A proposed national settlement has been reached in a class action proceeding alleging
that Sprint improperly disclosed and/or charged certain monthly surcharges that
Sprint collects from its customers to help defray certain costs, including but not
limited to, costs associated with government programs and network connections ("Sprint
Surcharges"). The case is entitled Eric Barkwell, et al., v. Sprint Communications
Company, L.P., et al., Civ. No. 4:09-CV-56 (CDL) (the "Action").
The Court has certified a class (the "Settlement Class"), for settlement purposes
only, consisting of:
All Persons in the United States or the U.S. territories, who are or were parties to an Individual Liable Account with Sprint for wireless services between January 1, 2007and October 8, 2013 and who were charged or were subject to Sprint Surcharges on any or all wireless lines of service. The Settlement Class does not include governmental or corporate accounts.
There is also a Sub-class, entitled the "Fee Notice Sub-Class," that is limited to Persons holding Individual Liable Accounts who were subject to Sprint Surcharges and who did not receive notice of Sprint Surcharge increases. It is not possible to define that Sub-Class precisely by date, but Sprint has identified the approximately 2.3 million members of this Sub-Class by account number and has developed lists by account number of the persons that make up this class. For guidance and notice purposes, the Sub-Class members generally fall into one or more of the following categories:
If you believe that you may be a Fee Notice Sub-Class member, you are encouraged to file a claim. Your claim information will be reviewed at the end of the claims period.Top
The following is a summary of pertinent provisions of the Settlement Agreement and
is not a complete statement of the Settlement or of the Action. The entire Settlement
Agreement is posted here. To take effect, this Settlement must be approved by the Court.
A. Prospective Relief.
All Settlement Class Members shall receive the following Prospective Relief:
In collaboration with Class Counsel, Sprint has reviewed and revised its point of sale disclosures, invoice disclosures, Terms & Conditions, website disclosures, and invoice notices to reflect the following:
(1) that Sprint Surcharges are not taxes or amounts Sprint is required to collect from its customers by law;
(2) that Sprint Surcharges are separated and clearly differentiated from Government Taxes and Fees that Sprint is required to collect from customers;
(3) that Sprint shall not refer to Sprint Surcharges set by Sprint as being taxes or amounts that Sprint is required by law to collect and remit to any government entity; and
(4) that when Sprint increases the amounts of Sprint Surcharges it will provide notice of any such change which will inform customers of the change, the effective date of the change, how to obtain additional information, and a reminder to consult their Service Agreement or wireless agreement.
The revised notices and disclosures agreed to between Sprint and Class Counsel are set forth in Exhibit H to the Settlement Agreement.
B. Benefits to Fee Notice Sub-Class Members.
In addition to the foregoing consideration, members of the Fee Notice Sub-Class may file a Claim with the Claims Administrator to receive either a Cash Benefit OR one of the Non-Cash Benefits.
The Cash Benefit is (1) a $1 account credit for a current customer or a former customer with an unpaid account due Sprint, or (2) a $1 check, electronic transfer or e-account credit to a former customer whose account is not past due.
The Non-Cash Benefits are: (1) a 30-minute long distance, domestic calling card; (2) a 30% discount on any accessory purchased at a Sprint-owned retail store, limited to one accessory; or (3) a waiver of the $36 activation fee when activating a new line of service under Sprint's then-existing Terms & Conditions of Services. To be eligible for the waiver of the $36 activation fee, the Claimant must be eligible under Sprint's activation and credit policies.
You may file a claim online at www.SprintSurchargeSettlement.com
or by mailing a Claim Form. You may download a Claim Form from www.SprintSurchargeSettlement.com. To save yourself the postage, you are
highly encouraged to submit claims on-line.
