Kenneth Wright v. Lyft, Inc.
Lyft Washington Text Settlement
2:14-cv-00421-BJR

Frequently Asked Questions

 

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  • A Court authorized the Notice because you have a right to know about a proposed Settlement of this putative class action lawsuit, and about all of your options, before the Court decides whether to approve the Settlement. If the Court approves the Settlement and after any objections or appeals are resolved, an administrator appointed by the Court will make the payments that the Settlement allows. Because your rights will be affected by this Settlement, it is important that you read the notice carefully.

    This Action was brought by Kenneth Wright, also known as the “Plaintiff” or “Class Representative.” The Plaintiff sued Lyft, also known as “Defendant.” The proposed Settlement would resolve all claims in this Action. The Court in charge of the Action, the United States District Court for the Western District of Washington, has preliminarily approved the proposed Settlement and the Notice.

  • A class action lawsuit is a lawsuit in which the claims and rights of many people are decided in a single court proceeding. Representative plaintiffs, like the Class Representative here, assert claims on behalf on themselves and on behalf of the entire class. The Class Representative filed this Action alleging that Lyft violated three laws: the federal Telephone Consumer Protection Act, 47 U.S.C. § 227 (the “TCPA”), the Washington Commercial Electronic Mail Act, RCW 19.190.010 et seq. (“CEMA”), and the Washington Consumer Protection Act, RCW 19.86.010 et seq. (“CPA”), by sending unsolicited text messages to the members of the settlement class. Lyft denies that it did anything wrong, and denies that this Action is appropriate for treatment as a class action.

  • The Court did not decide in favor of the Class Representative or Lyft. Both sides agreed to a settlement instead of going to trial. That way, they avoid the cost of a trial, and Settlement Class Members will be able to get compensation. The Class Representative and his attorneys believe that the Settlement is best for all Settlement Class Members. The Court has granted preliminary approval of the Settlement and ordered that the Notice be distributed to explain the terms of the Settlement to Class Members.

  • The Settlement provides relief for all Settlement Class Members, who are described by the Settlement Agreement as:

    All Washington State residents who, between June 1, 2012 and November 15, 2018, received on their cellular telephone one or more invitational or referral text messages through Lyft’s “Invite A Friend” program.

    The following are excluded from the Settlement Class: (1) any judge that may preside over this case; (2) any of the Released Parties, other than Lyft users who sent or caused to be sent invitational text messages; (3) any Settlement Class Member who has timely submitted a Request for Exclusion by the Opt-Out Deadline; (4) any person or entity who has previously given a valid release of the claims asserted in the Action; and (5) Plaintiff’s Counsel and their employees.

    “Released Parties,” as used above, means: (a) Lyft; (b) Lyft’s past, present, and future direct and indirect owners, parents, subsidiaries, and other corporate affiliates; (c) Lyft’s successors and predecessors and their respective past, present, and future direct and indirect owners, parents, subsidiaries, and other corporate affiliates; (d) any persons or entities with which Lyft contracted with or engaged to send commercial text messages; (e) any Lyft users who sent or caused to be sent invitational text messages; (f) Lyft’s insurance carriers; and (g) for each of the foregoing Persons, each of their past, present, or future officers, directors, shareholders, owners, employees, representatives, agents, principals, partners, members, administrators, legatees, executors, heirs, estates, predecessors, successors, or assigns.

    If you have questions about whether you are a Settlement Class Member, or are still not sure whether you are included in the Settlement, you can call the Settlement Administrator toll- free at 1-888-663-1722. Please do not call Lyft or the Court for any information related to the Notice or the Settlement.

  • Lyft has agreed to deposit a total settlement amount of $3,995,000 into the Settlement Fund, which will constitute Lyft’s exclusive payment obligation under the Settlement Agreement and will be used to pay: (a) Cash Benefits to Settlement Class Members, described in the Settlement Agreement; (b) Attorneys’ Fees and Costs, as awarded by the Court; (c) any incentive award awarded to Kenneth Wright; (d) Settlement Administration Costs, including costs of notice; and (e) if necessary, any cy pres payment to one or more charitable organizations pursuant to the procedures described in Section IV of the Settlement Agreement. The Attorneys’ Fees, any Incentive Payment, and Costs and Expenses shall be paid from the Settlement Fund prior to any distribution of Cash Benefits to the Settlement Class.

