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The two sides disagree on what relief, and how much, could have been won, if any, if the Class won at trial. The Settlement avoids costs and risks to you from continuing the lawsuit, provides relief to affected persons like you and releases Barlean’s and others from liability for the related claims. The proposed class action settlement will provide $1,612,500 in funds to pay all aspects of Settlement (the “Common Fund”), including Class Member claims, notice, administration, Plaintiffs’ service awards, legal expenses, and attorneys’ fees. Barlean’s will also be prohibited from using any of the Challenged Claims for five years, absent a change in law or modifications that conform to applicable federal and state law.
Class Members who have their claims validated by the Claims Administrator will be reimbursed for each unit of the Coconut Oil Products purchase as follows:
Estimated Per Unit Reimbursement Without Proof of Purchase:
Class Members who submit claims with valid proof of purchase, as determined by the Claims Administrator, will receive the allotted amount, subject to pro-rata adjustments, for each unit that they submit valid proof of purchase. Class Members without proof of purchase will be able to submit claims for up to five (5) units (single containers) of the Coconut Oil Products.
If the total amount of funds claimed by Class Members is less than the total amount of the fund that is available to Class Members after costs and expenses, the excess funds will be distributed to Class Members who submitted valid claims on a pro-rata basis that is proportional to the value of each valid claim, with such distribution occurring concurrently with the distribution of the original refund amount. If on the other hand, the total amount of funds claimed by Class Members is greater than the total amount of the fund that is available for Class Members after costs and expenses, each claim validated by the Claims Administrator will be reduced on a pro-rata basis that is proportional to the value of each claim validated by the Claims Administrator. Barlean’s will not be obligated to add any additional monies to the Common Fund.
If after any pro-rata adjustments in funds to be distributed to Class Members, the total amount of funds claimed and to be distributed is less than the total amount of the fund that is available to Class Members after costs and expenses, the excess funds will be paid to the Tufts University Friedman School of Nutrition, or, if not acceptable to the Court, then to a nonprofit to be agreed to by the parties and approved by the Court. Likewise, excess funds that remain after distribution (i.e., uncashed checks), will be paid to the same nonprofits.
The Court has appointed Fitzgerald Joseph LLP as Class Counsel in this case. The Court has determined that Class Counsel is qualified to represent you and all other Class Members. You will not be charged for these lawyers. The lawyers handling the case are experienced in handling similar cases.
Nevertheless, you have the right to consult or retain an attorney of your choice at your own expense to advise you regarding the Settlement and your rights in connection with the Settlement and Final Approval Hearing.
You must submit a Claim Form to get a monetary payment. Claim Forms may be printed or filed online on this website. Claim Forms are simple and easy to complete, requiring (a) personal/contact information, (b) a statement of the quantity of products purchased during the Class Period, and (c) your affirmation that the information provided is true and correct. In exchange for receiving a monetary payment, under the Settlement Agreement, you will give up your rights to sue Barlean’s about the same claims in this lawsuit.
Claim Forms must be postmarked or submitted online no later than January 19, 2023.
If you do not want to be bound by this Settlement, you must request to be excluded from the Class. If you request to be excluded from the Class, you will retain any individual rights you have against Barlean’s and will not have “released” it from any claims. However, you will not receive the compensation described above. You may not object to the Settlement under this option. If you wish to be excluded from the Class (also referred to as “opting out”), you must complete the Opt-Out form online or download and print an Opt-Out Form from this website, fill out and sign the form, and mail it to the Claim Administrator, postmarked on or before January 19, 2023, at the following address:
Barlean’s Coconut Oil Settlement
c/o Kroll Settlement Administration
P.O. Box 225391, New York, NY 10150-5391
If you want to express an objection to part or all of the Settlement, you may appear at the Fairness Hearing and/or object to the proposed Settlement. If the Settlement is approved, you will still receive the Settlement compensation and be bound by the Settlement Release.If you wish to object, you must, no later than January 19, 2023, file a signed, written objection with the Court, and serve copies on Class Counsel and Barlean’s Counsel. The objection must contain:
(i) a title that clearly identifies the Action (“Testone et al. v. Barlean’s Organic Oils, LLC, Case No. 3:19-cv-00169-RBM-BGS”) and that the document is an objection;
(ii) information sufficient to identify and contact the objecting Class Member or his or her attorney if represented;
(iii) information sufficient to establish the person’s standing as a Settlement Class Member;
(iv) a clear and concise statement of the Class Member’s objection, as well as any facts and law supporting the objection;
(v) the objector’s signature; and
(vi) the signature of the objector’s counsel, if any.