This Settlement will provide benefits to individual Sprint customers who qualify as Fee Notice Sub-Class Members. Two categories of benefits are available. Submit your Claim under the category that best fits your needs. You may choose only ONE of the categories of the Settlement Benefits. The benefit amounts shown are the highest possible amounts. To obtain any Non-Cash Benefit, you will need to have a code number given to you by the Claims Administrator. That code, along with instructions of how to obtain a Settlement Benefit will be provided to you after the Claims Administrator's receipt, validation, and, if qualified and complete, approval of your Claim. No Settlement Benefits of any kind will be provided until after the settlement approval is final and no longer subject to modification in the courts, and that could take a substantial amount of time. To obtain the latest information about the status of the Settlement, please visit www.SprintSurchargeSettlement.com.
Although supporting documentation is not required, if you are presenting documentation in support of your Claim, produce COPIES, and keep all originals in your possession. Be sure that all copies are legible.
All Claims must be postmarked or electronically filed on or before the expiration of the Claims Period, which is March 24, 2014. All Claim materials and representations in support of your Claim materials must be true and correct, are subject to verification by Sprint records, Class Counsel and the Claims Administrator, and are submitted by you under penalty of perjury of the laws of the United States.
Please refer to the Settlement Agreement which can be found here if you require more detailed instructions, or contact the Claims Administrator at 1-866-571-4407.
Please note that no Settlement Benefit is available if: (i) you previously received a credit, adjustment or offset of all of the Sprint Surcharges attributable to your Individual Liable Account; or (ii) you released Sprint from liability arising out of Surcharges in a prior claim or lawsuit. No Cash Benefit is available for members of the Fee Notice Sub-Class that never paid to Sprint any amounts for Sprint Surcharges.
If you do not wish to remain a member of the Settlement Class, you may exclude yourself
from the Settlement Class. If you request to be excluded, you will not be eligible
or entitled to receive any benefits from the Settlement, you may not object to the
Settlement, and you will retain any individual rights you have with respect to the
Released Claims. If you wish to be excluded from the Settlement Class, you must
submit a written Request for Exclusion addressed to Sprint Surcharges Claims Administrator,
c/o Gilardi & Co. LLC, P.O. Box 6002, Larkspur, CA 94977-6002, postmarked no later
than February 24, 2014. The Request for Exclusion must clearly state the following:
the full name, address, and telephone number of the person who wishes to be excluded
from the Settlement Class, the signature of the person who wishes to be excluded,
and the following statement:
The undersigned individual hereby represents that he/she has authority to sign and submit this Request for Exclusion on behalf of the above-named class member. The undersigned also certifies that he/she has not received any advice from the parties to this litigation or their attorneys concerning his/her or the class member's fiduciary obligations under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974, 29 U.S.C. § 1100, et seq., or other laws governing their obligations to any class member. The undersigned understands that by submitting this Request for Exclusion, the class member identified above will not be entitled to receive any proceeds of the class settlement. By affixing my signature below, I certify under penalty of perjury that the foregoing is true and correct. 28 U.S.C. § 1746.
A list of class members requesting exclusion will be filed with the Court. If you do not request exclusion, then you will be bound by the final judgment entered in this Action.
You may, if you desire, appear at the Final Approval Hearing to object to the proposed
Settlement, the Fee and Cost Application, and/or the request for Incentive Awards
for the Class Representatives if you do not submit a Request for Exclusion. To do
so, you must file a written notice of objection, with the United States District
Court for the Middle District of Georgia, 120 12th Street, Columbus, Georgia 31902.
