Jordan v. WP Company LLC d/b/a The Washington Post
Washington Post Renewal Settlement
Case No. 3:20-cv-05218-WHO

Frequently Asked Questions

 

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  • The Court authorized the Notice because you have a right to know about a proposed Settlement of this class action lawsuit and about your options, before the Court decides whether to give final approval to the Settlement. The Notice explains the lawsuit, the Settlement, and your legal rights. The Honorable William H. Orrick, of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, is overseeing the case. The case is called Jorden v. WP Company LLC, Case No. 3:20-cv-05218-WHO. The person who sued is called the Plaintiff. The Defendant is WP Company LLC, doing business as The Washington Post. The notice will also call the defendant "WaPo" for short.

  • In a class action, one or more people called class representatives (in this case, Deborah Jordan) sue on behalf of a group or a "class" of people who have similar claims. In a class action, the court resolves the issues for all class members, except for those who exclude themselves from the Class.

  • This lawsuit claims that WaPo violated California law by automatically renewing its customers' subscriptions and charging customers' payment methods without first providing  certain disclosures and obtaining the requisite authorizations. WaPo denies the claims in the lawsuit and contends that it did nothing wrong and denies that class certification is warranted or appropriate. The Court did not resolve the claims and defenses raised in this action. Nor has the Court determined that WaPo did anything wrong or that this matter should be certified as a class action except if the Settlement is fully approved by the Court. Rather, the Parties have, without admitting liability, agreed to settle the lawsuit to avoid the uncertainties and expenses associated with ongoing litigation.

  • The Court has not decided whether the Plaintiff or WaPo should win this case. Instead, both sides agreed to a Settlement. That way, they avoid the uncertainties and expenses associated with ongoing litigation, and Class Members will get compensation sooner rather than, if at all, after a trial.

    The issuance of the Notice is not an expression of the Court's opinion on the merit or the lack of merit of the Representative Plaintiff's claims or the defenses in the lawsuit. Both parties recognize that to resolve the issues raised in the lawsuit would be time-consuming, uncertain, and expensive.

  • The Court decided that everyone who fits the following description is a member of the Settlement Class:

    All persons who, from July 29, 2016, to and through April 1, 2021, enrolled in a digital WaPo Subscription using a California billing address and who, during that time period, were charged and paid one or more automatic renewal fee(s) in connection with such subscription.

  • Monetary Relief: A Settlement Fund has been created with a value of approximately $6,762,480, consisting of $2,400,000 in cash benefits and approximately $4,362,480 in Automatic Account Credit Codes. The Settlement Fund Class Member payments, as well as the cost to administer the Settlement, the cost to inform people about the Settlement, attorneys' fees, and an award to the Class Representative, will come out of this fund (see FAQ 12).

    Prospective Relief: WaPo has agreed to provide automatic renewal terms on its checkout pages in a manner that is consistent with the requirements of Cal. Bus. & Prof. Code §§ 17600, et seq. Specifically, WaPo has agreed to present on the checkout page the automatic renewal offer terms (including by when a user must cancel) in a clear and conspicuous manner before the subscription or purchasing agreement and in visual proximity to the request for consent to the offer and obtain affirmative consent to the agreement containing the automatic renewal terms in a manner that complies with the ARL. WaPo has further agreed to disclose, in a manner that complies with the ARL, how to cancel and by when in an acknowledgment email that can be retained by California consumers. WaPo has further agreed to provide California subscribers enrolled in an active annual WaPo Subscription (as of the execution of the Settlement Agreement) who have not yet renewed as of 60 days after the execution of the Settlement Agreement with a one-time additional acknowledgement email at least 30 days before their next renewal date that provides those subscribers with notice that their subscription will renew and includes a clear link to directions on how to cancel that subscription. WaPo also agreed to provide California subscribers enrolled in an active four-week WaPo Subscription (as of 30 days after the execution of the Settlement Agreement) who have not yet renewed as of 60 days after the execution of the Settlement Agreement with a one-time additional acknowledgement email at least 7 days before their next renewal date that provides those subscribers with notice that their subscription will renew and includes a clear link to directions on how to cancel that subscription.

