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This page was updated on January 23, 2013 with a status update on the Settlement.

The Court granted final approval of the Groupon Settlement on December 17, 2012.   However, certain objectors have filed appeals to the Court's final approval order, which will take additional time to resolve. The parties therefore cannot predict at this time whether and when the Settlement approval will become final, claim forms will be processed and settlement payments can be issued. If you have already submitted a claim, your claim will be held and processed if and when the Settlement approval becomes final. 
 
Future updates will be made here as soon as information becomes available. Please check back for updates. Thank you for your patience.

Click here to view the Order Approving Class Action Settlement.

Click here to view the Final Judgment.


Welcome to the Informational Website for the Class Action Settlement in:

In re Groupon Marketing and Sales Practices Litigation

Case No. 3:11-md-02238-DMS-RBB

United States District Court for the Southern District of California

NOTICE OF PENDENCY AND PROPOSED SETTLEMENT OF CLASS ACTION AND FINAL APPROVAL HEARING

          A Federal Court authorized this Notice.  This is not a solicitation from a lawyer.


Please click here to download a PDF of this notice.

If you purchased or received a Groupon Voucher issued for redemption in the United States between November 1, 2008 and December 1, 2011, then you are a member of the class (“Class Member”) for purposes of this class action settlement, and may be entitled to receive settlement benefits, unless you are one of the following:  (1) an employee of Groupon, Inc.; (2) a business with whom Groupon has partnered to offer Groupon vouchers (“Merchant Partners”); or (3) a parent company, subsidiary, affiliate or director or officer of Groupon or a Merchant Partner.

This website was established to provide information to you about the proposed settlement of certain litigation relating to the marketing and sales practices of Groupon, Inc.

The litigation is currently pending in the United States District Court, Southern District of California.  The case is called In Re Groupon Marketing and Sales Practices Litigation, case no. 3:11-md-02238. 

 Set forth below is information related to the settlement.  This website will be updated periodically.

Important Dates and Deadlines:

Following are important dates and deadlines relating to the settlement, which are explained more fully in the sections below:

Deadline to opt-out of settlement:  July 27, 2012

Deadline to object to settlement:  July 27, 2012

Deadline to submit claim form to obtain Settlement Voucher permitting redemption of voucher(s) past expiration date(s):  [to be determined pursuant to court order]

Deadline to use Settlement Voucher:  [to be determined pursuant to court order]

Deadline to submit Settlement Fund Refund Claim Form if Merchant is unwilling or unable to redeem Settlement Voucher [to be determined pursuant to court order]

Deadline to submit claim form to obtain refund of vouchers purchased after December 1, 2011:  [to be determined pursuant to court order]

Court Documents:

Click here to view the court documents.

Basic Information:

The purpose of this Notice is to inform you of (a) the pendency of this class action (the “Action”), (b) the proposed settlement of the Action (the “Settlement”), (c) the hearing to be held by the Court (the “Final Approval Hearing”) to consider (i) whether the Settlement should be approved, (ii) the application of Class Counsel for attorneys’ fees and expenses, (iii) the application for plaintiffs’ incentive awards, and (iv) certain other matters, and (d) the rights you may have and what steps you must take if you wish to participate in the Settlement, object to the Settlement or wish to be excluded from the Class.

  • The Settlement provides a total recovery for the benefit of the Class described herein of $8.5 million in cash, less plaintiffs’ attorneys’ fees and costs, plaintiffs’ incentive fees and expenses for administration of the settlement.
  • The Settlement resolves litigation alleging, among other things, that Groupon and its Merchant Partners illegally used expiration dates and other restrictions on Groupon Vouchers, engaged in sales or advertising practices that violated various federal and state consumer laws and failed to make adequate or required disclosures in the terms of use or terms of sale or otherwise on Groupon’s website relating to Groupon vouchers.  The Defendants in the litigation deny the allegations of the plaintiffs, deny that they are liable in any way to plaintiffs and have asserted a number of defenses to plaintiffs’ claims.
  • Your legal rights will be affected by this Action and this Settlement whether you act or do not act.  Please read this Notice carefully.

