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Here’s $1 Billion in Open Class-Action Settlements. Do You Qualify?
When a company settles a class-action lawsuit, it usually doesn’t mean it’s admitted fault. In fact, quite the opposite is true! Most cases reach a settlement after both sides extensively negotiate and come up with mutually satisfying result.
Those of us who were affected by the issue get to benefit from a lot of long, hard work from the lead plaintiffs who initially filed the lawsuit.
Translation: You can claim some free money!
Of course, you should only submit claims for settlements when you’re actually eligible. Read each settlement’s “Who’s Eligible” section closely before filing a claim. Filing for a class-action settlement you don’t qualify for is illegal, and can mess up the process for folks who do qualify.
This past week I tracked down five settlements; let’s see what you qualify for!
1. Sephora Beauty Insider
Did you have a Sephora Beauty Insider account that was deactivated by the cosmetics chain in November 2014? If so, you could be a part of this $950,000 settlement and receive up to $125 in cash or $250 in store vouchers.
A class-action lawsuit accused Sephora of intentionally deactivating Asian customers’ VIB or VIB Rouge accounts on or around Nov. 6, 2014, so these consumers wouldn’t benefit from Sephora’s largest online sale event of the year.
The plaintiffs claimed Sephora shut down thousands of Beauty Insider accounts linked to China-based email accounts, including those from @qq.com, @126.com and @163.com.
The lawsuit claimed Sephora took this action “based on the ill-founded and discriminatory belief that all Chinese/Asian customers abuse discount sales to engage in bulk purchasing for re-sale.”
More than 95% of these accounts were held by customers who lived in the U.S. and were not resellers, the plaintiffs stated. However, these customers lost their VIB statuses, which left them unable to access certain benefits, including free shipping and coupons.
To benefit from this settlement, Sephora consumers must file a claim form no later than April 3, 2017.
See if you qualify.
2. GT’s Kombucha
If you purchased GT’s Classic Kombucha, Classic Synergy, Enlightened Kombucha or Enlightened Synergy beverages between March 11, 2011 and Feb. 27, 2017, you could get up to $60 in cash or vouchers as a part of this $8.25 million settlement..
According to a class-action lawsuit, GT mislabeled its kombucha in the following ways:
- It failed to list sugar as an ingredient, even though the beverages contained added sugar.
- It labeled the products as “non-alcoholic,” when they actually contained more alcohol than that term permits.
- It included the term “antioxidant” prominently on the label, despite a lack of antioxidants in the drink.
If you qualify for this settlement, you can get vouchers for free products or $3.50 in cash for each GT’s kombucha beverage you purchased. If you claim more than $35 in purchases, you must include a proof of purchase with your claim forms. You can can receive up to $60 in cash or vouchers if you submit a receipt.
This settlement covers more than 25 varieties of GT’s kombucha. To benefit, you must file a claim form by May 30, 2017.
Learn more here.
3. Central Payment Telemarketing
If you received a telemarketing call from Central Payment in the last six years, you could get between $100 and $150 as a part of a $6.5-million settlement.
This settlement resolves allegations that Central Payment violated federal law by calling phone numbers on the national do-not-call registry and placing robocalls to cell phones without the recipient's prior express consent.
To benefit from this class-action settlement, you must submit a claim form and provide the phone number Central Payment called.
Hurry, this settlement closes on April 14, 2017.
Find out more.
4. Proactiv Auto-Renewal (California Only)
If you’re a California resident who ordered Proactiv online between Jan. 22, 2009, and July 8, 2014, you can get $20 to $75 in cash or receive free skin care products with a minimum value of $75 from this class-action settlement.
A class-action lawsuit filed in 2013 accused GuthyRenker LLC, manufacturer of Proactiv, of not fully disclosing the terms of its automatic renewal billing policy when customers made a purchase online.
GuthyRenker denied the allegations but agreed to pay $15.2 million to settle the litigation.
To take advantage of this class-action settlement, you must file a claim form no later than April 17, 2017.
Learn more here.
5. Kia Sorento Crankshaft Bolt
If you owned or leased a 2003-2006 Kia Sorento, you could get up to $4,900 from a class-action settlement. This settlement resolves a lawsuit that claimed the manufacturer knew about a defective crankshaft pulley bolt in the crossover’s 3.5-liter engine, but it failed to notify consumers.
According to the court documents, Kia sold about 203,404 units with this potential defect, which could bring the total settlement cost up to $996.7 million.
This alleged defect could cause damage to other engine parts if the bolt broke, according to the lawsuit.
If your Kia Sorento broke down due to the alleged defect, you can get your associated out-of-pocket expenses covered, including parts, labor and even towing costs.
This settlement will close on May 17, 2017.
Find out more.
Your Turn: What did you qualify for? Let us know in the comment section below.
Melissa LaFreniere is the news editor of TopClassActions.com. In addition to reading 10+ class-action settlements each month, she also loves reading page-turning novels! She plans on finishing Big Little Lies tonight after the kids go to bed.