Hanson v. MGM Resorts International, et al.

Frequently Asked Questions

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Questions

Answers

1. What is a class action?

Answer:

In a class action, one or more people called class representatives (in this case, David Hanson) sue on behalf of a group or a “class” of people who have similar claims. In a class action, the court resolves the issues for all class members, except for those who exclude themselves from the class.

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2. What is this lawsuit about?

Answer:

This lawsuit claims that MGM and Costco violated the federal Electronic Funds Transfer Act and other state laws by charging consumers unlawful inactivity fees on their MGM gift cards.  MGM and Costco deny that they violated any law. The Court has not determined who is right. Rather, the Parties have agreed to settle the lawsuit to avoid the uncertainties and expenses associated with ongoing litigation.

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3. Why is there a Settlement?

Answer:

The Court has not decided whether the Plaintiff or the Defendants should win this case. Instead, both sides agreed to a Settlement. That way, they avoid the uncertainties and expenses associated with ongoing litigation, and Class Members will get compensation sooner rather than, if at all, after the completion of a trial.

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4. How do I know if I am in the Settlement Class?

Answer:

The Court decided that everyone who fits the following description are members of the Settlement Class: All individuals in the United States who, from October 24, 2010 to July 31, 2018, purchased an MGM Gift Card and were assessed an inactivity fee that was deducted from the balance of funds remaining on the Gift Card.

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5. What does the Settlement provide?

Answer:

Defendants have created a Settlement Fund totaling $150,000. Class Member payments, as well as the cost to administer the Settlement, the cost to inform people about the Settlement, attorneys’ fees and an award to the Class Representative will also come out of this fund (see Question 12). A detailed description of the Settlement benefits can be found in the Settlement Agreement (PDF: 1.6 MB).

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6. How much will my payment be?

Answer:

If you are member of the Settlement Class you may submit a Claim Form to receive a portion of the Settlement Fund. Each Class Member who files a valid claim will receive a proportionate share of the Settlement Fund after payment of notice and administrative expenses, attorneys’ fees, and an incentive award. The amount of this payment will depend on how many of the Class Members file valid claims.

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7. When will I get my payment?

Answer:

The hearing to consider the fairness of the Settlement (i.e. the Final Approval Hearing, see Question 18) is scheduled for Friday, November 9, 2018. If the Court approves the Settlement at the Final Approval Hearing and no appeals are filed, the Court will enter a Final Judgment approving the class settlement of the case. Eligible Class Members whose claims were approved by the Settlement Administrator will receive their payment within 60 days of the entry of Final Judgment in the form of a check. All checks will expire and become void 90 days after they are issued.

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8. How do I get a payment?

Answer:

If you are a Class Member and you want to get a payment, you must complete a claim form. Claim Forms must be postmarked by October 29, 2018 or submitted online by 11:59:59 p.m. (PT) on October 29, 2018.

A Claim Form can be found in the 'Documents' section of this website, or you may have received a Claim Form in the mail as a postcard attached to a summary of the notice.  You can submit a claim form on-line or download, print, complete and mail a Paper Claim Form (PDF: 96.0 kB) to Hanson v. MGM Resorts International, P.O. Box 58608, Philadelphia, PA 19102-8608, or to request a paper copy, call toll free, 1-800-335-2852.

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9. What am I giving up if I stay in the Class?

Answer:

If the Settlement becomes final, you will give up your right to sue MGM and Costco for the claims being resolved by this Settlement related to the inactivity fees. The specific claims you are giving up against MGM and Costco are described in the Settlement Agreement. You will be “releasing” MGM and Costco as described in Section 3 of the Settlement Agreement. Unless you exclude yourself (see Question 13), you are “releasing” the claims, regardless of whether you submit a claim or not.

The Settlement Agreement is available through the 'Documents' section of this website. The Settlement Agreement describes the released claims, so read it carefully. If you have any questions you can talk to the lawyers listed in Question 11 for free or you can, of course, talk to your own lawyer if you have questions about what this means.

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10. What happens if I do nothing at all?

Answer:

If you do nothing, you won’t get any benefits from this Settlement. But, unless you exclude yourself, you won’t be able to start a lawsuit or be part of any other lawsuit against MGM or Costco for the claims being resolved by this Settlement.

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11. Do I have a lawyer in the case?

Answer:

The Court has appointed Rafey S. Balabanian and Eve-Lynn Rapp of Edelson PC to be the attorneys representing the Settlement Class. They are called “Class Counsel.” They believe, after conducting an extensive investigation, that the Settlement Agreement is fair, reasonable, and in the best interests of the Settlement Class. You will not be charged for these lawyers. If you want to be represented by your own lawyer in this case, you may hire one at your own expense.

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12. How will the lawyers be paid?

Answer:

MGM and Costco have agreed to pay Class Counsel attorneys’ fees and costs in an amount to be determined by the Court. The fee petition will seek no more than one-third (33 1/3%) of the Settlement Fund, plus reimbursement of their costs and expenses; the Court may award less than this amount. Under the Settlement Agreement, any amount awarded to Class Counsel will be paid out of the Settlement Fund. Class Counsel will file with the Court and the documents will posted in the 'Documents' section of this website, when available, its request for attorneys’ fees by October 1, 2018. Subject to approval by the Court, MGM and Costco have agreed to pay the Class Representative a reasonable incentive award of $5,000 for his involvement in bringing and settling the case. The Plaintiff’s incentive award will also be paid from the Settlement Fund.

