SAN FRANCISCO, Nov. 20, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- Shepherd, Finkelman, Miller & Shah, LLP, Olivier Schreiber & Chao LLP, Law Offices of Sahag Majarian II, and Schneider Wallace Cottrell Konecky LLP Announce that the United States District Court for the Northern District of California has approved the following announcement of a proposed class action settlement that would benefit participants in the Safeway Inc. 401(k) Plan n/k/a the Albertsons Companies, Inc. 401(k) Plan:
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE NORTHERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA
MARIA KARLA TERRAZA, Individually, On Behalf of a Class of Similarly Situated Plan Participants and On Behalf of the SAFEWAY 401(K) PLAN,
SAFEWAY INC., et al.,
Case No. 4:16-cv-03994-JST
SUMMARY NOTICE OF PROPOSED SETTLEMENT OF CLASS ACTION AND SETTLEMENT FAIRNESS HEARING
TO: ALL CURRENT AND FORMER PARTICIPANTS IN THE SAFEWAY 401(K) PLAN n/k/a THE ALBERTSONS COMPANIES 401(K) PLAN (THE "PLAN") WHO WERE PARTICIPANTS IN THE PLAN BETWEEN JULY 14, 2010 AND JULY 28, 2016 (THE "SETTLEMENT CLASS PERIOD").
PLEASE READ THIS NOTICE CAREFULLY. A FEDERAL COURT AUTHORIZED THIS NOTICE. THIS IS NOT A SOLICITATION. YOU ARE NOT BEING SUED.
A settlement has been preliminarily approved by a federal court in a consolidated class action lawsuit by Plaintiff Maria Karla Terraza and Class Representative Dennis M. Lorenz (collectively, "Plaintiffs"), on behalf of themselves and on behalf of the Settlement Class against Safeway Inc. ("Safeway"), the Safeway Benefit Plans Committee, n/k/a the Albertsons Companies Retirement Benefit Plans Committee (the "BPC"), certain current and former members of the BPC (collectively, the "Safeway Defendants"), as well as the Plan's former independent investment adviser, Aon Hewitt Investment Consulting Inc. ("Aon") (the Safeway Defendants and Aon are collectively referred to as the "Defendants"), alleging breaches of fiduciary duties under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 ("ERISA"). This Settlement will provide for a payment of $8.5 million (with $8,000,000 to come from the Safeway Defendants and $500,000 to come from Aon), less any Court-approved fees and expenses, case contribution awards, and administrative costs, to the Plan, which money will then be allocated to the accounts of participants of the Plan who had Plan accounts during the Settlement Class Period. All capitalized terms not otherwise defined in this Summary Notice of Class Action Settlement have the meaning provided in the Amended Settlement Agreement (the "Agreement") available on the Settlement website (provided below). If you currently have a Plan account in the Plan, you will receive an allocation without taking any further action. You do not need to send in a claim or take any other action to participate in the Settlement. If you previously had a Plan account but no longer have one, you need to file a Claim Form to obtain a payment. The United States District Court for the Northern District of California authorized this Notice.
WHO IS INCLUDED IN THE SETTLEMENT?
If you were a participant in the Plan at any time during the period from July 14, 2010 until July 28, 2016, inclusive, or you were a beneficiary or alternate payee of any such participant, then you are a member of the Settlement Class (a "Settlement Class Member").
WHAT IS THIS CASE ABOUT?
Plaintiffs claim that Defendants breached their fiduciary duties under ERISA. Plaintiffs' allegations are described in more detail in the Third Amended Complaint ("Complaint") available on the Settlement website. All Defendants deny any wrongdoing. Both sides agreed to the Settlement to avoid the cost and risk of further litigation.
WHAT DOES THE SETTLEMENT PROVIDE?
