by John Darer® CLU ChFC MSSC RSP CLTC
Towards the end of January 2011, Mussmann Qualified Settlement Fund Claimants have received checks for the class action settlement that was paid into a qualified settlement fund. Although our firm was not involved in the creation of the Mussmann Qualified Settlement Fund, a number of Mussmann claimants (27 on January 31 alone!) have contacted us confused over checks "out of nowhere" in amounts mostly less than $75.
"Mussmann" was a class-action lawsuit filed in June 2001 in Clinton County, Iowa, accusing Wal-Mart of intimidating employees into working overtime without pay. The lead plaintiffs were Sally Mussmann and Taylor Vogue, two former employees of the Wal-Mart store in Clinton.
Despite the fact that the contact information for the administrator was printed right on the benefits material that accompanied the check apparently it was insufficient for more than just a handful of claimants. While I am happy to help people get to the correct information in the shortest period of time, fund administrators must do a better job of considering the sophistication level of claimants when designing their claimant notice and other communications.
Claimants reading this may want to contact class counsel