|A proposed class action settlement has been reached in the case Vanover v. Helio, LLC, BC 414842, in the Superior Court for the State of California, County of Los Angeles. The settlement resolves a lawsuit over allegedly unlawful Early Termination Fees.
Your legal rights may be affected whether you act, or don’t act. Please read this Notice carefully. Visit www.TerminationFeesSettlement.com to read the full agreement and make a claim.
What is the Lawsuit About?
This lawsuit alleges that Helio’s contracts with consumers for cellular telephone services imposed unlawful flat rate Early Termination Fees. This lawsuit seeks to represent a group or “Class” of persons who were affected by such fees.
Helio denies that it or its business partners violated any law. The Court has not determined who was right. Rather, the parties have agreed to settle the lawsuit to avoid the uncertainties, expenses, and waste of resources that will result from further litigation. This Notice is not an admission of wrongdoing by any party.
How Do I Know if I am a Class Member?
You are a member of the Class if you are a current or former Helio customer in the United States and its territories who, at any time prior to October 4, 2010, was in a contract with Helio for wireless telephone service that contained an Early Termination Fee. You are a member of the Class regardless of whether or not you paid any portion of the Early Termination Fee to Helio or any third-party collection agency or any other party to which Helio assigned its rights.
What Can I Get From the Settlement?
If you are a Class member, file a valid claim, and the Court approves the settlement, you are entitled to money. If you paid Helio directly for a flat rate Early Termination Fee, you are entitled to a refund of a portion of the Early Termination Fee. This portion is equal to the difference between the fee actually paid and a pro-rated fee that is reduced by $5 per month of service following the first month, less any amounts owed to Helio for wireless service. If Helio does not have a record of your payment, you may be requested to provide proof of payment.
If you paid a flat rate Early Termination Fee to a third party, such as a debt collector, you are also entitled to a refund equal to the difference described above. You must submit proof of payment (a receipt, a credit card statement, or other proof) to the Settlement Administrator.
If you don’t appear in Helio’s records and have no proof of payment, or if you paid a third-party debt collector and have no proof, or if you simply were charged the Early Termination Fee but refused to pay it, or if you were never charged the Early Termination Fee but swear under oath that you stayed with Helio due to the Early Termination Fee, you are entitled to $10.
How Can I Get a Payment?
To qualify for payment, you must submit a timely, truthful, accurate, and properly completed Claim Form. You may either submit the Claim Form online at www.TerminationFeesSettlement.com by following the instructions found with the link, or you may mail a completed Claim Form postmarked no later than February 28, 2011 to Vanover v. Helio, LLC Settlement Administrator, P.O. Box 6177, Novato, CA 94948-6177.
What are My Other Options?
You or your lawyer has the right to appear before the Court and object to the proposed settlement. Your written objection must be submitted by January 7, 2011. If you do not wish to be a member of the Class, you may exclude yourself by writing to the Settlement Administrator. Specific instructions are available at www.TerminationFeesSettlement.com. Your request must be submitted by January 7, 2011.
If you do nothing you will be in the Class, and if the Court approves the settlement, you will also be bound by all orders and judgments of the Court. If approved, your claims against Helio regarding Helio’s inclusion and/or imposition of any Early Termination Fee in its contracts for wireless telephone service will be fully resolved and released.
Who Represents Me?
The Court has approved Steven L. Lezell and Sean Reis of Edelson McGuire LLC to be the attorneys representing the Class in this case. These attorneys are referred to as Class Counsel. 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.
Class Counsel will ask the Court for attorneys’ fees and expenses of up to $235,000 from the Settlement Fund. Helio has agreed to pay the Class Representative $5,000 from the Settlement Fund for his services in helping to bring and settle this case. The Court may award less than these amounts.
When will the Court Consider the Proposed Settlement?
The Court will hold the Fairness Hearing at 11:00 a.m. on January 28, 2011 at the Central Civil West Courthouse, Department 307, 600 South Commonwealth Avenue, Los Angeles, California 90005. At that hearing, the Court will hear any objections concerning the fairness of the settlement that have been properly requested, as set forth above. The hearing may be postponed to a different date or time without notice. You are not required to come to the Fairness Hearing.
How Do I Get More Information?
For more information about the proposed settlement and a copy of the Full Notice and Claim Form, go to www.TerminationFeesSettlement.com, contact the Settlement Administrator at 1-888-701-8252 or Vanover v. Helio, LLC Settlement Administrator, P.O. Box 6177, Novato, CA 94948-6177 or call Class Counsel at 1-866-354-3015.