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Commonly Asked Questions


What is this lawsuit about?

Answer:

The lawsuit alleges that certain barbecue grills, with model numbers 01566, 03495, 16142, 16154, 23673, 23676, 23681, 23682, 23683, 23766, 34172, 34176, 34178, 34308, and 34611 (the Grills), sold by Sears were manufactured with firebox trays made out of galvanized steel, making the firebox trays defective and resulting in the firebox trays rusting and failing prematurely. Sears denies the claims of Plaintiffs, denies all allegations of wrongdoing, fault, liability, or damage of any kind to Plaintiffs or the Settlement Class, denies that the Grills were defective in any way and that it acted improperly or wrongfully in any way, and is entering into this Settlement to avoid burdensome and costly litigation. The Settlement is not an admission of wrongdoing.

The Plaintiffs First Amended Complaint, the Settlement Agreement, and other case-related documents are posted on the website, www.kenmorefireboxgrillsettlement.com. The Settlement will resolve the lawsuit. The Court has not decided who is right.

Why did I receive a notice?

Answer:

You received the Notice because Sears’s records identified you as a potential class member. You have a right to know about the proposed Settlement. The Notice explains the lawsuit, the Settlement, and your legal rights.

Who is included in the Class?

Answer:

You are a member of the Class if you purchased or received, not for resale, a new Kenmore Grill with a galvanized steel firebox bearing one of the model numbers 01566, 03495, 16142, 16154, 23673, 23676, 23681, 23682, 23683, 23766, 34172, 34176, 34178, 34308, or 34611, which was manufactured between October 1, 2011 and September 30, 2014.

What rights am I giving up under this Settlement?

Answer:

If the Court approves the proposed Settlement and you do not request to be excluded from the Class, you must release (give up) all claims that are subject to the Release described and identified in Section 4 of the Settlement Agreement, and the case will be dismissed on the merits and with prejudice. If you remain in the Class, you may not assert any of those claims in any other lawsuit or proceeding.  This includes any other lawsuit or proceeding already in progress. Nothing in this Settlement Agreement releases any personal injury claim that any Class Member (other than the four named Plaintiffs) might have or purport to have that is alleged to relate to the Grills. You can review the terms of the settlement by clicking here (Link to Settlement Agreement).

What are my options as a Class Member?

Answer:

To participate you must submit your Claim Form completed, signed and mailed or faxed to the Claim Administrator postmarked no later than January 26, 2018 or submitted online no later than January 26, 2018. You may exclude yourself from the Settlement. If you do not wish to participate, you must submit a written request for exclusion signed and mailed to the Claim Administrator postmarked no later than March 13, 2017. If you are a class member, you can object to the Settlement if you do not like any part of it and the Court will consider your views. If you wish to object, you must send a written objection to the Court with copies to Class Counsel and Defense Counsel no later than March 13, 2017.

How do I file a claim?

Answer:

The requirements of the Claim Form vary slightly depending on the type of recovery you are claiming. The Claim Form makes clear what is required. The required submissions will include some or all of the following:

1. Your mailing address;

2. Proof of purchase from Sears in the form of a Sears receipt of a Grill if that information is not in Sears records or certification that the Grill was received as a gift in new condition;

3. Photo evidence of Material Rusting or (in certain cases) records of complaints to Sears;

4. If applicable, proof of payment to Sears for a repair to or replacement of the firebox of the Grill, if that information is not in Sears records;

5. If applicable, proof of purchase, before the Effective Date, of a replacement grill, including the amount paid; and

6. Your signature certifying that the information you provide is true and correct and (in certain cases) that the Grill is otherwise functional and exhibits Material Rusting.

Please return a Claim Form if you think that you have a claim. Returning a Claim Form is the only way to receive a repair kit, gift card, or cash payment from this Settlement. No claimant may submit more than one Claim Form, and two or more claimants may not submit Claim Forms for the same alleged damage.

The Claim Administrator may request additional information if the Claim Form is insufficient to process your claim. Failure to provide any requested documentation may result in the denial of your claim or may limit the type of remedy you receive.

Your form will need to be mailed or faxed, so that it is postmarked or faxed no later than January 26, 2018. You may also submit your Claim Form on the Settlement website at www.kenmorefireboxgrillsettlement.com; it must be submitted no later than January 26, 2018.

How do I request exclusion?

Answer:

If you do not wish to be included in the Class and receive Settlement benefits, you must send a letter stating that you want to be excluded from this Settlement. Be sure to include your name, address, telephone number, and your signature. You must mail your exclusion request post-marked no later than March 13, 2017 to the Claim Administrator.

What is the difference between objecting and asking to be excluded?

