FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
CLASS NOTICE INFORMATION
Defendant’s records indicate that you may have been part of a data breach of Toyotetsu’s data systems in October 2021 that may have exposed certain personal information of yours. If you qualify, you could be eligible to receive a payment as part of the Settlement.
The person who has sued Toyotetsu is called the Plaintiff. Toyotetsu is the Defendant that has been sued in the lawsuit.
In October 2021, Toyotetsu determined a cybersecurity incident occurred whereby cybercriminals may have accessed certain Toyotetsu files containing current and/or former employees private personal information. Upon receiving notice that his information was part of the Data Breach, Plaintiff brought this lawsuit on behalf of himself and all potential Class Members for the alleging claims of negligence to implement adequate data security safeguards, which allowed cybercriminals to access to his private personal information. Defendant denies that it acted negligently in protecting Plaintiff’s private personal information.
In a class action lawsuit, one or more people called “Class Representatives” have sued on behalf of themselves and other people who have similar claims. These people and entities together are called a “Class” or “Class Members.” The company Plaintiff sued on behalf of himself and all others similarly situated —Toyotetsu —is called the Defendant. In a class action, one court resolves the issues for all Class Members, except for those who choose to exclude themselves.
The Court did not decide in favor of Plaintiff or Defendant. Instead, both parties agreed to a Settlement to resolve the claims. A class wide settlement avoids the costs and risk of a trial, and Class Members can receive the available settlement compensation benefits. The Class Representative and Class Counsel believe the Settlement is in the best interest of the Class.
WHO IS INCLUDED IN THE SETTLEMENT
You have been identified through Toyotetsu’s records as a Class Member, and are included in the Settlement, if you received a data breach notice letter from Defendant indicating you may be part of the Toyotetsu Data Breach that occurred in October 2021. The Class is defined for settlement purposes as:
All persons who were sent notice of the Data Breach.
Excluded from the Class is Toyotetsu; any entity in which Toyotetsu has a controlling interest; and the affiliates, attorneys, successors, heirs, and assigns of Toyotetsu. Excluded also from the Class are members of the judiciary to whom this case is assigned, their families and members of their staff.
If you are not sure whether you are included in the Class, you can request free assistance by calling the Settlement Administrator at 1-800-935-5170 for more information.
THE SETTLEMENT BENEFITS
The Defendant will pay $400,000 into a Settlement Fund, which will be distributed to Class Members who submit valid claims, after deducting the named Plaintiff’s service award, class counsel’s attorneys’ fees and expenses, and notice and administration costs, if such award is approved by the Court.
The Settlement Fund will provide:
• $250 to each Class Member upon submission of a valid claim (subject to a pro rata increase or reduction based on the amount of claims submitted);
• Up to $5,000 in compensation to each valid claim for proven monetary loss;
o If the loss is an actual, documented, and unreimbursed monetary loss;
o The loss was more likely than not cause by the Toyotetsu Data Breach;
o The loss occurred between October 2021 and the present;
o The loss is not already covered by unreimbursed ordinary losses category;
o The Settlement Class Member made reasonable efforts to avoid, or seek reimbursement for, the loss, including but not limited to exhaustion of all available credit monitoring insurance and identity theft.
To receive money from the Settlement, you must be a Class Member – meaning that you received a notice of the October 2021 Data Breach from Toyotetsu. The determination of settlement funds available to each valid claimant is described above.
If you are a Class Member, unless you exclude yourself with an opt-out request, you cannot sue, continue to sue, or be part of any other lawsuit against Defendant concerning the same issues as in this lawsuit. The “Release” section in the Settlement Agreement (VII) describes the legal claims that you are giving up if you remain in the settlement class. The Settlement Agreement can be viewed HERE.
HOW TO GET PAYMENT – MAKING A CLAIM
By submitting a valid Claim Form on or before the claim deadline of August 23, 2023. If you received a notification letter from Toyotetsu regarding the October 2021 data breach, you can make a claim by filling out and submitting the Claim Form HERE.
