Wahl v. Yahoo! Inc., d/b/a Rivals.com
Wahl v. Rivals.com
5:17-cv-02745-BLF

Frequently Asked Questions

 

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  • A Court ordered that Notice be given because you have the right to know about a Proposed Settlement that may affect you. You have legal rights and choices to make before the Court decides whether to approve the Proposed Settlement.

    The Notice explains:

    • What the lawsuit is about.
    • Who is included in the Proposed Settlement.
    • How the Proposed Settlement may benefit you.
    • What your legal rights are.
    • How to get benefits of the Proposed Settlement.
  • The Plaintiff in this lawsuit alleges that Yahoo! Inc. (“Yahoo”)1 (d/b/a Rivals.com) violated California’s Unfair Competition Law (Cal. Bus. & Prof. Code § 17200 et seq., the “UCL”), based on alleged violations of California’s Automatic Renewal Law (Cal. Bus. & Prof. Code § 17600 et seq.), by failing to adequately notify Rivals.com customers that they would be charged automatically on a recurring basis for their Rivals.com subscriptions at the time of their purchases.

    Yahoo vigorously denies all these claims of wrongdoing, and further states that it adequately made users aware that their Rivals.com subscriptions would auto-renew and that they would be charged on a recurring basis. The Court has not issued a final ruling on the strengths or weaknesses of the Plaintiff’s case or Yahoo’s contentions in this lawsuit. Nevertheless, Yahoo has agreed to the proposed settlement to avoid the risk and expense of further litigation. Plaintiff believes that his claims have merit, but that the proposed settlement is fair, reasonable, and in the best interests of the members of the Settlement Class given the risk and expense of further litigation.

    This case is pending in the United States District Court for the Northern District of California, San Jose Division. The full name of the action is Wahl v. Yahoo! Inc., d/b/a Rivals.com, Case Number 5:17-cv-02745-BLF (N.D. Cal.)

     

    1On or about June 13, 2017, Yahoo! Inc. transferred to Yahoo Holdings, Inc. all liabilities relevant to this class action lawsuit.  Yahoo Holdings, Inc., a Delaware corporation with an office located at 701 First Avenue, Sunnyvale, California, 94089, is a wholly owned subsidiary of Verizon Communications Inc.  Yahoo! Inc. no longer owns any interest in the past, present, or future liabilities relevant to this action.  Effective January 1, 2018, Yahoo Holdings, Inc. changed its name to Oath Holdings Inc.  For purposes of this Notice, the term “Yahoo” shall refer to the principals, agents, representatives, owners, officers, directors, employees, independent contractors, successors, assigns, subsidiaries, parents, related entities, and affiliates of Oath Holdings Inc., including but not limited to Yahoo! Inc. (now known as Altaba Inc.) and Oath Inc.

  • In a class action, one or more people, called Class Representatives, sue on behalf of other people who have similar claims. All these people together are a “Class” or “Class Members.” One Court decides all the issues in the lawsuit for all Class Members, except for those who exclude themselves from the Class. In a class action, the court has a responsibility to assure that prosecution and resolution of the class claims by the Class Representatives and class counsel is fair. In this lawsuit, the Class Representatives are asking the Court to decide the issues for all California customers who were charged on a recurring basis for a subscription to Rivals.com between March 31, 2013 and the present.

  • The Court did not rule in favor of either party. Instead, the parties agreed to a Proposed Settlement in order to avoid the expense and risks of continuing the lawsuits. The Class Representatives and their attorneys think the Settlement is best for all Class Members.

  • As part of the settlement, the parties have agreed to the certification of a Settlement Class for purposes of this settlement only. The Settlement Class includes all California customers who were charged on a recurring basis by Rivals.com for subscriptions entered into between March 31, 2013 and the present.

    If this describes you, you are automatically a member of the Settlement Class unless you exclude yourself by following the steps for exclusion described below. Persons who are members of the Settlement Class and do not exclude themselves will receive credit to Rivals.com, applied to their accounts within 45 days of final approval of the Proposed Settlement, unless they submit a valid Claim Form to elect alternative benefits, and if the Court gives final approval to the settlement. Class Members will be bound by the settlement, if approved by the Court, whether or not they submit a Claim Form, and will be prevented from bringing other claims covered by the settlement. Those who exclude themselves from the Settlement Class will not be bound by the settlement and will not receive any payments from the settlement.

