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A Court authorized the notice to let individuals know about a proposed Settlement with the Defendant. You have legal rights and options that you may act on before the Court decides whether to approve the proposed Settlement. You may be eligible to receive a cash payment as part of the Settlement. The notice explains the lawsuit, the Settlement, and your legal rights.
Judge Caroline Kate Moreland of the Circuit Court of Cook County, Illinois is overseeing this class action. The case is called Brown v. Moran Foods LLC, Case No. 2019 CH 02576 (Cook Cty., Ill.). The person who filed the lawsuit, Andre Brown, is the Plaintiff. The company he sued, Moran Foods LLC is the Defendant.
A class action is a lawsuit in which one or more plaintiffs—in this case, Andre Brown––sue on behalf of a group of people who have similar claims. Together, this group is called a “Class” and consists of “Class Members.” In a class action, the court resolves the issues for all class members, except those who exclude themselves from the class. After the Parties reached an agreement to settle this case, the Court granted Preliminary Approval of the Settlement and recognized it as a case that should be treated as a class action for Settlement purposes.
This lawsuit alleges that Defendant violated an Illinois law called the Biometric Information Privacy Act (“BIPA”) by using finger scanning time clocks in Illinois without complying with the law’s requirements, including by getting employees’ written consent to the collection of their biometric data and providing a publicly-available retention policy.
Defendant denies Plaintiff’s claims of wrongdoing and contends that it violated no laws. No court has decided who is right. The parties are instead entering into the Settlement to avoid time-consuming and expensive litigation. The Settlement is not an admission of wrongdoing by Defendant. More information about the complaint in the lawsuit and the Defendant’s position can be found in the “Documents” section of this website.
The Court has not decided whether Plaintiff or Defendant should win this case. Instead, both sides agreed to the Settlement. That way, they can avoid the uncertainty and expense of ongoing litigation, and Class Members will get compensation now rather than years from now—if ever. Plaintiff and his attorneys (“Class Counsel”) believe that the Settlement is in the best interests of the Settlement Class.
The Court decided that this Settlement includes all individuals who used a finger scanner for timekeeping purposes at Defendant’s locations in the state of Illinois between February 27, 2014 and December 15, 2020. Excluded from the Settlement Class are (1) any Judge or Magistrate presiding over this action and members of their families, (2) the defendant, defendant’s subsidiaries, parent companies, successors, predecessors, and any entity in which the defendant or its parents have a controlling interest, (3) persons who signed an arbitration agreement with Defendant in November 2015 or later, (4) persons who properly execute and file a timely request for exclusion from the class, and (5) the legal representatives, successors or assigns of any such excluded persons.
If you used a finger scanner for timekeeping purposes at Defendant’s locations in the state of Illinois between February 27, 2014 and December 15, 2020, and are not subject to any of the exclusions above, you are a member of the Settlement Class and may be entitled to a cash payment.
Cash Payments to Class Members: If the Court approves the Settlement, Defendant has agreed to pay a gross amount of $1,100 per Class Member. Class Counsel will apply to the Court for compensation of administrative expenses and up to 35% of the total payments to Class Members (the “Settlement Fund”) in legal fees. This amount and the costs of administering the Settlement, as well as an Incentive Award to the named Plaintiff, will be deducted from the Settlement Fund before it is equally distributed to Class Members, which if granted, Class Counsel expect will result in payments to Class Members of approximately $625 each.
Agreement on Future Conduct: As part of the Settlement, Defendant has represented that it is no longer using finger scanning timeclocks. If it resumes doing so, Defendant has agreed that it will not collect biometric data from Illinois employees without written consent, that it will post a publicly available retention policy, and that it will destroy all fingerprint data collected from former employees, to the extent that any is in its possession.
If you are a Class Member, the Settlement Administrator will send a check to your last known address.
In order to avoid backup tax withholding of your payment under this Settlement, you must complete the W-9 that came with a notice that you may received in the mail and return it to the following address by March 16, 2021: Brown v. Moran PO Box 225391 New York, NY 10150-5391. You may also fill out a W-9 on this website. You will still receive a payment if you do not fill out the W-9, but taxes will be withheld from your check.
The hearing to consider the fairness of the Settlement is scheduled for March 16, 2021. If the Court approves the Settlement, eligible Class Members will automatically be sent a check. Please be patient. All checks will expire and become void 90 days after they are issued. Uncashed checks will be donated to the Illinois Bar Foundation, the Cook County Bar Association, and/or Chicago Legal Aid, pending Court approval.
Yes, the Court has appointed lawyers Jay Edelson and J. Eli Wade-Scott of Edelson PC and David Fish of the Fish Law Firm as the attorneys to represent you and other Class Members. These attorneys are called “Class Counsel.” In addition, the Court appointed Plaintiff Andre Brown to serve as the Class Representative. He is a Class Member like you. Class Counsel can be reached by calling 1-866-354-3015.
You don’t need to hire your own lawyer because Class Counsel is working on your behalf. You may hire your own lawyer, but if you want your own lawyer, you will have to pay that lawyer.
Class Counsel will ask the Court for attorneys’ fees and expenses of up to 35% of the Settlement Fund, and will also request an Incentive Award of $5,000 for the Class Representative. The Court will determine the proper amount of any Attorneys’ Fees and Expenses to award Class Counsel and the proper amount of any award to the Class Representative. The Court may award less than the amounts requested.
