United Airlines Flight 1536 Litigation

United Airlines Flight 1536 Litigation

IN THE CIRCUIT COURT OF COOK COUNTY
COUNTY DEPARTMENT, CHANCERY DIVISION

No. 98 CH 547

ALLYSON W. RUDMAN, individually and on behalf of all others similarly situated,

Plaintiff v. UNITED AIRLINES, Defendants.

NOTICE OF CLASS ACTION AND PROPOSED SETTLEMENT

TO: All passengers on United Flight 1536 (from Orange County, California to Chicago o=”Hare” Airport) on December 24, 1997.

PLEASE READ THIS NOTICE CAREFULLY

THIS IS NOT A NOTICE OF A LAWSUIT AGAINST YOU.

YOU MAY BENEFIT FROM READING THIS NOTICE.

WHY YOU ARE RECEIVING THIS NOTICE

You are receiving this notice because you are or may be eligible to receive certain benefits in settlement of a class action lawsuit. The lawsuit was filed against United Airlines (AUnited@) in the Circuit Court of Cook County, Illinois and is styled Rudman v. United Airlines, 98 CH 547. This notice explains the nature of the lawsuit and the terms of the settlement, and informs you of your legal rights and objections. IN ORDER TO OBTAIN BENEFITS FROM THIS SETTLEMENT, YOU DO NOT HAVE TO DO ANYTHING, EXCEPT GIVE NOTICE OF ANY CHANGE OF ADDRESS AND RETURN THE ENCLOSED CLAIM FORM. IF THE SETTLEMENT IS FINALLY APPROVED, YOU WILL AUTOMATICALLY RECEIVE THE BENEFITS DESCRIBED BELOW. IF YOU MAIL IN A CLAIM FORM YOU ARE ELIGIBLE FOR ADDITIONAL BENEFITS.

WHAT THIS LAWSUIT IS ABOUT

In this lawsuit, Allyson Rudman alleges that united=”s” actions on December 24, 1997 were in breach of contract with plaintiff and class members who were passengers on United Flight 1536.

You have the right to opt-out of this class action and settlement and file a separate and independent action. If you want to consider filing your own individual claim, you should seek the advice of an attorney prior to the expiration of the opt-out period. By filing a separate action you may have the right to recover damages in excess of what you will recover as a class member.

United denies that it violated any laws, but desires to settle these claims to avoid further litigation.

WHO IS IN THE CLASS

The Court has certified the following class:

All passengers on United Flight 1536 on December 24, 1997.

You were sent this notice because you may be a member of the above class. If you are uncertain as to whether you are a class member, you should contact counsel for the class or your own attorney.

THE PROPOSED SETTLEMENT

Plaintiff and United have agreed to settle and resolve all claims raised against United. The attorneys for the class believe that this settlement is fair, reasonable, and in the best interests of the class members. The terms of the settlement are as follows:

A. Relief to the class: United agrees to pay each class member a cash paymentof $500.00 (five hundred dollars).

United agrees to pay each class member an unrestricted fully transferable flight voucher valued at $500.00 (five hundred dollars).

United has represented that it has provided similar vouchers valued at $200.00 for 76 of the class members. Upon presenting the trial court with an appropriate affidavit signed by the appropriate United representative stating that such vouchers have in fact been paid and to whom the vouchers were paid, United may make the voucher payments set forth in the above paragraph subject to a set off in the amount of $200.00. Any class member who has received a $200.00 voucher per the affidavit, will receive a $300.00 voucher, all other class members will receive the $500.00 voucher. All class members shall receive the relief described above providing they (i) can be located via actual written notice or notice by publication (ii) do not exclude themselves and (iii) do not have their notices returned by the Postal Service without a valid forwarding address. Any notice returned with a forwarding address will be re-mailed to the address provided.

