William Fosbrink v. Area Wide Protective, Inc.
8:17-cv-1154-T-30CPT

Frequently Asked Questions

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  • A court authorized the notice (“Class Notice”) because you have a right to know about a Proposed Settlement of this class action lawsuit and about your options before the Court decides whether to give “final approval” to the Proposed Settlement. The notice explains the lawsuit, the Proposed Settlement, your legal rights, what benefits will be provided, and who will receive them.

    This case is currently pending in the United States District Court for the Middle District of Florida, Tampa Division.

  • This litigation has been brought by William Fosbrink (the “Class Representative”), on behalf of himself and all others similarly situated, against Defendant Area Wide Protective (“Defendant”) alleging violations of the Fair Credit Reporting Act, 15 U.S.C. § 1681, et seq. (the “FCRA”). In the Complaint, the Class Representative seeks certification of a nationwide class under the FCRA.

    As alleged in the Complaint, the Class Representative was formerly employed by Defendant. During the employment application process, Defendant procured a consumer report on the Class Representative. The Class Representative alleges that, in connection therewith, Defendant violated Section 1681b(b)(2)(A) of the FCRA by failing to: 1) disclose to the Class Representative and other of its employees, former employees, and/or prospective employees (in a document consisting solely of the disclosure) that it was going to obtain a consumer report for employment purposes prior to obtaining a copy of the actual report; and, 2) as a result, obtain the proper authorization under the FCRA to obtain those consumer reports (collectively, the “FCRA Claims”). More particularly, the Class Representative alleges that the FCRA disclosure and authorization form(s) utilized by Defendant: 1) was/were not (a) stand-alone disclosure(s); and 2) contained extraneous information, more particularly “liability releases,” “blanket authorizations to various entities to release information otherwise protected by state or federal laws,” and “extraneous information about various state laws."

    Defendant denies that the FCRA disclosure and authorization forms that it utilized/utilizes violated/violate the FCRA. Defendant has raised several meritorious defenses to the Class Representative’s allegations that Defendant violated the FCRA.

  • The parties have agreed and the Court has ordered that, for settlement purposes only, this lawsuit may be maintained as a class action under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 23, subject to final approval at the conclusion of the settlement process. If the Proposed Settlement is not finally approved, or if any party withdraws from the Proposed Settlement, the lawsuit will return to the same status as before the Settlement Agreement was signed, and the Court will later determine if the case may proceed as a class action.

  • The Proposed Settlement includes approximately 22,000 natural persons in the United States of America who were employed by or applied for employment with Defendant and who were the subject of a consumer report that was procured by Defendant for employment purposes between May 16, 2015 and October 5, 2018. Excluded from the Class are the persons who timely and validly request exclusion from the Class.

    If you received the Notice, it is believed that you are a member of the Settlement Class.

  • The parties arrived at the Proposed Settlement as a result of arms-length negotiations, including a face-to-face meeting between the lawyers for each side during a mediation session with a court authorized mediator. The parties reached the Proposed Settlement after the Court determined that class certification was appropriate. The Proposed Settlement is a compromise of disputed claims and does not mean that any law was violated or that Defendant did anything wrong.

  • The Proposed Settlement provides for monetary benefits, as follows:

    Monetary Benefits:

    1. In consideration for the dismissal with prejudice of the FCRA Claims, and the releases set forth below, Defendant shall pay $850,000 as a total settlement fund (“Settlement Fund”) to the Class for statutory damages, attorney’s fees and costs, pursuant to the FCRA and all applicable state law(s), in the form of a check (“Settlement Check”) from which each identifiable Class Member will be provided a notice to file a claim (“Claim Form”) to receive a pro rata (proportional) share of the Settlement Fund. The Claim Form to be used by Class Members can be found on the Important Documents page.
    2. Any payment due to you under the Settlement Agreement will be reduced on a pro-rata basis to pay for court-approved attorney’s fees and expenses of litigation.
    3. The payments to the Class Members under this Settlement Agreement shall be made within 10 days from the date the Settlement becomes final.
    4. The payments to the Class Members shall be in the form of a Settlement Check which will become void ninety (90) days from the date of issue. The date of issue of the Settlement Check shall be the same date as the date the Settlement Check is mailed to each Participating Class Member. Once a Settlement Check issued to a Class Member pursuant to this section becomes void, Defendant shall have no further obligation to such Class Member.
    5. If any Class Member does not negotiate his or her Settlement Check within ninety (90) days from the date of issuance, the funds shall revert back to Defendant, subject to Court approval. More details of the proposed Settlement are in a document called the Settlement Agreement, which is available for your inspection at the Office of the Clerk, U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida, Tampa Division, 801 N. Florida Avenue, Tampa, Florida 33602, during normal business hours.
  • The Court held a final approval hearing on January 22, 2019 and final approval was granted on the same day. The Effective Date is January 22, 2019.

