Bleachtech LLC v. United Parcel Service, Case No. 2:14-cv-12719 (E.D. Mich.)
If you received a postcard or email or learned of one addressed to you associated with this class action, then according to UPS’s records during the Class Period, you contracted with UPS to ship one or more packages on which you purchased additional protection for loss or damage from UPS over $100 and are a member of the Settlement Class (or paid charges for such packages).
The Court has directed that postcard and/or email notice be sent as potential members of the Settlement Class have a right to know about the proposed Settlement before the Court decides whether to approve it. If the Court approves the Settlement, and all related objections and appeals are favorably resolved, UPS will provide to the Class the $4,8500,000 and additional monetary relief in the form of payment of one half of settlement administration and notice costs, as described in the Class Notice and as detailed in the Settlement Agreement.
The Notice explains generally the case, the Settlement, and your legal rights. It also informs you of a hearing (the “Final Approval Hearing”) to be held by the Court to consider the fairness, reasonableness, and adequacy of the proposed Settlement and to consider Class Counsel’s application for their attorneys’ fees and reimbursement of litigation expenses, as well as an application for any Service Awards for the Class Representative. It is not an expression of the Court’s opinion on the merits of any claim in this case, and the Court still needs to decide whether to approve the Settlement. If the Court approves the Settlement, the payments by UPS described above will be made after all related appeals, if any, are favorably resolved. It is always uncertain whether such appeals can be favorably resolved, and resolving them can take time, perhaps more than a year.
To view a copy of the Notice, click here.Back To Top
On July 11, 2014, plaintiffs Joe Solo and BleachTech filed a putative class action complaint against UPS in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan, Case No. 2:14-cv-12719. On December 30, 2020, with leave of Court, BleachTech filed an Amended Complaint that excluded Joe Solo as a party, and Mr. Solo is not party to the Settlement Agreement between Plaintiff BleachTech and UPS.
Plaintiff’s Amended Complaint alleges that UPS breached its contracts with Plaintiff and Class Members and seeks compensatory, declaratory, and injunctive relief. Plaintiff seeks relief on behalf of itself and all persons or entities who, during the Class Period, tendered to UPS (or paying party if the package was billed to a different account than the shipper) one or more U.S. origin packages under contract with UPS with a declared value in excess of $300 charged pursuant to UPS’s published non-Retail rates or in excess of $200 charged pursuant to UPS’s published Retail rates. In such instances, Plaintiff alleges UPS breached its and Class Members’ shipping contracts by overcharging them for the first $100 of declared value for such shipments. UPS denies Plaintiff’s allegations and denies that it committed any wrongdoing.
The Parties and Class Counsel have been actively engaged in this and related litigation for approximately eight years. UPS has filed several motions to dismiss Plaintiff’s claims. Three appeals to the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit have occurred. The Parties have taken depositions. Written discovery has also occurred, and counsel for the Parties have engaged in and attempted to resolve numerous discovery disputes related to written discovery. Counsel for both sides have reviewed voluminous documents produced in response to their contentious discovery requests. The discovery process has involved substantial expense to UPS in its gathering and review of documents and electronically stored information.
The Parties participated in three mediation sessions before the Hon. Gerald E. Rosen (Ret.) on June 27, 2018, June 26, 2020, and September 1, 2020. At the third session, the Parties reached an agreement in principle to settle the litigation on the terms set forth in the Settlement Agreement. This process led to a Settlement Agreement signed by the Parties on August 20, 2021.
The Settlement is the product of intensive arm’s length negotiations between Class Counsel and UPS’s Counsel, with the assistance of an experienced third-party mediator.Back To Top
In a class action, one or more plaintiffs, called “named plaintiff,” or (where a class is certified) “class representative,” sue on behalf of people who have similar claims. In this case, the Court has determined that it will likely be able to certify the Settlement Class at or after the Final Approval Hearing. The Class Representative (Named Plaintiff) is seeking relief on behalf of the Settlement Class. All the individuals on whose behalf the Class Representative is suing are “Class Members,” and they are also referred to in the Notice as members of the Settlement Class. If the Court approves the proposed Settlement, it will resolve the claims of all Class Members on the issues raised in this case. The Honorable Denise Hood Page, United States District Judge for the Eastern District of Michigan, is presiding over this Lawsuit. The Lawsuit seeks relief on behalf of UPS customers nationwide.Back To Top
Under the proposed Settlement, the Court will not decide the merits of the case in favor of either the Plaintiff or UPS. By agreeing to a Settlement, Plaintiff and UPS avoid the significant costs, risks, and delays of litigating the Lawsuit.
