Rougvie, et al. v. Ascena Retail Group, Inc., et al.
Case No: 2:15-cv-724-MAK
These Frequently Asked Questions and answers summarize the lawsuit, the Settlement, your legal rights, what benefits are available, who may be eligible for those benefits, and how to get them. For a more detailed and precise explanation of your legal rights and options, you can review the Settlement Agreement.Back To Top
This case is captioned as Rougvie, et al. v. Ascena Retail Group, Inc., et al., Civil Action No. 2:15-cv-00724-MAK. The people who sued are called the “Plaintiffs.” The defendants are Tween Brands, Inc., who operates Justice stores, and Ascena Retail Group, Inc., its parent company (“Justice”, or the “Company”).
Plaintiffs, on behalf of the Class Members, have brought claims against Justice for its alleged deceptive sales and marketing practices under state common law and state consumer fraud statutes. Plaintiffs allege that Justice misleadingly represented that everything in its stores was 40% off the regular price. Since all the items were continually sold at 40% off, plaintiffs allege these sales were illusory, as the “sale" price was in reality the regular price. The settlement will resolve claims for class members in all fifty (50) states of the United States, inclusive of both in-store and direct order (phone and Internet) sales.
By entering into this settlement, Justice does not admit liability. The parties disagree on liability and damages issues. Plaintiffs’ counsel believes this settlement is in the best interests of the class considering the risks posed by further litigation.
Justice does not believe it has done anything wrong, and it believes that it would ultimately prevail in this lawsuit. However, in order to avoid the costs and risks associated with any litigation, Justice has agreed to the terms of this Settlement in order to reach a final and amicable resolution of these claims.
The Court has not decided which side is right.Back To Top
In a class action, one or more persons called Class Representatives sue on behalf of all persons who have similar claims. All of these persons are referred to as a class, or individually, as Class Members. One court resolves all of the issues for all Class Members, except for those Class Members who exclude themselves from the class.Back To Top
The Settlement allows both sides to avoid the risks and costs of lengthy and uncertain litigation and the uncertainty of a trial and appeals, and permits Class Members to be compensated without further delay.
Plaintiffs have agreed to settle the lawsuit based on the facts they have discovered during the litigation, the risks that will be involved in a trial, and their conclusions that the proposed Settlement is fair, reasonable and adequate, and serves the best interests of the Class Members. Plaintiffs have determined that by settling, they avoid the cost and risks of a trial, while at the same time providing substantial compensation to the Settlement Class. Plaintiffs and Plaintiffs' Counsel believe that the Settlement is best for all Class Members.
Justice does not believe it has done anything wrong. However, in order to avoid the costs and risks associated with any litigation, Justice has agreed to the terms of this Settlement in order to reach a final and amicable resolution of these claims.
Plaintiffs and Defendant do not agree regarding the merits of Plaintiffs' allegations with respect to liability or the amount of damages that would be recoverable if Plaintiffs were to prevail on each claim asserted. The issues on which the parties disagree include: (1) whether Plaintiffs and the Settlement Class suffered damages; (2) whether Justice violated state consumer fraud statutes; and (3) whether Justice violated state common law.Back To Top
The Settlement Class consists of all individuals who purchased merchandise from Justice during the period from January 1, 2012 through February 28, 2015, except for those who were eligible to be Class Members in an earlier class action against Justice in Ohio.
Ohio residents who purchased merchandise from Justice stores in Ohio between July 1, 2012 and August 31, 2014 are not included in this settlement because they were eligible to participate in an earlier settlement in the case titled Perez v. Tween Brands, Inc., No. 14-CV-001119, Court of Common Pleas, Lake County, Ohio. However, Ohio residents who were part of the Perez v. Tween Brands, Inc. class settlement but who also made purchases at Justice between January 1, 2012 and June 30, 2012, and/or between September 1, 2014 and February 28, 2015 are part of this Settlement Class and may submit a claim.Back To Top
The Settlement Benefits—What you Get
This Settlement will provide certain Settlement Benefits to settle claims of any person who purchased merchandise from Justice, by in-store purchase or by direct order (internet or phone), from January 1, 2012 through February 28, 2015. There are Two Options.