Answer:

Objecting is simply telling the Court that you do not like something about the Settlement. You can only object if you stay in the Class. Excluding yourself is telling the Court that you do not want to be part of the Class. If you exclude yourself, you have no basis to object because the case no longer affects you

How do I object to the settlement?

Answer:

If you do not wish to be included in the Class and receive Settlement benefits, you must send a letter stating that you want to be excluded from this Settlement. Be sure to include your name, address, telephone number, and your signature. You must mail your exclusion request post-marked no later than March 13, 2017 to the Claim Administrator.

What are the benefits of the Settlement?

Answer:

All Class Members who submit a valid claim will be eligible for relief. Each Class Member is entitled to no more than one form of recovery from the Settlement; only one recovery is available for each Grill:

Type 1 Claimant:

Definition: Class Members who on the Effective Date possess a Grill which needs repair.

Benefit: Can receive either a free repair to the firebox, a Sears gift card for $180.00, or a $125.00 cash payment.

Type 2 Claimant:

Definition: Class Members who do not on the Effective Date possess their Grill and did not purchase a replacement, but who can provide required evidence of material rusting of their Grill.

Benefit:  Can receive either a Sears gift card for $180.00 or a $125.00 cash payment.  

Type 3 Claimant:

Definition: Class Members who on the Effective Date possess a Grill, Model #23682, which was not repaired or replaced and cannot be repaired by the grill kit developed by Sears.

Benefit: Can receive either a Sears gift card for $180.00 or a $125.00 cash payment.  

Type 4 Claimant:

Definition: Class Members who on the Effective Date possess a Grill and already paid Sears to repair the Grill.

Benefit: Can receive reimbursement of the amount paid to Sears for parts, labor, fees, or otherwise, for a repair to or replacement of the firebox on the Grill, including service charges.  

Type 5 Claimant:

Definition: Class Members who purchased a replacement grill prior to the Effective Date of the Settlement (It does not matter if it is in their possession any more or not).

Benefit: Can receive either a repair kit, or up to a $300.00 cash payment for the price of the replacement grill.  

Type 6 Claimant:

Definition: Class Members who purchased the Grill between January 1, 2011 and December 31, 2013, and who purchased a replacement within 2½ years of the original purchase, but do not on the Effective Date possess their Grill and cannot provide any photographic evidence of rusting or of a complaint to Sears about rusting,

Benefit: Can receive a Sears gift card for $45.00.  

To be eligible for a repair or other recovery, the Grill must exhibit Material Rusting of the firebox, but be otherwise functional and in working order.  Only the original purchaser or recipient may receive recovery.  Material Rusting means rust impacting the structural integrity of the firebox tray, evidenced by a visible hole and/or break in the firebox caused by rust.

Will the defendant retaliate against me?

Answer:

No. Retaliation against Class Members for exercising their rights under a class action settlement is strictly prohibited by state and federal law.

When will I be paid/receive a replacement box/receive a gift card?

Answer:

Please check back for further information.

Will any of the benefits be taxable?

Answer:

Please check back for further information.

Do I have a lawyer in this case?

Answer:

The Court appointed the law firms of Shepherd, Finkelman, Miller & Shah, LLP; Stephan Zouras, LLP; Cuneo Gilbert & LaDuca, LLP; and Pogust Braslow & Millrood, LLP to represent you and other Class members.

What will Class Representatives receive?

Answer:

Class Counsel will ask for a service award of $2,500.00 each to the four Class Representatives.

When and where will the Court decide whether to approve the Settlement?

Answer:

The Judge will hold a Final Approval Hearing at 9:30 a.m. on April 12, 2017 at the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, 219 South Dearborn St., Chicago, IL 60604.

Do I have to come to the hearing?

Answer:

It is not necessary for you to appear at the hearing, but you may attend if you want to, at your own expense.

May I speak at the hearing?

Answer:

You may ask the Court for permission to speak at the Final Approval Hearing. To do so, you must file with the Court a Notice of Intention to Appear in Oaks, et al. v. Sears, Roebuck and Co., 1:15-cv-11318. Be sure to include your name, address, telephone number, your signature and a statement that you are a member of the Class. You Notice of Intention to appear must be filed no later than March 13, 2017, and be provided to the Clerk of the Court, Class Counsel, and Defense Counsel at the three addresses listed in section 15 of your Notice.

How do I get more information?

Answer:

The Notice contains a summary of the Class Action Litigation and the proposed Compromise and Settlement Agreement.

Disclaimer

Please do not contact either the Defendant or the Court about this Settlement. Any and all callers will be directed to this website. If you have questions, please refer to the Commonly Asked Questions and the other information posted here. This site is not operated by Plaintiff or the Defendant.

This class action settlement is supervised by the Court and is administered by a claims administration firm that handles all aspects of claims processing

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