AT&T Mobility Universal Services Fund
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Pursuant to court order, claims must be filed on or before midnight, March 30, 2013 PDT.

 
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FAQs

1.What is this lawsuit about?
2.Why is this a class action?
3.Why is there a Settlement?
4.Who is included in the Settlement?
5.What services are included?
6.What are my options?
7.What are the benefits of the Settlement?
8.When would I get my benefit?
9.What am I giving up to get a benefit under the Settlement?
10.How can I exclude myself from the Settlement Class?
11.If I don't exclude myself, can I sue AT&T Mobility for the same thing later?
12.If I exclude myself, can I get a benefit?
13.How can I object to the Settlement?
14.What's the difference between objecting and excluding?
15.What happens if I do nothing at all?
16.Who is representing the Class Members in this case?
17.How will the lawyers be paid?
18.Should I hire my own lawyer?
19. What is the Fairness Hearing?
20.When and where will the Fairness Hearing be held?
21.Do I have to attend the Fairness Hearing?
22.May I speak at the Fairness Hearing?
23.How can I get more information?
24.Will I be paid all of the Universal Service Charges assessed to me?
25.Do I have to submit something to receive my benefits?
26.How will I be paid my benefit?
27.I think I’m eligible for a benefit payment. How do I monitor when I might receive my benefit payment?
28.Why did I receive a check from the AT&T Mobility Universal Services Fund?
 
Top 1. What is this lawsuit about?

Plaintiff alleges that AT&T Mobility improperly assessed customers Universal Service Charges or similar charges under state or other laws (“USC”) on data pay-per-use plans, visual voicemail services, customer custom packaging plans, international calls outside the United States or voicemail services only (“Covered Services”) on bills issued from January 1, 2004 through December 31, 2010. The Plaintiff alleges that AT&T Mobility is liable for damages to the Settlement Class.

AT&T Mobility believes that the Plaintiff’s factual and legal allegations in the lawsuit are incorrect and specifically denies all liability to the Plaintiff and the Settlement Class. In the lawsuit, AT&T Mobility has denied the Plaintiff’s allegations and raised a number of defenses to the claims asserted.


Top 2. Why is this a class action?

Class actions are lawsuits in which the claims and rights of many people are decided in a single court proceeding. A Representative Plaintiff ("Class Representative") is named in the lawsuit to assert the claims of the entire class. In a class action, the court is guardian of class interests and supervises the prosecution of the class claims by Settlement Class Counsel to assure that the representation is adequate. Class members are not individually responsible for the costs or fees of counsel, which are subject to court award.


Top 3. Why is there a Settlement?

The Court did not decide in favor of the Class Representative or AT&T Mobility. Settlement Class Counsel have investigated the facts and applicable law regarding the Class Representative’s claims and AT&T Mobility's defenses. The parties have engaged in lengthy and arms-length negotiations in reaching this Settlement. The Class Representative and Settlement Class Counsel believe that the proposed Settlement is fair, reasonable and adequate and in the best interests of the Settlement Class. Both sides agree that, by settling, AT&T Mobility is not admitting any liability or that it did anything wrong, but both sides want to avoid the uncertainties and high cost in time and money in litigation of this type.


Top 4. Who is included in the Settlement?

You are a part of the Settlement if you were assessed Universal Service Charges or similar charges under state or other laws (“USC”) on data pay-per-use plans, visual voicemail services, customer custom packaging plans, international calls outside the United States or voicemail services only (“Covered Services”) on bills issued from January 1, 2004 through December 31, 2010.

Excluded from the Settlement Class are: (i) AT&T Mobility, any entity in which AT&T Mobility has a controlling interest or which has a controlling interest in AT&T Mobility, and AT&T Mobility’s legal representatives, predecessors, successors and assigns; (ii) AT&T Mobility’s officers and directors; and (iii) the Court presiding over any motion to approve this Settlement Agreement.


Top 5. What services are included?

The following is a list of the Covered Services included in the Settlement:

Data Pay-Per-Use Plans: Web access and ability to send and receive internet email through a computer equipped with a laptop data card on a pay-per-use basis.

Visual Voicemail Services: Allows you to see a list of the messages in your voicemail box and select which ones you wish to play or delete, in whichever order you choose, right from the voicemail screen on your wireless device.

