Vibram FiveFingers Class Action Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions about the Vibram FiveFingers Class Action

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Question: Who is included in the Settlement Class?

Answer:

Consumers who bought eligible FiveFingers footwear in the United States from March 21, 2008 up to and including May 27, 2014.

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Question: What are the FiveFingers footwear subject to this settlement?

Answer:

Alitza, Bikila, Bikila EVO, Bikila EVO WP, Bikila LS, Classic, Classic Smartwool, EL-X, Estrada, Flow, Fresca, Jaya, Komodo Sport, Komodo Sport LS, KMD Sport, KMD Sport LS, KSO, KSO EVO, KSO Trek, Lontra, SeeYa, SeeYa LS, SeeYa LS Night, Signa, Speed, Speed XC, Sprint, Spyridon, Spyridon LS, Spyridon MR, Trek LS, TrekSport, TrekSport Sandal, V-On, and Vybrid Sneak.

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Question: How do I make a claim?

Answer:

To receive a payment under the settlement, you must submit a Claim Form. You may obtain and print a Claim Form and other relevant documents by visiting www.FiveFingersSettlement.com. Please read the instructions and certification carefully, and fill out the form completely and accurately. Claim forms must be electronically submitted no later than September 24, 2014, or mailed and be postmarked no later than September 24, 2014 and addressed to:

Vibram FiveFingers Class Action
Settlement Administrator
P.O. Box 449
Philadelphia, PA 19105-0449

If you submit a claim for two pairs of eligible FiveFingers footwear or less, no proof of purchase is necessary. Claim Forms that include more than two pairs of eligible FiveFingers footwear must include proof of purchase for any additional pairs over two.

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Question: What does the settlement provide?

Answer:

The settlement provides that Vibram will create a Settlement Fund of $3.75 million USD. This Settlement Fund will be used to resolve all approved Claims submitted through the Claim Process. The Settlement Fund is subject to certain Terms, requirements, and deductions, as described in Questions 9 and 12 of the “Notice of Class Action, Proposed Settlement, And Fairness Hearing.” As part of the Settlement, Vibram has also agreed to certain changes in its marketing campaigns. Notice and administration costs, as well as Plaintiffs’ Counsel’s attorneys’ fees and costs and any Service Award(s) to the Plaintiffs will also be paid from the $3.75 million Settlement Fund.

The relief to be provided to eligible Class Members for each pair of FiveFingers footwear purchased shall be paid on a pro rata basis from the balance of the Settlement Fund, after certain enumerated deductions, costs and expenses. Based on experience from other similar settlements of class actions, it is reasonable to expect that Class Members may receive a payment in the range of $20 to $50 per pair, which could increase (up to the approximate average retail price of $94) or decrease depending on various factors, including the number of valid claims.

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Question: Do I have a lawyer in this case?

Answer:

The Court has designated attorneys at the law firm of Wolf Haldenstein Adler Freeman & Herz LLP to represent you and the other Class Members in this lawsuit. If you are a member of the Class, the lawyers representing you and the other Class Members are called “Lead Class Counsel.”

You have the right to retain your own lawyer to represent you in this case, but you are not obligated to do so. If you do hire your own lawyer, you will have to pay his or her fees and expenses. You also have the right to represent yourself before the Court without a lawyer.

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Question: How will the lawyers be paid?

Answer:

Lead Class Counsel have prosecuted this case on a completely contingent basis and have not been paid anything to date for their services. Lead Class Counsel will ask the Court to award attorneys’ fees not to exceed 25% of the Settlement Fund, or $937,500, plus out-of-pocket expenses incurred not to exceed $70,000. These amounts will be paid by Vibram from the Settlement Fund.

Lead Class Counsel will petition the Court for Service Awards of up to $2,500 for each of the named plaintiffs, Valerie Bezdek, Brian De Falco, and Ali Safavi. The purpose of such awards is to compensate them for efforts and risks taken by them on behalf of the Class. Any such amount awarded by the Court as Service Awards for the named Plaintiffs will be paid out of the $3.75 million Settlement Fund.

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Question: When and where will the Court decide whether to approve the Settlement?

Answer:

On October 29, 2014, at 2:30 p.m., the Court will hold a Fairness Hearing at the United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts, before the Honorable Douglas P. Woodlock, John Joseph Moakley U.S. Courthouse, 1 Courthouse Way, Boston, Massachusetts 02210. At the hearing, the Court will consider whether to grant final certification to the Class for settlement purposes only, whether to approve the proposed settlement as fair, reasonable, and adequate, and will make a final ruling on all related settlement issues. The Court will also decide whether to award attorneys’ fees and costs, as well as Plaintiffs’ Service Awards.

