ELMWOOD PARK, N.J., June 29, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- The following statement is being issued by Ungar's Food Products regarding the Elias v. Ungar's Food Products case:
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT – DISTRICT OF NEW JERSEY
Elias, et. al. v. Ungar's Food Products, Inc., et. al., Case No. 06-cv-2448
1. WHAT IS THIS NOTICE ABOUT? The Court has approved this Notice to tell you about a settlement in the class action lawsuit entitled Elias, et. al. v. Ungar's Food Products, Inc., et. al., United States District Court for the District of New Jersey, Case No. 06-cv-2448. This Notice is to inform you about (a) the lawsuit; (b) the Settlement of the lawsuit; (c) your rights with respect to the proposed Settlement. Those rights include the right to get a payment, to "opt out" from the Class, and object to the Settlement. If you are a Class Member and do not "opt out" by the deadline below, you will be bound by the terms of the Settlement.
2. WHAT IS THIS LAWSUIT ABOUT? This lawsuit asserts class action claims against Ungar's Food Products, Inc., and Sensible Foods LLC (collectively, "Defendants"). Among other things, the lawsuit claims that Defendants misrepresented the amount of fat and calories represented on the packages of Dr. Praeger's California and Tex-Mex Veggie Burgers and Dr. Praeger's Spinach, Broccoli, and Potato Pancakes. In a class action, one or more people, called Class Representatives, sue for all people who have similar claims. The people included in the class action are called a Class or Class Members. One court resolves the issues for all Class Members, except for those who exclude themselves from the Class. Here, the Court did not decide in favor of the Plaintiffs or the Defendants. Instead, both sides agreed to a settlement. Defendants deny any wrongdoing, but have agreed with class representatives and Class Counsel that a settlement is appropriate. Both sides agree that because of the risks and expenses of continuing this lawsuit, this Settlement is fair.
3. HOW DO I KNOW IF I AM INCLUDED IN THE PROPOSED SETTLEMENT? Persons residing in the United States who purchased Dr. Praeger's Frozen California Veggie Burgers, Tex-Mex Veggie Burgers, Broccoli Pancakes, Potato Pancakes, and Spinach Pancakes from May 30, 2000 through August 31, 2007 under certain circumstances, may be entitled to benefit from the Settlement. If you still are not sure whether you are a Class Member, you can call (212) 704-6000 or you can visit www.drpraegersclassaction.com to see if you qualify.
4. WHAT DOES THE PROPOSED SETTLEMENT PROVIDE? The Proposed Settlement has three main parts: (1) Direct Compensation for Class Members Who File a Valid and Timely Claim Form; (2) a Settlement Discount; and (3) a Charitable Donation. The Proposed Settlement has a total fund of One Million Three Hundred Fifty Two Thousand Five Hundred Dollars ($1,352,500) ("Total Settlement Benefits").
5. WHAT ARE MY OPTIONS AS A CLASS MEMBER? You have four (4) options as a Class Member: (1) you may remain a Class Member and claim a payment; (2) you may remain a Class Member and not submit a claim; (3) you may file comments in support of or in opposition to the Proposed Settlement; and (4) you may request exclusion from the Settlement (which is known as "Opting-Out").