Defendants have agreed to create a Settlement Fund totaling $8.5 million to be divided among eligible Settlement Class Members after payment of attorneys' fees to Class Counsel, Case Contribution Awards to Class Representatives Maria Karla Terraza and Dennis M. Lorenz, and payment of other costs and expenses of the Settlement, including notice and claims administration, as the Court may allow. The Agreement, other related documentation, and a list of Frequently Asked Questions, available at the Settlement website identified below, describes the details of the proposed Settlement. Your share (if any) of the Settlement Fund will depend upon the amount and value of your Plan account(s) during the Settlement Class Period. This Settlement releases certain claims against Defendants relating to the investments of the Plan's assets during the Settlement Class Period and releases all claims that were or could have been brought in the lawsuit based upon the allegations in the Complaint.
HOW DO I RECEIVE A PAYMENT?
If you are a Settlement Class Member, are a current participant in the Plan, or you are a beneficiary or alternate payee of a Plan participant who has an active account in the Plan, and you are entitled to a share of the Settlement Fund according to the Agreement, you are not required to do anything to receive a payment. The payment will be made directly to your Plan account(s). If you are no longer a participant in the Plan, or you are a beneficiary or alternate payee of a Plan participant who does not have an active account in the Plan, you will need to file a Claim Form in order to receive a payment from the Settlement Fund to the Settlement Administrator. If your address has changed since you closed your Plan account(s), please contact the Settlement Administrator toll-free at 866-274-4004 or by email to [email protected] to advise of the change of address.
CAN I OBJECT TO OR OPT OUT OF THE SETTLEMENT?
You do not have the right to exclude yourself from the Settlement in this case, but you do have the right to object by writing to the Court, including objecting to the amount of attorneys' fees and expenses requested by Class Counsel and the amount of Case Contribution Fees requested by the Class Representatives. You will be bound by any judgments or orders that are entered in this Action, and if the Settlement is approved, you will be deemed to have released all of the Defendants from all claims that were or could have been asserted in this case, including all Claims as defined under the Agreement, other than your right to obtain the relief provided to you, if any, by the Settlement.
The Court will hold a hearing in this case on April 26, 2021 at 2 p.m., in the Courtroom of the Honorable Jon S. Tigar, United States District Court for the Northern District of California, Ronald V. Dellums Federal Building and United States Courthouse, Courtroom 6, 2nd Floor, 1301 Clay Street, Oakland, CA 94612, to consider whether to approve the Settlement and a request by the lawyers representing all Settlement Class Members, Class Counsel, for attorneys' fees, for Case Contribution Awards to the Plaintiffs, and for other case-related expenses. If approved, these amounts will be paid from the Settlement Fund. You may ask to speak at the hearing by filing a Notice of Intention to Appear by February 26, 2021, but you are not required to do so.
Although you cannot opt out of the Settlement, you may object to all or any part of the Settlement and/or the Motion for Attorneys' Fees filed by Class Counsel and request for award of Case Contribution Fees in accordance with the instructions included in the long-form Notice of Proposed Settlement of Class Action and Settlement Fairness Hearing available at the Settlement website below. Objections must be postmarked, or if not sent by United States Postal Service received by the Court, by filing or post-marking a written objection by February 26, 2021. Please note that the time, place and date of the hearing may change without a further mailing. Class Counsel will update the Settlement website below if the hearing time or location is changed. Please check the website or contact Class Counsel if you wish to confirm that the hearing time has not been changed.
HOW DO I GET MORE INFORMATION?
If you are a Settlement Class Member and would like to receive additional information or to receive a copy of the long-form Notice of Proposed Settlement of Class Action and Settlement Fairness Hearing, you can obtain such information by (a) sending a letter to Terraza 401k Settlement Administrator, c/o Strategic Claims Services, 600 N Jackson St, Suite205, Media, PA 19063; (b) sending an e-mail to [email protected]; (c) visiting the Settlement website at www.strategicclaims.net/terraza401k; or (d) calling toll-free at 866-274-4004.
SOURCE Shepherd, Finkelman, Miller & Shah, LLP