    A detailed description of the Settlement benefits can be found in the Settlement Agreement which can be found on the Important Documents page.

  • Once the Settlement becomes Final, each class member is eligible to receive an Automatic Account Credit Code for free use of WaPo's digital subscriptions for four (4) or eight (8) weeks, or submit a valid claim and receive a pro rata cash payment from the Settlement Fund, which Class Counsel estimates to be $20 for Annual Class Members and $10 for Four-Week Class Members based on expected claims rates.

    If you do not submit a valid Claim Form by the claims deadline, and if you don't exclude yourself from the Settlement Class, you will receive to the email address on file for your WaPo Subscription an Automatic Account Credit Code for free use of WaPo's digital services and products that normally require a paid subscription. If you had an active annual WaPo Subscription as of April 1, 2021 and do nothing, you will receive an Automatic Account Credit Code for eight (8) weeks of free subscription services of your then-current WaPo Subscription, valued at $20.00. If you had an active four-week WaPo Subscription as of April 1, 2021 and do nothing, you will receive an Automatic Account Credit Code for four (4) weeks of free subscription services of your then-current WaPo Subscription, valued at $10.00. If you did not have an active subscription as of April 1, 2021, but your most recent subscription was an annual WaPo Subscription (inactive annual) and do nothing, you will receive an Automatic Account Credit Code for eight (8) weeks of a free Washington Post premium digital subscription, valued at $20.00, with no expectation or obligation to continue using or paying the services beyond the free period. If you did not have an active WaPo Subscription as of April 1, 2021, but your most recent subscription was a four-week  subscription (inactive four-week) and do nothing, you will receive an Automatic Account Credit Code for four (4) weeks of a free Washington Post premium digital subscription, valued at $10.00, with no expectation or obligation to continue using or paying the services beyond the free period. No payment or billing information will be required for an inactive Class Member to use the Automatic Account Credit Code. The Automatic Account Credit Code will be sent to the email address on file for your WaPo Subscription, can be redeemed online to receive your free weeks of a digital subscription, will not expire, and may be freely transferred. If an active class member (as of April 1, 2021) whose WaPo Subscription was purchased on or through a third-party platform or service (the Apple App Store, the Google Play Store, or Amazon) is unable to redeem an Automatic Account Credit Code, WaPo may provide that active class member with substitute compensation of equal value.

    If you wished to receive cash instead of an Automatic Account Credit Code, you must have submitted a valid claim form to the Settlement Administrator by September 19, 2021. This deadline has now passed. 

  • The hearing to consider the fairness of the settlement is scheduled for November 17, 2021. If the Court approves the Settlement, eligible Class Members whose claims were approved by the Settlement Administrator will receive their payment after the Settlement has been finally approved and/or after any appeals process is complete. Class Members who do nothing will automatically receive their settlement benefits in the form of the free Automatic Account Credit Codes sent to the email address on file for their WaPo Subscriptions. Class members who submit valid Claims Forms by the by the claims deadline will receive their payment in the form of a check, and all checks will expire and become void 180 days after they are issued.

  • If the Settlement becomes final, you will give up your right to sue WaPo and other Released Parties for the claims being resolved by this Settlement. The specific claims you are giving up against WaPo are described in the Settlement Agreement. You will be "releasing" WaPo and certain of its affiliates, employees, and representatives as described in Section 3.2 of the Settlement Agreement. Unless you exclude yourself (see FAQ 13), you are "releasing" the claims, regardless of whether you submit a claim. The Settlement Agreement website.

    The Settlement Agreement describes the released claims with specific descriptions, so read it carefully. If you have any questions you can talk to the lawyers listed in FAQ 11 for free, or you can talk to your own lawyer if you have questions about what this means.

