Frequently Asked Questions
- Why did I receive a Notice?
- What is a class action?
- What is this class action lawsuit about?
- Why is there a Settlement?
- How do I know if I am part of the Settlements and the Action?
- Are there exceptions to being included in the Class?
- What if I am still not sure if I am included?
- How much is in the Settlement Fund?
- Why is there a deduction for Taiwan taxes?
- How will payment amounts be determined?
- How do I get a payment?
- When will I get my payment?
- What did I give up to get a payment or stay in the Class?
- What are the Released Claims?
- How do I get out of the Class?
- If I excluded myself, can I get money from these Settlements or any future settlements or favorable judgments?
- How do I tell the Court that I do not like the Settlements?
- What is the difference between objecting and excluding myself from the Settlements?
- What happens if I did nothing?
- Do I have a lawyer in this case?
- Did I have to come to the Final Approval Hearings to receive money from this Settlement?
- How do I get more information?
1. Why did I receive a Notice?
The Court directed that we send you a Notice because you have a right to know about the pendency of the class action lawsuit, the Settlements with the Tong Yang Defendants and the Gordon Defendant and the proposed Settlement with Jui Li Enterprises, Co., Ltd. (collectively, "Settling Defendants"). The Notice should inform you about all of your options before the Court decides whether to grant final approval to the Jui Li Settlement. If the Court approves the Settlements, and after objections or appeals, if any, are resolved, the Claims Administrator appointed by the Court will make the payments that the Settlements allow. The Notice explains the lawsuit, the Settlements, your legal rights, what benefits are available, who is eligible for them, and how to get them. You can download and review a copy of the Notice on this website.
2. What is a class action?
In a class action, one or more people called Representative Plaintiffs sue on behalf of individuals or entities that have similar claims ("Class Members"). In this case, the Representative Plaintiffs are Fireman's Fund Insurance Company and National Trucking Financial Reclamation Services, LLC. In a class action, one Court and one judge resolves the issues for all Class Members, except for those who exclude themselves from the Class.
3. What is this class action lawsuit about?
The Court in charge of the consolidated cases is the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin heard by United States District Judge Lynn Adelman. This case is known as Fireman's Fund Insurance Co. v. Jui Li Enterprise Co., Ltd. et al., 2:13-cv-00987 (E.D. Wis.), and National Trucking Financial Reclamation Services, LLC v. Jui Li Enterprise Co., Ltd. et al., 2:14-cv-01061 (E.D. Wis.), which were consolidated with the lead case Fond du Lac Bumper Exchange Inc. v. Jui Li Enterprise Co. Ltd., et al., 2:09-cv-00852 (E.D. Wis.) (the "Action"). The companies leading the Action on behalf of third-party payors, Fireman's Fund Insurance Company and National Trucking Financial Reclamation Services, LLC ("Representative Plaintiffs"). The parties they sued, Tong Yang Industry Co., Ltd., as successor-in-interest to Taiwan Kai Yih Industrial Co., Ltd.; TYG Products L.P.; Jui Li Enterprise Co., Ltd.; Gordon Auto Body Parts Co., Ltd.; Auto Parts Industrial, Ltd.; and Cornerstone Auto Parts, LLC ("Defendants").
Representative Plaintiffs allege that beginning on January 1, 2003, Defendants violated federal and state antitrust laws and other state laws by agreeing to fix prices and limit supply for AMSM Products. Defendants have denied and continue to deny each and all of the claims and contentions made in the Action, as well as all charges of wrongdoing or liability against them.
4. Why is there a Settlement?
The Court did not decide in favor of Plaintiffs or Settling Defendants. Instead, Plaintiffs and Settling Defendants negotiated Settlements that allow both sides to avoid the risks and cost of lengthy and uncertain litigation and the uncertainty of a trial and appeals. It also allows Settlement Class members to be compensated without further delay. Representative Plaintiffs and their attorneys think the Settlements are best for all Settlement Class members.
5. How do I know if I am part of the Settlements and the Action?
You are part of these Settlements as a Settlement Class member if you fit the following description:
All third-party payors who indirectly paid or reimbursed others for the purchase of Aftermarket Automotive Sheet Metal Products for end use and not sale or resale, purchased anywhere in the United States between January 1, 2003 and September 7, 2015.
6. Are there exceptions to being included in the Class?
Yes. Excluded from the Class are Defendants and their parents, subsidiaries, and affiliates; all governmental entities; and any judicial officer presiding over the Action and the members of his/her immediate family and judicial staff.
7. I am still not sure if I am included
If you are still not sure whether you are included, you can call Class Counsel or you can email the Settlement Administrator at email@example.com.