  • All persons who are employees, directors, officers and agents of Yahoo or their subsidiaries and affiliated companies, as well as the judges, clerks, and staff members of the United States District Court for the Northern District of California, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeal, the United States Supreme Court, and their immediate family members, are excluded from the class.

  • The Proposed Settlement provides for a number of significant benefits. It was negotiated between the Plaintiff and Yahoo, through their attorneys, and has been preliminarily approved by the Court. The proposed terms provide for relief in the form of either Rivals.com credit or cash, as follows:

    Class Members will be entitled to credit or payment from Yahoo as follows, depending on the type of subscription the Class Member had with Rivals.com:

    Subscription Type Annual Monthly
    Default (Requires No Action) 5 months of credit, beginning within 45 days of final approval of Proposed Settlement 3 months of credit, beginning within 45 days of final approval of Proposed Settlement
    Option to Adjust Start Date Using Claim Form 5 months of credit, beginning either February 1, 2019 or September 1, 2019 3 months of credit, beginning either February 1, 2019 or September 1, 2019
    Option to Receive Cash Using Claim Form $20 $10

     

    To receive the default benefit of credit (in an amount commensurate with the type of Rivals.com subscription you purchased), there is no action required on your part. The correct credit amount will be automatically applied to your account within 45 days of final approval of the Proposed Settlement by the Court. For Class Members who already have an active paid subscription on the Effective Date (i.e., five days after the date on which the Settlement becomes Final), the free period will effectively extend the Class Member’s current subscription period by the length of the free period. For Class Members who do not have an active paid subscription on the Effective Date, the free period will begin within 45 days of the Effective Date, unless an alternate date in the future is selected on a valid Claim Form submitted by a Class Member. Following final approval of this Settlement, a reminder email notice will be sent to Class Members, reminding them that the free period will commence in accordance with the Court’s final approval order.

    If you prefer that your credit begins on a date more closely aligned with the start of the college football season or national signing day for basketball, you will need to submit the Claim Form and elect to have your credits applied to your account on either September 1, 2019 or February 1, 2019, respectively. If you wish to receive a cash payment rather than credit to your Rivals.com account, you will need to submit the Claim Form and elect to receive a cash payment consistent with your subscription type. When submitting the Claim Form, you will need to provide your Rivals.com username and/or the email address you used to register for your Rivals.com account, your California address, and sign a declaration under penalty of perjury stating that you were a California consumer at the time you purchased your Rivals.com subscription.

    The Settlement Administrator shall determine each authorized Settlement Class Member’s benefit based upon each Settlement Class Member’s Claim Form. However, each Settlement Class Member who does not submit a claim form will automatically receive the default compensation as indicated in the chart above.

    In addition to relief in the form of Rivals.com credit or cash, Yahoo has agreed to modify the subscription page for Rivals.com to present the automatic renewal terms in a clear and conspicuous manner for California customers before a subscription agreement is fulfilled and in visual proximity to the request to consent to the subscription offer.

  • The deadline to postmark or submit a claim to receive a benefit other than the default terms described in Question 7 was November 6, 2018.

  • Settlement benefits will be available only if the Proposed Settlement is approved by the Court and after it becomes final. The Court will hold a hearing on November 8, 2018, to decide whether to approve the Proposed Settlement. If the Court approves the Proposed Settlement, there may be appeals, and the Proposed Settlement can’t become final until all appeals are resolved. It is always uncertain how long appeals will take – they can take many months or longer. You should check the settlement website for updates on the status of the Proposed Settlement and applicable deadlines. Please be patient.

  • If you do not exclude yourself from the Class, then you are automatically in the Class if you are a California customer who was charged on a recurring basis by Rivals.com for a subscription entered into between March 31, 2013 and the present.

    If you stay in the Class, you can’t sue or be part of any other lawsuit against Yahoo about the claims in this lawsuit, as set forth below. In addition, if you stay in the Class, all the Court’s orders will apply to you.