6. CAN I TELL THE COURT WHAT I THINK ABOUT THE PROPOSED SETTLEMENT, AND, IF SO, HOW DO I TELL THE COURT? If you do not exclude yourself from the Class, you have the right to comment in support of or in opposition to the proposed Settlement, the proposed award of attorneys' fees and expenses, or the proposed payment of incentive awards to the Named Representative Plaintiffs. To file a comment in support of or in opposition to the Proposed Settlement, you must submit a written statement setting forth: (i) your name, address, and telephone number; (ii) the reference "Elias, et. al. v. Ungar's Food Products, Inc., et. al., Case No. 06-cv-2448"; (iii) the Products you purchased and the approximate date of purchase, together with any proofs of purchase; (iv) a statement of the comments, objections, or position(s) you wish to assert, including the factual and legal grounds for your position; (v) copies of any other documents you wish to submit in support of your position; (vi) a list of any other class action cases in any court in the United States, whether state, federal, or otherwise, in which you have submitted objections within the previous five (5) years or, an affirmative statement that you have not objected to any other class action settlement in any court in the United States within the previous five (5) years; and (vii) your signature, to: Clerk of the Court, United States District Court for the District of New Jersey, 50 Walnut Street, Newark, New Jersey 07101. To be considered by the Court, your objections or supporting comments must be sent to the Clerk of the Court and Plaintiffs' Lead You must also mail copies of your entire written submission to attorneys for the Settlement Class and Defense Counsel at the following addresses: Class Counsel: Charles P. Greenman, Esq. , Matthew A. Aaronson, Esq. , Mark I. Schlesinger, Esq., Eric L. Unis, Esq. , Troutman Sanders, LLP, The Chrysler Building , 405 Lexington Avenue, New York, New York 10174-0700; Counsel for Defendants: David R. Gross, Esq., Saiber LLC, 18 Columbia Turnpike, Suite 200, Florham Park, New Jersey 07932-2266. To be considered by the Court, your objections or supporting comments must be sent to the Clerk of the Court and Plaintiffs' Lead Counsel and Defense Counsel such that they are received no later than July 31, 2012. If you intend to appear at the Final Approval Hearing through your own hired counsel, your comment must also state the identity of all attorneys representing you who will appear at the Final Approval Hearing. To appeal from any provision of the order approving the Settlement as fair, reasonable, and adequate, the award of incentive awards to the Named Representative Plaintiffs, or to the award of reasonable attorneys' fees and expenses paid by Defendants and awarded to Plaintiffs' Lead Counsel, you must appear in person, or through counsel, or seek leave of Court excusing such appearance prior to the Final Approval Hearing, or as otherwise may be permitted by the Court at the Final Approval Hearing. If you do not submit a written comment or objection on the Proposed Settlement or the application of Class Counsel for incentive awards on behalf of the Named Representative Plaintiffs, attorneys' fees and expenses in accordance with the deadline and procedure set forth above, you will waive your right to be heard at the Final Approval Hearing and to appeal from any order or judgment of the Court concerning the matter.
7. CAN I REQUEST EXCLUSION ("OPT-OUT") OF THE SETTLEMENT, AND, IF SO, HOW DO I OPT-OUT? If you want to pursue your own case against Defendants for damages based on the conduct Plaintiffs have alleged in the lawsuit (except for an individual claim for personal injury) or do not want to participate in this case for any reason, you have the right to request exclusion from the Class. If you request exclusion from the Class, you will not receive any money from the Settlement. A Class Member may Opt Out of the Settlement at any time during the Opt-Out Period. Any Class Member who submits a timely request to Opt Out of the Settlement Class, including Class Members who have previously submitted a written request to Opt Out of the Class, may not file an objection to the Settlement and shall be deemed to have waived any rights or benefits under the Settlement Agreement. Any Class Member who does not timely Opt Out of the Settlement in accordance with the Opt Out requirements detailed below, or who has not previously Opted Out of the Class, shall be bound fully by the terms of the Settlement Agreement and all subsequent proceedings, orders and the Judgment in this Action relating to this Settlement, even if he or she has pending, or subsequently initiates, any action, arbitration, or any other proceeding against Defendant related to the Released Claims. If you wish to Opt Out, you must mail a letter to Class Counsel that (1) lists your name, address, and telephone number; (2) states that you wish to be excluded from the class and settlement in the lawsuit Elias, et. al. v. Ungar's Food Products, Inc., et. al., Case No. 06-cv-2448; and (3) is signed by you. You must submit your Request to Opt Out letter to Class Counsel, postmarked by July 31, 2012, and addressed to Class Counsel identified in Section 6 above.
8. DO I HAVE A LAWYER REPRESENTING MY INTERESTS IN THIS CASE? Yes. Class Counsel identified in Section 9 above are representing the class. You will not be charged personally for these lawyers, but they will ask the Court to award them fees and expenses that Defendants have agreed to pay. More information is provided below. However, please note that these attorneys are not submitting your individual Claims Forms for you; you must take steps to submit your own Claim Form as described above in this Notice, and you may retain your own attorney at your own expense to do so if you wish.