8. How much is in the Settlement Fund?
Tong Yang Defendants paid USD $6.7 million in cash, which, after Taiwan taxes, will net USD $5.36 million in a United States escrow account.
The Gordon Defendant paid USD $2.5 million, which after Taiwan taxes, will net USD $2.0 million in a United States escrow account.
Jui Li Enterprise Company, Ltd. has agreed to pay USD $650,000.00 in cash, which after Taiwan taxes will net USD $520,000 in a United States escrow account in three installments. The first payment of USD $173,333.33 was deposited on October 1, 2016. The second payment of USD $173,333.33 will be deposited into the escrow account on or before March 1, 2017 and the final payment of USD $173,333.33 will be deposited into the escrow account on or before August 1, 2017.
In addition, the Settling Defendants have agreed to help Representative Plaintiffs pursue and advance their claims against Non-Settling Defendants.
9. Why is there a deduction for Taiwan taxes?
The Settlement Fund amounts originate from Taiwan, which is the location of the principal Settling Defendants. According to Taiwan tax advisors, under Taiwan law, the settlement amount paid to the payee of funds (the Class) is subject to a withholding tax of 20% of the funds and the payors (the Tong Yang Defendants and Gordon Defendant) are required to make that deduction before the funds leave Taiwan. The Settling Defendants are obligated to produce proof of this tax withholding pursuant to the Settlement Agreements. Settling Defendants have agreed to work with the lawyers representing the Class to attempt to obtain a refund of these taxes (estimated to be USD $1,740,000). If a refund is obtained, it will be added to the Settlement Fund escrow account.
10. How will payment amounts be determined?
Before making payments to Settlement Class members, the USD $7.88 million Settlement Fund will first be used to pay for the costs of notice, claims administration, attorneys' fees, costs, and expenses, and incentive awards (collectively "Administration Costs/Fees"). Each Settlement Class member that submitted a valid Claim Form will receive a pro rata share of the Net Settlement Fund based on their volume of qualifying AMSM Product purchases as compared to the total volume of all Settlement Class members' qualifying AMSM Product purchases.
Distributions will be made to qualifying Settlement Class members who timely submitted a valid Claim Form. If there is a balance remaining in the Settlement Fund after the initial payment distribution (due to tax refunds, uncashed checks or other reasons), and (1) that balance is at least a net amount of $5.00 per claiming Settlement Class member who cashed their check over the cost of issuing said second distribution, each Settlement Class member who cashed their initial distribution check will receive an additional pro rata distribution of the balance, or if (2) that balance is less than said $5.00, the balance will remain in the Settlement Fund until additional settlements are reached or judgments are entered. If, at the end of the litigation, an amount remains in the Settlement Fund that prorates to less than $5.00 to each claiming Settlement Class member who cashed their checks, said amount will be paid to a not-for-profit organization, the efforts of which are directed at protecting competition, subject to prior Court approval.
11. How do I get a payment?
The deadline to complete and submit a Claim Form to qualify for payment from the Settlements with the Settling Defendants and any future settlements or judgments in this action has passed. If you submitted a timely valid Claim Form during the initial Settlements with Tong Yang and Gordon, you will automatically qualify for payment from this Settlement as well as any future settlements or judgments in this Action.
12. When will I get my payment?
Distribution relating to the initial Settlements with Tong Yang and Gordon Auto Body are being prepared for mailing. If you do not receive your distribution payment or other notice within the next thirty-days, please continue to check this website for further updates.
The Court held a Final Approval Hearing at 10:30 a.m. on November 8, 2016 relating to the Jui Li Settlement. If the Court approves the Jui Li Settlement, there may be appeals. It is always uncertain whether any appeals made can be resolved favorably, and resolving them can take time, perhaps more than a year. Therefore, the Claims Administrator could distribute payments as early as nine months to a year after the Final Approval Hearing for Jui Li occurs. Please be patient.
13. What did I give up to get a payment or stay in the Class?
You are a part of the Class. This means that you are no longer be able to sue, continue to sue, or be part of any other lawsuit against any of Defendants about the same issues that have or could have been asserted in this Action. As a member of the Class, your claims against Non-Settling Defendants will continue to be litigated as part of the class action lawsuit. If there is a settlement or favorable resolution of the claims against Non-Settling Defendants in the future, you may participate in the benefits. Being a Class Member also means that you are bound by all of the Court's orders and you are bound by the provisions of "Released Claims".
