A Court authorized this notice because you have a right to know about a proposed Settlement of a class action lawsuit, and about all of your options, before the Court decides whether to approve it. This notice explains the lawsuit, the Settlement, your legal rights, the benefits that are available, who is eligible to receive them, and how to get them.
Honorable Josephine L. Staton of the United States District Court for the Central District of California is overseeing this class action. The case is known as Hiroyuki Oda, et al. v. Wilson Sporting Goods Co., Case No. 8:15-cv-02131. The people who sued are called Plaintiffs, and the company they sued, Wilson Sporting Goods Co., is called the Defendant or Wilson.
The lawsuit claims that the 13/14 White Steels sold by Wilson were defectively designed and manufactured which caused the 13/14 White Steels to fail prematurely. Specifically, the lawsuit contends Wilson violated California and federal laws by failing to disclose the alleged defects and complying with its express warranty.
Wilson contends that the 13/14 White Steels were properly designed and manufactured, and that the vast majority of them did not fail prematurely, and has denied all of the claims in the lawsuit.
In a class action lawsuit, one or more people called Class Representatives (in this case, Hiroyuki Oda and Corey Roth) sue for all people who have similar claims. The people included in the class action are called a Class or Class members. One court resolves the issues for all Class members, except those people who exclude themselves from the Settlement.Top
The Court did not decide in favor of Plaintiffs or Defendant. Instead, both sides agreed to a Settlement. The Settlement avoids the cost and risk of a trial, and offers benefits to those affected. The Class Representatives and their attorneys think the Settlement is in the best interest of the Class.Top
The Settlement includes individual consumers, exclusive of Wilson, its employees, judges presiding over this case and Plaintiffs’ counsel, who purchased one or more new 13/14 White Steels from Wilson or an authorized dealer of Wilson in the United States from December 23, 2011 through June 6, 2018.Top
Your softball bat is included in the Settlement if it is either a 2013 or 2014 White Steel, regardless of weight. Your White Steel bat had the model number “WHI13” or “WHI14” printed on the barrel of the bat.
YOU DO NOT NEED TO HAVE YOUR SOFTBALL BAT. You may still be eligible if you can show proof of purchase of one or more new 13/14 White Steel bat(s) by any available materials in your possession, such as a receipt, credit card statements, pictures, and prior contact with Wilson.Top
People who have a conflict of interest in this case, for example: Class Counsel; the judges who presided over the case; and the Defendant and its subsidiaries, affiliates, employees, officers, directors, agents, representatives, and their family members are not included in the Settlement.Top
Class members who bought a new 13/14 White Steel and who made and completed a warranty claim with Wilson will receive a $85 Wilson Voucher. Class members who initiated but did not complete the warranty process and provided Wilson with their contact information, proof of purchase and indicated the White Steel was the reason for their claim will also receive a $85 Wilson Voucher. Class members who did not start or complete a warranty claim will receive a $35 Wilson Voucher as long as they can show proof of purchase. Class members must properly submit a Claim Form to receive a voucher. The specific claim procedures are described in more detail in Paragraphs 3 and 10 of the Agreement.Top
Class members can get a $85 Wilson Voucher or a $35 Wilson Voucher as described above. The Voucher is for use in online purchases of any items available for sale as of the date of purchase on the website of DeMarini (www.demarini.com) or Wilson (www.wilson.com), with reissues of vouchers for “remaining balances” but no cash refunds for any unused value.Top
If the Settlement is approved and becomes final, and you did not exclude yourself, all of the Court’s orders will apply to you and legally bind you. That means you will not be able to sue, continue to sue, or be part of another lawsuit against Wilson for the same claims asserted or which could have been asserted based on the factual allegations raised in the lawsuit. The specific rights you are giving up are called Released Claims. The Released Claims are described in more detail in Paragraph 5 of the Agreement. The Agreement is available at www.whitesteelsettlement.com. If you have questions about the Released Claims or what they mean you can talk to one of the lawyers at the law firms listed in Question 19 for free, or you can talk with your own lawyer.Top
To get a Voucher from the Settlement you must submit a Claim Form by August 20, 2018. You may get the Claim Form on this site under Case Documents. Claim Forms are also available by calling 1-877-468-0441 or writing to the Claims Administrator at White Steel Bats Settlement, c/o KCC Class Action Services, P.O. Box 404000 Louisville, KY 40233-4000.
To be considered valid, your Claim Form must include all of the requested information and your signature and be submitted or postmarked by August 20, 2018. The specific claim procedures are described in more detail in Paragraphs 3 and 10 of the Agreement.
