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If you purchased any Godiva Chocolate Products from January 31, 2015 through October 26, 2021, you may be a Settlement Class Member. If you have received Notice of this Settlement by e-mail, you have been identified from available records as a possible purchaser of the Godiva Chocolate Products at issue in the lawsuit. You also may have received the Notice because you requested more information after reading this Settlement Website or other Notice. If the Court approves the Settlement, and if objections and all appeals are resolved in favor of settlement approval, Kroll Settlement Administration, the Settlement Administrator will oversee the distribution of the Settlement Benefits. You can follow the progress of the Settlement on this Settlement Website.
The persons who sued are called the Plaintiffs, and the company they sued, Godiva Chocolatier, Inc., is called the Defendant or “Godiva.” Plaintiffs and Godiva are collectively referred to as “the Parties.” Plaintiffs brought this lawsuit on behalf of all other consumers in the U.S. who similarly purchased Godiva Chocolate Products during the time period of January 31, 2015 through October 26, 2021 (“Class Members”). This lawsuit alleges that Godiva Chocolate Products were advertised as being made in Belgium when they are not exclusively manufactured there. Godiva denies the allegations. The Court has not determined which side is right. Rather, the Parties have agreed to settle the lawsuit to avoid the uncertainties, expenses and expenditure of resources associated with ongoing litigation.
If you purchased any Godiva Chocolate Products from January 31, 2015 through October 26, 2021, in the United States, you may be a Settlement Class Member.
“Godiva Chocolate Products” include all chocolate products manufactured and sold by Godiva, or sold under the Godiva brand, which contain chocolate. For a list of Godiva Chocolate Product examples, please visit the Godiva Product List under the Documents section of this website.
You are not a member of the Settlement Class if: (a) you timely and properly exclude yourself from this Settlement, explained in question 9, (b) you are a retailer or distributor of Godiva Chocolate Products or purchased Godiva Chocolate Products for the purpose of re-sale, (c) you are an employee of Godiva or the law firms of the law firms representing the Parties, (d) you are governmental entity or part of the Court’s immediate family or the Court’s staff, or (e) you are part of the mediator’s staff or immediate family.
The Settlement provides monetary compensation to Class Members who submit a valid and timely Claim Form.
Class Members who submit a timely and valid Claim Form, with Proof of Purchase, can recover up to $25, depending on the number of eligible Godiva Chocolate Products purchased from January 31, 2015 through October 26, 2021.
Class Members who submit a timely and valid Claim Form, without Proof of Purchase, can recover up to $15, depending on the number of eligible Godiva Chocolate Products purchased from January 31, 2015 through October 26, 2021.
“Proof of Purchase” means a receipt, copies of receipts, paid invoice, or other similar types of documentation evidencing your purchase of Godiva Chocolate Products from either Godiva or a retail establishment.
Class Members residing in the same household (i.e., the same mailing address) who each submit a Claim Form shall only be entitled to a collective maximum payment of $15 or $25 per household, depending on whether Proof of Purchase is submitted.
If the aggregate total monetary value of valid Claim Forms submitted by all Class Members exceeds $15,000,000, your Settlement Benefit will be reduced pro rata.
Your Settlement Benefit will be issued to you in the form of a paper check or electronic payment, whichever method you select on the Claim Form. Settlement Class Members have 180 days from the date of issuance to cash their checks, to the extent required. Any funds remaining after this 180-day deadline shall be distributed to Public Justice Foundation (subject to Court approval). Neither the Parties nor their counsel have any interest in the governance or work of Public Justice Foundation.
The hearing to consider the fairness of the Settlement is scheduled for March 28, 2022. If the Court approves the Settlement, and you submit a timely and valid Claim Form, you will receive payment within approximately 45 days after the Settlement has been finally approved and/or after any appeals process is complete approving the Settlement.
If you are a Class Member and want to receive a payment under the Settlement, you must complete and submit a Claim Form. Claim Forms can be found and submitted through this Settlement Website under the claim form section of this website by no later than February 23, 2022 or they can be mailed and postmarked to Hesse, et al. v. Godiva Chocolatier, Inc. c/o Kroll Settlement Administration LLC, PO Box 225391 New York, NY 10150-5391, by no later than February 23, 2022. To submit a Claim Form online go to the claim form section of this website or call toll free, 1-833-765-2229 to request a claim form.
If you do nothing, then you will remain in the Settlement Class and will not receive any payment from this Settlement. If the Court approves the Settlement, you will be bound by its terms, you will no longer have the ability to sue with respect to the claims being resolved by the Settlement, and your claims will be released and dismissed.
The Settlement Agreement describes the released claims in more detail, so please read it carefully. If you have any questions, you can contact the lawyers listed in question 16 for free to discuss, or you can talk to another lawyer of your own choosing if you have questions about what this means.
If you exclude yourself from the Settlement – which is sometimes called “opting-out” – you will not get any money from the Settlement. However, you will not release any rights you may have to separately sue or continue to sue Godiva for the legal claims that are the subject of the lawsuit.