Customer Custom Packaging Plans: Custom plans that are systematically assigned a monthly recurring charge for a package of services. Depending on the service order code associated with the feature, these services could be either data services or voice services. The service order codes for the Customer Custom Packaging Plans at issue are set forth on the attachment hereto.

International Calls Outside the United States: All international calls originated outside the United States to all international locations except the United States.

Voicemail Only: Allows you to receive messages in a personal voice mailbox where you can listen to, save or erase your messages.


Top 6. What are my options?

You have four options:

  • Exclude yourself and get no benefit. This is the only option that allows you to ever be part of any other lawsuit against AT&T Mobility about the legal claims in this case.

  • Write to the Court about why you don't like the Settlement.

  • Ask to speak in Court about the fairness of the Settlement.

  • For Current Customers, do nothing. Receive the Settlement benefits. Release the legal claims in this case.

  • For Former Customers, you must file a Claim to receive the settlement benefits. If you are a Former Customer and you do not file a claim, you will release the legal claims in this case.


Top 7. What are the benefits of the Settlement?

If you determine that you are a member of the Settlement Class, you may receive benefits under the Settlement. The Settlement provides:

AT&T Mobility will contribute $152,634,430.00 (“Settlement Proceeds”) which amount will become the property of the Settlement Class in full and will be payable in the form of credits and cash payments to the eligible Settlement Class members after deductions for the payment of the obligations of the Settlement Class for Settlement Class Counsel’s reasonable attorneys’ fees, the expenses of pursuing the litigation, the expenses of settlement administration, and Class Representative Compensation, all of which are subject to court approval in advance of payment. AT&T Mobility’s liability under the Settlement is capped and limited to its contribution of the Settlement Proceeds. AT&T Mobility is not liable for the payment of any additional monies or credits over and above the Settlement Proceeds and the cost of notice to Current Customers. After payment of all administration costs and the attorney fees, expenses and Class Representative Compensation awarded by the Court, the Settlement proceeds shall be distributed on a pro rata basis to Settlement Class Members as follows:

  • All Current Customers as of the date of the Court approved Notice who are Current Customers at the time of distribution shall receive their pro rata share through a bill credit provided by AT&T Mobility;

  • All Current Customers as of the date of the Court Approved Notice who are no longer customers of AT&T Mobility at the time of distribution shall receive their pro rata share through a check issued by the Settlement Administrator;

  • All Former Customers who timely file a valid and complete claim form shall receive their pro rata share through a check issued by the Settlement Administrator.

A Settlement Class member’s pro rata share will be determined by the Settlement Administrator in accordance with the terms of the Settlement Agreement.

Payments and credits to Settlement Class members will be made after the Settlement is finally approved and the Settlement Administrator has calculated the amounts due to Settlement Class members.


Top 8. When would I get my benefit?

The Court will hold a hearing on February 20, 2013, to decide whether to approve the Settlement. If the Settlement is approved, there may be appeals. Payments to Settlement Class members will be made after the Settlement is finally approved and the Settlement Administrator has calculated the amounts due to Settlement Class members. This may take some time, so please be patient.


Top 9. What am I giving up to get a benefit under the Settlement?

Upon the Court’s approval of the Settlement, the Settlement Class members who do not exclude themselves will release and forever discharge AT&T Mobility, all of its predecessors in interest, successors in interest and any of its parents, subsidiaries, divisions or affiliates, and its officers, directors, employees, trustees, principals, attorneys, agents, representatives, vendors, shareholders, partners, limited partners, as well as any person acting or purporting to act on its behalf or on behalf of those in privity with AT&T Mobility and the Settlement Class members from any and all claims, demands, debts, liabilities, actions, causes of action of every kind and nature, obligations, damages, losses, and costs, whether known or unknown, actual or potential, suspected or unsuspected, direct or indirect, contingent or fixed, that were or could have been asserted or sought in the Action, relating in any way or arising out of (a) AT&T Mobility’s assessment of the USC and (b) any and all claims that were asserted or could have been asserted by the Settlement Class in the Action with respect to AT&T Mobility’s assessment of USC and/or other taxes, fees or surcharges resulting from the assessment of the USC allegedly in breach of applicable law or its contracts with Settlement Class members.