YOUR LEGAL RIGHTS AND OPTIONS IN THIS SETTLEMENT:

SUBMIT A PROOF OF CLAIM FORM

The only way to get a Settlement Voucher or payment of any type from the Settlement.

EXCLUDE YOURSELF

If you are a Class Member but exclude yourself from the Settlement, you will get no Settlement Voucher or payment.  Excluding yourself is the only option that allows you to ever bring or maintain your own lawsuit against the Defendants and the other Released Parties, or to be part of another lawsuit, concerning the Released Claims.

OBJECT

You may write to the Court about why you object to any part of the Settlement.  Written objections to the Settlement must be filed with the Court no later than July 27, 2012.  Lodging an objection does not exclude you from the Settlement.  If the Settlement is approved, you will be subject to the Settlement and will be bound by the Release described in response to Question 6.

GO TO THE FINAL APPROVAL HEARING

If you timely object in writing to the Settlement and file a timely Notice of Intention to Appear at the Final Approval Hearing, you will be entitled to ask to speak in Court about the Settlement during the Final Approval Hearing set for September 7, 2012.

APPEAR THROUGH AN ATTORNEY

You may enter an appearance in this case through an attorney at your own expense if you desire, but you will still need to comply with the requirements for objecting to the Settlement and appearing at the Final Approval Hearing.

DO NOTHING

You will get no Settlement Voucher or payment, and you will give up rights and be bound by all of the court judgments in the Action.

 

  • These rights and options—and the deadlines to exercise them—are explained in this Notice.
  • The Court in charge of this case still must decide whether to approve the Settlement. If the Court approves the Settlement and after any appeals are resolved and all proof of claim forms have been reviewed and processed, the Claims Administrator will email information about settlement benefits, and post further information on this website.   

Settlement Information and Commonly Asked Questions: 
  

Background of the Litigation and Settlement

 

 

1.                  What is this litigation about?

2.                  Why is this a class action?

3.                  Why is there a settlement?

4.                  What are the possible benefits of this Settlement?

Who is in the Settlement

5.                  How do I know if I am part of the Settlement?

6.                  Am I giving anything up in return for my benefit?

Your Rights – Choosing Not to Participate In the Settlement

7.                  Can I get out of the Settlement?

8.                  How do I exclude myself from the Settlement?

Your Rights – Objecting to the Settlement

9.                 Can I tell the Court I do not like the Settlement?

10.              How do I object to the Settlement?

11.              What is the difference between excluding and objecting?

How to Get a Benefit – Submitting a Claim Form

12.              What do I need to do to get a benefit from this Settlement?

The Lawyer Representing You

13.              Do I need to hire my own attorney?

14.              What will Class Counsel and the Class Representatives get from this Settlement?

Final Approval of the Settlement

15.              When will the Settlement become final?

16.              Can I appear at the Settlement hearing?

17.              What happens if the Settlement is not approved?

18.              What if I don’t do anything?

19.              How do I get more information?
20.              What do I need to do if I am a Groupon Merchant?

21.              What happens if claims exceed the $8.5 million Settlement Fund?

22.              How can I view a copy of the Groupon vouchers I have purchased?

23.              If I am a Settlement Class Member as defined in the Settlement Agreement and I neither submit a Settlement Fund Claim nor submit a timely request for exclusion from the Settlement Class, what happens to my unused and unrefunded Groupon Vouchers that I purchased or received prior to December 1, 2011 and that are past the expiration date shown on the vouchers?

 


Background of the Litigation and Settlement

1.                  What is this litigation about?

Several lawsuits were filed against Groupon, Inc. (“Groupon”) and several businesses (“Merchant Partners”) with whom Groupon has partnered to offer and sell Groupon Vouchers, regarding the marketing and sale of Groupon Vouchers.  Among other things, plaintiffs claimed that Groupon Vouchers contained expiration dates and other restrictions in violation of federal and state law and challenged statements on Groupon Vouchers and in terms of use and terms of sale on Groupon’s website used in connection with the offering or sale of Groupon Vouchers.  Lawsuits were filed in several different courts but all lawsuits filed in United States District Courts are now centralized and pending before the United States District Court for the Southern District of California.   Please do not contact the Court, Groupon, or Groupon's Merchant Partners regarding the Settlement.  Please contact the Claims Administrator at notice@grouponvouchersettlement.com or call 1-800-589-1256.