    By staying in the Class, you become a Settlement Class Member and you are agreeing to fully, finally and forever release, relinquish, and discharge any current or future claims you might have against Yahoo that relate to the claims in this lawsuit. The entire release contained in the Proposed Settlement Agreement is set forth below:

    “Released Claims”:

    “Released Claims” means any and all claims, demands, rights, damages, obligations, suits, liens, and causes of action over every nature and description whatsoever, ascertained or unascertained, suspected or unsuspected, existing or claimed to exist, including unknown claims (as described in Paragraph 40 below) as of the Effective Date by Plaintiffs and all Settlement Class Members (and Plaintiffs’ and Settlement Class Members’ respective heirs, executors, administrators, representatives, agents, attorneys, partners, successors, predecessors-in-interest, and assigns) that were brought as of the date of the Final Fairness Hearing or that could have been brought against the Released Parties (as hereinafter defined), or any of them, and that arise out of or are related in any way to any or all of the acts, omissions, facts, matters, transactions, or occurrences that were or could have been directly or indirectly alleged or referred to in the Action (including, but not limited to alleged violations of any and all federal, state, commonwealth, district, or territorial consumer protection, unfair competition, and/or false or deceptive advertising statutes; breach of contract; breach of express or implied warranty; fraud; negligent misrepresentation; unjust enrichment, restitution, trespass, conversion, declaratory or injunctive relief, and other equitable claims or claims sounding in contract and tort).

    The Released Claims include known and unknown claims relating to the Action, and this Settlement Agreement is expressly intended to cover and include all such Released Claims, including all rights of action thereunder. Settlement Class Members hereby expressly, knowingly, and voluntarily waive the provisions of Section 1542 of the California Civil Code, which provides as follows:

    A GENERAL RELEASE DOES NOT EXTEND TO CLAIMS WHICH THE CREDITOR DOES NOT KNOW OR SUSPECT TO EXIST IN HIS OR HER FAVOR AT THE TIME OF EXECUTING THE RELEASE, WHICH IF KNOWN BY HIM OR HER MUST HAVE MATERIALLY AFFECTED HIS OR HER SETTLEMENT WITH THE DEBTOR.

    Settlement Class Members expressly waive and relinquish any and all rights and benefits that they may have under, or that may be conferred upon them by, the provisions of Section 1542 of the California Civil Code, or any other law of any state or territory that is similar, comparable, or equivalent to Section 1542, to the fullest extent that they may lawfully waive such rights or benefits pertaining to the Released Claims. In connection with such waiver and relinquishment, the Settlement Class Members hereby acknowledge that they are aware that they or their attorneys may hereafter discover claims or facts in addition to or different from those that they now know or believe exist with respect to Released Claims, but that it is their intention to hereby fully, finally, and forever settle and release all of the Released Claims known or unknown, suspected or unsuspected, that they have against the Released Parties. In furtherance of such intention, the release herein given by the Settlement Class Members to the Released Parties shall be and remain in effect as a full and complete general release notwithstanding the discovery or existence of any such additional different claims or facts. Each of the parties expressly acknowledges that it has been advised by its attorney of the contents and effect of Section 1542, and with knowledge, each of the parties hereby expressly waives whatever benefits it may have had pursuant to such section. Settlement Class Members are not releasing any claims for personal injury. Plaintiff acknowledges, and the Settlement Class Members shall be deemed by operation of the Final Judgment to have acknowledged, that the foregoing waiver was separately bargained for and a material element of the Settlement of which this release is a part.

    “Released Parties” means: Yahoo (as defined in Question 2, supra) and its respective employees, assigns, attorneys, agents, and all of each of their past, present, and future officers and directors; all of each of their parents, subsidiaries, divisions, affiliates, predecessors, and successors, and each of their respective employees, assigns, attorneys, agents, resellers and past, present and future officers and directors; and any and all persons, entities, or corporations involved in any way in creating, operating, hosting, or administering Rivals.com.

  • You can get out of the Proposed Settlement and the Class. This is called excluding yourself – or is sometimes referred to as “opting out” of the Settlement Class. If you exclude yourself, you can’t get Proposed Settlement benefits and you can’t object to the Proposed Settlement. But you keep the right to file your own lawsuit or join another lawsuit against Yahoo about the claims in this lawsuit.

    If you previously requested to exclude yourself from the Class, you may request to rejoin the Class.

  • The deadline to exclude yourself was November 6, 2018,

  • No. Unless you exclude yourself, you give up the right to sue Yahoo as described in response to Question 10. If you want to keep the right to sue Yahoo in a new lawsuit, you have to exclude yourself from this Class and Proposed Settlement. The deadline to exclude yourself was November 6, 2018.

  • No. If you exclude yourself, you can’t get any Proposed Settlement benefits.

  • The deadline for telling the Court you don’t like the Proposed Settlement or some part of it was October 8, 2018.

    If you failed to file and serve timely written objections by October 8, 2018, you shall be deemed to have waived all objections and shall be foreclosed from making any objection (whether by appeal or otherwise) to the Settlement.

