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Commonly Asked Questions


1. What is the case about?

Answer:

This class action case (“the Action”) alleges that Wyndham Hotels and Resorts, LLC and Wyndham Hotel Group, LLC (“Defendants”) violated California laws that prohibit the recording of telephone calls without notice to or consent of callers. The case covers calls made by natural persons who were California residents and who, while physically located in California, called one or more toll-free telephone numbers associated with Wyndham Rewards®, Wyndham Hotels and Resorts®, Wyndham Grand® Hotels and Resorts, Wyndham Garden® Hotels, Travelodge®, Ramada®, Knights Inn®, Wingate®, Days Inn®, Super 8®, Baymont®, Hawthorn®, Microtel®, or Tryp® between May 1, 2011 and March 23, 2012, inclusive, were routed to a call center operated by a third-party vendor (Aegis), spoke with a representative and were recorded without notice.

Can I have my check reissued?

Answer:

All settlement checks will be void as of June 16, 2017. If you need a reissued check for any reason, your request must be received by the Settlement Administrator no later than May 1, 2017. After May 1, the Settlement Administrator will no longer be taking reissue requests.

2. What is a Class Action?

Answer:

In a class action, one or more people called Class Representatives (in this case Joyce Roberts) sue on behalf of people who have similar claims.

3. Am I a Class Member?

Answer:

You are a Class Member if you are a California resident and, while physically located in California, you called one or more toll-free telephone numbers associated with Wyndham Rewards®, Wyndham Hotels and Resorts®, Wyndham Grand® Hotels and Resorts, Wyndham Garden® Hotels, Travelodge®, Ramada®, Knights Inn®, Wingate®, Days Inn®, Super 8®, Baymont®, Hawthorn®, Microtel®, or Tryp® between May 1, 2011 and March 23, 2012, inclusive, were routed to an Aegis-operated call center, spoke with a representative and were recorded without notice.

Please note that not all such calls were routed to an Aegis-operated call center.  Some calls were routed to other call centers operated by Defendants that provided a call recording warning.  Defendants have records of all telephone numbers that were routed to Aegis-operated call centers and were recorded.  If you received notice of this proposed settlement by postcard or email, there are records indicating that you might be a member of the Class entitled to submit a Claim Form.  You may be a member even if you did not receive notice by postcard or email. 

4. Why is there a Settlement?

Answer:

Both sides agreed to a settlement to avoid the uncertainty and cost of class certification and a trial and to provide benefits to Class Members more promptly. The Court did not decide in favor of the Class Representative, Class Members or Defendants, and Defendants deny any liability or wrongdoing of any kind associated with the claims in this class action.

5. What can I get from the Settlement?

Answer:

Defendants have agreed to and created a settlement fund of $7,325,000. After class action notice and administration fees and costs, a service payment to the class representative, and Class Counsel’s attorneys’ fees and costs were deducted, the entire remaining amount was divided up amongst all Class Members based on the number of qualified calls made by Class Members who submitted timely and valid Claim Forms. Although the actual amount paid out to individual Class Members depended on the number of Class Members who submitted timely and valid Claims Forms, based on claims rates in similar cases, it was estimated that each Class Member who submitted a timely and valid Claim Form would receive at least $150 per qualified call, but not more than $5,000 per qualified call, although the actual amount may be more or less than this. 

6. What do I need to do to receive a Settlement Payment?

Answer:

The Claim Form filing deadline of September 3rd, 2016 has passed. 

7. What am I giving up to get Settlement Benefits or stay in the Class?

Answer:

Unless you excluded yourself, as described below, you will remain in the Class and be bound by the terms of the settlement and all of the Court’s orders regardless of whether you submit a claim form. This means that you can’t sue or be part of any other lawsuit against Defendants or other Released Parties (defined below) about the issues in this case. Staying in the Class also means that you agreed to the following release of claims, which describes the legal claims that you gave up:

Release by the Settlement Class. Upon entry of the Final Approval Order and Judgment, the Settlement Class Representative and each Settlement Class Member, and their respective heirs, assigns, successors, agents, attorneys, executors, and representatives, shall be deemed to have and by operation of this Agreement and the Final Approval Order and Judgment shall have fully, finally, irrevocably, and forever released Wyndham Hotels and Resorts, LLC, Wyndham Hotel Group, LLC, Aegis USA, Inc., now known as TPUSA-FHCS, Inc., and, for each, its past or present direct and indirect parents, affiliates and subsidiaries (whether or not wholly owned) and their respective directors, officers, employees, agents, insurers, shareholders, members, attorneys, advisors, consultants, representatives, partners, affiliates, related companies, parents, subsidiaries (whether or not wholly owned), joint ventures, divisions, predecessors, successors, and assigns and each of them (collectively, the “Released Parties”) from any and all liabilities, claims, causes of action, damages (whether actual, compensatory, statutory, punitive or of any other type), penalties, costs, attorneys’ fees, losses, or demands, whether known or unknown, existing or suspected or unsuspected, that were or reasonably could have been asserted based on the factual allegations contained in the Action, or relate to or arise out of the alleged recording, monitoring, or eavesdropping upon telephone calls made to Defendants or any of the other Released Parties (except for calls to Howard Johnson toll free telephone numbers) prior to March 24, 2012 (collectively, the “Released Claims”). The Released Claims include, but are not limited to, claims that were or reasonably could have been asserted based on the factual allegations contained in the Action alleging violation of any law prohibiting or regulating the monitoring, recording or eavesdropping on telephonic calls without the consent of all parties, including but not limited to any claims under California Penal Code §§ 631, 632, 632.7 and 637.2. The Released Claims also include but are not limited to claims under any other California or federal statute, code, rule or regulation that regulates or restricts the monitoring, recording or eavesdropping on telephone calls.

