October’s Class-Action Settlements Involve Kombucha, Microwaves and More

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If you’ve had a fridge on the fritz or a microwave that looks like it’s having its own Fourth of July celebration inside, you may be eligible for part of these class-action settlements.

KeVita Master Brew Kombucha: Pasteurizing Claims

If you bought KeVita Master Brew Kombucha prior to Sept. 16, 2020, you may be able to claim up to $60 from a class-action settlement.

Plaintiffs accused the beverage company of mislabeling the drinks as being made without pasteurization.

While kombucha is a fermented tea-based drink that usually has live probiotics, KeVita Kombucha products allegedly were subject to pasteurization, which kills both harmful bacteria and helpful probiotics.

Even though the probiotics could not survive the pasteurization process, KeVita allegedly continued to ship the products in refrigerated trucks and included a warning to consumers to keep the drink refrigerated.

KeVita and parent company PepsiCo admitted no wrongdoing, but agreed to the settlement to end the litigation.

The settlement agreement provides $0.30 per product purchased before Sept. 16, 2020. Class members can claim up to $60 with proof of purchase, such as receipts. Class members without proof of purchase can claim between $3 and $9.

We have the list of covered flavors and the details you need to file your valid claim by Jan. 14, 2021.

Sharp Microwave Drawer Oven: Fire-Risk Defect

If you own a Sharp microwave drawer oven that was installed in your residential property between Jan. 1, 2009 and Aug. 5, 2020, you may be eligible for either $250 cash or a $500 voucher due to a class action settlement.

Plaintiffs alleged the microwaves were manufactured with a serious fire-risk defect and that Sharp failed to warn consumers.

Consumers said they could see “arcing” as evidenced by sparks or flashes seen within the microwave drawer oven when it was being used. Consumers also said they sometimes heard a buzzing noise or saw smoke.

While not admitting to any wrongdoing, Sharp agreed to resolve the claims by approving the settlement.

Class members may choose between receiving a replacement Sharp microwave drawer oven, a $250 cash payment or a $500 voucher to be used towards any other Sharp product. Claimants may also receive reimbursement for labor costs of up to $150 for microwave repairs or inspections and up to $200 to pay for repairs of adjacent cabinetry.

In addition, a warranty extension of one year to five years may be available to cover any arcing events.

You must submit your valid claim by May 7, 2021.

LG Refrigerator: Cooling Defect

You may be entitled to a portion of a $1.5 million class-action settlement if you bought a certain model of LG refrigerator from an authorized dealer between Jan. 1, 2014 and Dec. 31, 2017.

Plaintiffs said the refrigerators failed to keep cool and resulted in their food spoiling.

LG has not admitted to any wrongdoing, but agreed to settle the class-action lawsuit.

Without proof of purchase, cash payments up to $450 are available to class members, but those with proof of purchase may receive $6,000 or more. Extended warranties on covered LG refrigerators may be available as well.

The list of circumstances and possible payment amounts is lengthy and specific. Check out the details and submit your claim by the Jan. 11, 2021 deadline.

3M: Dental Crown Defect

Dentists and dental practices in the U.S. who purchased and used 3M’s Lava Ultimate Restorative material for a dental crown prior to June 15, 2020 on patients who experienced debonding of the crown before Sept. 7, 2020 may be eligible for a portion of a $32.5 million class-action settlement.

3M was accused of violating the terms of its warranty for dental crown bonding product Lava Ultimate Restorative, which is a ceramic material intended to dry and form a crown in dental procedures. Dentists said as patients came back for repairs or replacements that the dentists allegedly had to make such amends at their own costs.

Class members are eligible for either full reimbursement for out-of-pocket costs related to the debonding of the 3M crowns or $250 per debond.

The original claim form deadline was Aug. 8, 2019 for debonds repaired on or before May 10, 2019, but now a supplemental deadline of Dec. 8, 2020 exists for debonds repaired between May 11, 2019 and Sept. 7, 2020.