To exclude yourself from the Settlement, you must submit a valid and timely Request for Exclusion to the Settlement Administrator. In order to be valid, your Request for Exclusion must state that you “want to be excluded from the Settlement in Hesse, et al. v. Godiva Chocolatier, Inc., Case No. 1:19-cv-00927-AJN” or words to similar effect that make clear your intention to be excluded from the Settlement. Your written Request for Exclusion must also include your name, current address, and telephone number. The request must also be signed and dated by you personally. In order to be timely, your request for exclusion must be submitted by March 7, 2022 through the exclusion section of this website or by U.S. Mail, postmarked on or before that date, to the following address:
c/o Kroll Settlement Administration LLC
PO Box 225391
New York, NY 10150-5391
If you are a Settlement Class Member, you can object to the Settlement if you do not think it is fair. The Court will consider your views. However, you cannot ask the Court to order a different settlement; the Court can only approve or reject the Settlement. If the Court denies approval, no settlement payments will be sent out and the lawsuit will continue. If this is what you want to happen, you must object.
To object, you must submit to the Court a written objection entitled “Objection to Class Settlement in Hesse, et al. v. Godiva Chocolatier, Inc., Case No. 1:19-cv-00927-AJN” that identifies all the reasons for your objections and any legal and factual support for those reasons. Your written objection must be signed and also include (1) your name, address, telephone number, email address if available, and if represented by counsel, the foregoing information for your counsel; (2) whether you or your counsel intend on appearing at the Final Approval Hearing; (3) whether the objection applies only to you, to a specific subset of the Settlement Class, or the entire Settlement Class; (4) information/documents showing that you are a Settlement Class Member (i.e. Proof of Purchase or a verification under penalty of perjury as to purchase of Godiva Chocolate Products during the Class Period); and (5) a list of any other objections submitted by you, or your lawyer, to any class actions in any state or federal court in the United States in the previous five (5) years (or affirmatively stating that no such prior objection has been made).
You must submit your written objection to the Court, by either (1) mailing it to the Class Action Clerk, United States District Court for the Southern District of New York, 40 Foley Square, Courtroom 906, New York, NY 10007; or (2) filing it in person at any location of the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York or via the ECF electronic filing system. The objection must be submitted by March 7, 2022.
Objecting means telling the Court that you disagree with something about the Settlement. You can object only if you stay in the Settlement Class. Excluding yourself from the Settlement means that you do not want to be part of the Settlement Class. If you exclude yourself, then you have no basis to object to the Settlement.
The Court appointed the law firms of Faruqi & Faruqi, LLP and the Wand Law Firm, P.C. to represent Class Members as “Class Counsel.” Class Counsel believe, after conducting an extensive investigation, that the Settlement is fair, reasonable, and in the best interests of the Class Members. You will not be charged for these lawyers. If you want to be represented by a different lawyer in this case, you may hire one at your own expense. If you have any questions about the Settlement, you can contact Class Counsel at the contact information listed in question 16.
Separate and apart from the monetary benefit to be paid to the Class Members, Class Counsel may submit a Fee Application for an award of attorneys’ fees and costs in an amount not to exceed Five Million Dollars ($5,000,000.00). The Court may award less than this amount. Also, subject to approval by the Court, Godiva has agreed to pay $5,000 to each of the two Plaintiffs (“Class Representative Service Awards”), in recognition of their efforts on behalf of the Class.
The Court will hold the Final Approval at 10:00 a.m. on March 28, 2022 in Courtroom 12A of the Daniel Patrick Moynihan United States Courthouse, located at 500 Pearl Street, New York, NY 10007. It will no longer be held in Courtroom 906 of the Thurgood Marshall Courthouse as previously scheduled. 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 Class; to consider Class Counsel’s request for attorneys’ fees and costs; and to consider the request for the Class Representative Services Awards for the Plaintiffs. 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 please check this website or call 1-833-765-2229 from time to time. 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 time and date of such hearing.
No. You do not need to attend the Final Approval Hearing in order to receive payment under the Settlement. Class Counsel will answer any questions the Court may have on behalf of the Settlement Class Members. But you are welcome to attend the Final Approval Hearing at your own expense. If you submit an Objection, you do not have to come to Court to talk about it. If you submitted your Objection on time, the Court will consider it. You may also pay to have another lawyer attend on your behalf, but that is not required.
You, or any lawyer you retain, may ask the Court for permission to speak at the Final Approval Hearing. To do so, you must include in your Objection to the Settlement a statement saying that it is your intent to appear at the Final Approval Hearing. Your Objection and notice of intent to appear must be submitted to the Court and postmarked no later than March 7, 2022.
Yes. The Notice summarizes the Settlement. For the precise terms and conditions of the Settlement, please see the Settlement Agreement available under documents; by contacting Class Counsel at the information listed below; or by accessing the Court docket in this case, for a fee, through the Court’s Public Access to Court Electronic Records (PACER) system at https://ecf.nysd.uscourts.gov; or by visiting the office of the Clerk of the Court for the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York, 40 Foley Square, Courtroom 906, New York, NY 10007. You can also call the Settlement Administrator at 1-833-765-2229.
Class Counsel Contact Information
FARUQI & FARUQI, LLP
10866 Wilshire Boulevard, Suite 1470
Los Angeles, CA 90024
Telephone: (424) 256-2884
THE WAND LAW FIRM, P.C.
400 Corporate Pointe, Suite 300
Culver City, CA 90230
Telephone: (310) 590-4503
E-mail: [email protected]