    The total amount distributed to the Settlement Class (the “Total Class Member Benefits Payout”) shall be the Settlement Fund and any earnings that the Fund receives (such as through interest), reduced by the amount awarded by the Court for Attorneys’ Fees and Costs to Class Counsel, any Incentive Award, and the Settlement Administration Costs. Each Class Member who files a valid Claim Form will receive a pro rata share of the Total Class Member Benefits Payout as follows

    · If you received one or more text messages through Lyft’s “Invite A Friend” program before February 9, 2015 and you never accepted Lyft’s Terms of Service, you will receive 10 Shares.

    · If you received one or more text messages through Lyft’s “Invite A Friend” program before February 9, 2015 and you accepted Lyft’s Terms of Service, you will receive 5 Shares.

    · If you received one or more text messages through Lyft’s “Invite A Friend” program on or after February 9, 2015 and you never accepted Lyft’s Terms of Service, you will receive 2 Shares.

    · If you received one or more text messages through Lyft’s “Invite A Friend” program on or after February 9, 2015 and you accepted Lyft’s Terms of Service, you will receive 1 Share.

    The value of each share depends on the number of Class Members who submit valid claims. Based on Class Counsel’s experience, Class Counsel estimates that each share will have a minimum value of $3.30 and likely will be worth about $13 or more. The value of your payment will depend in part on your settlement class group; for example, members of Group A should receive a minimum payment of $33 and likely will receive $132 or more.

    This difference in the distribution of Shares reflects the negotiations between the parties and the relative strength of different Settlement Class Members’ potential claims as part of a proposed class action lawsuit.

    Each Share will be equal to the net of the Total Class Member Benefits Payout divided by the total number of Shares awarded to all claiming Settlement Class Members. Payments will be made via a Benefits Check.

    Multiple subscribers or users of any unique telephone number will be entitled to only a single recovery for calls to that number.

    Settlement Class Members will be asked to provide either a Taxpayer Identification Number or a Social Security Number if they will receive $600 or more in a Cash Benefit due to Internal Revenue Service (“IRS”) reporting requirements. The Settlement Administrator will issue a written notice to Settlement Class Members who will receive a payment of $600 or more as a Cash Benefit, once the allocation of Cash Benefits is determined following Final Approval. If no Taxpayer Identification or Social Security Number is timely provided, payment of the Cash Benefit shall be limited to $599.

    If any amounts remain in the Settlement Fund because Settlement Members fail to cash their respective Benefit Checks, such unclaimed monies shall be distributed as follows: (a) pro rata to the Settlement Class Members who cashed their initial Benefits Checks, to the extent such a distribution is administratively and economically feasible; and (b) if such a distribution is not feasible, to the cy pres designated recipient(s), which will be one or more nonprofit organizations mutually agreed upon by the Parties and approved and appointed by the Court. No portion of the Settlement Fund will be returned to Lyft, except as provided in Section XIII, Termination of the Agreement.

  • Claim Forms could have been submitted online or by mail, as described in this section.

    Submitting a Claim Form online: If you received an email notice of this settlement, you could have filled out and submitted a Claim Form online (at no cost to you) by following the appropriate hyperlink in the email for submitting claims. The deadline to file a claim has passed.

    Submitting a Claim Form by mail: If you preferred, you could have downloaded and printed a Claim Form and mailed it (at your own expense). The deadline to file a claim has passed.

    You must read the instructions included in the Claim Form carefully and fill out the Claim Form as directed. If you submitted a Claim Form by mail you would have needed to sign the Claim Form.

    DEADLINE FOR SUBMITTING CLAIM FORMS: Claim Forms submitted online must have been submitted by no later than March 15, 2019. Claim Forms submitted by mail must have been postmarked by no later than March 15, 2019. If you failed to submit a Claim Form by the deadline, your claim may be rejected, and you may be deemed to have waived all rights to receive benefits.

  • Each Settlement Class Member who timely files a complete and accurate Claim Form with an Approved Claim will receive a Cash Benefit made payable to the addressee on the Claim Form.

    As set forth above, Settlement Class Members who will receive a Cash Benefit of $600 or more will be asked to provide either a Taxpayer Identification or a Social Security Number due to IRS reporting requirements. The Settlement Administrator will issue a written notice to Settlement Class Members who will receive a payment of $600 or more as a Cash Benefit, once the allocation of Cash Benefits is determined following Final Approval. If no Taxpayer Identification or Social Security Number is timely provided, payment of the Cash Benefit shall be limited to $599.

    The Court will hold a hearing on May 29, 2019, at 10:00 am to decide whether to approve the Settlement. If the Settlement is approved, appeals may still follow. The outcome of these appeals is always uncertain, and resolving them can take time, perhaps more than a year. Please be patient.

  • If you are a Settlement Class Member, unless you excluded yourself, that means that you cannot sue, continue to sue, or be part of any other lawsuit against Lyft about the legal claims in this case, and all of the decisions and judgments by the Court will bind you.

