Frequently Asked Questions
Why was there a notice?
The Court authorized the Notice because Class Members have a right to know about the proposed Settlement of the class action against Defendant and about their options, before the Court decides whether to grant final approval of the Settlement.
The Notice explains the lawsuit, the Settlement, your legal rights, what benefits are available, who is eligible for them, and how to get them. Please read the Notice carefully. The Notice can be viewed by clicking here
The case is known as Robert J. Kramer, on behalf of himself and all others similarly situated v. Lumber Liquidators, Inc., a Delaware corporation; Case No. 34-2017-00222434-CU-OE-GDS (the “Action”). The Hon. Alan G. Perkins of the Superior Court of California, County of Sacramento, is overseeing this class action. The individuals who sued are called “Plaintiff”, and the company they sued is called “Defendant”.
What is this lawsuit about?
Plaintiff alleges that Lumber Liquidators misclassified its Store Managers and Store Managers in Training as salaried/overtime exempt employees. Plaintiff asserts that Lumber Liquidators failed to pay them all wages owed, including overtime for time worked in excess of 8 hours in a day and/or 40 hours in a week, failed to provide accurate itemized wage statements, failed to provide meal and rest breaks, failed to maintain records, and failed to pay them all wages owed in a timely manner at termination, and failed to reimburse for business expenses.
Lumber Liquidators denies that it has engaged in any unlawful activity or that it failed to comply with the law in any respect. The fact of settlement is not intended, nor will it be construed as an admission of liability or wrongdoing by Lumber Liquidators.
Why is this a class action?
In a class action, one or more people, called the Class Plaintiff, sue on behalf of people who have similar claims. Together all these people are Class Members. One court resolves the issues for all Class Members, except those who exclude themselves from the Class.
Why is there a settlement?
The Court did not decide in favor of Plaintiff or Defendant. Instead, both sides agreed to a settlement. The Class Plaintiff and the attorneys for the Class (“Class Counsel”) believe that the Settlement is best for all Class Members because of the risks and uncertainty associated with continued litigation, and the nature of the defenses raised by Defendant.
Who is Included in the Settlement
How do I know if I am part of the Settlement?
You are a Class Member and part of the Settlement if you are a current and/or former Store Manager and/or Store Manager in Training employed in the state of California by Lumber Liquidators at any time between November 17, 2013 and September 19, 2019
What if I am not sure whether I am included in the Settlement?
If you are still not sure whether you are included in the Settlement, you may review the Settlement Agreement and other important documents by clicking here. You may also call the Settlement Administrator’s toll-free number at (833) 216-5198 or e-mail email@example.com and ask for assistance.
The Settlement Benefits—What You Get
What does the Settlement provide?
In settlement, Lumber Liquidators agreed to pay a total of Four Million Seven Hundred Fifty Thousand Dollars ($4,750,000.00) (“Total Settlement Amount”) to settle this Action. Out of the Total Settlement Amount, the lawyers for Plaintiff and the class, called Class Counsel, will ask for $1,583,333.33 for attorney fees and up to $30,000 for costs; and Plaintiff will ask for a Service Award of $10,000. The Court has preliminarily approved a request to pay up to $15,000.00 for the purposes of administering this settlement. The parties have also allocated $80,000 from the Total Settlement Amount for penalties under the Private Attorneys General Act of 2004 (“PAGA”), pursuant to Labor Code section 2698, et seq., of which $60,000 will be payable to the LWDA and $20,000 will be included in the Net Distribution Fund. The Court may approve these payments or a smaller amount. Any reduction in these amounts will be included in the Net Distribution Fund. The money remaining (the “Net Distribution Fund”) will be available for distribution to Class Members, based on the formula set forth below. The payment of all employee and employer payroll taxes and all other legally required withholdings will be paid from the Net Distribution Fund.
All Class Members who do not submit a timely and valid Request for Exclusion will receive an Individual Settlement Payment. Each Class Member’s Individual Settlement Amount will be calculated as follows:
- Each Class Member will receive 1 point for each week worked during the Class Period.
- Any Class Member who separated his or her employment from November 17, 2014 through September 19, 2019 will receive 5 additional points to compensate the Class Member for his or her waiting time penalty claim.
- The value of a point shall be determined by dividing the Net Distribution Fund by the total number of points available to each Class Member as set forth in subsections (a) and (b) above. Each Class Member shall receive a gross payment equal to his or her point multiplied by the value of a point. To the extent that any Class Member excludes him or herself from the Settlement and there are unclaimed funds remaining of the Net Distribution Fund, each Class Member shall be entitled to receive a pro-rated increase based on their total number of points as compared to the total number of points for all Class Members.
When and how will I receive the benefits?