United will pay each class member on a claims made basis special damages which are intended to reimburse class members for actual out of pocket losses. A claim form has been included along with this notice. The claim form must be received by United on or before November 20, 2000. United will reimburse all class members for itemized out of pocket expenses dollar for dollar, without verification or receipts, up to $200.00. For special damages claims exceeding $200.00, the class member is required to submit verified proof of loss such as a receipt, paid bill, or similar documentation.

All claims made for special damages will be reviewed by United. For those claims in excess of $200.00, United will review the supporting documentation and pay the full amount of those claims with adequate supporting documentation in the judgment of United. If United and the class member are unable to reach an agreement on a special damages claim exceeding $200.00, the claim must be submitted to the American Arbitration Association or other agreed upon alternative dispute resolution vendor in the class member=”s” locality, United to pay the costs and attorney=”s” fees.

Class members entitled to a cash payment shall receive such payment by check which shall be void no less that 180 days after issuance. The cash payment shall be mailed no later than fifteen (15) days after the Effective Date.United shall be responsible for issuing and mailing class members= checks. United shall have no obligation to honor or reissue any check that is returned as undeliverable and without a forwarding address, or that is not cashed within 180 days after the date on which it was mailed. Checks shall be sent to the last known address for each class member entitled to payment based upon united=”s” records, by any form of mail that provides for address forwarding information. United shall file with the Court an interim accounting of the settlement funds within 30 days after the Effective Date, and a final accounting of the settlement funds within 30 days after the latest date upon which the class members= checks expire.

Class members entitled to a voucher payment shall receive such voucher which will be valid for no less than 365 days from the date of issuance. The voucher payment shall be made in the same manner as the cash payment as stated above. Class members entitled to a cash reimbursement payment for special damages shall receive such payment by check which payment will conform in all respects to the cash payment outlined above, except that payment of special damageswill be mailed within 15 days after the deadline for receipt of claim forms.

In the event that a class member entitled to a cash payment is deceased, or there are multiple obligors on an account, a check will be sent to the person(s) reasonably believed to the person(s) entitled thereto, and the release in paragraph 12 of the Settlement Agreement shall be effective as to such class member, notwithstanding any failure to comply with law relating to probate and/or marital property.

United will pay (i) the cost of the notice, as described herein, to be sent by any form of mail that provides for address forwarding information, (ii) the cost of distributing the checks which may be sent in the same manner, and (iii) any associated administrative expenses. Such costs will be paid in addition to, and not out of, the relief to the class. United will either send the notice and distribute the money itself or have a court approved third party trustee do so.

United will pay the administrative costs associated with mailing this notice to class members and mailing the checks to class members who are entitled to payments.

B. Relief to Plaintiff Rudman: In addition to the relief set forth above, United agrees to pay Allyson Rudman $2,000.00 in cash. This payment shall be in addition to the payments described herein and shall in all other respects conform to the requirements stated herein.

C. Attorney=s fees and costs: United agrees to pay attorney=”s” fees to class counsel of $100,000.00, to STERN HOLSTEIN ZIMMERMAN & HANSON, P.C. subject to court approval and said fees will be paid by United in addition to and not out of the relief to the class.

D. Release: Each class member who does not opt out, does hereby release and forever discharge United and its current and former officers, directors, successors, predecessors, shareholders, parent corporations, subsidiaries, affiliated companies, employees and agents (AReleased Parties@), from all claims for actual damages and all affirmative claims for statutory damages, known or unknown, irrespective of legal theory, which arise out of or relate to the allegations made on behalf of the class.

SETTLEMENT HEARING

On October 6, at 2000 a.m., a hearing will be held on the fairness of the proposed settlement. The hearing will determine whether certain claims in this action may be settled as a class action. At the hearing, the Court will be available to hear any objections and arguments concerning the fairness of the proposed settlement. The hearing will take place before Judge Robert Boharic of the Circuit Court of Cook County, Illinois, Chancery Division, in Room 2408, Richard J. Daley Center, 50 W. Washington St., Chicago, Illinois. YOU ARE NOT REQUIRED TO ATTEND THIS HEARING UNLESS YOU WISH TO OBJECT TO THE PROPOSED SETTLEMENT.

