SEAGRAM’S GINGER ALE SETTLEMENT

Fitzhenry-Russell, et al. v. The Coca-Cola Company
In the United States District Court
Northern District of California
Case No. 5:17-CV-00603-EJD

Attention purchasers of Seagram’s Ginger Ale
Between April 1, 2013 and June 13, 2019

  • This website concerns a case called Fitzhenry-Russell, et al. v. The Coca-Cola Company, Case No. 5:17-CV-00603-EJD, filed in the United States District Court for the Northern District of California.
  • A class action Settlement will completely resolve this lawsuit against The Coca-Cola Company (“Defendant”), on behalf of all individuals who purchased any Seagram’s Ginger Ale Product (collectively the “Products”) for personal use between April 1, 2013 and June 13, 2019. The Settlement affects all persons in that category (the “Settlement Class Members”).
  • The lawsuit contends that the Products were inappropriately labeled as “Made with Real Ginger.” The lawsuit seeks a court order prohibiting such labeling and requiring Defendant to repay consumers for a portion of the Products’ purchase price.
  • Defendant denies the claims in the lawsuit. It contends that the Products have always been truthfully marketed and labeled, and that they were and are “Made with Real Ginger.”  The Court has not decided who is correct, but the plaintiffs who brought the lawsuit (acting on behalf of all Settlement Class Members) and Defendant have reached an agreement to settle the case. 
  • To settle the case, Defendant has agreed to comply with a court order that will prohibit it from using the phrase “Made with Real Ginger” on future Product labels or marketing materials.  The injunction requires Defendant to introduce new packaging and marketing materials, which do not contain the phrase, within a year of final approval of the Settlement.
  • In addition, Defendant will pay $2,450,000 into a settlement fund. Each Settlement Class Member who submits a valid claim form will receive a cash payment from the fund of up to eighty cents ($.80) for each Unit purchased during the applicable time period (the “Benefit”), with a minimum payment of 5 Units (up to $4.00), subject to the restrictions set forth below.  The Benefit may be less than $0.80 per Unit depending on (1) the number of Settlement Class Members who submit Valid Claims and (2) the amount of the settlement fund directed to other costs, such as attorneys’ fees, class administration, and payments to the individual plaintiffs who brought the lawsuit.
  • A Settlement Class Member who submits a Valid Claim for 1-5 purchased Units shall recover the Benefit for five (5) purchased Units, for a payment of up to four dollars ($4.00).  A Settlement Class Member who does not provide valid Proof of Purchase may recover the Benefit for up to thirteen purchased (13) Units per Household, for a payment of up to ten dollars and forty cents ($10.40). A Settlement Class Member who does provide valid Proof of Purchase may recover the Benefit for up to one hundred (100) Units, for a maximum payment of eighty dollars ($80.00) per Household, assuming Proof of Purchase is furnished for at least 87 of those Unit purchases. If more than one Valid Claim is submitted per Household, all such claims shall be combined and treated as a single claim for purposes of the Household limits.
  • Any leftover funds after payment of attorneys’ fees, payments to the class representatives, class notice and administration expenses, and payment of Valid Claims will be divided between two nonprofit organizations:  (1) the National Consumers League (www.nclnet.org); and (2) the Better Business Bureau Institute for Marketplace Trust (www.bbbmarketplacetrust.org).  These organizations are devoted to educating and helping consumers so that they can make informed purchasing decisions. 
  • The parties predict that each claim will be paid at least $0.40 per Unit, and more if there are fewer claims than expected.
  • The lawyers who brought the lawsuit will ask the Court to set aside some of the settlement fund for reimbursement of their out-of-pocket expenses of approximately $80,000 and up to $735,000 in fees for investigating the facts, litigating the case, and negotiating the Settlement. They will additionally ask for up to $11,000 total for the Plaintiffs who brought this lawsuit. These payments are called “Class Representative Service Awards.” If the Court approves, these amounts would be paid to Plaintiffs and the lawyers out of the settlement fund.
  • The parties will also ask the Court to set aside approximately $361,213 of the settlement fund to pay the Claims Administrator, RG/2 Claims, for the costs of administering the settlement (e.g., disseminating notice of the settlement, processing claims, and distributing payments). 
YOUR RIGHTS AND OPTIONS IN THIS SETTLEMENT DEADLINE
Submit a Claim Form The only way to receive payment under the Settlement for your purchases. September 5, 2019
Opt-Out

Get out of the lawsuit and the Settlement. This is the only option that allows you to ever bring or join another lawsuit raising the same legal claims against Defendant. You will receive no payment from this Settlement.

September 5, 2019
File Objection Write to the Court about any aspect of the Settlement you don’t like or you don’t think is fair, adequate, or reasonable. (If you object to any aspect of the Settlement, you must submit a written Objection by the Objection Deadline.) September 5, 2019
Go to a Hearing Speak in Court about the Settlement. (If you object to any aspect of the Settlement, you must submit a written Objection by the Objection Deadline noted above.) October 3, 2019 at 9:00 a.m.
Do Nothing You will receive the benefit of labeling changes but you will not receive any payment; also, you will have no right to sue later for the claims released by the Settlement.  
  • These rights and options—and the deadlines to exercise them—are explained in the notice.
  • The Court in charge of this case still has to decide whether to approve the Settlement. Payments will be sent to Settlement Class Members only if the Court approves the Settlement.  If there are appeals, payments will not be made until the appeals are resolved and the Settlement becomes effective.  Please be patient and continue to check this website for updates.
  • Fairness Hearing
    On October 3, 2019, at 9:00 a.m., the Court will hold a hearing to determine (1) whether the proposed settlement is fair, reasonable and adequate and should receive final approval; (2) whether to grant the applications for attorneys’ fees and/or expenses brought by the Plaintiffs’ lawyers; and (3) whether to grant the application for  Class Representative Service Awards to the Plaintiffs who brought the lawsuit. The hearing will be held in the United States District Court of the Northern District of California, before the Honorable Edward J. Davila, in the San Jose Courthouse, 280 South 1st Street, San Jose, CA 95113, in courtroom 4 on the 5th Floor. This hearing date may change without further notice to you. Consult this website, or the Court docket in this case available through Public Access to Court Electronic Records (“PACER”) (https://www.pacer.gov), for updated information on the hearing date and time.

This is only a summary of the proposed settlement. For the precise terms and conditions of the settlement, please see the settlement agreement. Alternatively, you can contact the claim administrator or class counsel.

PLEASE DO NOT TELEPHONE THE COURT OR THE COURT CLERK’S OFFICE TO INQUIRE ABOUT THIS SETTLEMENT OR THE CLAIM PROCESS