SEATTLE (Legal Newsline) – A proposed class action settlement involving MGM Resorts International and Costco Wholesale Corp. over gift card fees has been filed with the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington.
The proposed settlement, filed by plaintiff David Hanson on behalf of the class members, comes after the plaintiff claimed that the defendants charged customers monthly inactivity fees on their MGM Gift Cards much earlier than promised.
Hanson's attorneys are Kim D. Stephens and Kevin A. Bay of Tousley Brain Stephens PLLC in Seattle and members of Edelson PC in San Francisco and Darr Law Offices in Fishers, Indiana. They say they will be requesting up to one-third of the $150,000 fund.
“The results achieved for the proposed class are outstanding,” the plaintiff’s attorneys wrote. “First, as a result of plaintiff’s and his counsel’s pursuit of this action, defendants have fully refunded every unlawful inactivity fee charged, thus compensating each member of the proposed settlement class for any monetary losses caused.”
In addition to this compensation, the proposed settlement says there will be a non-reversionary $150,000 common fund, from which each of the approximately 8,000 class member who submits a valid claim will be paid a pro rata share, after payment of settlement administration costs, attorneys’ fees, and an incentive award to the class representative.
“This combined relief provides nearly everything the class could have hoped for, making it a truly an exceptional result, particularly in light of the difficulties and expense that lied ahead,” according to the proposed settlement.
The parties also agreed to compensation for Hanson as class representative, saying he should receive a reasonable incentive award of $5,000 to be paid from the settlement fund.
The attorneys said the court should approve the proposed settlement because “the proposed settlement is the product of serious, informed, non-collusive negotiations.”
“The proposed settlement class is as broad as the classes defined in plaintiff’s complaint, and has not been altered in effort to sweep in more class members to secure a more expansive release,” the attorneys said.
The attorneys added that there was absolutely no collusion between the plaintiffs’ counsel and defendants in negotiating the settlement.
According to the settlement, the parties have agreed upon a multi-part notice plan to be carried out by a settlement administrator, Heffler Claims Group.
The settlement states that the settlement administrator will send direct notice by email to class members within 30 days after the settlement is approved, or the notice will be mailed within 45 days if an email address isn’t available for some class members.