No. If you exclude yourself, you are telling the Court you do not want to be part of the Class in this Settlement. You can only get a Voucher if you stay in the Class and submit a Claim Form.Top
Yes. The Court appointed the law firms of Bisnar | Chase LLP and Dickson Kohan & Bablove LLP to represent you and other Class members. The lawyers are referred to as Class Counsel. You will not be charged for the services of these lawyers in this case. If you want to be represented by your own lawyer, you may hire one at your own expense. Class Counsel can be contacted as shown below:
Brian D. Chase
Jerusalem F. Beligan
Bisnar | Chase LLP
1301 Dove Street, Suite 120
Newport Beach, CA 92660
Jesse M. Bablove
Dickson Kohan & Bablove LLP
1101 Dove Street, Suite 220
Newport Beach, CA 92660
Class Counsel has not been paid for any of their work in this lawsuit. Class Counsel will ask the Court to award them attorneys’ fees and expenses of up to $440,000. They will also ask the Court for a payment of up to $5,000 for each of the two named Plaintiffs (for a total of $10,000), for bringing the lawsuit and representing the Class. The Court may award less than these amounts. All of these amounts, as well as the cost to administer the Settlement, will be paid by Wilson.Top
If you are a Class member, you can object to the Settlement. You can give reasons why you think the Court should not approve it. The Court will consider your views before making a decision. Objections must be submitted in writing, and received by the Claims Administrator no later than August 20, 2018. Objections must be signed and include:
1) the case name and number (Hiroyuki Oda, et al. v. Wilson Sporting Goods Co., Case No. 8:15-cv-02131);
2) your full name, current address, telephone number, and signature;
3) an explanation of the basis upon which you claim to be a Settlement Class member and proof you are a Settlement Class member;
4) the basis of your objection; and
5) a statement confirming whether you intend to personally appear and/or testify at the Fairness Hearing.
If you plan to appear at the Fairness Hearing, you must file with the Claims Administrator a notice of intention to appear no later than August 20, 2018. If you plan to appear with your attorney, you must include their name, address, and telephone number.
Objecting is telling the Court you do not like something about the Settlement. You can object only if you stay in the Class (do not exclude yourself). Excluding yourself is telling the Court you do not want to be part of the Class. If you exclude yourself, you cannot object because the case no longer affects you.
THE COURT’S FAIRNESS HEARING
The Court will hold a hearing to decide whether to approve the Settlement. You may attend, but you do not have to.
The Court will hold a Fairness Hearing at 2:30 p.m. on October 19, 2018, at the United States District Court for the Central District of California, 411 W. Fourth St., Santa Ana, California, in Courtroom 10A. At this hearing, the Court will consider whether the Settlement is fair, reasonable, and adequate. If there are objections, the Court will consider them. Judge Staton will listen to people who have asked to speak at the Fairness Hearing (see Question 22). The Court may also decide how much to pay Class Counsel or the two named Plaintiffs. After the Fairness Hearing, the Court will decide whether to approve the Settlement. We do not know how long these decisions will take.
The Fairness Hearing may be moved to a different time or date without notice. Changes will be posted on this site.
No. Class Counsel will answer any questions Judge Staton may have. You are welcome to attend at your own expense. If you send an objection, you do not have to appear in Court to talk about it. As long as you 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.Top
Yes. You may ask the Court for permission to speak at the Fairness Hearing. To do so, you must file a notice of intention to appear with the Claims Administrator (see Question 18) by August 20, 2018. Be sure to include your name, address, telephone number, and your signature. You cannot speak at the hearing if you exclude yourself.Top
If you do nothing, you will not get any benefit from this Settlement. If the Settlement is approved and becomes final, all of the Court’s orders will apply to you and legally bind you. That means you will give up your right to start a lawsuit, continue with a lawsuit, or be part of any other lawsuit against Wilson about the same legal issues raised in this case.Top
This notice summarizes the proposed Settlement. More details are in the documents filed with the Court. You can get many of those documents, and a Claim Form on this site under Case Documents.
You may also review the Court’s file in this case at the Office of the Clerk, United States District Court for the Central District of California, 411 W. Fourth Street Santa Ana, CA 92701, or via the Public Access to Court Electronic Resources System (PACER), available online at http://www.pacer.gov.
You can also call 1-877-468-0441 toll free; write to Wilson-DeMarini 2013/14 White Steel Bats Settlement, c/o KCC Class Action Services, P.O. Box 404000 Louisville, KY 40233-4000; or, contact Class Counsel.