All eligible Class Members will have a choice from Option One: 1) a cash award (as set forth below based on state of residence); or 2) a voucher for a purchase at Justice stores (as set forth below based on state of residence).
Alternatively, in Option Two, certain Class Members who, from January 1, 2012 through February 28, 2015 either made: 1) more than five purchases; AND/OR 2) one or more purchases each totaling $105 or greater can choose either: 1) a check for 14% of total purchases; or 2) a voucher for 20% of total purchases. These amounts may be rounded to the next dollar amount.
A Class Member who does not submit a claim will automatically receive a voucher in the amount set forth below, based on the state of residence and depending on whether accurate contact information for the Class Member is available.
If the amount needed to pay valid claims exceeds the total funds available to pay Class Members’ claims, payments may be reduced and paid in proportion to other valid claims. If any money remains after all Class Members’ cash claims, and all fees and costs are paid, the money will be returned to Justice.
(off purchase of $25 or more)
(off purchase of $25 or more)
|Applicable States||AL, GA, LA, MS, MT, SC, TN||AK*, AR, AZ, CA, CT, DE, IA, IL,
FL, KS, KY, MD, ME, MI, MN, MO,
ND, NE, OK, OR, RI, SD, UT, VT,
|DC, CO, HI*, ID, IN, MA, NH, NM,
NJ, NY, NV, NC, OH, PA, TX, VA,
*Alaska and Hawaii residents will receive a gift card via first class mail instead of a voucher.Back To Top
Go to the Submit a Claim page and select Option One Cash Payment. You can submit your claim electronically through this website or you can print the Claim Form and mail it to the address listed on the form.
If you did not receive an Access Code, you must submit proof of one purchase during the Class Period (January 1, 2012 to February 28, 2015) to receive a basic cash award.Back To Top
Go to the Submit a Claim page and select Option One Justice voucher. You can submit your claim electronically through this website or you can print the Claim Form and mail it to the address listed on the form.
If you did not receive an Access Code, you must submit proof of one purchase during the Class Period (January 1, 2012 to February 28, 2015) to receive a basic Justice voucher.Back To Top
Option Two is available to certain Class Members who, from January 1, 2012 through February 28, 2015 either made: 1) more than five purchases; AND/OR 2) one or more purchases each totaling $105 or greater. Under Option 2, the Class Member can choose either: 1) a check for 14% of total purchases; or 2) a voucher for 20% of total purchases. These amounts may be rounded to the next dollar amount.
For a Cash Payment or Justice voucher under Option Two, you are required to submit proof of purchase with the claim.
To submit an Option Two claim, go to the Submit a Claim page to submit your claim online, or print a paper Claim Form and mail it to the address listed on the form. Read the instructions carefully, fill out the claim information, and submit proof of purchase documents – bank statements, credit card statements and/or Justice receipts.Back To Top
The Settlement Agreement provides more detail on how claims will be decided.Back To Top
The Court will hold a hearing on May 20, 2016, to decide whether to approve the Settlement. If the Court approves the Settlement, one or more Class Members could file an appeal. If there is an appeal, it is always uncertain when or if such appeals will be resolved favorably for the Settlement. Resolving an appeal can take time, perhaps more than a year. It also takes time for all the Claim Forms to be processed. If there are no appeals, and depending on the number of claims submitted, the Claims Administrator could distribute payments as early as six months after the Settlement Hearing. You may track the progress of the Settlement by visiting this Settlement Website. Please be patient.Back To Top
Unless you exclude yourself, you are a member of the Settlement Class, and that means you cannot sue, continue to sue, or be part of any other lawsuit against Justice about the matters at issue and the claims that were or could have been raised in the lawsuit. If the Settlement is approved, you will be deemed to have released all "Released Claims" set forth below in exchange for the benefits of this Settlement.