  • If you do nothing, you will be part of the Class. That means you cannot sue Defendant and its related parties over the claims settled in this case. It also means that all of the Court’s orders, including the release of claims and dismissal of the lawsuit with prejudice, will apply to you and legally bind you.

    Your interests as a member of the Class will be represented by the Class Representative and Class Counsel. You will not be billed for their services. Class Counsel will receive a fee only if the Court approves the Proposed Settlement, and the attorney’s fees and litigation expenses will be set by the Court and paid from the Settlement Fund.

  • If the Proposed Settlement is finally approved, the Court will enter a judgment dismissing all claims against Defendant with prejudice. Under the terms of the Proposed Settlement, you will release Defendant with respect to the claims that were raised or could have been raised in the case related to the FCRA Claims described above. This means you cannot seek equitable relief or any type of monetary relief against Defendant and its related parties based on any claim related to or arising out of the FCRA Claims. You will be giving up all such claims, whether or not you know about them.

    The Court’s order will apply to you even if you objected or have any other claim, lawsuit, or proceeding pending against Defendant. If you have any questions about the release, you should consult with a lawyer.

  • If you want to keep your right to sue Defendant with respect to the FCRA Claims, you must take steps to remove yourself from the Proposed Settlement. This is called asking to be excluded from – or “opting out” of – the Class.

  • If you choose to exclude yourself from the Class, you will not be bound by any order, judgment or settlement of the lawsuit. If you exclude yourself from the Class, you will not receive any benefits from this class action. You will retain and be free to pursue any claim against Defendant that you may have.

    To exclude yourself from the Proposed Settlement, you must mail a letter saying that you want to be excluded from the Class in Fosbrink vs. Area Wide Protective. You must include your full name, current mailing address, and telephone number, and the letter must be signed by you personally. Your letter requesting exclusion should have been postmarked to the address below by November 23, 2018 (passed):

    Fosbrink Class Action
    c/o JND Legal Administration, Settlement Administrator
    PO Box 91306
    Seattle, WA 98111

    You cannot exclude yourself on the phone or by email.

  • Yes. The Court has appointed Marc Edelman of the law firm Morgan & Morgan, PA to represent you and the other Class Members in this case. Mr. Edelman is called Class Counsel.

    You will not be charged for Mr. Edelman’s representation. Class Counsel’s compensation will be paid from the Settlement Fund. If you want to be represented by another lawyer, you may hire one at your own expense.

  • Class Counsel will ask the Court to approve attorney’s fees and expenses to be paid from the Settlement Fund. As fees and expenses, Class Counsel will ask the Court to award the sum of $255,000 to be paid from the Settlement Fund which represents thirty percent (30%) of the value of the total Settlement Fund. Class Counsel will also ask the Court to approve payment to the Settlement Administrator in amount not to exceed $52,000 for Settlement Notice and Settlement Administration, and a service award of $2,500 to be paid from the Settlement Fund to the Class Representative for the time and resources that he has spent helping the lawyer on behalf of the whole Class. The Court may award less than the requested amount to both Class Counsel and the Class Representative.

    No Class Member will owe or pay anything for attorney’s fees and expenses or the service award. Any award of attorney’s fees and expenses or the service award will be paid from the Settlement Fund.

    The Court must approve the attorney’s fees and expenses for Class Counsel and the service award for the Class Representative. The Court will conduct a hearing on attorney’s fees and litigation expenses for Class Counsel and the service award to the Class Representative at the same time of the final approval hearing.

  • If you timely return the Claim Form noting that you choose to receive a cash recovery, and the Court grants final approval of the Class Settlement, you will be sent a Settlement Check. The amount of your Settlement Check will be determined by dividing: 100% of the Settlement Fund by the total number of Class Members. The amount of each Settlement Check will be reduced on a pro rata (proportional) basis by the amount that the Court determines that Class Counsel and the Class Representative should receive for compensation for the prosecution of the instant action.

    THE CLAIM FORM SHOULD HAVE BEEN RECEIVED BY THE CLASS SETTLEMENT ADMINISTRATOR BY DECEMBER 24, 2018 (PASSED).