This Settlement is the product of extensive arm’s length negotiations between Class Counsel and UPS’s Counsel, including utilizing the services of an experienced mediator. Class Counsel believes that the proposed Settlement is fair, reasonable, and adequate, and in the best interest of the Class.Back To Top
The Court has preliminarily certified this case as a class action for settlement purposes only. You are a member of the Settlement Class if, from January 1, 2011, through December 29, 2013, you tendered to UPS (or you paid for a package to be tendered to UPS if the package was billed to a different account than the shipper) a U.S. origin package under contract with UPS with a declared value in excess of $300 charged pursuant to UPS’s published non-Retail rates or in excess of $200 charged pursuant to UPS’s published Retail rates. You may have received a postcard or email from the Settlement Administrator or seen a notice published on the internet if you are a member of the Settlement Class.
If you believe you may be a member of the Settlement Class but did not receive a postcard or email notice, immediately contact the Settlement Administrator by mail or phone to confirm from a review of the applicable records whether you are Settlement Class Member.Back To Top
The Settlement provides monetary and non-monetary benefits to the Settlement Class.
Under the Settlement, UPS will make a $4,850,000 payment to a Settlement Common Fund, less the amount that will be distributed via account credit. The Settlement Common Fund also includes UPS’s separate payment of 50% of settlement administration costs, including notice costs. UPS will pay the cash payment initially into an interest-bearing account to be established by the Settlement Administrator upon final approval of the Settlement. UPS will issue account credits to Class Members with active UPS accounts. The Settlement Administrator will distribute checks to Class Members who no longer have an active UPS account. The amounts paid (by check or account credit) to each Class Member will be made from the Net Settlement Fund on a per claim point basis. This means that, based on data supplied from UPS’s records, Class Members will receive two claim points for each Covered Package shipped between July 1, 2013, and December 29, 2013. Class Members will receive one claim point for each Covered Package shipped between January 1, 2011, and June 30, 2013. Class Members who do not exclude themselves from the Settlement will not receive claim points for packages shipped prior to January 1, 2011. The Settlement Administrator or UPS will allocate the amount remaining in the Settlement Common Fund after payment of attorneys’ fees, litigation expenses, any Service Awards, and settlement administration expenses to each Class Member based upon such Class Member’s combined claim points relative to the total number of claim points.
Checks issued to Class Members for their settlement payment that remain uncashed after 90 days will constitute “Unused Class Funds.” Unused Class Funds will be donated to the National Consumer Law Center, a § 501(c)(3) non-profit public interest law firm engaged in the education, training, and promotion of consumer protection law, including recovery of overcharges of consumers by companies, as a cy pres award, or such other suitable non-profit organization as recommended by Class Counsel and approved by the Court.
UPS has also agreed to an injunction requiring certain negotiated changes to the language of its applicable U.S. Rate and Service Guides for three years. Specifically, all future UPS published pricing guides and/or price lists shall include the following text in the “fee” column of its Declared Value for Carriage pricing tables:
After the Settlement becomes final, and during the three-year injunctive relief period, UPS may notify Class Counsel of a proposed change in language or format to reflect changes in the law or a change in UPS’s business practices. Font or type size do not require advance notice; nor does a change to reflect a change in declared value pricing that does not assess a charge for the first increment of protection (currently $100). If Class Counsel timely objects to the proposed change and the Parties cannot resolve the dispute, then UPS may seek leave of Court to modify the language or pay for the Parties to resolve the dispute through mediation.
Once the Settlement becomes effective, payment will be credited to Class Members’ Active Accounts or paid by check to Class Members with no Active Accounts.
The above description of the Settlement is only a summary. The governing provisions are set forth in the Settlement Agreement.Back To Top
This Settlement provides for a non-reversionary common fund settlement, whose net proceeds are to be distributed by the Settlement Administrator and UPS to Class Members. Claim forms are not required. However, Class Members may be required reasonably to (1) attest to the number of Covered Packages they shipped between January 1, 2011, and December 29, 2013, or (2) verify their identity and payment information to the Settlement Administrator if UPS’s records are not sufficient to verify the same.
Class Members with Active Accounts with UPS will receive an account credit. These account credits will be issued by UPS no later than 45 days after the Effective Date, as defined in the Settlement Agreement available on this website. If such account credits are not applied (used), UPS will attempt to refund the unused credits in accordance with UPS’s regular business practices as to unused account credits. No unapplied account credits will be retained by UPS. UPS shall document by amount and Class Member each account credit issued and certify under oath or declaration the total amount of such credits within 10 days of issuing the credits.