“Unknown” claims as released herein means any and all claims that any member of the Settlement Class does not know to exist against AT&T Mobility which, if known, might have affected his or her decision to enter into or to be bound by the terms of this Settlement. The Plaintiff and the members of the Settlement Class acknowledge that they may hereafter discover facts in addition to or different from those that they now know or believe to be true concerning the subject matter of this release, but nevertheless fully, finally, and forever settle and release any and all claims, known or unknown, derivative or direct, suspected or unsuspected, accrued or unaccrued, asserted or unasserted, in law or equity, including, without limitation, claims that have been asserted or could have been asserted in the Action against AT&T Mobility with respect to AT&T Mobility’s assessment of USC and/or taxes, fees or surcharges resulting from the assessment of the USC allegedly in breach of applicable law or its contracts with Settlement Class members, that they now have, ever had, or may have had as of the date the Final Order becomes final. The foregoing waiver includes, without limitation, an express waiver to the fullest extent permitted by law, by the Plaintiff and the Settlement Class members of any and all rights under California Civil Code § 1542 or any similar law of any other state or of the United States, which provides:

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 MIGHT HAVE MATERIALLY AFFECTED HIS OR HER SETTLEMENT WITH THE DEBTOR.


Top 10. How can I exclude myself from the Settlement Class?

To request exclusion, you must state in writing your desire to be excluded from the Settlement Class. You must sign your request for exclusion personally or by legal counsel. Your request must include:

  • Your full name, current address and address when you were assessed USC by AT&T Mobility;

  • Your signature; and

  • A specific statement that "I want to be excluded from the Settlement Class."

Your request must be sent postmarked on or before January 30, 2013, to:

Bartimus Frickleton Robertson & Gorny, P.C.
P.O. Box 480020
Kansas City, MO 64148
 
Top 11. If I don't exclude myself, can I sue AT&T Mobility for the same thing later?

No. Unless you exclude yourself, you give up any right to sue AT&T Mobility for the claims that this Settlement resolves. If you have a pending lawsuit, speak to your lawyer in that case immediately.


Top 12. If I exclude myself, can I get a benefit?

No. If you exclude yourself, you will not receive any credits or monies under the Settlement.


Top 13. How can I object to the Settlement?

If you are a Settlement Class member, 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. You must sign your objection personally or by legal counsel. Your objection must state your full name, current address, and address when you were assessed USC by AT&T Mobility. You must also provide copies of any documents you intend to rely upon, the names and addresses of any witnesses who will appear at the hearing, and the name of any counsel representing you. Your deposition may be taken in order to determine the grounds for your objection. The deposition must be limited to topics relating to the objection. Your objection must state why you object to the proposed Settlement and any reasons supporting your position.

If you intend to appear in person or through your own attorney at the February 20, 2013, Fairness Hearing, you must include with your objection a notice of your intention to appear at the hearing.

You must mail any objection, along with any notice of intent to appear, postmarked on or before February 8, 2013, to Settlement Class Counsel and counsel for AT&T Mobility.

Settlement Class Counsel:
Bartimus Frickleton
Robertson & Gorny, P.C.
715 Swifts Highway
Jefferson City, MO 65109
 
    Settlement Class Counsel:
The Huge Law Firm PLLC
1080 Wisconsin Ave., N.W.
Suite 3016
Washington, D.C. 20007
 
Counsel for AT&T Mobility:
Thompson Coburn LLP
Roman P. Wuller, Esq.
One US Bank Plaza
Suite 3500
St. Louis, MO 63101
 
     

Any Settlement Class member who does not file and serve an objection in the time and manner described above will not be permitted to raise that objection later.


Top 14. What's the difference between objecting and excluding?

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


Top 15. What happens if I do nothing at all?

If you are a Current Customer and do nothing, you'll get any and all benefits from this Settlement. But, unless you exclude yourself, you won’t be able to start a lawsuit, continue a lawsuit, or be part of any other lawsuit against AT&T Mobility about the legal issues in this case, ever again.

If you are a Former Customer, you must file a claim form to receive the benefits from this Settlement. Unless you exclude yourself, you won’t be able to start a lawsuit, continue a lawsuit, or be part of any other lawsuit against AT&T Mobility about the legal issues in this case, ever again.