2.                  Why is this a class action?

In a class action lawsuit, one or more people called “Class Representatives” sue on behalf of people whom they allege have similar claims.  The people together are a “Class” or “Class Members.”  In this case, the Class Representatives who filed lawsuits are Barrie Arliss, Nevin Booth, Julie Buckley, Ashley Christensen, Jason Cohen, Adam Dremak, William Eidenmuller, Anthony Ferreira, Sarah Gosling, Eli Johnson, Heather Kimel, Jeff Lawrie, Michael McPherson, Sarah Mehl, Eric Terrell, Carlos Vazquez, and Brian Zard.  The defendants are Groupon, Inc., Nordstrom, Inc., Whirly West Inc. d/b/a/ WhirlyBall, Fun Time, LLC d/b/a/ Wheel Fun Rentals, and  Full Circle Farms, Inc (“Defendants”).

In a class action, one court decides the result of the lawsuit for everyone in the Class.  The court in this case has made a preliminary determination that, for settlement purposes only, this case can proceed as class action. 

3.                  Why is there a settlement?

Plaintiffs have made claims against the Defendants.   The Defendants deny that they have done anything wrong or illegal and admit no liability.  The Court has not made any determination regarding the Class Representatives’ claims, and by requiring this Notice, the Court expresses no opinion regarding liability.  Plaintiffs and Defendants met with a mediator and have agreed to the Settlement in order to avoid the costs and risks of a trial and appeal. 

4.                  What are the possible benefits of this Settlement?

Groupon has agreed to make changes to its marketing and sales practices with respect to Groupon Vouchers. For example, Groupon has agreed that for a period of three years from the effective date of the Settlement, the purchase value (the amount the customer paid ) of its Groupon Vouchers that have not been redeemed or refunded, with certain exceptions such as Groupon Now! Vouchers, will never expire, and that all expiration dates shown on the Voucher will be clear and conspicuous.  You can review a complete copy of the amended settlement agreement between the parties by clicking here.

In addition, Groupon has paid Eight Million, Five Hundred Thousand Dollars ($8,500,000) into a Settlement Fund.  Any attorneys’ fees and expenses and plaintiffs’ incentive awards approved by the Court, as well as the expenses of Claims Administration will be deducted from the Settlement Fund.  The balance will be used for the benefit of Class Members. 

If you are a Class Member and you submit a timely Claim form, which will be processed if and when the Settlement is approved, you may be entitled to receive a Settlement Voucher that will allow you to redeem unredeemed Groupon Vouchers that have not been refunded and that are past their stated expiration dates, for goods and services at the merchant listed in the voucher, up to the purchase price that you paid. 

You may submit a Claim, if and when the Settlement is approved, for a Settlement Voucher for any Groupon Voucher that meets the following criteria:  (1) the Groupon Voucher was issued for redemption at a Merchant Partner located in the United States and was never redeemed or refunded; and (2) the Voucher was purchased on or after August 22, 2010 or was issued before August 22, 2010 to a resident of, or for redemption in, any of the following states:  Arkansas, California, Connecticut, Florida, Hawaii, Illinois, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Montana, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Vermont, Washington. 

If the Merchant Partner identified on the Groupon Voucher that is the basis for your claim has gone out of business, you may, if and when the Settlement becomes effective, submit a Claim form requesting a refund of the purchase price on that basis and a refund will be paid to you in the form of a refund check.

Class Members whose Claims meet the criteria above will receive a Settlement Voucher, valid for a period of 130 days from its issue date.  If any merchant refuses to redeem a valid Settlement Voucher, the Class Member may submit a Claim form to the Claims Administrator (identified below) to receive a refund check for the purchase price you paid for the Groupon Voucher plus 20% of the promotional value of the Voucher that the basis of the Claim. All requests for refunds from the Settlement Fund must be submitted within 185 days of issuance of the Settlement Voucher.