“Released Claims” means any case, claim, cause of action, cross-claim, liability, right, demand, suit, action, matter, obligation, damage, restitution, disgorgement, loss or cost, attorney’s fee or expense, action or cause of action, of every kind and description that the Releasing Parties had or has, including assigned claims, whether in arbitration, administrative, or judicial proceedings, whether as individual claims or as claims asserted on a class basis or on behalf of the general public, whether known or unknown, asserted or unasserted, suspected or unsuspected, latent or patent, that is, has been, could reasonably have been or in the future might reasonably be asserted by the Releasing Parties either in the Action or in the Related Actions or in any action or proceeding this Court or any other court or forum, regardless of legal theory or the law under which such action may be brought, and regardless of the type or amount of relief or damages claimed, against any of the Released Parties arising out of or relating to the allegations in the Complaint, Amended Complaint, Second Amended Complaint, or Third Amended Complaint and prior to the Effective Date of this Settlement, including but not limited to all claims that were brought or could have been brought in the Action or the Related Actions.
To fully understand the impact of the Settlement and release, please refer to the Settlement Agreement.Back To Top
Excluding Yourself from the Settlement
To exclude yourself from the Settlement, you must send a letter by mail stating that you want to be excluded from this Settlement. Be sure to include your name, address, telephone number, your Access Code, if you have one, which is listed on the top of the Summary Notice (that was e-mailed or mailed to you) and your signature. You must mail your exclusion request so that it is postmarked no later than April 20, 2016 to:
Justice Class Action Exclusions
P.O. Box 3240
Portland, OR 97208-3240
You cannot exclude yourself by phone or by e-mail. If you do not send your written request for exclusion on time, you will be legally bound by all the proceedings in this Lawsuit and this Settlement, including all court orders and judgments in the Lawsuit, even if you have a lawsuit pending against Justice that concerns Released Claims, or if you subsequently start a lawsuit or an arbitration or any other proceeding against Justice that concerns Released Claims.Back To Top
No. Unless you exclude yourself, you give up any right to sue Justice for the Released Claims. If you have a pending lawsuit, speak to your lawyer in that case immediately. You must exclude yourself from this Settlement to continue your own lawsuit.
The exclusion deadline is April 20, 2016.Back To Top
No. If you exclude yourself, you may not obtain any of the monetary benefits or vouchers available under this Settlement. Once you exclude yourself, you will not receive any Settlement Benefits even if you also submit a Claim Form, unless you withdraw your notice of exclusion before the deadline.Back To Top
The Lawyers Representing You
The Court has approved Plaintiffs' selection of Pietragallo Gordon Alfano Bosick & Raspanti, LLP and Mansour Gavin, LPA to serve as Plaintiffs' Counsel for Plaintiffs and the other Class Members, including you. You will not be charged for these lawyers' work. If you want to be represented by your own lawyer, you may hire one at your own expense.Back To Top
Plaintiffs' Counsel have expended considerable time and effort in the prosecution of this litigation on a contingent fee basis, and have advanced the expenses of the litigation, in the expectation that if they were successful in obtaining a recovery for the Settlement Class, they would be paid from such recovery. In this type of litigation, it is customary for a defendant to pay plaintiffs' counsel their attorneys' fees and reimburse their expenses. Justice has agreed not to oppose these fees and expenses. After reaching the core terms of the Settlement on behalf of Plaintiffs and the Class Members, Plaintiffs' Counsel and Justice separately negotiated for Justice to pay Plaintiffs' Counsel Fifteen Million Dollars ($15,000,000) for Plaintiffs' Counsel's attorneys' fees and expenses. Plaintiffs' Counsel will ask the Court to approve this payment. The Court may award more or less than this amount. The payment of attorneys' fees will not affect your benefits in any way.Back To Top
Objecting to the Settlement
If you are a member of the Settlement Class (and you have not excluded yourself), you can object to the proposed Settlement if you do not like any part of it, the request for attorneys' fees and reimbursement of expenses, or the Plaintiffs' request for Incentive Payments. You may state why you think the Court should not approve the Settlement.