If the Settlement is approved and becomes effective, the Settlement Administrator will distribute payments by mail at the address of record.
If you change your address it is your responsibility to inform the Settlement Administrator of your updated information. You may notify the Settlement Administrator of any changes by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or by writing to:
1650 Arch St., Suite 2210
Philadelphia, PA 19103
The Court will hold a hearing on January 17, 2020 to decide whether to approve the Settlement. If the settlement is approved, there may be appeals. It is always uncertain whether these appeals can be resolved, and resolving them can take time. Please be patient and check this website for updates.
What am I giving up if I remain in the Settlement?
If you do not timely exclude yourself from the Settlement, you will be releasing all claims for the time period of November 17, 2013 to September 19, 2019 which were plead in the operative First Amended Complaint, or which could have been based on the facts alleged in the operative First Amended Complaint, including without limitations claims for unpaid wages and overtime, itemized wage statements, meal and rest period wages and premiums, record keeping violations, unpaid business expenses, untimely final paychecks and unfair competition.
The First Amended Complaint asserted the following causes of action: (1) Failure to Pay All Wages Earned (Labor Code § 204); (2) Failure to Pay Overtime Wages (Labor Code §§ 510, 1194(a), and 1198); (3) Failure to Provide Accurate, Itemized Wage Statements (Labor Code § 226(a)); (4) Failure to Provide Meal Periods (Labor Code §§ 226.7 and 512(a)); (5) Failure to Provide Rest Breaks (Labor Code § 226.7); (6) Failure to Maintain Records (Labor Code § 1174(d)); (7) Failure to Reimburse Business Expenses (Labor Code § 2802); (8) Failure to Pay All Wages Upon Termination (Labor Code §§ 201-203); (9) Unfair Business Practice (Business & Professions Code §§ 17200 et seq.); and (10) Private Attorneys General Act (Labor Code §§ 2699 et seq.).
You will be releasing claims against Defendant Lumber Liquidators, Inc., a Delaware Corporation, their subsidiaries and affiliates, employee benefit plans sponsored or maintained by any of the foregoing, their attorneys, and their respective successors and predecessors in interest; all of their respective officers, directors, employees, administrators, fiduciaries, trustees, beneficiaries and agents; and each of their past, present and future officers, directors, shareholders, members, employees, agents, principals, heirs, representatives, accountants, auditors, consultants, insurers and reinsurers.
Class Members who do not timely exclude themselves from the Settlement will be bound by the settlement and release of claims even if they do not cash their settlement checks.
Excluding Yourself from the SettlementIf you don’t want a payment from this Settlement and want to keep any right you may have to sue or continue to sue Defendant or other Released Parties on your own about the Released Claims, then you must take steps to get out of the Settlement. This is called excluding yourself and is sometimes referred to as “opting out” of the Settlement.
How do I get out of the Settlement?
Class Members who request to be excluded from the Settlement will NOT receive any money nor will they have released their claims.
To request to be excluded from the Settlement, you must prepare and submit a written request with your name and address. The request must state:
- “I want to exclude myself from the Settlement in Robert J. Kramer v. Lumber Liquidators, Inc., pending in the Superior Court of California, County of Sacramento Case No. 34-2017-00222434-CU-OE-GDS. I understand that by requesting to be excluded from the Settlement, I will receive no money from the Settlement.”
- The request must be signed by you and
- mailed to the Claims Administrator at
Attn: Opt Out
1650 Arch St., Suite 2210,
Philadelphia, PA 19103
- and postmarked on or before November 24, 2019.
You cannot exclude yourself on the phone or by fax or e-mail.
What Is the effect if I exclude myself from this Settlement?
If you ask to be excluded, you are telling the Court that you don’t want to be part of the Settlement. If you exclude yourself, you will not get a payment pursuant to the Settlement.
If you exclude yourself, you will not be legally bound by anything that happens in the Action. You may be able to sue (or continue to sue) Defendant in the future about the legal issues in this case.
If I don’t exclude myself, can I sue Defendant for the same thing later?
No. Unless you exclude yourself, you give up your right to sue Defendant and the other Released Parties for the claims that this Settlement resolves. You must exclude yourself from this Settlement to pursue your own lawsuit. The deadline to submit your exclusion request is November 24, 2019.
The Lawyers Representing the Class
Do I have a lawyer in the case?
Yes. The Court appointed Dominic J. Messiha of the Law Office of Dominic J. Messiah, PC and Justin Marino of Stevenson Marino, LLP to represent you and the other Class Members. These lawyers are called “Class Counsel.” 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.
How will the lawyers be paid?
