Sarah Connolly v. Umpqua Bank
Connolly v. Umpqua Bank Settlement
Case No. 2:15-cv-00517-TSZ

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

 

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  • A class action lawsuit entitled Connolly v. Umpqua Bank, Case No. 2:15-cv-00517-TSZ, is pending in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington at Seattle (the “Lawsuit”). The Lawsuit claims that Defendant violated the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), 15 U.S.C. §§ 1681a-1681x, by procuring background and credit checks without complying with certain aspects of 15 U.S.C. § 1681b(b)(2). Defendant denies the claims, has asserted numerous defenses to the action, and denies that class certification is required or appropriate.

    The Court has not decided who is right or wrong in this Lawsuit. Although no decision has been made about who is right and who is wrong, both sides have agreed to a proposed Settlement. A Settlement avoids the expense, delay and uncertainty of a trial and gets relief to Settlement Class Members more quickly. The Plaintiff and the attorneys for the Settlement Class think the Settlement is best for all Settlement Class Members.

    The Lawsuit is called a “Class Action” because the Class Representative is suing on behalf of other people with similar claims, called “Class Members.” The parties have agreed to treat the Lawsuit as a Class Action for settlement purposes only.

  • You are a Settlement Class Member if:

    (i) you applied for employment with, or are/were employed by, Umpqua Bank, (ii) you completed a disclosure and authorization form during the Class Period, defined as April 2, 2010 – September 21, 2015, and (iii) Umpqua obtained, during the Class Period, a consumer report about you for employment purposes.

  • Since the Settlement was approved by the Court, all Settlement Class Members will receive certain monetary benefits. The parties have made their best efforts to negotiate a settlement that is fair and reasonable under the circumstances.

    Cash Payments. Defendant will pay $325,000 (the “Settlement Amount”) into a Settlement Fund which will be used to make cash payments to Settlement Class Members. There are estimated to be 3,871 Settlement Class Members. Each Settlement Class Member will be entitled to an equal share of the Settlement Fund, after deduction for court approved attorneys’ fees and expenses, an incentive payment to the Class Representative for her service in bringing this Lawsuit, and the costs of settlement and administration. As described in more detail below, the Plaintiff intends to apply for an incentive payment of $2,500, class counsel intend to apply for attorneys’ fees of $108,322 and costs up to $6,000, and settlement administration fees are estimated to be approximately $25,000. The Plaintiff estimates that, after deductions for court approved attorneys’ fees and expenses, an incentive payment, and administrative costs, each Settlement Class Member will receive approximately $40 - $48.

    You do NOT need to do anything to receive these benefits.

    Named Plaintiff Incentive Payment. The Named Plaintiff will request an incentive payment of $2,500 for her services as a class representative and her efforts in bringing the Lawsuit. If the Court approves the request, the incentive payment will be paid from the Settlement Amount.

    Attorneys’ Fees. Counsel for the Settlement Class will seek attorneys’ fees and costs from the Settlement Amount of up to $108,322 (one-third of the Settlement Fund) and expenses up to $6,000. If the Court approves the request, the fees and costs will be paid from the Settlement Amount. If you wish to respond to the motion for attorneys' fees and costs, you were required to do so by February 4, 2019. The Plaintiff’s application for attorneys’ fees and costs, and incentive payment, will be available on this website.  You can also obtain a copy of the fee application by email or by mail, by contacting class counsel at either of the addresses below:

    Elizabeth A. Ryan
    Bailey & Glasser LLP
    99 High Street, Suite 304
    Boston, MA 02110
    T: 617.439.6730
    F: 617.951.3954
    eryan@baileyglasser.com

    Nicholas F. Ortiz
    Law Office of Nicholas F. Ortiz, P.C
    99 High Street, Suite 304
    Boston, MA 02110
    T: (617) 338-9400
    F: (617) 507-3456
    nfo@mass-legal.com

    Uncashed Checks. Any uncashed or unclaimed checks from these settlement payments will not revert to Umpqua. If approved by the Court, the aggregate amount of any uncashed or unclaimed checks will be divided equally among three charitable organizations (the “cy pres recipients”), which serve a geographical area reflective of the distribution of the Settlement Class, namely: (1) The Northwest Consumer Law Center in Washington, which focuses on consumer law, including credit reporting law, and provides representation and legal advice to individuals with consumer issues, training and support to other lawyers who help consumers, and education for consumers about their rights and options; (2) the Oregon Law Center, which provides advice to individuals throughout the state of Oregon about their rights under the FCRA and other consumer laws, and employment issues; and (3) the Privacy Rights Clearinghouse (PRC), which serves Californians statewide and works to educate and enable consumers to protect their privacy.

    You may object to the cy pres distribution or the cy pres recipients even if you do not otherwise object to the Settlement.

    Benefits were mailed to eligible Settlement Class Members on March 22, 2019.

  • Unless you excluded yourself from the Settlement, you will be releasing your claims against Defendant. A release means that you will not be able to file a lawsuit, continue prosecuting a lawsuit, or be part of any other lawsuit against Umpqua Bank regarding claims related to the disclosure and authorization form used during the Class Period (April 2, 2010 – September 21, 2015) to obtain a consumer report (credit report).