14. What are the Released Claims?
"Released Claims" collectively means any and all claims, demands, actions, suits, causes of action, whether class, individual, or otherwise in nature (whether or not any Settlement Class member has objected to the Settlement or makes a claim upon or participates in the Settlement Fund), whether directly, representatively, derivatively or in any other capacity that Class members, or each of them, ever had, now has, or hereafter can, shall, or may have on account of, related to, or in any way arising out of, any and all known and unknown, foreseen and unforeseen, suspected or unsuspected injuries, damages, and the consequences thereof in any way arising out of or relating in any way to any act or omission of Releasees (or any of them) concerning the pricing, production, development, or sale of AMSM Products from January 1, 2003 through September 7, 2015, claims based on the conduct alleged and causes of action asserted or that could have been asserted, in complaints filed in the Action by Fireman's Fund Insurance Company and National Trucking Financial Reclamation Services, LLC, including but not limited to federal claims under the Sherman Act and state law claims under the laws of Arkansas, Arizona, California, Florida, Iowa, Kansas, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Nebraska, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Oregon, South Dakota, Tennessee, and Wisconsin, including without limitation, any claims arising under any federal or state antitrust, unjust enrichment, unfair competition, trade practice, statutory or common law, or consumer protection law (to the extent that a consumer protection claim would be based on allegation of an antitrust or unfair competition violation).
"Releasees" refers to the Settling Defendants, and all of their respective past and present, direct and indirect, parents, subsidiaries, related entities and affiliates; the predecessors, successors and assigns of the Settling Defendants; and each and all of the present and former principals, partners, officers, directors, investors, supervisors, employees, representatives, insurers, attorneys, heirs, executors, administrators, and assigns of each.
15. How do I get out of the Class?
The Exclusion Deadline to remove yourself from the Jui Li Enterprise Co., Ltd. Settlement was October 10, 2016. Therefore, you can no longer exclude yourself from the Jui Li Enterprise Settlement.
However, the Exclusion deadline for the Tong Yang and Gordon Settlements was December 15, 2015; therefore, you can no longer exclude yourself from this matter. If you are a Class Member, you are a part of the Class relating to these Settlements and in the litigation against Non-Settling Defendants.
If you excluded yourself before the deadlines, you do not need to exclude yourself from this Settlement. You retained the right to separately sue any and all Defendants for the claims that these Settlements resolve and for any claims relating to the issues in this Action. You cannot stay in the Class in this Settlement and remove yourself from the litigation against Non-Settling Defendants, or vice versa.
16. If I excluded myself, can I get money from these Settlements or any future settlements or favorable judgments?
No. If you excluded yourself, you are no longer eligible for any payments. If you submitted an exclusion request and a Claim Form, your claim will be denied.
17. How do I tell the Court that I do not like the Settlement?
The Objection Deadline for the Jui Li Settlement was October 10, 2016. If you are a Settlement Class member, and you submit a timely objection the Court considered your views before entering its final approval of the Jui Li Settlement on November 8, 2016.
18. What is the difference between objecting and excluding myself from the Settlements?
Objecting is telling the Court that you do not like something about the proposed Settlements. Excluding yourself is telling the Court that you (1) do not want to be part of the Class in these Settlements and (2) you do not want to remain part of the Action. If you exclude yourself, you have no basis to object or file a claim because the Settlements and Action no longer apply to you.
19. What happens if I did nothing?
If you did nothing, you will not receive a payment from these Settlements or any future settlements or judgments in this litigation. Since the Court approved the Settlements, you are bound by the Released Claims provision and the outcome of the Action with Non-Settling Defendants. This means, you are not able to start a lawsuit, continue with a lawsuit or be part of any other lawsuit against any of the Defendants about the issues resolved by these Settlements and included in the Action.
20. Did I have a lawyer in this case?
Yes. The Court appointed Ben Barnow of Barnow and Associates, P.C., Michael L. Roberts of Roberts Law Firm, Daniel R. Karon of Karon LLC, Melissa H. Maxman of Cozen O'Connor P.C., and Derek G. Howard of Minami Tamaki LLP to represent you and other Class members. These lawyers are called Co-Lead Settlement Class Counsel. These lawyers and their firms are experienced in handling similar cases. You will not be charged for these lawyers. If you want to be represented by your own lawyer, you may hire one at your own expense.
21. Do I have to come to the Final Approval Hearings to receive money from this Settlement?
No. Co-Lead Settlement Class Counsel will answer any questions the Court has relating to this litigation. However, you were welcome to come at your own expense, but you are not required to do so.
22. How do I get more information?
To register your name and address to receive future Notices in the mail regarding future settlements or judgments in this litigation, call the Claims Administrator at (866) 858-6088, or write to AMSM Indirect Settlement Claims Administrator, P.O. Box 43376, Providence, RI 02940-3376.
Please do not call the Court or the Clerk of the Court for additional information. They cannot answer any questions regarding these Settlements or the Action.