Class Counsel will ask the Court at the Fairness Hearing to award of attorneys’ fees and reimbursement of expenses incurred in litigating this case of $1,583,333.33 for attorney fees and up to $30,000 for costs. The Court will determine the amount of attorneys' fees and expenses. These fees and expenses will be paid from the Settlement Fund before providing benefits to Class Members.
Will the Class Representatives be compensated?
The Class Plaintiff will ask the Court at the Final Hearing to award him a service payment of up to $10,000 for his efforts in initiating and prosecuting this case. The Court will determine the amount of the service payment which will be paid from the Settlement Fund before providing benefits to Class Members.
Objecting to the SettlementYou can tell the Court that you don’t agree with the Settlement or some part of it.
How do I tell the Court if I don’t like the Settlement?
If you are a Class Member and remain in the Class (i.e., do not exclude yourself from the Settlement) you can object to the Settlement.
Any Settlement Class Member may object to the Settlement, or to any settlement term. You can’t ask the Court to order a larger settlement; the Court can only approve or deny the settlement. If the Court denies approval, no settlement payments will be sent out and the lawsuit will continue.
Settlement Class Members must object in writing and may do so on their own or through their own attorney. A Notice of Objection: (1) must contain your full name, address and last four digits of the social security number, and (2) must be signed by you. The Notice of Objection should also state the case name and number, Robert J. Kramer v. Lumber Liquidators, Inc., pending in the Superior Court of California, County of Sacramento, Case No. 34-2017-00222434-CU-OE-GDS, and the basis for the objection and if the Class Member intends to appear at the Final Approval Hearing.
Any objection must be submitted to the Court by November 24, 2019 at the address below.
Clerk of the Court
Superior Court of California, County of Sacramento
Attn: Kramer v. Lumber Liquidators, Case No.: 24-2019-00222434-CU-OE-GDS
Gordon Schaber Courthouse, 720 Ninth Street
Sacramento, CA 95814
What’s 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 Settlement (i.e., if you do not exclude yourself from the Settlement). Excluding yourself is telling the Court that you don’t want to be part of the Settlement. If you exclude yourself, you cannot object because the Settlement no longer affects you.
The Court's Fairness Hearing
When and where will the Court decide whether to approve the Settlement?
The Court will hold a Final Approval Hearing at 9:30 AM on January 17, 2020 in Courtroom 35 at the Superior Court of California, County of Sacramento, Gordon Schaber Courthouse, 720 Ninth Street, Sacramento, CA 95814. At this hearing, the Court will consider whether the Settlement is fair, reasonable, and adequate, and whether to grant final approval of the Settlement. If there are objections, the Court will consider them. The Court will also decide how much to award the Class Plaintiff and Class Counsel. After the hearing, the Court will decide whether to grant final approval of the settlement. We do not know how long these decisions will take.
Do I have to attend the hearing?
No. Class Counsel will answer questions the Court may have. You are welcome to come at your own expense. You may also pay your own attorney to attend the Fairness Hearing on your behalf. If you send an objection, you don’t have to come to Court to discuss it. As long as your written objection is received on time, and you have followed directions contained in the Answer to Question 16 above, the Court will consider the information provided in your own written objection.
May I speak at the hearing?
You may ask the Court for permission to speak at the Final Approval Hearing. To do so, you must file with the Court a “Notice of Intention to Appear” in “Robert J. Kramer v. Lumber Liquidators, Inc., pending in the Superior Court of California, County of Sacramento Case No. 34-2017-00222434-CU-OE-GDS,” at the address located in question 16 above and serve the Notice on Class Counsel and Defendant’s Counsel at the address in Question 7 of the Notice. Be sure to include your name, address, telephone number, an explanation of the basis upon which you claim to be a Class Member, a list of any documents (if any) you want the Court to consider, the names of any witnesses who you want to testify, and your signature. Your Notice of Intention to Appear must be received at the address in Question 16, no later than November 24, 2019. You cannot speak at the hearing if you exclude yourself.
If You Do Nothing
What happens if I do nothing at all?
If you choose to do nothing at all and the Settlement is approved, the Settlement Administrator will mail you a check for your portion of the Settlement provided you are a Class Member.
Unless you exclude yourself from the Settlement, you won’t be able to start a lawsuit, continue with a lawsuit, or be part of any other lawsuit against Defendant or the Released Parties about the legal issues that this Settlement resolves
Getting More Information
Are there more details about the Settlement?
The Notice summarizes the proposed settlement. More details appear in the Class Action Settlement Agreement (the “Agreement”). Copies of the Agreement and other documents relating to the case are on file with the clerk of the Court and are available for review during normal business hours at 720 Ninth Street, Sacramento, CA 95814.
The Settlement Agreement and other important documents are also available for review on this website by clicking here.
How do I get more information?
You should not direct questions to the Court.