  • Objecting is the way to tell the Court what you don’t like about the Proposed Settlement. You can object only if you stay in the Class and don’t exclude yourself.

    Excluding yourself is the way to tell the Court you do not want to be a part of the Class and the Proposed Settlement, and that you want to keep the right to file your own lawsuit. If you exclude yourself, you cannot object because the Proposed Settlement no longer will affect you.

  • As long as you do not exclude yourself, you can (but do not have to) participate and speak for yourself in this lawsuit and Proposed Settlement. This is called making an appearance. You can also have your own lawyer speak for you, but you will have to pay for the lawyer yourself.

  • The deadline for submitting your Notice of Appearance was October 8, 2018.

     

  • If you do nothing:

    • You will stay a member of the Class and all of the Court’s orders will apply to you (unless you previously requested to exclude yourself from the Class, in which case you will continue to be excluded if you do nothing);
    • You will receive the default benefit—either 5 months of Rivals.com credit (for annual subscribers) or 3 months of Rivals.com credit (for monthly subscribers), applied to your account within 45 days of final approval of the Proposed Settlement.
    • You won’t be able to sue, or join a new lawsuit against Yahoo, about the issues and claims in this lawsuit, ever again, unless you exclude yourself.
  • Yes, the Court has appointed the following attorneys to represent the Class as Class Counsel:

    HORN, AYLWARD & BANDY, LLC

    Robert A. Horn
    rhorn@hab-law.com
    Joseph A. Kronawitter
    jkronawitter@hab-law.com
    2600 Grand Boulevard Suite 1100
    Kansas City, Missouri 64108
    Telephone: (816) 421-0700
    Facsimile: (816) 421-0700

    OGLOZA FORTNEY LLP

    Darius Ogloza
    dogloza@oglozafortney.com
    David C. Fortney
    dfortney@oglozafortney.com
    535 Pacific Avenue, Suite 201
    San Francisco, California 94133
    Telephone: (415) 912-1850
    Facsimile: (415) 887-5349

    You will not be charged for these lawyers. 

    You may also consult your own lawyer at your own expense.

  • Class Counsel will ask the Court to approve payment of attorneys’ fees and expenses of no more than $300,000. Class Counsel also will ask the Court to award the Plaintiff $5,000. Class Counsel will file their Fee Application at least fourteen days before the deadline for objecting to the settlement. Yahoo will pay the amounts awarded by the Court, up to these maximums.

  • The Court will hold a Final Fairness Hearing at 3:30 pm on November 8, 2018. This hearing date may be moved, cancelled or otherwise modified, so please check this settlement website regularly for further details, or access the Court docket in this case through the Court’s Public Access to Court Electronic Records (PACER) system at https://ecf.cand.uscourts.gov, or visit the office of the Office of the Clerk of Court, United States District Court for the Northern District of California, 280 South First Street, Room 2112, San Jose, California 95113, between 9:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m., Monday through Friday, excluding Court holidays. The Court is located at 280 South First Street, San Jose, CA 95113.

    At this hearing, the judge will consider all objections, if any, and will consider whether the Proposed Settlement is fair, reasonable, and adequate to the Class. The judge will listen to people who have asked to speak at the hearing. The judge may also decide how much to award to Class Counsel for their fees and expenses. At or after the hearing, the judge will decide whether to approve the Proposed Settlement. We do not know how long these decisions will take.

  • You don't have to come to the hearing. Class Counsel will answer questions the Court has. But you and/or your lawyer are welcome to come at your own expense. If you send an objection, you don’t have to come to the hearing for the judge to consider it.

  • The deadline for asking the Court to allow you (or your lawyer) to speak at the hearing was October 8, 2018.

    You cannot speak at the hearing if you exclude yourself.

  • This website only summarizes the lawsuit and Proposed Settlement, as amended. More details are in the complaints filed in these class actions. You can get copies of these documents here.

    You can also look at all of the documents filed in the lawsuit at the Office of the Clerk of Court, United States District Court for the Northern District of California, 280 South First Street, Room 2112, San Jose, California 95113.

  • You can get more information by contacting Class Counsel at:

    YAHOO SETTLEMENT CLASS COUNSEL
    2600 GRAND BLVD., STE 1100
    KANSAS CITY, MO 64108
    YAHOOSETTLEMENT@HAB-LAW.COM

For More Information

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

Mail

Wahl v. Yahoo! Inc., d/b/a Rivals.com
c/o JND Legal Administration
P.O. Box 91344
Seattle, WA 98111