For Class Members who do not have Active Accounts, the Settlement Administrator shall mail checks to each such Class Member for its, his, or her distribution. Distribution checks will be good for 90 days after the date on the check.Back To Top
You will receive a share of the Net Settlement Fund on a per claim point basis based on your number of Covered Packages shipped during the Class Period relative to the total such Covered Packages. Class Members will receive two claim points for each Covered Package shipped between July 1, 2013, and December 29, 2013. Class Members will receive one claim point for each Covered Package shipped between January 1, 2011, and June 30, 2013. The Settlement Administrator will divide the Net Settlement Fund by the total number of claim points earned by the Class to determine the value of one claim point (“Claim Point Value”). Each Class Member will be entitled to a share of the Net Settlement Fund equal to the number of claims points that Class Member is entitled to multiplied by the Claim Point Value. The amount of payment per Claim Point Value is unknown at this time.Back To Top
The Court will hold a Final Approval Hearing on June 28, 2022, to decide whether to approve the Settlement. If the Court approves the Settlement, there might be appeals. It is always uncertain how any such appeal will be resolved, and resolving them can take time, perhaps more than a year. After any approval by the Court and assuming that any appeals are decided favorably, it may take several months for the Settlement Administrator to pay the ultimate distribution amounts.Back To Top
If the Settlement is approved, the Court will enter a judgment. This judgment, when it becomes effective, will fully, finally, and forever release all claims asserted or which could have been asserted by Class Members against UPS and its past or present employees, agents, officers, directors, shareholders, insurers, attorneys, advisors, consultants, representatives, parents, subsidiaries, affiliates, joint venturers, and divisions, and each of their predecessors, successors, heirs, and assigns (the “Released Parties”) based upon the facts alleged in the Complaint. These claims described above are referred to as the “Released Claims.” Class Members will release claims as to packages shipped before December 29, 2013, including before January 1, 2011, but not packages shipped after December 29, 2013. See Section 13 of the Settlement Agreement for details of the release.Back To Top
Andrew J. McGuinness of Andrew J. McGuinness, Esq., Daniel R. Karon of Karon LLC, and Sanford P. Dumain of Milberg Phillips Grossman LLP represent Plaintiff and the Settlement Class (“Class Counsel”). You will not be charged by any lawyers. If you want to be represented by your own lawyer, you may hire one at your own expense.Back To Top
At the Final Approval Hearing, Class Counsel will apply for an award of attorneys’ fees from the Settlement Common Fund, as defined in the Settlement Agreement. The application for attorneys’ fees will not exceed 33⅓ % calculated as a percentage of the total Settlement Common Fund (i.e., before deduction of any litigation expenses, settlement administration costs, or other amounts). Class Counsel will also seek reimbursement of litigation costs and any settlement administration expenses they incur from the Settlement Common Fund. These applications are subject to approval by the Court, which may award amounts less than those requested.
To date, Class Counsel have not received any payment for their services in prosecuting this case on behalf of the Class, nor have Class Counsel been reimbursed for their out-of-pocket expenses. The fees requested by Class Counsel would compensate Class Counsel for their unpaid efforts over eight years to achieve this Settlement for the benefit of Class Members and for their risk in undertaking this representation on a contingency basis.
Class Counsel may also seek approval at the Final Approval Hearing for payment of a Service Award of up to $5,000 to BleachTech, the Named Plaintiff and Class Representative. Any approved attorneys’ fees, expenses, Service Awards, and one-half of settlement administration costs will be paid from the Settlement Common Fund.Back To Top
Yes. If you exclude yourself (“opt out”), you will not be eligible to receive any credit or cash payment and will not be bound by any judgment or release of claims against UPS under the Settlement.
To opt out, Settlement Class Members must submit a timely and valid Request for Exclusion. To be timely, the Requests for Exclusion must be emailed or postmarked no later May 30, 2022. To be valid, a Request for Exclusion must: (a) identify the full name and address of the Putative Class Member requesting exclusion; (b) be dated and personally signed (original or electronic signatures accepted) by the Putative Class Member or responsible individual requesting exclusion, or by a person documented to be acting under valid power of attorney, guardianship, or other legal authority to sign on behalf of the Putative Class Member or his estate; (c) identify the unique ID of the Notice received or UPS account numbers under which shipments were made (or paid); and (d) contain a statement that reasonably indicates a desire to be excluded from the Settlement.
The following statement shall be deemed to meet the requirement of subpart (d) of the preceding sentence: “I want to opt out of the Settlement Class certified in the BleachTech v. UPS case.” Additionally, the Request for Exclusion must provide the "Unique ID" number contained on a postcard or email sent by the Settlement Administrator to the potential Settlement Class Member, the UPS account number, and the full name and address of the Settlement Class Member. Requests for Exclusion that do not meet these requirements will not operate to exclude a Class Member from the Settlement. Mass or class opt-outs will not be allowed.
