by John Darer
About 11 years ago Sally Mussmann and Ronda Harmons decided to be the lead plaintiffs in a class action lawsuit against Wal-Mart over the subject of unpaid breaks. Despite having zero involvement in the case, since January 2011 that action has cost me nothing but time , money (fortunately not a lot) from calls flooding our toll-free number) and aggravation from some downright nasty people who have no business being nasty over piddly amounts such as $15.77.
A. Mussmann Qualified Settlement Fund- Iowa Wal-Mart Settlement (if you worked at Wal-Mart in Iowa from June 5, 1999 to May 9, 2009)
When the class action on behalf of Iowa employees was settled a qualified settlement fund, called the Mussmann Qualified Settlement Fund, was created to receive the proceeds. The Mussman Qualified Settlement Fund began to make distributions to the former employees in January 2011. The majority of the distributions were for piddly amounts under $100 (many for $15.77). Yet for many of the claimants there was confusion and sought out information on the Internet where my company has the #1 position for qualified settlement fund (not Mussmann Qualified Settlement Fund, just general information about qualified settlement funds
The New York City Law firm Abbey Spanier Rodd & Abrams, LLP handled the Iowa Class Action lawsuit against Wal-Mart that resulted in the Mussmann Qualified Settlement Fund
Despite multiple blog posts making it abundantly clear that OUR FIRM HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH MUSSMAN QUALIFIED SETTLEMENT FUND, we continue to receive calls from claimants, accountants, widows, widowers and the like. Last year it was about the check. This year it was about the W-2. We keep getting calls from people thinking someone has stolen their social security number, or even H&R Block seeking replacement checks. Someone even alleged that the IRS gave them our number.
The Wal-Mart Iowa Class Action has a website including Frequently Asked Questions HERE PLEASE READ IT!
B. Iliadis et al Qualified Settlement Fund- New Jersey Wal-Mart Settlement
A similar qualified settlement fund was set up for settlement of a class action law suit on behalf of New Jersey WalMart employees. People think they are getting scammed when this is not the case (see link). 53 complaints were filed with scambook.com alone in the last month claiming a total of $2,406 in "damages" (yes that's right!) at time of writing.
The Wal-Mart New Jersey Class Action has a website including Frequently Asked Questions HERE PLEASE READ IT!
Fortunately there have been fewer calls, in part because the law firm Abbey Spanier Rodd & Abrams, LLP posts information on its web pages such as:
Iliadis, et al. v. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.
Case No. MID-L-5498-02 (N.J. Sup. Ct., Middlesex Co.)
Abbey Spanier successfully appealed the denial of class action certification by the trial court in the New Jersey Supreme Court. On May 31, 2007, in its first full treatment of the state's class action rule since 1983, the New Jersey Supreme Court reversed the trial court and directed an entry of an order certifying the class. After class certification and further proceedings, a settlement was reached providing for injunctive relief and the payment by Wal-Mart of up to $28 million. On November 17, 2009, the trial court approved the settlement.
According to the Abbey Spanier website, Abbey Spanier partner, Judith Spanier was one of the lead trial attorneys in the Pennsylvania and New Jersey actions against Wal-Mart.
AND MOST NOTABLY (PLEASE READ IF YOU HAVE RECEIVED A CHECK OR W-2 OR ARE AN ACCOUNTANT OR LOVED ONE OF SOMEONE WHO HAS RECEIVED A CHECK OR W-2)
Illiadis On May 16, 2011, the First and Second Distributions for Class Members was made. Anyone for whom the claims administrator had a correct address, and did not opt-out of the Settlement was mailed a check for their portion of the settlement. These checks expire in 90 days.
Mussmann On January 28, 2011, the First and Second Distributions for Class Members was made. Anyone for whom the claims administrator had a correct address, and did not opt-out of the Settlement was mailed a check for their portion of the settlement. These checks expire in 90 days.
There is an administrator number on each of the websites 866-214-7144.
If you have no luck consider calling Abbey Spanier Rodd & Abrams, LLP at 212-889-3700