If you wish to appear at the Fairness Hearing, you should, no later than January 19, 2023, file with the Court and serve on Class Counsel and Barlean’s Counsel at the addresses set forth below, a Notice of Intent to Appear, either in person or through an attorney. More detailed instructions and requirements for objecting are set forth in the Court’s Preliminary Approval Order, which is available on this website.
Fitzgerald Joseph LLP
2341 Jefferson Street, Suite 200
San Diego, CA 92110
Gordon Rees Scully Mansukhani, LLP
101 W. Broadway, Suite 2000
San Diego, CA 92101
The Court has scheduled a Final Approval Hearing (also referred to as a “Fairness Hearing”) to determine whether the Court should approve the Settlement as fair, reasonable, and adequate to the Class, and whether Judgment should be entered in accordance with the Settlement Agreement. The Court will also consider at the Fairness Hearing the request of Class Counsel for an award of attorneys’ fees and reimbursement of expenses, as well as the request of the Class Representatives for incentive awards for services rendered on behalf of the Class.
The Fairness Hearing will occur on March 3, 2023 in Courtroom 5B, 333 West Broadway, San Diego, CA 92101.
Your attendance at the Fairness Hearing is not required. However, you may be heard orally at the hearing in opposition to the proposed Settlement if you wish. You may also enter an appearance through an attorney retained at your own expense. If you do not enter an appearance through an attorney, and do not object, Class Counsel will represent you at the hearing.
For more details of the matters involved in this lawsuit and the Settlement, you may review the Settlement Agreement and other documents in the Documents section of this website.
You can also contact the Claims Administrator toll-free at (833) 709-0893, or by writing to:
Barlean’s Coconut Oil Settlement
c/o Kroll Settlement Administration
P.O. Box 225391
New York, NY 10150-5391
For a period of five (5) years commencing from the date the Court issues a final approval order, Barlean’s agrees not to use any of the following statements on the Coconut Oil Products, except to the extent they are modified to conform with the requirements for nutrient content or health claims that are, at that point in time, applicable under federal and state law:
a) “Nature’s Most Versatile Superfood”;
b) “COCONUT OIL: A SMART FAT”;
c) “A natural source of medium chain triglycerides (MCTs) coconut oil boosts the metabolism, supports the heart and immune system and provides quick energy”
d) “Harvested at the Peak of Flavor and Nutrition”;
e) “Harvested at the peak of flavor and nutritional value”;
f) “Coconut Oil Nutrition[:] -Contains Lauric Acid, Caprylic Acid, & Capric Acid - Natural Source of Medium Chain Triglycerides”;
g) “Coconut Oil Nutrition[:] -Rich in Lauric Acid & Caprylic Acid -Great Source of Medium Chain Triglycerides”;
h) “The ultimate cooking oil for health-conscious gourmets. As versatile as it is delicious, Barlean’s Organic Culinary Coconut Oil is ideal for sautéing, stir-frying and baking, or as a dairy-free butter substitute”;
i) “NO TRANS FAT OR CHOLESTEROL”;
j) “HEALTHY ALTERNATIVE TO BUTTER”;
k) “All the health benefits of coconut oil, now with the rich flavor of butter”;
l) “No Trans or Hydrogenated Fats”;
m) “Cholesterol Free”;
n) “THE HEALTH BENEFITS OF COCONUT OIL, THE RICH TASTE OF BUTTER”;
o) “SUB 1:1 FOR BUTTER”;
p) “we’re bringing a whole new flavor to healthy eating”;
q) “Our butter flavored coconut oil has all the healthy MCTs of our regular organic coconut oil, with a rich, buttery taste”;
r) “No cholesterol, trans fats or hydrogenated fats”; and
s) “Substitute 1:1 for butter”.
To the extent any of the aforementioned claims are currently on the Coconut Oil Products, Barlean’s shall have 180 days from the date of the Final Approval Order to remove such claims or otherwise modify them as set forth above (the “Grace Period”). Barlean’s shall not be liable for any sales of Coconut Oil Products that are delivered to retailers before the expiration of the Grace Period and in no event shall Barlean’s be required to recall any Coconut Oil Products that have already been delivered to retailers or Class Members prior to the expiration of the Grace Period.
For the avoidance of doubt, this injunction shall not apply to information that is required or otherwise permitted by law to be included in the Coconut Oil Products’ nutrition facts panel, such as, by way of example and not limitation, information disclosed in the nutrition facts panel disclosing the amount of trans fat and/or cholesterol in the Coconut Oil Products.