Class Members can also download a Request for Exclusion Form to complete instead of a letter.
Please mail or email requests for exclusion to:
UPS Declared Value
P.O. Box 5370
Portland, OR 97228-5370
Only Class Members who do not opt out may object to the Settlement.Back To Top
No. Unless you exclude yourself from the Class by submitting a timely and valid Request for Exclusion as detailed above, you may not bring a lawsuit or claim in any forum asserting any of the Released Claims against UPS.Back To Top
No. But you will retain any right you may have to bring a lawsuit, to continue to pursue an existing lawsuit, or to be part of a different lawsuit asserting a Released Claim against UPS.Back To Top
Class Members who do not request exclusion from the Class may object to the Settlement. Class Members who choose to object to the Settlement must file written notices of intent to object with the Court and serve copies of any such objection on counsel for the Parties. The written objection and supporting papers must:
The addresses for filing objections with the Court and service on counsel are listed below. Written objections must be filed with the Court and mailed to the counsel listed below (postmarked or sent via fax or served via the Court’s ECF system) by no later than May 30, 2022:
|Clerk of Court||Class Counsel||Counsel For UPS|
Theodore Levin U.S. Courthouse
231 W. Lafayette Blvd., Room 564
Detroit, MI 48226
|Andrew J. McGuinness
ANDREW J. MCGUINNESS, ESQ.
P.O. Box 7711
Ann Arbor, MI 48107
Fax: (734) 786-9935
Daniel R. Karon
700 W. St. Clair Ave.
Cleveland, OH 44113
Fax: (216) 241-8175
Sanford P. Dumain
MILBERG COLEMAN BRYSON PHILLIPS GROSSMAN, PLLC
100 Garden City Plaza
Garden City, NY 11530
Fax: (212) 868-1229
|Gregory B. Koltun
MORRISON & FOERSTER LLP
707 Wilshire Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90017-3543
Fax: (310) 892-5454
Unless otherwise ordered by the Court, any member of the Settlement Class who does not object in the manner described above will be deemed to have waived any objection and shall be forever foreclosed from making any objection to the proposed Settlement and the application for attorneys’ fees and expenses and Service Awards to the named Plaintiff.
Objecting is simply telling the Court you do not like something about the proposed Settlement. Objecting does not prevent you from participating and recovering money in the Settlement. But you can object 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 Settlement no longer affects you.Back To Top
The Final Approval Hearing will be held at 10:00 A.M on June 28, 2022, before the Honorable Denise Page Hood, Courtroom 218, in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan, Theodore Levin U.S. Courthouse, 231, W. Lafayette Blvd., Detroit, Michigan. The Court may schedule the hearing via video conference or teleconference. At or following the hearing, the Court will determine:
It is unknown how long the hearing or these decisions will take. For updates regarding the Settlement and the hearing, please check this website.
You do NOT need to attend the Final Approval Hearing.Back To Top
No. Class Counsel will answer any questions the Court may have. You are welcome to attend at your own expense. If you file and mail an objection, you do not have to attend the hearing to talk about it. If you filed and served on counsel for the Parties your objection on time, it will be before the Court when the Court considers whether to approve the Settlement as fair, reasonable, and adequate. At your own expense, you may also have your own lawyer attend the Final Approval Hearing, but such attendance is not necessary.Back To Top
If you are a member of the Settlement Class and you have filed a timely objection (see FAQ 16), you may ask the Court for permission to speak during the Final Approval Hearing. To do so, you must send a letter or other paper called a “Notice of Intention to Appear at Approval Hearing in BleachTech v. UPS, Case No. 2:14-cv-12719.” Be sure to include your name, address, telephone number, and signature. Your Notice of Intention to Appear must be served on the attorneys listed in FAQ 16 postmarked no later than May 30, 2022, and must also be filed with the Clerk of the Court no later than May 30, 2022.
The Final Approval Hearing may be delayed by the Court without further notice to the Class. If you wish to attend the hearing, you should confirm the date and time on the Settlement Website or check with Class CounselBack To Top
If you do nothing and you are a Class Member, your claims against UPS will be released if the Settlement is approved.Back To Top
This website and the Notice summarize the proposed Settlement. Full details of the Settlement are set forth in the Settlement Agreement. Copies of the Settlement Agreement, as well as the motion seeking preliminary approval of the Settlement and the Preliminary Approval Order, can be viewed on the Important Documents page of this website. You may also request a copy from the Settlement Administrator, and ask any additional questions, by calling 1-866-991-0730 (toll-free) or writing to UPS Declared Value Settlement Administrator, P.O. Box 5370, Portland, OR 97228-5370.
Do not contact UPS or the Court with questions about the Settlement.Back To Top