  • The deadline to exclude yourself from the Settlement was January 10, 2019 and has passed. If you are a member of the Settlement Class, you are included in the Settlement unless you requested to be excluded. If you remain in the Settlement Class,, you will receive the benefits described above. If you did not want to participate in the Settlement, you were required to exclude yourself or “opt out.” If you excluded yourself, you will not receive any benefits from the Settlement, but you will not be bound by any judgment or release in this Lawsuit and will keep your right to sue Defendant on your own if you want. If you excluded yourself, you may not object to the Settlement.

    If you did not make a timely and valid request for exclusion, you will remain a Settlement Class Member and be bound by the Settlement.

  • The deadline to object in writing to the Settlement was January 10, 2019 and has passed. If you did not request to be excluded, you could have objected to the Settlement. You could not do both. 

    Objecting in Person

    You also could have objected to the settlement at the Final Approval Hearing, either in person or through personal counsel hired at your expense. You did not need to send a written objection before the Final Approval Hearing if you wished to appear at the Hearing to object.

    If you do not timely make your Objection, either in writing before the Final Approval Hearing or at the Final Approval Hearing, you will be deemed to have waived all objections to the Settlement.

  • The Court held a hearing on February 21, 2019, at 10:00 a.m., in Courtroom 15206 on the 15th Floor of the United States Courthouse, located at 700 Stewart Street, Seattle, WA 98101, to decide whether to give final approval to the Settlement. The purpose of the Final Approval Hearing was for the Court to determine whether the Settlement is fair, reasonable, adequate, and in the best interests of the Class; to consider the award of attorneys’ fees and costs to Class Counsel; to consider the request for an incentive payment to the Plaintiff; and to consider whether the Settlement Class Members should be bound by the Release and be prohibited from suing over Released Claims. The Court approved the Settlement on February 28, 2019.

    Please contact the Settlement Administrator or class counsel for any updates about the Settlement generally or the Final Approval Hearing specifically. At that hearing, the Court heard any Objections and arguments concerning the fairness of the Settlement. You could have attended, but you were not required to do so unless you wished to object and have not done so in advance in writing.

  • The Notice is a summary. If you have questions or would like more information, you may contact the Settlement Administrator at the postal mailing address: c/o JND Legal Administration, P.O. Box 91345, Seattle, WA 98111, or call toll-free at 1-888-663-1725. You may also obtain information about the case and key documents on this website, including the Settlement Agreement, the motion for preliminary approval, the complaint, court orders, and Plaintiff’s application for attorneys’ fees.

    You may also contact Class Counsel at the phone number and/or address listed below. Please be advised that Defendant and/or Defendant’s Counsel cannot comment or otherwise provide any advice with respect to the Notice or the Settlement.

    Any opt-out forms or objections should be sent to the Settlement Administrator, not to the Court. Any questions should be directed either to the Settlement Administrator or to Class Counsel, not to the Court.

    Please do not contact the Judge concerning this case.

  • It is your responsibility to inform the Settlement Administrator of your updated information so that a check may be sent to you at your current mailing address. You may do so at the address below:

    Connolly v. Umpqua Bank Settlement
    c/o JND Legal Administration
    P.O. Box 91345
    Seattle, WA 98111

  • Class Counsel:

    Elizabeth A. Ryan
    Bailey & Glasser LLP
    99 High Street, Suite 304
    Boston, MA 02110
    T: 617.439.6730
    F: 617.951.3954
    eryan@baileyglasser.com

    Nicholas F. Ortiz
    Law Office of Nicholas F. Ortiz, P.C
    99 High Street, Suite 304
    Boston, MA 02110
    T: (617) 338-9400
    F: (617) 507-3456
    nfo@mass-legal.com

     

    Defendant’s Counsel:

    James E. Howard
    Lauren A. Dorsett
    Davis Wright Tremaine LLP
    1201 Third Avenue, Suite 2200
    Seattle, WA 98101

     

    Settlement Administrator:

    Connolly v. Umpqua Bank Settlement
    c/o JND Legal Administration
    P.O. Box 91345
    Seattle, WA 98111

    toll-free at 1-888-663-1725

     

    Court:

    United States District Court for the Western District of Washington
    700 Stewart Street
    Seattle, WA 98101

     

    DO NOT CONTACT THE COURT OR THE JUDGE ABOUT THIS CASE

     

  • The important dates in this case are:

    • January 10, 2019 (passed): All opt outs/requests for exclusion must be postmarked and mailed to the Settlement Administrator.
    • January 10, 2019 (passed): Any written objections must be postmarked and mailed to the Settlement Administrator.
    • February 4, 2019 (passed): Deadline for any responses to any motion for attorney's fees and costs and/or to any motion for final approval of the proposed class action settlement.
    • February 21, 2019 (passed): Final approval hearing at 10:00 a.m. 

For More Information

Visit this website often to get the most up-to-date information.

Mail

Connolly v. Umpqua Bank Settlement
c/o JND Legal Administration
PO Box 91345
Seattle, WA 98111