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Timothy Rumberger v Sprint Communications Company, LP, Case

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Timothy Rumberger v Sprint Communications Company, LP, Case Powered By Docstoc
					      UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE NORTHERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA

 Timothy Rumberger v. Sprint Communications Company, L.P., Case No. C-05-4050 JSW
      NOTICE OF SETTLEMENT OF CLASS ACTION, FAIRNESS HEARING AND CLAIM FORM
                                   PROCEDURE

You may be eligible to receive a benefit from a class action settlement if you used a Sprint
prepaid phone card to make a call from a payphone and paid more than the advertised
payphone surcharge of $.50 on or after August 24, 2001.

A federal court ordered this Notice. This is not a commercial solicitation from a lawyer or
any business.
I.     Settlement Class

        As described in more detail in Sections II and III herein, plaintiff Timothy Rumberger
(“plaintiff”) filed a case against Sprint Communications Company, L.P. (“Sprint”) challenging
disclosures made on Sprint prepaid telephone cards (“Action”). Sprint has denied and continues
to deny all claims and allegations of wrongdoing asserted in the case and has substantial factual
and legal defenses to all claims alleged. Nonetheless, Sprint has concluded that further conduct
of the Action would be protracted and expensive, and that it is desirable that the Action be fully
and finally settled in the manner and upon the terms set forth below.

       The following Settlement Class has been conditionally certified for purposes of
settlement only. If you are a member of the Settlement Class described here, the proposed
Settlement will affect your rights. Please read this Notice carefully.

               All California residents who purchased a Sprint Prepaid Calling
               Card (“Prepaid Card”) in the State of California between August
               24, 2001 and [the date of preliminary approval of this Settlement
               by the Court] who paid a U.S. Payphone Surcharge in excess of
               that printed on the Prepaid Card or Cards which he or she
               purchased during the class period.

        The Settlement Class does not include: (1) Sprint, Sprint’s directors, officers and
employees; (2) Sprint’s legal representatives, successors, predecessors, and assigns; (3) any
entity in which Sprint has a controlling interest; (4) any Judge to whom the Action is assigned
and all members of his or her immediate family; and (5) all persons who timely and validly
request exclusion from the Class pursuant to this Notice.

       The Court has appointed Scott Cole & Associates as Class Counsel.

II.    The Action:

        On August 24, 2005, plaintiff filed suit against Sprint in the United States District Court,
Northern District of California (the “Action”). Plaintiff alleged that Sprint prepaid telephone
cards (“Prepaid Cards”) were deceptive in that the U.S. payphone surcharge listed on the Prepaid
Cards was not accurate, despite the fact that the language on the cards indicated that the U.S.
payphone surcharge was subject to change. As a result of this allegation, Plaintiff claimed that
Sprint had violated various laws (California Civil Code sections 1750 et seq., California
Business & Professions Code sections 17200 & 17500, breach of contract, fraud and negligent
misrepresentation). Plaintiff brought suit on his own behalf and on behalf of all similarly


                                                                       DOCSSFO-12474781.1-KDARU 10/18/07 3:36 PM
situated California residents. Plaintiff sought recovery of damages, various forms of equitable
relief and attorneys’ fees and costs.

III.   The Defendant’s Position:

        Sprint has denied and continues to deny all claims and allegations of wrongdoing asserted
in the Action and has substantial factual and legal defenses to all claims alleged in the Action.
Sprint has maintained and continues to maintain that the language on the pre-paid cards was
adequate to inform consumers of the payphone surcharge, and that the amount of the surcharge
was subject to change. Further, a message given when a consumer attempted to place a call from
a payphone disclosed the exact amount of the payphone surcharge that would be incurred and
gave the consumer an opportunity to hang up and call from a non-payphone in order to avoid the
surcharge. Sprint believes it has acted in accordance with governing law. Nonetheless, Sprint
has concluded that further conduct of the Action would be protracted and expensive, and that it is
desirable that the Action be fully and finally settled in the manner and upon the terms set forth in
this Notice and in the Parties’ Settlement Agreement.
IV.    Preliminary Approval by The Court and Notice:

        On October 10, 2007, the Court preliminarily approved the proposed Settlement of the
claims described above, preliminarily certified the Settlement Class for purposes of settlement
only, and directed that this Notice of the proposed Settlement be published. The purpose of this
Notice is to advise you of your potential rights with respect to the proposed Settlement and that
the Court will hold a Fairness Hearing on January 25, 2008, to determine whether to approve the
Settlement.