  • If you had an active annual WaPo Subscription as of April 1, 2021 and you do nothing, you will receive an Automatic Account Credit Code for eight (8) weeks of free subscription services of your then-current WaPo Subscription, valued at $20.00. If you had an active four week WaPo Subscription as of April 1, 2021 and you do nothing, you will receive an Automatic Account Credit Code for four (4) weeks of free subscription services of your then current WaPo Subscription, valued at $10.00. If you did not have an active subscription as of April 1, 2021 and your most recent subscription was an annual WaPo Subscription (inactive annual), and you do nothing, you will receive an Automatic Account Credit Code for eight (8) weeks of a free Washington Post premium digital subscription, valued at $20.00, with no expectation or obligation to continue using or paying the services beyond the free period. If you did not have an active subscription as of April 1, 2021 and your most recent subscription was a four-week WaPo Subscription (inactive four-week), and you do nothing, you will receive an Automatic Account Credit Code for four (4) weeks of a free Washington Post premium digital subscription, valued at $10.00, with no expectation or obligation to continue using or paying the services beyond the free period. No payment or billing information will be required for an inactive Class Member to use the Automatic Account Credit Code. The Automatic Account Credit Code will be sent to the email address on file for your WaPo subscription, can be redeemed online to receive your free weeks of a digital subscription, will not expire, and may be freely transferred. If an active class member (as of April 1, 2021) whose WaPo Subscription was purchased on or through a third-party platform or service (the Apple App Store, the Google Play Store, or Amazon) is unable to redeem an Automatic Account Credit Code, WaPo may provide that active class member with substitute compensation of equal value.

    Automatic Account Credit Codes will be issued so that they: (i) will not expire; (ii) will be freely transferrable, subject to reasonable measures to prevent fraud, duplicating, or counterfeiting of vouchers (including, but not limited to, requirements for printing and authentication, and use of serial numbers, UPC coding, specialized ink and/or paper, watermarks, and/or holograms, and/or physical delivery-all subject to specification by Defendant); (iii) will be redeemable exclusively online, for exclusively digital subscriptions; and (iv) will be redeemable in exchange for either four (4) or eight (8) weeks of a free digital WaPo Subscription (valued at $10 and $20, respectively), depending on whether your most recent WaPo Subscription renewed on a four-week or annual basis.

    Automatic Account Credit Codes will be distributed to you after the deadline to appeal the Settlement Approval Order and Final Judgment has passed, assuming no appeal is filed.

  • The Court has appointed Bursor & Fisher, P.A to be the attorneys representing the Settlement Class. They are called "Class Counsel". They believe, after conducting an extensive investigation, that the Settlement Agreement is fair, reasonable, and in the best interests of the Settlement Class. You will not be charged for these lawyers. If you want to be represented by your own lawyer in this case, you may hire one at your expense.

  • Any Class Counsel attorneys' fees and costs awarded by the Court will be paid out of the Settlement Fund in an amount to be determined by the Court. The fee petition will seek no more than $2,000,000.00; the Court may award less than this amount. Under the Settlement Agreement, any amount awarded to Class Counsel will be paid out of the Settlement Fund.

    Subject to approval by the Court, the Class Representative may be paid up to $5,000 from the Settlement Fund.

  • To exclude yourself from the Settlement, you must have mailed or otherwise delivered a written request for exclusion stating that you want to be excluded from the Jordan v. WP Company LLC, Case No. 3:20-cv-05218-WHO Settlement. Your letter or request for exclusion must have also included your name, your address, your signature, the name and number of this case, and a statement that you wished to be excluded. Your exclusion request must have been delivered or postmarked no later than September 19, 2021. This deadline has now passed.

  • No. Unless you exclude yourself, you give up any right to sue WaPo for the claims being resolved by this Settlement.

  • No. If you exclude yourself, you will not receive any settlement benefits.

  • If you are a Class Member and did not exclude yourself from the Settlement Class, you can object to the Settlement if you don't like any part of it. You can give reasons why you think the Court should not approve it. The Court will consider your views. To object, you must have filed with the Court a letter or brief stating that you object to the Settlement in Jordan v. WP Company LLC, Case No. 3:20-cv-05218-WHO and identify all your reasons for your objections (including citations and supporting evidence) and attach any materials you rely on for your objections. Your letter or brief must have also included your name, your address, the basis upon which you claim to be a Class Member, the name and contact information of any and all attorneys representing, advising, or in any way assisting you in connection with your objection, and your signature. If you, or an attorney assisting you with your objection, have ever objected to any class action settlement where you or the objecting attorney has asked for or received payment in exchange for dismissing the objection (or any related appeal) without modification to the settlement, you must  have included a statement in your objection identifying each such case by full case caption. You must have also mailed or delivered a copy of your letter or brief to Class Counsel and WaPo's Counsel listed below.