Once all the qualified and approved Claims submitted by Class Members based on unredeemed and unrefunded Groupon Vouchers that are past their expiration have been paid from the Settlement Fund, if there are funds remaining, the Claims Administrator will designate the remaining funds as a Second Settlement Fund. If you are a Class Member and you purchased one or more Groupon Vouchers after December 1, 2011 which have not been redeemed or refunded and you want a refund of your purchase price for any reason, you may submit a Second Settlement Fund Proof of Claim requesting a refund of your purchase price.  You can make this request for a period of two years following the email notice that the Claims Administrator will send to Class Members, informing Class Members that the Second Settlement Fund has been designated for this purpose, but the Claims Administrator will pay approved, timely claims only for so long as there are funds remaining in the Second Settlement Fund.  A Class Member may also request a refund of the purchase price of a Groupon Voucher purchased after December 1, 2011, from Groupon and if Groupon provides the refund, Groupon may seek reimbursement from the Second Settlement Fund.  Please do not contact the Court, Groupon, or Groupon's Merchant Partners regarding the Settlement.  Please contact the Claims Administrator at notice@grouponvouchersettlement.com or call 1-800-589-1256.

Who is in the Settlement

5.                  How do I know if I am part of the Settlement?

You are a Class Member and part of the Settlement if you purchased or received a Groupon Voucher issued for redemption at a merchant in the United States, during the time period from November 1, 2008 until December 1, 2011 and if you meet certain other criteria described in the Settlement Voucher Claim Form and Instructions Proof of Claim Forms. You are excluded from the class if you are a Defendant or an officer or director of any Merchant Partner or a Groupon employee.  Certain other entities are excluded related to the Defendants. If you fall within the definition of a Class Member and are not excluded, you are a Class Member.

6.                  Am I giving anything up in return for my benefit?

Unless you affirmatively choose not to participate in the Settlement (which is called “excluding yourself” or “opting out”), you are part of the class.  By staying part of the class, court orders will apply to you, and you will give Groupon and all of its  Merchant partners, including the Merchant Partners named as Defendants, a “release.”  A release means that you cannot sue or be part of any other lawsuit against Groupon or its merchant partners about the claims or issues raised in this litigation ever again.  In addition, you will be agreeing that effective December 1, 2011, Groupon may sell Groupon Vouchers with expiration dates applying to their Promotional Value and that you will not challenge the expiration of the Promotional Value.  You may, however, contact Groupon to resolve any dispute that might arise concerning the promotional value of Groupon Vouchers, and in the event that such dispute is not resolved by contacting Groupon, you may submit the dispute to arbitration as detailed in Section D of the Amended Settlement Agreement.

Your Rights – Choosing Not to Participate In the Settlement

7.                  Can I get out of the Settlement?

Yes. You can choose not to participate in the Settlement and the Class.  This is called “excluding yourself” or “opting out.”  If you exclude yourself from the Settlement, you will not receive a Settlement benefit and you may not object to the Settlement.  However, you will not be bound by any judgment or Settlement of the case and will keep your right to sue Groupon and/or its Merchant Partners independently.

8.                  How do I exclude myself from the Settlement?

To exclude yourself from the Settlement Class, you must mail a letter to the address below, postmarked by July 27, 2012, that says you want to be excluded from the Settlement Class in In Re Groupon Marketing and Sales Practices Litigation, MDL No. 2238.  Include your name, address, telephone number and sign your request.

Claims Administrator

c/o Rust Consulting Inc.

PO Box 2727

Faribault, MN 55021-9727

Your Rights – Objecting to the Settlement

9.                  Can I tell the Court I do not like the Settlement?

If you do not exclude yourself, but you object to any portion of the Settlement, you can tell the Court you do not like the Settlement or some part of it.  This is called “objecting” to the Settlement.  If you object to the Settlement, you still remain a Class Member and will be bound by all court judgments.

10.              How do I object to the Settlement?

To object to any aspect of to the Settlement, including the requested attorneys’ fees, you must file your objection in the United States District Court for the Southern District of California (940 Front Street, Courtroom 10, San Diego, California 92101-8900) and you must mail a copy of it via First Class mail to each of the addresses listed below:

John J. Stoia, Jr.