  • You may object to any part of the Proposed Settlement. To do so, you must file a written objection in the case Fosbrink vs. Area Wide Protective, Inc., Case No.: 8:17-CV-01154-JSM-CPT. Any objection must set forth your full name, current mailing address and telephone number and must include: (a) a written statement explaining the reasons for your objection; (b) copies of any papers, briefs, or other documents you want to bring to the Court’s attention; (c) any evidence you wish to introduce in support of your objection; and (d) a statement of whether you or your lawyer will ask to appear at the final approval hearing to talk about your objections.

    Your objection should have been postmarked by November 23, 2018 (passed) to the following addresses:

     

    COURT
    Clerk of the Court
    United States District Court for the Middle District of Florida, Tampa Division
    801 N. Florida Avenue
    Tampa, Florida 33602
     

    SETTLEMENT ADMINISTRATOR
    Fosbrink Class Action
    c/o JND Legal Administration, Settlement Administrator
    PO Box 91306
    Seattle, WA 98111
     

    CLASS COUNSEL
    Marc Edelman, Esq.
    Morgan & Morgan, P.A.
    T201 N. Franklin Street, Suite 700
    Tampa, Florida 33602
     

    DEFENDANT'S COUNSEL
    Robin Taylor Symons, Esq.
    Gordon & Rees Scully Mansukhani
    100 SE Second Street, Suite 3900
    Miami, Florida 33131
     

     

    If you or your lawyer ask to appear at the final approval hearing, in addition to providing the above information, you must include in your objection letter: (a) the points you wish to speak about at the hearing; (b) copies of documents you intend to rely upon at the hearing; (c) the amount of time you request for speaking at the hearing; and (d) whether you intend to have a lawyer speak on your behalf.

    If you intend to have a lawyer present, your lawyer must have filed a written notice of appearance of counsel with the Clerk of the Court no later than November 23, 2018 (passed).

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

  • The Court held a final approval hearing to decide whether the Proposed Settlement is fair, reasonable, and adequate and should be granted final approval. The Court also considered whether to award attorney’s fees and other expenses to Class Counsel, whether to provide a service award to the Class Representative, and whether to enter a final judgment and dismiss the lawsuit. You could have attended and you could have asked to speak.

    The final approval hearing was at 9:00 a.m. on January 22, 2019 before Judge James S. Moody, Jr., United States District Court for the Middle District of Florida, Tampa Division, 801 N. Florida Avenue, Tampa, Florida 33602, Courtroom 17.

    Final approval was granted on January 22, 2019.

  • No. Class Counsel will answer any questions the Court may have. If you send a written objection, you do not have to come to the final approval hearing to talk about it. As long as you mailed your written objection on time and according to the Court’s rules, the Court will consider it. You may also pay your own lawyer to attend the final approval hearing, but it is not necessary.

  • You have the right to do nothing. If you do nothing, you will remain part of the Class and you will not be able to start a lawsuit, continue with a lawsuit, or be part of any other lawsuit against Defendant about the claims in this case, ever again. However, if you do nothing, you will not receive your pro rata portion of the Settlement Fund.

  • If you have any questions concerning the matters dealt with in the notice, please direct your inquiries to the following Class Counsel:

    Marc Edelman, Esq.
    Morgan & Morgan, P.A.
    201 N. Franklin Street, Suite 700
    Tampa, Florida 33602
    (813) 577-4722

    The pleadings and other records in this litigation are available and may be examined and copied during regular office hours at the United States District Court, Middle District of Florida, Tampa Division, 801 N. Florida Avenue, Tampa, Florida 33602. PLEASE DO NOT TELEPHONE THE CLERK’S OFFICE OR THE JUDGE’S CHAMBERS CONCERNING THE NOTICE OR THIS CASE.

  • Unfortunately, we cannot take your change of address over the phone. However, you may send it in writing to our PO Box. Please include your name, the case name (Fosbrink v. Area Wide Protective), your old mailing address, your new mailing address, and your request for check reissuance if you need one.

    The address to mail this information to is:

    Fosbrink Class Action
    c/o JND Legal Administration, Settlement Administrator
    PO Box 91306
    Seattle, WA 98111

  • If you submitted a timely claim or cured your incomplete claim by the cure deadline on your notice, your award was mailed on Friday, February 1, 2019.

  • Your check was mailed to the address on record. If you would like to confirm where your check was mailed, please call 1-833-843-2642 for assistance.

  • No. This settlement claims violations of the Fair Credit Reporting Act, Fair Credit Reporting Act, 15 U.S.C. § 1681, et seq. (the “FCRA”). We do not have any information for a settlement related to lost wages at Area Wide Protective, Inc.

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Mail

Fosbrink Class Action
c/o JND Legal Administration, Settlement Administrator
PO Box 91306
Seattle, WA 98111