In a post-millennium age when data becomes outdated quickly, executing the necessary methods and using the best resources to bring class member data up to speed is essential in class action settlement administration.
Ammari Electronics v. Pacific Bell Directory et al was a class action brought in the Superior Court of California, County of Alameda. This administration was a judgment distribution on behalf of a class of over 181,084 small business owners who bought California Yellow Pages advertising from defendant Pacific Bell Directories between 2002 – 2004.
In 2009, a jury awarded plaintiffs approximately $17.35 million in breach of contract damages. Following two rounds of appeals by defendants, which were exhausted in 2014, Heffler was appointed to distribute the Notice of the Judgment and administer the Plan of Distribution. Including accrued post-judgment interest, the jury verdict increased to a total judgment amount of over $27 million.
As a result of ageing data, only 22% of the class member information given to Heffler included a current address. That left 78% of the class member data out of date or incomplete. Heffler employed exhaustive search efforts, including working with several advanced database search companies as well as the California Secretary of State Business Entities Database to identify and verify current class member businesses as well as class members no longer in business.
In this case study, we detail the unique avenues the Heffler team explored to reach 110,000 cashed judgment checks, distributing the entire judgement amount.