Robbins Gellar Rudman & Dowd LLP

655 West Broadway, Suite 1900

San Diego, CA 92101

Tel:  (619) 231-1058

Fax:  (619) 231-7423


Class Counsel

Shirli F. Weiss

DLA Piper LLP (US)

401 B Street, Suite 1700

San Diego, CA  92101

Tel:  (619) 699-3650

Fax:  (619) 699-2701 


Attorneys for Defendants

 

Your objection must include: (1) your full name, address, and telephone number and, if represented by counsel, that of your counsel; (2) the email address you used to register your Groupon purchase; (3) your objection to the Settlement; (4) any reasons supporting your position; (5) proof of purchase or acquisition of a Groupon Voucher; and (6) a statement of whether you intend to appear at the Final Approval Hearing

If you or your lawyer wishes to speak about your objection at the Court’s Final Approval hearing in San Diego, you must include the following sentence in your objection:  “I intend to appear at the hearing.”  If you do not file an objection according to the procedures listed above, you will not be allowed to raise any objection later.

Your objection must be postmarked no later than July 27, 2012.

11.              What is the difference between excluding and objecting?

Excluding yourself, or opting out, means getting out of the Settlement altogether – you would not receive any benefits nor be bound by the terms of the Settlement and you cannot therefore object to any part of it.  Objecting means remaining in the Settlement, but complaining about some part of it you do not like.

How to Get a Benefit – Submitting a Claim Form

12.              What do I need to do to get a benefit from this Settlement?

To get a benefit from the Settlement Fund, you must submit a valid Claim form to receive a Settlement Voucher. You can submit a Claim form via the settlement website, via email, or via mail or facsimile. Claim forms are available on this website, but will not be processed until after the Settlement becomes effective. To get a benefit from the Second Settlement Fund, you must wait to receive notice from the Claims Administrator that the Second Settlement Fund has been designated and then submit a Claim Form. To get a benefit from the Second Settlement Fund, you must submit a valid Claim Form for a refund of the purchase price of your unredeemed and unrefunded Groupon Voucher.

The Lawyer Representing You

13.              Do I need to hire my own attorney?

You do not need to hire an attorney, but you can if you wish.  You and the entire class are already represented by Class Counsel listed below.  You do not have to pay for Class Counsel’s service.  You may contact Class Counsel if you have any questions about this notice or the Settlement.  Please do not contact the Court, Groupon, or Groupon's Merchant Partners regarding the Settlement.  Please contact the Claims Administrator at notice@grouponvouchersettlement.com or call 1-800-589-1256.

John J. Stoia, Jr.

Robbins Geller Rudman & Dowd LLP

655 West Broadway, Suite 1900

San Diego, CA 92101

14.              What will Class Counsel and the Class Representatives get from this Settlement?

Class Counsel will seek an award of attorneys’ fees and costs in an amount not to exceed 25% of the total Settlement Fund, and the Class Representatives will seek an award of no more than $500.00 each as an incentive for prosecuting this lawsuit.  It is up to the Court to decide how much Class Counsel and the Class Representatives will receive.  This request will be made to the Court as part of the final approval process.  A copy of Class Counsel’s motion for attorneys’ fees, costs, and incentive award will be posted on the Settlement website.  All attorney’s fees and costs and incentive awards will be paid from the Settlement Fund.

Final Approval of the Settlement

15.              When will the Settlement become final?

The Court has scheduled a Final Approval hearing, to be held on September 7, 2012, to decide whether to approve the Settlement and award attorneys’ fees and costs and an incentive award.  The Court is located at 940 Front Street, Courtroom 10, San Diego, California  92101-8900.  The hearing may be rescheduled to a later date and time without further notice.  You may, but do not have to, attend the Final Approval Hearing.  After the Court rules on final approval and the time to appeal has expired, the Settlement will become final.

16.              Can I appear at the Settlement hearing?

As long as you do not exclude yourself, you can (but do not have to) participate and speak for yourself.  This is called making an appearance.  You can also have your own lawyer speak for you, but you will have to pay for the lawyer yourself.

