fund Residue in the form of a Merchandise Voucher.

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  7. How can I participate in the Settlement?

    The claim filing deadline was July 18, 2016 and the distribution of Settlement Benefits commenced on September 23, 2016. It is now too late to file a claim to receive a benefit. 

    If you received a notice of this Settlement by mail or email, then Kmart records show that you are a Known Class Member. If you submitted a timely claim form, your Settlement Benefit was a choice of a Cash Award of $10, a $15 Merchandise Voucher, or $15 worth of Shop Your Way Rewards Points. If you did not submit a timely claim form, your Settlement Benefit was a pro-rata share of the settlement fund, after the payments and distribution of awards to persons who submitted a claim, in the form of either a Merchandise Voucher or Shop Your Way Rewards Points if you are already enrolled in that program.

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  8. When will I receive my Settlement benefits?

    Distribution of Settlement Benefits commenced on September 23, 2016.

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  9. What am I giving up to stay in the Class and receive a benefit?

    Unless you exclude yourself, you are staying in the Class, and that means that you can't sue, continue to sue, or be part of any other lawsuit against Kmart and certain affiliated companies and people about the legal issues in this case if the Settlement is approved. It also means that all of the Court’s orders will apply to you and legally bind you.

    As part of the Settlement, all claims of the members of Settlement Class relating to the claims brought in the Action will be released. This means, for example, that all persons who do not opt-out of the Settlement will be barred from bringing any claims on their own against Kmart for violations of California Civil Code Section 1747.08, even if they do not file a claim or receive a benefit.

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  10. If I do not exclude myself, can I sue Kmart for the same thing later?

    No. Unless you exclude yourself, you give up the right to sue Kmart for the claims that this Settlement resolves. If you have a pending lawsuit, speak to your lawyer in that lawsuit immediately. You must exclude yourself from this Class to continue your own lawsuit. Remember, the exclusion deadline is May 16, 2016.

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  11. If I exclude myself, can I still benefit from the Settlement?

    No. If you exclude yourself, you cannot seek benefits under the Settlement. But, you may sue or be part of a different lawsuit against Kmart for the same claim.

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  12. Do I have a lawyer in this case?

    The Court has appointed the law firms of Stonebarger Law, APC and Patterson Law Group, APC to represent you and the Class. These lawyers are called Class Counsel. If you want to be represented by your own lawyer, you may hire one at your own expense.

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  13. What is the difference between objecting and excluding?

    Objecting is simply telling the Court that you don’t like something about the Settlement. You can object only if you stay in the Class. Excluding yourself is telling the Court that you don't want to be part of the Class. If you exclude yourself, you cannot object because the case no longer affects you.

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  14. What happens if I do nothing at all?

    If you do nothing at all, you will remain in the Class and whether or not you receive a benefit from the Settlement depends on whether you return a Claim Form and on whether you received notice of the Settlement by mail or email. For any questions as to how to claim a benefit under the Settlement, see Question 7 above: “How can I participate in the Settlement?”

    If you do not exclude yourself, did not receive notice of this Settlement in the mail or email, and do not return a valid and completed claim form; you will receive no benefit from the Settlement, and you won't be able to start a lawsuit, continue with a lawsuit, or be part of any other lawsuit against Kmart about the legal issues in this case.

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  15. Are there any more details about the Settlement?

    More details regarding the Settlement are contained in the Settlement Agreement which can be found in the Case Documents section of this website. 

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  16. How do I get more information?

    You can write to the Claims Administrator, Kmart Class Action Settlement, c/o KCC, LLC, P.O. Box 30213, College Station TX 77842-3213, or call 844-210-8092 to ask questions about the Settlement, sign up to be notified if the Settlement is approved, or obtain other information to help you determine whether you are a Class Member and whether you are eligible for a payment. You may also contact Class Counsel listed under Question 15 above, or by email at zipcode@stonebargerlaw.com.

    DO NOT ADDRESS ANY QUESTIONS ABOUT THIS LAWSUIT TO THE CLERK OF THE COURT, THE JUDGE, COUNSEL FOR KMART, OR TO ANY KMART AGENT OR EMPLOYEE. They are not permitted to answer your questions.

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