    Class Counsel will file with the Court and post on the website its request for attorneys fees on or about November 3, 2021.

    If you want to appear and speak at the Final Approval Hearing to object to the Settlement, with or without a lawyer (explained below in answer to FAQ 20), you must have said so in your letter or brief and filed the objection with the Court and mailed a copy to these two different places postmarked no later than September 19, 2021. This deadline has now passed. IF YOU DID NOT TIMELY MAKE YOUR OBJECTION, YOU WILL BE DEEMED TO HAVE WAIVED ALL OBJECTIONS AND WILL NOT BE ENTITLED TO SPEAK AT THE FAIRNESS HEARING.

    Court
    The Honorable William H. Orrick
    United States District Court
    Northern District of California
    450 Golden Gate Avenue
    San Francisco, CA 94102

    Plaintiff's Counsel
    Frederick J. Klorczyk III
    Neal J. Deckant
    Julia K. Venditti
    Bursor & Fisher, P.A.
    1990 N. California Blvd.,
    Suite 940
    Walnut Creek, CA 94596

    WaPo's Counsel
    Jacob Sommer
    Zachary Lerner
    Alexei Klestoff
    ZwillGen PLLC
    1900 M Street NW,
    Suite 250
    Washington, DC 20036

     

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

  • The Court will hold the Final Approval Hearing at 2:00 p.m. on November 17, 2021, in Courtroom 2 at the San Francisco United States Courthouse, 450 Golden Gate Avenue, San Francisco, CA 94102. The purpose of the hearing will be for the Court to determine whether to approve the Settlement as fair, reasonable, adequate, and in the best interests of the Class; to consider Class Counsel's request for attorneys' fees and expenses; and to consider the request for an incentive award to the Class Representative. At that hearing, the Court will be available to hear any timely filed objections and arguments concerning the fairness of the Settlement.

    The hearing may be postponed to a different date or time without notice, so it is a good idea to check this website or call toll free 1-888-691-3208. If, however, you timely objected to the Settlement and advised the Court that you intend to appear and speak at the Final Approval Hearing, you will receive notice of any change in the date of such Final Approval Hearing.

  • No. Class Counsel will answer any questions the Court may have. But you are welcome to come at your own expense. If you send an objection or comment, you don't have to come  to Court to talk about it. As long as you filed and mailed your written objection on time, the Court will consider it. You may also pay another lawyer to attend, but it's not required.

  • Yes. So long as you timely filed an objection to the settlement, you may ask the Court for permission to speak at the Fairness Hearing, but do not have to. To do so, you must include in your letter or brief objecting to the settlement a statement saying that it is your "Notice of Intent to Appear in Jordan v. WP Company LLC, Case No. 3:20-cv-05218-WHO include your name, address, telephone number and signature as well as the name and address of your lawyer, if one is appearing for you. Your objection and notice of intent to appear must have been filed with the Court and postmarked no later than September 21, 2021, and been sent to the addresses listed in FAQ 16. This deadline has now passed. 

  • The Notice summarizes the Settlement.

    More details are in the Settlement Agreement. You can get a copy of the Settlement Agreement from the Important Documents page. You may also write with questions to CA Newspaper Renewal Settlement, c/o JND Legal Administration, P.O. Box 11035, Seattle, WA 98111. You can call the Settlement Administrator at 1-888-691-3208 if you have any questions. Before doing so, however, please read the full Notice carefully. You may also find additional information elsewhere on the case website. Please do not telephone the Court to inquire about the Settlement or the claims process.

For More Information

Visit this website often to get the most up-to-date information.

Mail

CA Newspaper Renewal Settlement
c/o JND Legal Administration
P.O. Box 11035
Seattle, WA 98111