If you want to appear, or if you want your own lawyer – instead of Class Counsel – to participate or speak for you regarding the Settlement, you must give notice in your objection to the Settlement (as described in question 10).  You must state in that paper “I intend to appear at the hearing.” 

17.              What happens if the Settlement is not approved?

If the Court does not approve the Settlement or the Settlement does not become final, Class Members will not receive the Settlement benefit.  It will be as if no Settlement had been reached and no class had been established.

If You Do Nothing

18.              What if I don’t do anything?

If you do nothing, you will not receive any benefits from this Settlement, but you will still be a Class Member.  You will be bound by the terms of the Settlement, which means you cannot bring a lawsuit against Groupon or its Merchant Partners regarding the same claims.

Please do not contact the Court, or Groupon regarding this Settlement.  Neither the Court nor Groupon nor Merchant Partner employees can give you legal advice regarding this Settlement.  If you would like more information regarding this settlement, please contact:

CLASS COUNSEL: John J. Stoia, Jr., Robbins Geller Rudman & Dowd LLP, 655 West Broadway, Suite 1900, San Diego, CA 92101.

More Information

19.              How do I get more information?

If you would like more information regarding this settlement, please contact:
CLASS COUNSEL: John J. Stoia, Jr., Robbins Geller Rudman & Dowd LLP, 655 West Broadway, Suite 1900, San Diego, CA 92101. 

You may also contact the Claims Administrator at notice@grouponvouchersettlement.com or by calling 1-800-589-1256 or by mail: c/o Rust Consulting Inc., PO Box 2727, Faribault, MN  55021-9727. 

Please do not contact the Court, Groupon, or any Merchant Partner regarding this Settlement.  Neither the Court nor Groupon nor Merchant Partner employees can give you legal advice regarding this Settlement.

20.              What do I need to do if I am a Groupon Merchant?

Most likely, nothing. Groupon has already sent out notices to all potentially impacted merchants. If and when a Groupon consumer obtains a valid settlement voucher for your business, Groupon will contact you directly. As mentioned, this settlement releases you from all liability in connection with the claims made in this class action lawsuit.

            21.              What happens if claims exceed the $8.5 million Settlement Fund?

As provided for in the Amended Stipulation of Settlement (“Settlement Agreement”) in the event Settlement Class Members submit valid Settlement Fund Claims in an amount exceeding the funds available in the Settlement Fund, the benefits issued will be reduced pro rata; that is, in the event the total number of claims exceed the funds available for distribution to Settlement Class Members, your refund could be reduced, but only by the same proportion as everyone else's refund.

22.              How can I view a copy of the Groupon vouchers I have purchased?

You can view and print a copy of any unredeemed and unrefunded Groupon Voucher you have purchased by going to Groupon's website, www.groupon.com, and signing in to your Groupon account. On the "My Groupons" page, select "Show: All" from the pull down menu. To view a copy of a particular Voucher, click on "View Voucher."

23.              If I am a Settlement Class Member as defined in the Amended Settlement Agreement  and I neither submit a Settlement Fund Claim nor submit a timely request for exclusion from the Settlement Class, what happens to my unused and unrefunded Groupon Vouchers that I purchased or received prior to December 1, 2011 and that are past the expiration date shown on the vouchers?

If you purchased or received one or more Groupon Vouchers for redemption at a Merchant Partner in the United States from November 2008 until December 1, 2011, you are a member of the Settlement Class unless you submit a timely request for exclusion. This means that you will be bound by the terms of the Settlement Agreement, and you will be releasing any and all claims based on unused and expired vouchers. The release will prevent you from bringing a legal action against Groupon or the merchant, even if the purchase value of the Groupon Voucher is not expired under the law where you live, and even if you do not submit any Claim, request for refund, or receive any other monetary relief under the Settlement.

 

Disclaimer

Please do not contact the Court, or Groupon regarding this Settlement. Neither the Court nor Groupon nor Merchant Partner employees can give you legal advice regarding this Settlement.  If you have questions, please refer to the Commonly Asked Questions and the other information posted here.

This site is not operated by the Plaintiffs or the Defendants.  This class action settlement is supervised by the Court and is administered by a claims administration firm that handles all aspects of claims processing.

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