         This Notice is only a summary of the terms of the Settlement of the Action. The
complete terms of the Settlement are set forth in a Settlement Agreement, which is on file with
the Court identified, and which can also be downloaded from the “Settlement Website” located
at http://www.scalaw.com/case.php?id=81. In the event that there is any conflict between this
Notice and the Agreement, the terms of the Agreement shall control, because it and the orders of
the Court are the official documents governing the Settlement.

V.     Settlement Benefits

       If the Court approves the proposed Settlement at the Fairness Hearing scheduled for
January 25, 2008, Defendant will provide the following benefits to Class Members:

        Under the Settlement, an eligible Settlement Class Member who purchased a Sprint
Prepaid Card in the State of California between August 24, 2001 and [the date of preliminary
approval of this Settlement by the Court] who paid a U.S. Payphone Surcharge in excess of that
printed on the Prepaid Card will be eligible to receive a $5 Sprint Prepaid Card. If you are an
eligible Settlement Class Member and wish to receive this benefit, you must timely submit a
Claim Form to Sprint as described below.

                       1.     Obtain a Claim Form

        If you are an eligible Class Member and you wish to receive a $5 Sprint Prepaid Card
under this Settlement, you need to complete and submit a certified and authenticated Claim Form
in a timely manner. This form is necessary to ensure that Defendant and Settlement Class
Members’ privacy rights are protected and to ensure that only eligible class members receive a
settlement benefit.      The Claim Form is available at the Settlement Website at
http://www.scalaw.com/case.php?id=81.


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                       2.     Deadline for Submission Of The Claim Form

        The fully completed, certified and authenticated Claim Form must be mailed to Joan Hill
at Sprint, addressed as follows: Joan Hill, Claims Administrator for Rumberger v. Sprint, Sprint
Communications Company L.P., 2001 Edmund Valley Drive, Mailstop VARESP0404-4107,
Reston, VA 20191.

        The deadline for submission of the Claim Form is December 31, 2007. Claim Forms
must be postmarked and mailed to Sprint no later than December 31, 2007, addressed as follows:
Joan Hill, Claims Administrator for Rumberger v. Sprint, Sprint Communications Company
L.P., 2001 Edmund Valley Drive, Mailstop VARESP0404-4107, Reston, VA 20191.

                       3.     Distribution of Settlement Payments

        If you are an eligible Settlement Class Member and you timely submit a fully completed,
certified and authenticated Claim Form, you will receive a $5 Sprint Prepaid Card if the Court
approves the proposed Settlement following the Fairness hearing on January 25, 2008.

VI.    Attorneys’ Fees, Expenses And Incentive Award

        Counsel for the Settlement Class have pursued the Action on a contingent basis and have
paid all costs of the Action. These attorneys have not yet been paid or recovered any of their
expenses associated with the Action. As part of the Settlement, Settlement Class Counsel will
seek up to $45,000 in attorneys’ fees and expenses. The Court will determine a reasonable fee
and expense award at the Fairness Hearing based on Settlement Class Counsel’s Fee and
Expense Application and responses thereto. Defendant will not oppose Class Counsel’s Fee and
Expense Application. Class Counsel will also ask the Court to approve a $5,000 Incentive
Award to the plaintiff in this case. None of these payments will reduce the benefits you receive.
Any money the Court awards Class Counsel and the plaintiff will be paid by the Defendant.

VII.   Result If Court Approves The Settlement

       If the Court approves the proposed Settlement, it will dismiss the Action and the
Defendant will provide benefits as discussed above to the Settlement Class Members who have
not excluded themselves from the Settlement Class.
        Unless you exclude yourself, your rights may be affected. In general terms, the Court’s
Final Judgment will provide that any Settlement Class Member who does not exclude himself or
herself from the Settlement will be forever barred from suing Sprint and its past or present parent
companies, subsidiaries, sister companies, affiliates, divisions, and assigns, and the predecessors,
successors, members, directors, officers, employees, agents, or attorneys of any of them alleging
claims arising out of the challenged conduct in this Action during the applicable Settlement Class
period (8/24/2001- 10/10/2007). You will also be releasing any such claims you may have
against Sprint

       The precise terms of the dismissal and release are set forth in the Settlement Agreement,
which is posted at http://www.scalaw.com/case.php?id=81. If you have any questions about the
scope of the release you should visit http://www.scalaw.com/case.php?id=81 for more
information, or consult a lawyer.

VIII. Your Options

       If you are an eligible member of the Settlement Class, you have the following options:


                                               -3-
       A.      Participate In The Settlement And Submit A Claim Form Via U.S. Mail: If
you agree with the proposed Settlement and you are an eligible Settlement Class Member, and
wish to receive a $5 Sprint Prepaid Card, you must timely submit a fully completed, certified and
authenticated Claim Form to Sprint as described above. If the Court approves the Settlement,
you will receive the benefits to which you are entitled.