You can also contact the Settlement Administrator to request a paper Claim Form by telephone at 1-800-935-5170, email: ToyotetsuDataSettlement@atticusadmin.com, or by U.S. mail to Phelps v. Toyotetsu North America, c/o Atticus Administration, PO Box 64053, St. Paul, MN 55164.
To be eligible for payment from the Settlement, your valid claim form must be received or postmarked no later than August 23, 2023.
The Court will hold a hearing on October 24, 2023 at 10:00 a.m., to decide whether to approve the Settlement. Payments will be made after the Settlement is approved and becomes final, meaning there is no appeal from the Court’s order approving the Settlement.
Updates regarding the Settlement will be posted HERE.
THE ATTORNEYS REPRESENTING YOU
Yes. The Court appointed the following attorneys to represent you and other Settlement Class Members as “Class Counsel.”
Terence R. Coates
Dylan J. Gould
Jonathan T. Deters
MARKOVITS, STOCK & DEMARCO, LLC
119 E. Court Street, Suite 530
Cincinnati, OH 45202
Joseph B. Venters
THE VENTERS LAW OFFICE
PO Box 1749
Somerset, KY 42502
You will not be charged by these attorneys for their work on the case.
You do not need to hire your own attorney. If you want your own attorney, you may hire one, but you will be responsible for any payment for that attorney’s services. For example, you can ask your own attorney to appear in court for you if you want someone other than Class Counsel to speak on your behalf. You may also appear for yourself without an attorney.
Class Counsel have undertaken this case on a contingency-fee basis, meaning they have paid for all of the expenses in the case and have not been paid any money in relation to their work on this case. Accordingly, Class Counsel will ask the Court to award them attorneys’ fees of up to 1/3 ($133,333.33) of the Settlement Fund and reimbursement for costs and expenses not to exceed $15,000 to be paid from the Settlement Fund. The Court will decide the amount of fees and costs and expenses to be paid. You will not have to separately pay any portion of these fees yourself. Class Counsel’s request for attorneys’ fees and costs will be filed by July 10, 2023 and will be available to HERE.
EXCLUDING YOURSELF FROM THE SETTLEMENT
If you are a Class Member and you do not want to receive the benefits from the Settlement, and you want to keep your right, if any, to sue Defendant on your own about the legal issues at issue in this lawsuit, then you must take affirmative steps to get out of the Settlement. This is called excluding yourself from – or “Opting Out” of – the Class.
A Class Member may request to be excluded from the Settlement in writing by a request postmarked, or submitted electronically HERE, on or before the Objection/Exclusion deadline of July 24, 2023. The timely exclusion Opt-Out must include:
• Your name;
• Address; and
• Telephone number;
• Name and number of this case;
• A statement that you to be excluded from the Settlement; and
A request to be excluded that is sent to an address other than that designated as the Settlement Administrator address, or that is not electronically submitted HERE or postmarked within the time specified, shall be invalid and the person serving such a request shall be considered a member of the Settlement class and shall be bound by the terms of the Settlement.
No. If you are a Class Member, unless you opt-out online or in writing, you give up the right to sue Toyotetsu for the claims resolved by the Settlement. So, if you are a Class Member and you want to try to pursue your own lawsuit, you must opt out.
If you opt-out of the Settlement, you will not have any rights as a member of the Class under the Settlement terms; you will not receive any payment as part of the Settlement; you will not be bound by any further orders or judgments in this case; and you will keep the right, if any, to sue on the claims alleged in this lawsuit at your own expense. You can submit your opt-out form electronically HERE.
OBJECTING TO OR COMMENTING ON THE SETTLEMENT
If you are a Class Member and you do not opt-out of the Settlement, you can ask the Court to deny approval of the Settlement by filing an objection. You can’t ask the Court to order a different settlement; the Court can only approve or deny this Settlement. If the Court denies approval, no settlement payments will be sent out and the lawsuit will continue.