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Question: May I speak at the hearing?

Answer:

Yes, if you have properly filed an objection, you may ask the Court for permission to speak at the hearing. To do so, you must submit an objection and also file a document called a “Notice of Intention to Appear.”

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Question: What if I do not agree with the settlement?

Answer:

If you choose to remain a Class Member, you have a right to object to any part of the proposed settlement. The Court will consider your views. To object, you must send a letter saying that you object to the proposed Settlement of Valerie Bezdek v. Vibram USA Inc., et al., Case Number 1:12-cv-10513-DPW (D. Mass.). Your written objection must include: (a) your name; (b) your address; (c) your telephone number; (d) if you are represented by counsel, the name, address, and telephone number of your counsel; (e) proof of purchase of FiveFingers footwear, such as a cash register receipt, a credit card receipt, or a credit card statement that sufficiently indicates the purchase of the FiveFingers footwear; (f) a written statement of all grounds for your objection(s), including any legal support and/or any supporting evidence you wish to introduce; (g) a statement of whether you intend to appear and argue at the Fairness Hearing; (h) your dated signature (signature from your counsel is not sufficient); and (i) the case name and case number: Valerie Bezdek v. Vibram USA Inc., et al., Case Number 1:12-cv-10513-DPW (D. Mass.). If you choose to object, your written objections must be filed with the Court, and copies must be received by the Court, Lead Class Counsel and Defense Counsel no later than August 15, 2014 in order to be considered by the Court.

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Question: How do I exclude myself from the Settlement Class in this case?

Answer:

If you want to be excluded from the Class, you must write to the Class Action Settlement Administrator. To exclude yourself from the settlement, you must send a letter by mail. Your exclusion request letter must be postmarked no later than August 15, 2014. Send your letter to:

Vibram FiveFingers Class Action
Settlement Administrator
P.O. Box 449
Philadelphia, PA 19105-0449

Your letter requesting exclusion does not need to be in any particular form, but it must include the following information in order to be effective: (a) your name; (b) your address; (c) your telephone number; (d) the FiveFingers footwear for which you are requesting exclusion; (e) a statement that you wish to be excluded from the Class; (f) your signature; and (g) the case name and case number: Valerie Bezdek v. Vibram USA Inc., et al., Case Number 1:12-cv-10513-DPW (D. Mass.). Please write “EXCLUSION REQUEST” on the lower left-hand corner of the front of the envelope.

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Question: What am I agreeing to by remaining in the Settlement Class in this case?

Answer:

You will be deemed to have given Vibram and the Released Parties the Release and Waiver of Claims set forth in Appendix A which accompanied the “Notice of Class Action, Proposed Settlement, And Fairness Hearing.” You will also be bound by all Court actions, orders, and judgments entered. You will not be able to sue or otherwise proceed against Vibram on any claims related to this lawsuit. This settlement will not release any claims for personal injuries. Unless you exclude yourself from the Class, if the settlement is approved all of the Court’s orders will apply to you and you will not be able to start a lawsuit, continue with a lawsuit, or be part of any other lawsuit against Vibram about the claims in this lawsuit, ever again, regardless of whether you submit a Claim Form.

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Question: Where can I get more information?

Answer:

This Notice and the accompanying documents summarize the proposed settlement. More details are contained in the Settlement Agreement. The full Settlement Agreement is on file with the Clerk of the Court. For a more detailed statement of the matters involved in this case, you may review the complaint and the other papers and Court orders on file in the Clerk’s office at any time during normal business hours, Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. EDT. If you have questions after reading this Notice, you can visit www.FiveFingersSettlement.com to obtain additional information about the proposed settlement and the Claim Form or you can call toll-free, 1-844-491-5740 to obtain additional information about the settlement. You may also direct your questions about the settlement to Lead Class Counsel, whose name and address is listed in Question 18 of the “Notice of Class Action, Proposed Settlement, And Fairness Hearing.”

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Important Dates


  • Friday, August 15, 2014
    Exclusion Deadline (Postmarked):
  • Friday, August 15, 2014
    Objection Deadline (Received):
  • Friday, August 15, 2014
    Intention to Appear (Received):
  • Wednesday, September 24, 2014
    Claim Filing Deadline (Post-Marked):
  • Wednesday, October 29, 2014
    Final Approval Hearing:
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