    If you did nothing at all, you will be unable to file your own lawsuit involving all of the claims described and identified in the Settlement Agreement, and you will release Lyft from any liability but YOU WILL NOT RECEIVE A CASH BENEFIT.

    Remaining in the Settlement Class means that you, as well as your respective assigns, heirs, executors, administrators, successors and agents, will release, resolve, relinquish and discharge Lyft and the Released Parties from any and all claims, causes of action, suits, obligations, debts, demands, agreements, promises, liabilities, damages, losses, controversies, costs, expenses, and attorneys’ fees of any nature whatsoever, whether based on any federal law, state law, common law, territorial law, tribal law, foreign law, contract, rule, regulation, any regulatory promulgation (including, but not limited to, any opinion or declaratory ruling), common law, or equity, whether known or unknown, suspected or unsuspected, asserted or unasserted, foreseen or unforeseen, actual or contingent, liquidated or unliquidated, punitive or compensatory, as of the date of the Final Approval Order, that arise out of or in any way relate to Lyft initiating, sending, or assisting in the transmission of any text message containing a Lyft-related advertisement, promotion, or invitation to Settlement Class Members during the Class Period (the “Released Claims”). Released Claims include all claims under the TCPA and any other federal law; all claims under Washington state law, including claims arising under CEMA and the CPA; and any other claims arising under the laws of all other states.

    Remaining in the Settlement Class also means that you agree that you will not institute any action or cause of action (in law, in equity or administratively), suits, debts, liens, or claims, known or unknown, fixed or contingent, which you may have or claim to have, in state or federal court, in arbitration, or with any state, federal or local government agency or with any administrative or advisory body, arising from or reasonably related to the Released Claims.

    The Settlement Agreement (available here) provides more detail regarding the release and describes the Released Claims with specific descriptions in necessary, accurate legal terminology, so read it carefully. You can talk to the law firms representing the Settlement Class (listed in Question 10) for free or you can, at your own expense, talk to your own lawyer if you have any questions about the Released Parties or the Released Claims or what they mean.

    The release does not apply to Settlement Class Members who timely opt out of the Settlement as described below.

  • If you did not want a payment from this Settlement and you wanted to keep the right to sue or continue to sue Lyft or any of the Released Parties on your own about the legal claims in this case, then you must have taken steps to exclude yourself from the Settlement Class.

    To exclude yourself from the Settlement, you must have sent a Request for Exclusion by mail saying that you wanted to be excluded from the proposed settlement of Kenneth Wright v. Lyft, Inc., No. 2:14-cv-00421 (W.D. Wash.). You needed to include your full name, address, and telephone number(s), and sign the Request for Exclusion. You must have also included a statement that you wish to be excluded from the Settlement. You must have mailed your Request for Exclusion by first class mail, postage prepaid, and postmarked no later than March 15, 2019 to:

    Lyft Washington Text Settlement
    c/o JND Legal Administration
    P.O. Box 91225
    Seattle, WA 98111
     

    You could not exclude yourself by telephone or by email. You could not exclude yourself by mailing a request to any location other than the address above. You could not exclude yourself if you mailed your request after the deadline.

    If you asked to be excluded, you will not get any Cash Benefit, and you cannot object to the Settlement. You will not be legally bound by anything that happens in this Action. You may be able to sue (or continue to sue) Lyft in the future about the legal claims in this case.

    If you did not exclude yourself and the Settlement is finally approved, you give up any right to sue Lyft on any of the claims that this Settlement resolves. If you have a pending lawsuit against Lyft over these claims, speak to your lawyer in that case immediately. You must have excluded yourself from this Settlement Class to continue your own lawsuit.

  • The Court appointed the following lawyers and law firms to represent you and other Settlement Class Members:

     

    Donald W. Heyrich
    HKM Employment Attorneys LLP
    600 Stewart Street, Suite 901
    Seattle, WA 98101

    Peter Stutheit
    Stutheit Kalin LLC
    1 SW Columbia Street, Suite 1850
    Portland, OR 97258

    These lawyers are called Class Counsel. You will not be charged for these lawyers’ services. If you want to be represented by your own lawyer, you may hire one at your own expense.
  • Class Counsel will ask the Court, by a motion for attorneys’ fees and costs to be filed no later than February 13, 2019, to approve payment from the Settlement Fund to compensate them for expenses and for attorneys’ fees for investigating the facts, litigating the case, and negotiating the Settlement, plus an additional amount to cover their out of pocket costs incurred in litigating the case. Class Counsel intend to request fees not to exceed 25% of the Settlement Fund. Lyft has agreed not to oppose a request for fees up to 25 percent of the Settlement Fund. Class Counsel will also request an Incentive Award for the Class Representative that will not exceed $5,000, in compensation for his service, time, and effort. The Court may award less than the requested amounts. These payments, along with the costs of administering the Settlement, will be made out of the Settlement Fund.