8. When can I expect to receive my Settlement Payment?

Answer:

Claimants who are scheduled to receive a single settlement check that is up to $599:

Settlement checks mailed on December 30, 2016.

Claimants who are scheduled to receive a total settlement payment of between $600-$1,199:

Payments were split equally into two payments. The first payment was mailed on December 30, 2016 and the second payment will be mailed on or about January 13, 2017.

Claimants who are scheduled to receive a settlement check that is more than $1,200:

You will be receiving a Substitute IRS Form W-9 in the mail in January 2017. This is to satisfy IRS tax reporting obligations related to the payment you will receive. You must complete the Substitute IRS Form W-9 and return it to the Claims Administrator at the address listed on the letter within 14 days of the date on the letter you receive.

Your check will be delayed if you do not timely return the completed Substitute IRS Form W-9.

The money you will receive is tax reportable income and the amount of your settlement check will be reported to the IRS.  Neither Counsel nor the Claims Administrator can offer tax advice. Please contact a professional tax advisor or other qualified financial counselor with any questions concerning taxes.

Failing to return this form on time may have several consequences, including the automatic withholding of up to 35% of your settlement award for state and federal taxes.  It also may make it more difficult for you to recover any overpayment of taxes from your settlement check.

9. Can I exclude myself from the Settlement?

Answer:

If you didn’t want to receive benefits from this settlement, but you wanted to keep the right to sue Defendants or any of the Released Parties on your own at your own expense about the issues in this case, then you must have taken steps to exclude yourself from the settlement. This is also called “opting-out” of the settlement. To have excluded yourself from the settlement, you must have sent a letter by first class United States mail to the Claims Administrator, containing: (1) the title of the Action; (2) the full name, address, and telephone number of the person requesting exclusion; (3) a statement that you request to be excluded from the Settlement Class. Also, you were requested but not required to provide: (4) a short statement of the reasons for the request; and (5) the telephone number(s) that you claim to have used in making a call covered by this class action settlement. Be sure to include your name, address, telephone number, and signature.  Your letter requesting exclusion from the settlement must have been postmarked no later than September 3, 2016 and mailed to:

Hotels Call Recording Settlement Exclusions

c/o Rust Consulting

P.O. Box 2506

Faribault, MN 55021-9506

If you requested exclusion from the settlement, you will not get any settlement benefits, and you cannot object to the terms of the settlement. You will not be legally bound by anything that happens in this lawsuit.

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

Answer:

No. Unless you excluded yourself, you gave up any right to sue Defendants and any of the Released Parties for the claims that this settlement resolves. If you had a pending lawsuit covering these same claims, speak to your lawyer in that case immediately. You must have excluded yourself from this settlement to continue your own lawsuit.

11. Do I have a lawyer in the case?

Answer:

The Court has appointed Eric A. Grover of Keller Grover LLP and Scot Bernstein of the Law Offices of Scot D. Bernstein, A Professional Corporation to represent you and other class members as Class Counsel. They will be paid from the settlement fund and you will not be charged for this. If you want to be represented by your own lawyer, you may hire one at your own expense.

12. How will the lawyers and the Class Representatives be paid?

Answer:

Class Counsel asked the Court to approve payment of up to $1,831,250 (25% of the $7,325,000 settlement fund) in attorneys’ fees and an additional amount for out-of-pocket costs, which is estimated not to exceed $50,000. The fees would pay Class Counsel for investigating the facts, litigating the case, negotiating the settlement, and following through to make sure that its terms are carried out. Class Counsel also will ask the Court to approve a payment of $15,000 to Joyce Roberts for her service as Class Representative. The Court may award less than these amounts. These amounts, along with the costs of settlement notice and administration, will be paid out of the $7,325,000 settlement fund. Class Counsel filed with the Court their motion for award of attorneys’ fees, litigation costs, administration costs and Class Representative’s service payment no later than August 19, 2016. After that date, you may view the motion on the settlement website.  