Eligible class members should file a claim prior to the Dec. 8, 2020 deadline.

Great Value & Market Pantry Coffee: Deceptive Packaging

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A number of food manufacturers have agreed to a $20 million ground coffee class-action settlement regarding allegations that deceptive packaging tricked consumers into believing they could brew more coffee that was actually feasible.

If you bought ground coffee under the names Great Value, Bonus Blend, Flavor Peak, Food Lion, Hannaford, Market Pantry and Signature Select in packaged cans, vacuum bricks or jars between Jan. 1, 2016 and July 29, 2020, you could be eligible for compensation. Coffee that was purchased and sold in bags is not eligible.

Defendants in the case included Massimo Zanetti Beverage USA, Mother Parker’s Tea & Coffee USA, Ltd. and Reily Foods Company. The companies faced allegations that certain brands they produced were mislabeled regarding the number of cups of coffee the consumer could make after buying the products, and the consumers said they relied on the accuracy of the labels when they made their purchasing decision. None of the companies admitted to wrongdoing.

Consumers may claim $1 per qualifying product purchased up to $5 without proof of purchase or up to $30 with proof of purchase.

Valid claims must be filed by Nov. 18, 2020.

Everi: Debit Card Receipts Violation

Everi Holdings Inc. has agreed to a $14 million class-action settlement to resolve claims the company violated the Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act (FACTA).

The casino game maker, which also provides financial equipment and services to casinos, allegedly printed both the first and last four digits of debit card numbers on receipts in a field labeled “BIN.” According to federal law, only the last four digits of a credit or debit card number may appear on electronically printed receipts. No other digits — including the card’s expiration date — may lawfully appear on such receipts.

Plaintiffs say they and other consumers were at greater risk of identity theft due to the receipts Everi provided, according to the lawsuit.

Everi did not admit to any wrongdoing, but agreed to settle the lawsuit to resolve the claims against them.

If Everi provided you a credit or debit card receipt that included four digits in a field labeled “BIN” between Feb. 16, 2016 and Dec. 31, 2019, you could be eligible for payments between $40 and $60. These amounts will be distributed on a proportional basis, but will depend upon the number of valid claims received and the net settlement fund after deductions of fees, expenses and service awards.

While some class members may have received a claim number and confirmation code by mail or email, others may not have received such a notice. We hav information on how to complete a claim form by the Feb. 1, 2021 deadline.

Customized Silicone Wristbands: Price Fixing

If you bought customized silicone wristbands or customized pin buttons between June 1, 2014 and June 23, 2020, you could be eligible for a portion of a $3.5 million class-action settlement pot.

Manufacturers, including Netbrands, Gennex, Custom Wristbands and Zaappaaz, allegedly conspired to fix the prices of customized silicone wristbands and pin buttons that forced customers to pay higher prices. Such price fixing is illegal.

The class-action lawsuit referred to a federal investigation that reportedly resulted in guilty verdicts for Zaappaaz, Custom Wristbands and several of their executives. As a result, Zaappaaz purportedly paid almost $2 million in fines and Custom Wristbands paid more than $400,000 in fines that went to the federal government for the violations of antitrust laws.

The lawsuit alleges consumers also should be compensated by the companies that allegedly fixed prices higher than they should have been.

None of the manufacturers have admitted any wrongdoing, but Custom Wristbands has agreed to pay $290,000; Gennex will pay $140,000; Netbrands has agreed to pay $2.5 million; and Zaappaaz will pay $625,000.

Exact settlement payments will depend upon how many products a claimant bought, how many claims are filed and the amount deducted in fees.

Purchase dates that are covered vary by brand and are as follows:

  • Netbrands: June 1, 2014 to Feb. 19, 2020
  • Gennex: June 1, 2014 to Jan. 23, 2020
  • Custom Wristbands: June 1, 2014 to Feb. 6, 2020
  • Zaappaaz: June 1, 2014 to June 23, 2020

Check out the complete details and the claim form by Dec. 13, 2020.