    Any objection to Class Counsel’s application for attorneys’ fees and costs may be filed, and must have been postmarked, no later than March 15, 2019, which is 30 days following the filing of Class Counsel’s Fee and Cost Application. You could have objected by sending a letter addressed to the Court at the address listed in the next section of the notice. In your letter you must have stated that you object. You needed to include your full name, address, telephone number(s), and the reasons you object to the proposed award, or to the amount of the proposed award.

  • 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 could have objected to the Settlement if you do not think the Settlement is fair. You could have told the Court that you do not agree with the Settlement or some part of it. You could have stated reasons why you think the Court should not approve it.

    To object, you must have filed a written objection with the Court by March 15, 2019, saying that you object to the proposed Settlement in Kenneth Wright v. Lyft, Inc., No. 2:14-cv-00421 (W.D. Wash.). You needed to include your full name, address, telephone number(s), the reasons you object to the Settlement and whether you intend to appear at the fairness hearing on your own behalf or through counsel. Your objection to the Settlement must have been postmarked no later than March 15, 2019.

    The objection must have been mailed to:

     

    U.S. District Court
    Clerk's Office
    700 Stewart Street, Suite 2310
    Seattle, WA 98101

    Donald W. Heyrich
    HKM Employment Attorneys LLP
    600 Stewart Street, Suite 901
    Seattle, WA 98101

    Archis A. Parasharami
    Mayer Brown LLP
    1999 K Street, N.W.
    Washington, DC 20006-1101

     

    Objecting is simply telling the Court that you don’t like something about the Settlement. You could have objected only if you stayed in the Settlement Class. Excluding yourself, or opting out, is telling the Court that you do not want to be included in the Settlement. If you excluded yourself, you could not have objected because the Settlement no longer affects you.

    You have the right to consult and/or retain an attorney of your choice at your own expense, to advise you regarding the Settlement and your rights in connection with the Settlement and the Final Approval Hearing as described below. You also have the right, either personally or through an attorney retained and paid by you, to seek to intervene and object to the Settlement Agreement.

  • The Court will hold a hearing to decide whether to approve the Settlement. This Fairness Hearing will be held on May 29, 2019 at 10:00 am at the United States District Court for the Western District of Washington, 700 Stewart Street, Suite 16128, Seattle, WA 98101.

    The hearing may be moved to a different date or time without additional notice, so it is a good idea to check the website for updates. At this hearing, the Court will consider whether the Settlement is fair, reasonable, and adequate, and whether to award attorneys’ fees, expenses, and service awards as described above, and in what amounts. If there are objections, the Court will consider them. After the hearing, the Court will decide whether to approve the Settlement. We do not know how long it will take the Court to issue its decision. It is not necessary for you to appear at this hearing, but you may attend at your own expense.

  • You could have asked the Court for permission to speak at the Fairness Hearing. To do so, you must have sent a letter saying that you intend to appear at the Fairness Hearing in Kenneth Wright v. Lyft, Inc., No. 2:14-cv-00421 (W.D. Wash.). You needed to include your full name, address, and telephone number(s). You cannot speak at the hearing if you excluded yourself from the Settlement Class. Your letter stating your notice of intention to appear must have been postmarked no later than March 15, 2019, and been sent to the following address:

     

    U.S. District Court
    Clerk’s Office
    700 Stewart Street, Suite 2310
    Seattle, WA 98101

  • If you did nothing, you will be bound by the terms and conditions of the Settlement Agreement and you will not be able to start a lawsuit, continue with a lawsuit, or be part of any other lawsuit against Lyft about the legal claims in this Action, ever again. You must have filed a Claim Form in order to receive a Cash Benefit after the Court approves the Settlement and any appeals are resolved.

  • The Notice summarizes the pertinent portions of the proposed Settlement Agreement. More details are in the Settlement Agreement. You can view a copy of the Settlement Agreement by visiting our Important Documents page, where you will find the Claim Form, answers to common questions about the Settlement, plus other information to help you determine whether you are a Settlement Class Member and whether you are eligible for a Cash Benefit.

For More Information

Visit this website often to get the most up-to-date information.

Mail

Lyft Washington Text Settlement
c/o JND Legal Administration
PO Box 91225
Seattle, WA 98111