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In a class action, one or more people called the Class Representative(s) (in this case, Salvador Beltran, Jr. and Eli Gross) sue on behalf of a group or a “class” of people who have similar claims. In a class action, the Court resolves the issues for all Settlement Class Members, except for those who exclude themselves from the Settlement Class.
This Action claims that Defendant violated the Video Privacy Protection Act, 18 U.S.C. § 2710, et seq. (“VPPA”) by disclosing its subscribers’ personally identifiable information (“PII”) to third parties, including Facebook, Google, Adobe, and others without consent. The VPPA defines PII to include information which identifies a specific Person as having requested or obtained specific video materials or services from a video tape service provider. The Defendant denies that it violated any law. The Court has not determined who is right. Rather, the parties have agreed to settle the Action to avoid the uncertainties and expenses associated with ongoing litigation.
The Court has not decided whether the Plaintiffs or the Defendant should win this case. Instead, both sides agreed to a Settlement. That way, they avoid the uncertainties and expenses associated with ongoing litigation, and Settlement Class Members will get compensation sooner rather than, if at all, after the completion of a trial.
The Settlement Class is defined as:
all Persons in the United States who: (1) were registered users of an online website, mobile app, or any video-on-demand service or app owned, controlled, and/or operated by Crunchyroll; and (2) who viewed videos on an online website, mobile app, or any video-on-demand service or app owned, controlled, and/or operated by Crunchyroll during the Class Period.
Monetary Relief: Defendant has created a Settlement Fund totaling $16,000,000.00. Settlement Class Member payments, and Settlement Administration Expenses, the cost to inform people about the Settlement, Fee Award, and an award to the Class Representatives will also come out of this Settlement Fund (see Question 13).
A detailed description of the Settlement Benefits can be found in the Settlement Agreement available in the Documents section of this website.
If you are member of the Settlement Class you may submit a Claim Form to receive a portion of the Settlement Fund. The amount of this payment will depend on how many of the Settlement Class Members file Approved Claims. Each Settlement Class Member who files an Approved Claim will receive a proportionate share of the Settlement Fund, which Class Counsel anticipates will be approximately $30.00. You can contact the Settlement Administrator at (833) 933-5590 to inquire as to the number of claims filed.
The Final Approval Hearing to consider the fairness of the Settlement is scheduled for December 19, 2023. If the Court approves the Settlement, eligible Settlement Class Members whose claims were approved by the Settlement Administrator will receive their payment 90 days after the Settlement has been finally approved and/or any appeals process is complete. You will have the option of how you wish to receive your Settlement funds. More information is available on this website.
If you are a Settlement Class Member and you want to get a payment, you must complete and submit a Claim Form by December 12, 2023. An online Claim Form can be submitted through this website or by printing and mailing a paper Claim Form, copies of which are available for download on Documents section of this website.
We encourage you to submit your claim online. Not only is it easier and more secure, but it is completely free and takes only minutes!
If you do nothing, you won’t get any Settlement Benefits. If you don’t exclude yourself, or “opt out,” you won’t be able to start an Action or be part of any other Action against the Defendant for the claims being resolved by this Settlement.
The Court has appointed Brandon Wise and Adam Florek of Peiffer Wolf Carr Kane Conway & Wise, LLP and Michael Murphy and Patrick Muench of Bailey & Glasser, LLP to be the attorneys representing the Settlement Class. They are called “Class Counsel.” They believe, after conducting an extensive investigation, that the Settlement Agreement is fair, reasonable, and in the best interests of the Settlement Class. You will not be charged for these lawyers. If you want to be represented by your own lawyer in this case, you may hire one at your expense.
Class Counsel’s Fee Award will be paid from the Settlement Fund in an amount determined and awarded by the Court. Class Counsel is entitled to seek no more than one‑third of the $16 million Settlement Benefit, but the Court may award less than this amount.
As approved by the Court, the Class Representatives will be paid an incentive award from the Settlement Fund for helping to bring and settle the case. The Class Representatives will seek no more than $5,000 each as an incentive award, but the Court may award less than this amount.
To exclude yourself from the Settlement, you must mail or otherwise deliver a letter (or request for exclusion) stating that you want to be excluded from the Beltran, et al. v. Sony Pictures Entertainment Inc. d/b/a Crunchyroll, Case No. 1:22-cv-04858 Settlement. Your letter or request for exclusion must also include your name, your address, your signature, the name and number of this case, and a statement that you wish to be excluded. You must mail or deliver your exclusion request no later than November 27, 2023, to:
No. Unless you exclude yourself, you give up any right to sue the Defendant for the claims being resolved by this Settlement.
No. If you exclude yourself, do not submit a Claim Form to ask for Settlement Benefits.
If you’re a Settlement Class Member, 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 not approve it. The Court will consider your views. To object, you must file with the Court a letter or brief stating that you object to the Settlement in Beltran, et al. v. Sony Pictures Entertainment, Inc. d/b/a Crunchyroll, Case No. 1:22‑cv‑04858 and identify all your reasons for your objections (including citations and supporting evidence) and attach any materials you rely on for your objections. Your letter or brief must also include your name, an explanation of the basis upon which you claim to be a Settlement Class Member, the name and contact information of any and all attorneys representing, advising, or in any way assisting you in connection with your objection, and your signature. If you, or an attorney assisting you with your objection, have ever objected to any class action Settlement where you or the objecting attorney has asked for or received payment in exchange for dismissal of the objection (or any related appeal) without modification to the Settlement, you must include a statement in your objection identifying each such case by full case caption. You must also mail or deliver a copy of your letter or brief to Class Counsel and Defendant’s Counsel listed below.
Class Counsel will file with the Court and post on this website its request for a Fee Award by October 26, 2023.
If you want to appear and speak at the Final Approval Hearing to object to the Settlement, with or without a lawyer (explained below in answer to Question Number 21), you must say so in your letter or brief. File the objection with the Court and mail a copy to Class Counsel and Defendant’s Counsel at the addresses below postmarked no later than November 27, 2023.
The Hon. Sara L. Ellis
Brandon M. Wise
Michael L. Murphy
William F. Farley
Mark S. Melodia
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. Excluding yourself from the Settlement Class is telling the Court that you don’t want to be part of the Settlement Class. 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 on December 19, 2023 at 10:00 AM in Courtroom 1403 at Everett McKinely Dirksen United States Courthouse, 219 South Dearborn Street, Chicago, Illinois 60604. The purpose of the hearing will be for the Court to determine whether to approve the Settlement as fair, reasonable, adequate, and in the best interests of the Settlement Class; to consider the Class Counsel’s Fee Award; and to consider the request for an incentive award to the Class Representatives. At that hearing, the Court will be available to hear any objections and arguments concerning the fairness of the Settlement.
The hearing may be postponed to a different date or time without notice, so it is a good idea to check this website or call the Settlement Administrator at (833) 933-5590. If, however, you timely objected to the Settlement and advised the Court that you intend to appear and speak at the Final Approval Hearing, you will receive Notice of any change in the date of such Final Approval Hearing.