If you do nothing, you will be a Settlement Class Member, and if the Court approves the Settlement, you will automatically receive a payment and you will also be bound by all orders and judgments of the Court. Unless you exclude yourself, you won’t be able to start a lawsuit or be part of any other lawsuit against Defendant or any other related entity for the claims or legal issues being resolved by this Settlement.
If you exclude yourself from the Settlement, you will receive no payment under the Settlement and you will no longer be a Settlement Class Member. You will keep your right to start your own lawsuit against Defendant for the same legal claims made in this lawsuit. You will not be legally bound by the Court’s judgments related to the Settlement Class and the Defendant in this class action.
You can mail or e-mail a letter stating that you want to be excluded from the Settlement. Your letter must: (1) be in writing; (2) identify the case name, “Brown v. Moran Foods LLC, Case No. 2019 CH 02576 (Cook Cty., Ill.),” (3) state your full name and current address; (4) be signed by you, and (5) be postmarked or received by the Settlement Administrator on or before February 23, 2021. Your request to be excluded must also include a statement to the effect that: “I hereby request to be excluded from the proposed Settlement Class in Brown v. Moran Foods LLC, Case No. 2019 CH 02576 (Cook Cty., Ill.).” You must mail or e-mail your exclusion request no later than February 23, 2021 to:
Brown v. Moran
PO Box 152
Warminster, PA 18974-0152
You can’t exclude yourself over the phone.
No. Unless you exclude yourself, you give up any right to sue Defendant and any other released party for the claims being resolved by this Settlement.
No. If you exclude yourself, you will not receive a payment.
If you do not exclude yourself from the Settlement Class, you can object to the Settlement if you don’t like any part of it. You can give reasons why you think the Court should deny approval by filing an objection. To object, you must file a letter or brief with the Court stating that you object to the Settlement in Brown v. Moran Foods LLC, Case No. 2019 CH 02576 (Cook Cty., Ill.), no later than February 23, 2021. Your objection must be e-filed or sent to the Circuit Court of Cook County at the following address:
Clerk of the Circuit Court of Cook County - Chancery Division
Richard J. Daley Center, 8th Floor
50 West Washington Street
Chicago, Illinois 60604
The objection must be in writing, must be signed, and must include the following information: (1) your full name and current address, (2) a statement that you believe yourself to be a member of the Settlement Class, (3) the specific grounds for your objection, (4) all documents or writings that you desire the Court to consider, (5) the name and contact information of any and all attorneys representing, advising, or in any way assisting you in connection with the preparation or submission of your objection or who may profit from the pursuit of your objection, and (6) a statement indicating whether you (or your counsel) intend to appear at the Final Approval Hearing. If you are represented by a lawyer, he or she must file an appearance or seek pro hac vice admission to practice before the Court, and electronically file the objection.
In addition to filing your objection with the Court, you must send via mail, e-mail, hand, or overnight delivery service, by no later than February 23, 2021, copies of your objection and any supporting documents to both Class Counsel and Defendant’s lawyers at the addresses listed below:
J. Eli Wade-Scott
350 North LaSalle Street, 14th Floor
Chicago, IL 60654
[email protected] Joel Griswold
BAKER HOSTETLER LLP
1 North Upper Wacker Drive, Suite 4500
Chicago, Illinois 60606
Class Counsel will file with the Court and post on this website its request for Attorneys’ Fees and Incentive Award on February 9, 2021.
Objecting simply means telling the Court that you don’t like something about the Settlement. You can object only if you stay in the Settlement Class as a Class Member. Excluding yourself from the Settlement Class is telling the Court that you don’t want to be a Settlement Class Member. If you exclude yourself, you have no basis to object because the case no longer affects you.
The Court will hold the Final Approval Hearing at 10:30 a.m. on March 16, 2021 before the Honorable Caroline Kate Moreland in Room 2302 at the Richard J. Daley Center, 50 West Washington Street, Chicago, Illinois 60602. The purpose of the hearing is for the Court to determine whether the Settlement is fair, reasonable, adequate, and in the best interests of the Settlement Class. At the hearing, the Court will hear any objections and arguments concerning the fairness of the proposed Settlement, including those related to the amount requested by Class Counsel for Attorneys’ Fees and Expenses and the Incentive Award to the Class Representative.
Note: The date and time of the Fairness Hearing are subject to change by Court Order. Any changes will be posted to this website.
No. Class Counsel will answer any questions the Court may have. You are, however, welcome to come at your own expense. If you send an objection, you don’t have to come to Court to talk about it. As long as your written objection was filed or mailed on time and meets the other criteria described in the Settlement, the Court will consider it. You may also pay a lawyer to attend, but you don’t have to.
Yes. If you do not exclude yourself from the Settlement Class, you may ask the Court for permission to speak at the hearing concerning any part of the proposed Settlement. If you filed an objection (see Question 17 above) and intend to appear at the hearing, you must state your intention to do so in your objection.
The notice summarizes the proposed Settlement. For the precise terms and conditions of the Settlement, please see the Settlement Agreement, contact Class Counsel at 1-866-354-3015, or visit the office of the Clerk of the Circuit Court of Cook County – Chancery Division, Richard J. Daley Center, 50 West Washington Street, Chicago, Illinois 60603, between 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, excluding Court holidays and any closures as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
PLEASE DO NOT CONTACT THE COURT, THE JUDGE, THE DEFENDANT OR THE
DEFENDANT’S LAWYERS WITH QUESTIONS ABOUT THE SETTLEMENT OR DISTRIBUTION OF CHECKS.