You will have up to and including 90 days following entry of the Preliminary Approval Order (July 24, 2023) to object to the Settlement. You may also appear at the Fairness Hearing, either in person or through your own attorney. If you appear through your own attorney, you are responsible for paying that attorney. To object, you must file a document with Court indicating that you object to the proposed Settlement in Phelps v. Toyotetsu North America, Case No. 6:22-cv-00106, United States District Court, Eastern District of Kentucky. You must include copies of such papers you propose to submit at the Final Approval Hearing with the Clerk of the Court; and send copies of such papers via U.S. Mail or overnight delivery to both Class Counsel and Defendant’s Counsel.
A copy of the objection must also be mailed to the Settlement Administrator at the address that the Settlement Administrator has established to receive requests for exclusion or objections, Claim Forms, and any other communication relating to the Settlement.
Any Class Member who intends to object to this Settlement must include in any such objection:
• Your full name, address, and current telephone number;
• Name and number of this case – Phelps v. Toyotetsu North America, Case No. No. 6:22-cv-00106, United States District Court, Eastern District of Kentucky;
• All grounds for the objection, with factual and legal support for the stated objection, and supporting material;
• Identification of any other objections you have filed, or have had filed on your behalf in any other class action case in the last four years; and
You must also include whether you intend to appear at the Final Approval Hearing, with or without counsel, and identify any witnesses you may call to testify at the Final Approval Hearing along with all exhibits you intend to introduce into evidence at the Final Approval Hearing.
Objecting is telling the Court that you don’t like something about the Settlement. You can object to the Settlement only if you are a Class Member and do not opt-out of the Settlement. Opting-out of the Settlement indicates to the Court that you do not want to be part of the Settlement. If you opt-out of the Settlement, you cannot object to it because it does not affect you. You cannot both opt-out of the Settlement and also object to the Settlement.
THE COURT’S FAIRNESS HEARING
The Court will hold a Fairness Hearing at 10:00 a.m. on October 24, 2023, at United States District Court, Eastern District of Kentucky, 310 South Main Street, London, KY 40741. At this hearing, the Court will consider whether the Settlement is fair, reasonable, and adequate. If there are objections, the Court will consider them and listen to any arguments presented. The Court may also decide how much Class Counsel should receive in fees and expense reimbursements. After the hearing, the Court will decide whether to approve the Settlement.
The Court may reschedule the Final Approval Hearing or change any of the deadlines described in this notice. The date of the Fairness Hearing may change without further notice to the Class Members. Be sure to check the Settlement Website HERE for news of any such changes.
No. Class Counsel will answer any questions the Court may have. You may attend at your own expense if you wish. If you send an objection, you do not have to come to the hearing to talk about it. As long as you mailed or filed your written objection on time, the Court will consider it. You may also pay your own lawyer to attend, but it is not necessary.
You may ask the Court for permission to speak at the Final Approval Hearing. To do so, you must include a statement in your written objection that you intend to appear at the hearing. Be sure to include your name, address, and signature as well.
You cannot speak at the hearing if you exclude yourself from the Class.
IF YOU DO NOTHING
If you do nothing and you are a Class Member, you will get no money from this Settlement, and you will not be able to sue Toyotetsu for the conduct alleged in this lawsuit. If you do nothing and you are not a Class Member, the Settlement will not affect or release any individual claim you may have
GETTING MORE INFORMATION
PLEASE DO NOT TELEPHONE THE COURT OR THE COURT CLERK’S OFFICE TO INQUIRE ABOU THIS SETTLEMENT OR THE CLAIMS PROCESS.
This website has the Claim Form, answers to questions about the Settlement and other information, including important documents, to help you determine whether you are eligible for a payment. You can also write or call to the Settlement Administrator at:
Phelps v. Toyotetsu North America
c/o Atticus Administration
PO Box 64053
St. Paul, MN 55164