Top 16. Who is representing the Class Members in this case?

The attorneys representing the Settlement Class, and their addresses, are shown in the response to question 13 above. These lawyers are called Settlement Class Counsel.


Top 17. How will the lawyers be paid?

Settlement Class Counsel will apply to the Court for an award of reasonable attorneys' fees, expenses and Class Representative Compensation to be paid from Settlement Proceeds.


Top 18. Should I hire my own lawyer?

Settlement Class Counsel represent the interests of the Settlement Class. You may hire your own attorney to advise you, but if you hire your own attorney, you will be responsible for paying that attorney's fees.


Top 19. What is the Fairness Hearing?

The purpose of the hearing is to determine the fairness, reasonableness, and adequacy of the terms of the Settlement; whether the Settlement Class is adequately represented by the Class Representative and Settlement Class Counsel; and whether an order and final judgment should be entered approving the proposed Settlement. The Court also will consider Settlement Class Counsel's application for an award of attorneys' fees, expenses and Class Representative Compensation.


Top 20. When and where will the Fairness Hearing be held?

The Fairness Hearing will be held on February 20, 2013, beginning at 10:00 a.m., at the Circuit Court for the City of St. Louis, Missouri, 10 N. Tucker Blvd., St. Louis, Missouri 63101.


Top 21. Do I have to attend the Fairness Hearing?

No. Settlement Class Counsel will represent the Settlement Class at the hearing, but you are welcome to come at your own expense. If you send any objection, you don't have to come to Court to talk about it. As long as you mailed your written objection on time, the Court will consider it. You may also pay your own lawyer to attend, but it's not necessary.


Top 22. May I speak at the Fairness Hearing?

You may ask the Court for permission to speak at the Fairness Hearing. To do so, you must send with your objection a notice of intention to appear at the hearing as described in the response to question 13 above. You cannot speak at the hearing if you excluded yourself.


Top 23. How can I get more information?

More information is available on this website. You can read the Settlement Agreement by
clicking here. Or you may view the papers filed in this Lawsuit during regular business hours at the office of the Clerk of the Court, Circuit Court for the City of St. Louis, Missouri, 10 N. Tucker Blvd., St. Louis, Missouri 63101. File: MBA Surety Agency, Inc. v. AT&T Mobility LLC, Case No. 1222-CC09746.

The full Settlement Agreement and the pleadings filed in the Action can be requested, in writing, from Settlement Class Counsel. Addresses for Settlement Class Counsel are available in the response to question 13 above.


Top 24. Will I be paid all of the Universal Service Charges assessed to me?

No. The legal fees associated with the Settlement and the costs of administering the settlement will be deducted from each Class Member’s share of the Settlement. The amount you may receive also will be affected by the number of claims filed by Former Customers.


Top 25. Do I have to submit something to receive my benefits?

If you are a Former Customer, you must submit a Claim Form.
Click here to go to the Claim Form and instructions on how to complete and submit the Claim Form. The Claim Form is on the last page of the document.

Top 26. How will I be paid my benefit?

All Current Customers as of the date of the Court approved Notice who are Current Customers at the time of distribution shall receive their pro rata share through a bill credit provided by AT&T Mobility;

All Current Customers as of the date of the Court approved Notice who are no longer customers of AT&T Mobility at the time of distribution shall receive their pro rata share through a check issued by the Settlement Administrator;

All Former Customers who timely file a valid and complete claim form shall receive their pro rata share through a check issued by the Settlement Administrator.


Top 27. I think I’m eligible for a benefit payment. How do I monitor when I might receive my benefit payment?

Please continue to check
www.attmuscsettlement.com for details regarding the Settlement.

Top 28. Why did I receive a check from the AT&T Mobility Universal Services Fund?

You received a settlement check because you are part of the class and filed a valid claim. The Settlement Administrator reviewed and verified your claim and determined you were eligible for payment. If you have any questions regarding your check or need to request a replacement check, please write a letter to the ATTM USC Settlement Administrator, P.O. Box 33079, Washington D.C., 20033-0079. In the letter please include your full name, your address and your notification ID. You may also contact the Settlement Administrator via e-mail at
support@attmuscsettlement.com. In the e-mail, please include your full name, your address and your notification ID.