The Court will consider your views. Your Objection must be in writing and include:
You must mail your Objection so that it is postmarked no later than April 15, 2016 to:
Justice Class Action Objections
P.O. Box 3240
Portland, OR 97208-3240
Be sure to include your name, address, telephone number, your Access Code which is listed on the top of the Summary Notice that was e-mailed or mailed to you, and your original signature (no copies). You should also send copies of your Objection to:
|COURT||PLAINTIFFS’ COUNSEL||DEFENDANT'S COUNSEL|
|Clerk of the Court
United States District Court
Eastern District of Pennsylvania
601 Market Street
Philadelphia, PA 19106
|PIETRAGALLO GORDON ALFANO BOSICK &
1818 Market Street
Philadelphia, PA 19103
MANSOUR GAVIN LPA
1001 Lakeside Avenue
Cleveland, Ohio 44114
|Gregory T. Parks
MORGAN, LEWIS & BOCKIUS LLP
1701 Market Street
Philadelphia, PA 19103
You may object either on your own or through an attorney that you hire at your own expense by April 15, 2016. If you do hire an attorney to represent you, your attorney must file a notice of appearance with the Clerk of the Court and deliver a copy of that notice to Plaintiffs' Counsel and Defendant's counsel no later than April 20, 2016.Back To Top
Objecting is simply telling the Court that you do not like something about the Settlement. You can object to the Settlement only if you stay in the Settlement Class. Excluding yourself is telling the Court that you do not want to be part of the Settlement Class. If you exclude yourself, you have no basis to object because the case no longer applies to you.Back To Top
The Final Approval Hearing
The Court will hold a Hearing for Final Approval at 9:30 a.m. on May 20, 2016, at the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, 601 Market Street, Courtroom 9A, Philadelphia, PA 19106. At this hearing, the Court will consider whether the Settlement is fair, reasonable, and adequate. If there are objections, the Court will consider them.
The Judge will listen to Class Members (or their counsel) who have submitted written objections postmarked no later than April 15, 2016 and written indication(s) of their intention to speak at the hearing, as long as they are filed with the Court and served on Plaintiffs' Counsel and Defendant's Counsel and are postmarked no later than April 20, 2016.
The Court may also decide whether to approve the payment of fees, costs and expenses to Plaintiffs' Counsel and the payment of Incentive Payments to Plaintiffs. We do not know how long the hearing will take or whether the Court will make its decision about the Settlement on that day or sometime later.Back To Top
No. Plaintiffs' Counsel will answer any questions the Court may have about the Settlement. If you would like to attend the hearing, you are welcome to do so, at your own expense. If you send an objection, you do not have to come to Court to talk about it. The Court will consider your written objection, as long as you mailed your objection in on time. You may also pay your own lawyer to attend, but it is not necessary.Back To Top
If you object to the Settlement, you may ask the Court for permission to speak at the hearing. To do so, you must include with your objection (see FAQ 19) a statement saying that it is your "Notice of Intention to Appear in Rougvie, et al. v. Ascena Retail Group, Inc., et al." Persons who intend to object to any part of the Settlement and wish to present evidence at the hearing must also include in their written objection the identity of any witnesses they may call to testify and exhibits they intend to introduce into evidence at the hearing.
You cannot speak at the hearing if you exclude yourself.Back To Top
If you do nothing
If you do nothing, you may receive a voucher in the amount described under FAQ 6, based on your state of residence and depending on the availability of your contact information. However, unless you exclude yourself, you will not be able to start a lawsuit, continue with a lawsuit, or be part of any other lawsuit against the Defendant concerning the Released Claims in this case ever again.Back To Top
Getting more information
This Website summarizes the proposed Settlement. More details are in the Settlement Agreement, which has been filed with the Court.
For additional, detailed information concerning the matters involved in this Lawsuit, you may inspect the pleadings, the orders of the Court, and other papers filed in this Lawsuit at the office of the Clerk of the Court, United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, 601 Market Street, Room 2609, Philadelphia, PA 19106, during regular business hours.
You can also contact the Claims Administrator at the address and phone number below or Plaintiffs' Counsel (see FAQ 19). Please do not call the Court or the Clerk of the Court for additional information about the Settlement.
Justice Class Action Settlement
PO Box 3240
Portland, OR 97208-3240
toll-free, at 1-877-854-5282.
Questions? 1-877-854-5282 or info@JusticeClassAction.com