WHAT CAN YOU DO

1. You have the right to exclude yourself from both the class action and the settlement by sending a request for exclusion to the attorneys listed below, under ACorrect Address@. The request for exclusion must be received by the attorneys on or before October 5, 2000 and refer to the name and number of the case. An opt out from the class form is attached hereto for your convenience.

2. If you do not wish to exclude yourself, and have no objection to the settlement, it is not necessary for you to take any action. You will get the benefits of the settlement if it is approved.

3. If you wish to submit a claim for special damages, you must complete the enclosed claim form and mail it to the address indicated on the form. Claim forms must be received by United on or before November 20, 2000.

4. If you object to the settlement and wish to submit an objection, rather than simply exclude yourself from the class action, you must submit your objection in writing to the Clerk of the Circuit Court of Cook County, Illinois, Chancery Division and appear at the hearing before Judge Boharic on October 6, 2000. Written objections must be received by the Clerk of the Court on or before October 5, 2000 and must also be served on the attorneys listed below under ACorrect Address,@ by the same date. Any objection must include the name and number of the case and a statement of the reasons why you believe that the Court should find that the proposed settlement is not in the best interests of the class. Please note that it is not sufficient simply to state that you object. You must state reasons why the settlement should not be approved.

IMPORTANT: ANY REQUESTS FOR EXCLUSION OR WRITTEN OBJECTIONS MUST BE RECEIVED BY THE CLERK AND/OR ATTORNEYS BY OCTOBER 5, 2000 . IF YOU MAIL A REQUEST FOR EXCLUSION OR OBJECTION, YOU BEAR THE RISK OF ANY PROBLEM WITH THE MAILS.

If the settlement is not approved, the case will proceed as if no settlement has been attempted.

The description of the case is general and does not cover all of the issues and proceedings thus far. In order to see the more complete file, you should visit the office of the Clerk of the Circuit Court of Cook County, Chancery Division, on the 8th floor of the Richard J. Daley Center, Chicago, Illinois. The clerk will make the files relating to this lawsuit available to you for inspection and copying at your own expense.

WHAT YOU SHOULD DO NOW

IN ORDER TO RECEIVE THE CASH PAYMENT AND VOUCHER PAYMENT BENEFITS TO WHICH YOU ARE ENTITLED UNDER THE SETTLEMENT AGREEMENT OUTLINED ABOVE, YOU DO NOT NEED TO DO ANYTHING. If you are entitled to benefits under this settlement, you will get them after final approval of the settlement. However, if you wish, you may consult with an attorney (at your expense), exclude yourself from the case, or object, as described above. You also have the right to file an appearance in the case if you wish. In order to receive additional special damages benefits you must complete the enclosed claim form and mail it to the address indicated on the form. Claim forms must be received by United on or before November 20, 2000.

CORRECT ADDRESS

If this Notice was sent to you at your current address you do not have to do anything further to receive any credit or check payment to which you are entitled. If it was forwarded by the Postal Service, or if it was otherwise sent to you at an address which is not current, you should immediately send a letter to each of the lawyers named below stating your past and current address.

The attorneys for plaintiff and the class is:

Thomas A. Zimmerman, Jr.

Todd M. Hanson

STERN HOLSTEIN ZIMMERMAN & HANSON, P.C.

70 East Walton, Floors 11 & 12

Chicago, Illinois 60611

312-440-0020

The attorney for United is:

Alan J. Brinkmeier

Linda J. Schneider

MERLO, KANOFSKY & BRINKMEIER, LTD.

208 South LaSalle Street, Suite 950

Chicago, Illinois 60604

(312) 553-5500

DO NOT ADDRESS ANY QUESTIONS ABOUT THE SETTLEMENT OR THE LITIGATION TO THE CLERK OF THE COURT OR THE JUDGE. THEY ARE NOT PERMITTED TO ANSWER YOUR QUESTIONS.

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Rated by Super Lawyers: Thomas Zimmerman

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