        B.      Request to Be Excluded: If you wish to be excluded from the Settlement Class,
you must send a request for exclusion to Sprint via U.S. Mail to Joan Hill, addressed as follows:
Joan Hill, Claims Administrator for Rumberger v. Sprint, Sprint Communications Company
L.P., 2001 Edmund Valley Drive, Mailstop VARESP0404-4107, Reston, VA 20191 in a timely
manner. The request for exclusion must be postmarked on or December 31, 2007 to be effective.
Also, to be effective, the request for exclusion must be in writing and must include your name,
address, last 4 digits of your Social Security Number, email address and telephone number, and
an unambiguous statement that you wish to be excluded from the Settlement Class. You must
send your request by mail to Joan Hill at Sprint, addressed as follows: Joan Hill, Claims
Administrator for Rumberger v. Sprint, Sprint Communications Company L.P., 2001 Edmund
Valley Drive, Mailstop VARESP0404-4107, Reston, VA 20191. If you do not timely submit a
clear request for exclusion to the proper location or if you do not do so timely, you will be bound
by the Settlement Agreement and all your claims will be released. If you validly and timely
request exclusion from the Settlement Class, you will not be bound by the Final Judgment, and
you will not be precluded from instituting or prosecuting any individual claim you have against
Sprint. Exclusions can only be filed individually—not on behalf of a group or class.

        C.      Object To Or Comment On The Settlement: If you are a member of the
Settlement Class and you do not request to be excluded, you may object to the terms of the
Settlement, to Class Counsel’s request for attorneys’ fees and costs, or to the plaintiff’s Incentive
Award. If you object and the Settlement is approved, you will be barred from bringing your own
lawsuit and you will be bound by the Final Judgment and release and all orders entered by the
Court in connection with the Action. You may, but need not, enter an appearance through
counsel of your choice. If you do, you will be responsible for your own attorneys’ fees and
costs. If you object to the settlement, you must, on or before December 31 2007: (1) file with the
Clerk of the United States District Court for the Northern District of California, and (2) serve
upon Scott Cole, SCOTT COLE & ASSOCIATES, 1970 Broadway, Ninth Floor, Oakland, California
94612 (Class Counsel); and Donald P. Rubenstein, REED SMITH LLP, Two Embarcadero Center,
Suite 2000, San Francisco, California, 94111 (Counsel for Sprint) a written objection, including:
(a) your full name, address and telephone number; (b) the number of Prepaid Cards (s) you
purchased from Sprint and the approximate date(s) of your purchase(s); (c) a written statement of
all grounds for the objection accompanied by any legal support for your objection; (d) copies of
any papers, briefs, or other documents upon which the objection is based; (e) a list of all persons
who will be called to testify in support of the objection; (f) a statement of whether you intend to
appear at the Fairness Hearing; (g) a list of other cases in which you or your counsel have
appeared either as settlement objectors or as counsel for objectors during the preceding five (5)
years; and (h) your signature, even if you are also represented by counsel. If you intend to
appear at the Fairness Hearing through counsel, the objection must also state the identity of all
attorneys representing you who will appear at the Fairness Hearing. Settlement Class Members
who do not timely make their objections in this matter will waive all objections and shall not be
heard or have the right to appeal approval of the Settlement.

IX.    Fairness Hearing:

       A hearing will be held in the courtroom of the Honorable Jeffrey S. White of the United
States District Court for the Northern District of California, located in Courtroom 2, 17th Floor,
450 Golden Gate Avenue, San Francisco, California 94102 on January 25, 2008, at 9:00 a.m. At


                                                -4-
the hearing, the Court will decide whether the proposed Settlement is fair, reasonable and
adequate and should be approved and, if so, determine what amount of fees and expenses should
be awarded to Class Counsel, and what Incentive Award should be given to plaintiff. The time,
date and location of this hearing may be changed by the Court without further notice to you. If
you plan to attend the hearing, you should confirm its time, date and location before making any
plains. Information about the hearing date will be posted on the Settlement Website at
http://www.scalaw.com/case.php?id=81.

X.     Additional Information:

        Additional information may be obtained (1) at the Settlement Website at
http://www.scalaw.com/case.php?id=81. You may also contact Class Counsel, whose contact
information is also available at http://www.scalaw.com/case.php?id=81. PLEASE DO NOT
TELEPHONE THE COURT OR THE CLERK OF THE COURT.

This Notice is not an expression of any opinion by the Court as to the merits of any claims or
defenses asserted by the parties to this Action.

BY ORDER OF THE COURT.

The Honorable Jeffrey S. White of the United States District Court for the Northern District of
California.

Dated: October 10, 2007.




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