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13. How do I get out of the Settlement?

Answer:

To exclude yourself from the Settlement, you must mail or otherwise deliver a letter (or request for exclusion) stating that you want to be excluded from the settlement in Hanson v. MGM Resorts International, et al., Case No. 2:16-cv-01661-RAJ. Your letter or request for exclusion must also include your name, your address, a statement that you are a member of the Settlement Class and were charged an inactivity fee on your MGM Gift Card, your signature, the name and number of this case, and a statement that you wish to be excluded. Your exclusion request must be postmarked no later than October 15, 2018.

Hanson v. MGM Resorts International

Settlement Administrator

P.O. Box 58608

Philadelphia, PA 19102-8608 


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

Answer:

No. Unless you exclude yourself, you give up any right to sue MGM and Costco for the claims being resolved by this Settlement.

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15. If I exclude myself, can I get anything from this Settlement?

Answer:

No. If you exclude yourself, you cannot submit a Claim Form to ask for benefits.

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16. How do I object to the Settlement?

Answer:

If you’re 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 it. The Court will consider your views. To object, you must file with the Court a letter or brief stating that you object to the Settlement in Hanson v. MGM Resorts International, et al., Case No. 2:16-cv-01661-RAJ and identify all your reasons for your objections (including citations and supporting evidence) and attach any materials you rely on for your objections. If you have a lawyer, they must file an appearance and submit your objection through the court’s e-filing system. Your letter or brief must also include your name, your address, the basis upon which you claim to be a Class Member (including a statement that you were charged an inactivity fee on your MGM Gift Card), the name and contact information of any and all attorneys representing, advising, or in any way assisting you in connection with your objection, and your signature. You must also mail or deliver a copy of your letter or brief to Class Counsel and Defendants’ Counsel listed below.

If you want to appear and speak at the Final Approval Hearing to object to the Settlement, with or without a lawyer (explained below in answer to Question Number 20), you must say so in your letter or brief. File the objection with the Court and mail a copy to these three different places postmarked no later than Monday, October 15, 2018.


 

Court

Class Counsel

Defendants’ Counsel

The Hon. Richard A. Jones
United States Courthouse
700 Stewart Street

Suite 13128
Seattle, WA 98101-9906

Rafey S. Balabanian

Eve-Lynn Rapp

Edelson PC

123 Townsend Street, Ste. 100

San Francisco, CA 94107

Aravind Swaminathan
Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP
701 5th Avenue, Ste. 5600
Seattle, WA 98104-7097

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17. What’s the difference between objecting and excluding myself from the Settlement?

Answer:

Objecting simply 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 Class is telling the Court that you don’t want to be part of the Class. If you exclude yourself, you have no basis to object because the case no longer affects you.

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18. When and where will the Court decide whether to approve the Settlement?

Answer:

The Court will hold the Final Approval Hearing at 1:30 pm on Friday, November 9, 2018 in Courtroom 13106 at the United States District Court, 700 Stewart Street, Seattle, Washington. 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 and expenses; and to consider the request for an incentive award to the Class Representative. 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 it is a good idea to check this website for updates or call 1-800-335-2852. 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 date of such Final Approval Hearing.

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19. Do I have to come to the hearing?

Answer:

No. Class Counsel will answer any questions the Court may have. But, you are welcome to come at your own expense. If you send an objection or comment, you don’t 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 another lawyer to attend, but it’s not required.

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20. May I speak at the hearing?

Answer:

Yes. You may ask the Court for permission to speak at the final hearing to determine the Settlement’s fairness. To do so, you must include in your letter or brief objecting to the Settlement, a statement giving your “Notice of Intent to Appear in United States District Court, 700 Stewart Street, Seattle, Washington.” It must include your name, address, telephone number and signature as well as the name and address of your lawyer, if one is appearing for you. Your objection and notice of intent to appear must be filed with the Court and postmarked no later than Monday, October 15, 2018, and be sent to the three addresses listed in Question 16.

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21. Where do I get more information?

Answer:

You can get a copy of the Settlement Agreement in the 'Documents' section of this website. You may also write with questions to: Hanson v. MGM International; Settlement Administrator; P.O. Box 58608; Philadelphia, PA 19102-8608. You can call the Settlement Administrator at 1-800-335-2852 or Class Counsel at 1-866-354-3015, if you have any questions. Before doing so, however, please read the full Notice carefully. You may also find additional information elsewhere on this website. 


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

For more information please call 1-800-335-2852.

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:

    Monday, October 15, 2018
    You may exclude yourself from the Class by sending a letter to the Settlement Administrator postmarked no later than Monday, October 15, 2018.
  • Objection Deadline:

    Monday, October 15, 2018
    Your written objection must be postmarked and/or filed no later than Monday, October 15, 2018.
  • Claim Form Deadline:

    Monday, October 29, 2018

    You must submit a timely and complete Claim Form postmarked or filed on-line no later than Monday, October 29, 2018.  You may file an on-line claim form by clicking 'Submit Claim.'

  • Final Approval Hearing Date:

    Friday, November 9, 2018

    The Final Approval Hearing is scheduled for Friday, November 9, 2018. Please check this website for updates.

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