13. How do I tell the Court that I don’t like the Settlement?

Answer:

You could have asked the Court to deny approval by filing an objection. You couldn’t ask the Court to order a larger settlement; the Court can only approve or deny the settlement. If the Court denied approval, no settlement payments would have been sent out and the lawsuit would have continued.

You must have objected to the proposed settlement in writing. All written objections and supporting papers must have included: (1) the name and case number of the lawsuit (Roberts v. Wyndham Hotels and Resorts, LLC, et al., USDC ND CA Case No. 12-cv-05083-LB); (2) the objector’s full name and postal address; (3) proof of the objector’s membership in the Class; (4) all grounds for the objection including, if available, the factual and legal bases for the objection known to the objector or his or her counsel and the relief the objector is seeking; (5) the identity, postal address, and telephone number for all counsel who represent the objector, if any; and (6) a statement confirming whether the objector or the objector’s counsel intended to appear personally at the final fairness hearing.

Objections must have been submitted to the Court by mailing them to the Class Action Clerk, United States District Court for the Northern District of California, 450 Golden Gate Avenue, Box 36060, San Francisco, California 94012 or by filing them in person at any location of the United States District Court for the Northern District of California. Objections must have been postmarked or submitted in person by September 3, 2016 to be considered timely.

14. What’s the difference between Objecting and Excluding?

Answer:

Objecting is telling the Court that you don’t like something about the settlement. You can object only if you stay in the Class. If you object, you may still submit a Claim Form to receive the benefits of the settlement in the event the objection is overruled and the settlement is approved.  Excluding yourself 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. You cannot both object to and exclude yourself from the settlement. Any persons who attempt both to object to and exclude themselves from the settlement will be deemed to have excluded themselves and will forfeit the right to object to or participate in the settlement or any of its terms.

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

Answer:

The Court held a Final Fairness Hearing regarding the Settlement at 9:30 a.m. on October 27, 2016 at the San Francisco Courthouse, Courtroom C – 15th Floor, 450 Golden Gate Avenue, San Francisco, California. At that hearing, the Court considered whether the settlement is fair, reasonable, and adequate. If there were objections, the Court considered them. The Court may have listened to people who had asked to speak at the hearing. The Court also decided how much to pay to Class Counsel and the Class Representatives. After the hearing, the Court approved the settlement.  The Order Approving Settlement is posted at the Court Documents page on this site.

16. Do I have to come to the hearing?

Answer:

The Court approved the Settlement at the Final Fairness Hearing, which was held on October 27, 2016.

17. What happens if I do nothing at all?

Answer:

If you do nothing, you will remain in the Settlement Class and will be bound by the terms of the settlement and all of the Court’s orders including the Release. This also means that you will not receive any settlement benefits and can’t sue or be part of any other lawsuit against Defendants or the Released Parties about the issues in this case.

18. Are there more details about the Settlement?

Answer:

The notice summarizes the proposed settlement. For the precise terms and conditions of the settlement, please see the Settlement Agreement and Release here. You can also get a copy of the Settlement Agreement and Release and other case documents by calling 1-800-889-8319, by writing to the Claims Administrator at info@CARecordedCallsSettlement.com or Hotel Call Recording Settlement Claims Administrator c/o Rust Consulting P.O. Box 2506 Faribault, MN 55021-9506, by accessing the Court docket in this case through the Court’s Public Access to Court Electronic Records (PACER) system at https://ecf.cand.uscourts.gov, or by visiting the office of the Clerk of the Court for the United States District Court for the Northern District of California, 280 South 1st Street, Room 2112, San Jose, California, between 9:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m., Monday through Friday, excluding Court holidays. You also can contact Class Counsel:

Eric A. Grover, Esq.       
KELLER GROVER LLP    
1965 Market Street     
San Francisco, California  94103  
Telephone: (415) 543-1305   
Facsimile: (415) 543-7861  
eagrover@kellergrover.com              
       
Scot Bernstein, Esq.
LAW OFFICES OF SCOT D. BERNSTEIN,
A PROFESSIONAL CORPORATION
101 Parkshore Drive, Suite 100
Folsom, California 95630
Telephone:  (916) 447-0100
Facsimile: (916) 933-5533
swampadero@sbernsteinlaw.com

PLEASE DO NOT CALL THE COURT, THE COURT CLERK’S OFFICE, DEFENDANTS OR DEFENDANTS’ COUNSEL WITH ANY QUESTIONS RELATED TO THE SETTLEMENT.

Disclaimer

This site is not operated by Wyndham Hotels and Resorts®. This class action Settlement is supervised by the Court and is administered by an administration firm that handles all aspects of claims processing. Wyndham Hotels and Resorts® is not authorized to respond to questions from members of the Settlement Class regarding the Settlement.  Please do not contact either Wyndham Hotels and Resorts® or the Court with questions about this Settlement.

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