9. HOW ARE CLASS COUNSEL BEING PAID? Since this case was filed, Class Counsel has not received any payment for their services in prosecuting the lawsuit, nor have they been reimbursed for any out-of-pocket expenses. If the Court approves the Proposed Settlement, Defendants have agreed to pay Class Counsel's attorneys' fees in an amount not to exceed Six Hundred Eighty-Five Thousand Dollars ($685,000). Defendants have agreed not to oppose an award that does not exceed this amount. Any award of attorneys' fees will be paid separately from, and will not reduce, the amount of benefits provided to the Settlement Class Members under the Settlement. As a Class Member, you do not have to pay Class Counsel for the work that they performed on behalf of the Class.
10. WHEN AND WHERE WILL THE COURT DECIDE ON WHETHER TO GRANT FINAL APPROVAL OF THE PROPOSED SETTLEMENT? The Court will hold a Final Approval Hearing on September 13, 2012, at 10:00 a.m., before the Honorable Katharine S. Hayden, United States District Court Judge at the United States District Court for the District of New Jersey, 50 Walnut Street, Newark, New Jersey 07101-0999, to determine: (1) whether the Proposed Settlement of the lawsuit on the terms set forth in the Settlement Agreement is fair, reasonable, and adequate for the Settlement Class as a whole and should be granted final approval; (2) whether the Court should enter the proposed judgment dismissing the lawsuit with prejudice; (3) whether the Court should grant the application for Class Counsel's attorneys' fees and expenses, and, if so, in what amount; and (4) whether the Court should grant the request for incentive awards to the Representative Plaintiffs, and, if so, in what amount. After the Final Approval Hearing, the Court will make the final decision on these issues. We do not know how long it will take for the Court to make the final decision.
11. DO I HAVE TO ATTEND THE FINAL APPROVAL HEARING, AND, IF SO, MAY I SPEAK? You do not have to attend the Final Approval Hearing. If you decide to attend, you must do so at your own expense. If you file an objection to or comments on the Proposed Settlement, you may appear at the Final Approval Hearing either in person or through your own counsel. Failure to attend shall be deemed a waiver of any comments and/or objections. You may ask to be heard by the Court on your comments or objections. The Court will not permit you to be heard unless you first submit your objections or comments in writing in compliance with Paragraph 6 above and include in your comments a statement that you intend to appear and wish to be heard at the Final Approval Hearing. If you want your own lawyer to speak on your behalf at the Final Approval Hearing, you must give the Court a paper that is called a "Notice of Appearance." The Notice of Appearance should use the following Civil Action Number: 2:06-cv-02448, and should include the name of the lawsuit, and state that you wish to enter an appearance at the Final Approval Hearing. It must also include your name, address, telephone number, and signature. Your Notice of Appearance must be mailed to the Clerk of the Court at the address listed in Section 6 for the Clerk of the Clerk such that it is actually received no later than September 6, 2012: The Notice of Appearance must also be sent to Class Counsel and Defendants' Counsel listed in paragraph 6 so that it is actually received no later than September 6, 2012. Class Members who have timely requested to Opt Out from the Class may not participate at the Final Approval Hearing.
12. IF THE COURT APPROVES THE SETTLEMENT, WILL THAT END THE LAWSUIT? Yes. If the Court approves the Proposed Settlement, it will enter a judgment that will dismiss with prejudice the claims of the Settlement Class Members against Defendants, except those Class Members who request to Opt Out of the Settlement.
13. WHAT HAPPENS IF THE COURT DECIDES NOT TO GRANT FINAL APPROVAL OF THE PROPOSED SETTLEMENT? If the Court does not approve the Proposed Settlement, or if the judgment does not become final, the lawsuit will proceed as though no Proposed Settlement had been reached.
FOR MORE INFORMATION REGARDING ANYTHING IN THIS NOTICE, OR TO RECEIVE A COPY OF THE NOTICE OF CLASS ACTION SETTLEMENT IN THE FORM APPROVED BY THE COURT, VISIT WWW.DRPRAEGERSCLASSACTION.COM OR CALL (212) 704-6000.
SOURCE Dr. Praeger's Sensible Foods