For an objection to be considered by the Court, the objection must be postmarked no later than February 24, 2014 and must include the following information: (i) the case name, Eric Barkwell, et al. v. Sprint Communications Company, L.P., et al., Case No. 4:09-CV-56 (CDL); (ii) the objector's full name, address, and telephone number; (iii) an explanation of the basis upon which the objector claims to be a Settlement Class Member; (iv) all grounds for the objection, accompanied by any legal support for the objection known to the objector or his counsel; (v) the number of times in which the objector has objected to a class action settlement within the five years preceding the date that the objector files the objection, the caption of each case in which the objector has made such objection, and a copy of any orders related to or ruling upon the objector's prior such objections that were issued by the trial and appellate courts in each listed case; (vi) the identity of all counsel (if any) who represent the objector, including any former or current counsel who may be entitled to compensation for any reason related to the objection to the Settlement or fee application; (vii) the number of times the objector's counsel and/or counsel's law firm have objected to a class action settlement within the five years preceding the date that the objector files the objection, the caption of each case in which the counsel or the firm has made such objection, and a copy of any orders related to or ruling upon counsel's or the firm's prior such objections that were issued by the trial and appellate courts in each listed case; (viii) any and all agreements that relate to the objection or the process of objecting (whether written or verbal) between objector or objector's counsel and any other person or entity; (ix) the identity of all counsel representing the objector who will appear at the Final Approval Hearing; (x) a list of all persons who will be called to testify at the Final Approval Hearing in support of the objection; (xi) a statement confirming whether the objector intends to personally appear and/or testify at the Final Approval Hearing; and (xii) the objector's signature (the objector's counsel's signature is not sufficient). Copies of any objections must be sent to:
Counsel for Sprint
H. Wayne Phears, Esq.
R. Patrick Dover, Esq.
1230 Peachtree Street, N.E., Suite 2100
Atlanta, GA 30309
E. Adam Webb, Esq.
Matthew C. Klase, Esq.
Webb, Klase and Lemond, LLC
1900 The Exchange, S.E., Suite 480
Atlanta, Georgia 30339
On April 10, 2014, a hearing will be held in the United States District Court for
the Middle District of Georgia, 120 12th Street, Columbus, Georgia 31902, to determine
whether the Settlement should be approved by the Court as fair, reasonable, and
adequate, and whether judgment should be entered thereon ("Final Approval Hearing").
The date of the Final Approval Hearing is subject to change. For updated scheduling
information, please visit www.sprintsurchargesettlement.com or call 1-866-571-4407.
The Court will also consider at the Final Approval Hearing Class Counsel's request for an award of attorneys' fees and reimbursement of expenses not to exceed $500,000, and the Class Representatives' request for Incentive Awards of an amount not to exceed $5,000 per Representative. Any such attorneys' fees, costs, and Incentive Awards will be paid by Sprint separate and apart from the relief being afforded to the Fee Notice Sub-Class.
Your attendance at the Final Approval Hearing is not required. However, you may be heard orally at the Final Approval Hearing in opposition to the proposed Settlement Agreement, Class Counsels' application for attorneys' fees and expenses, or the Class Representatives' request for Incentive Awards, but only if you have timely filed a written objection in the manner described above. You may also enter an appearance through an attorney, at your own expense. If you do not do so, you will be represented in the Action, and at the Final Approval Hearing, by Class Counsel.
Pending final determination of whether the Settlement should be approved, you and your representatives are barred from filing any lawsuit asserting any claims against Sprint relating to the Released Claims as defined above.
Please visit www.SprintSurchargeSettlement.com for updates on the status of the
For more details of the matters involved in this Action, you may inspect the case
files at the United States District Court for the Middle District of Georgia, Eric
Barkwell, et al., v. Sprint Communications Company, L.P., et al., Civ. No.
4:09-CV-56 (CDL) (USDC, M.D. GA.), located at 120 12th Street, Columbus, Georgia
31902, during regular business hours.
Inquiries regarding the Settlement Agreement, benefits and claim procedures may be directed to the Claims Administrator at the above listed address or 1-866-571-4407.
PLEASE DO NOT CALL OR DIRECT ANY INQUIRIES TO THE COURT, TO SPRINT, OR TO SPRINT'S COUNSEL
You are encouraged to provide your email address when you submit your claim for future communications.Top
If your address has changed, or changes in the future, you should send your new
address and telephone number to the settlement administrator by emailing info@SprintSurchargeSettlement.com, writing to Barkwell v. Sprint, c/o Gilardi
& Co. LLC, P.O. Box 808003, Petaluma, CA 94975-8003, or calling 866-571-4407. Please
include your name, current address, previous address, and your Claim ID, if available.