Frequently Asked Questions
- Why was the Notice issued?
- What is this lawsuit about?
- Why is the lawsuit a class action?
- Why is there a settlement?
- How do I know if I am included in the Settlement?
- What if I am still not sure whether I am part of the Settlement?
- What does the Settlement provide?
- What payments are available for Expense Reimbursement?
- What payments are available for Extraordinary Expense Reimbursement?
- How do I get benefits?
- How will claims be decided?
- Do I need to do anything to remain in the Settlement?
- What am I giving up as part of the Settlement?
- If I exclude myself, can I get a payment from this Settlement?
- If I do not exclude myself, can I sue Forever 21 for the same thing later?
- How do I exclude myself from the Settlement?
- Do I have a lawyer in this case?
- How will the lawyers be paid?
- How do I tell the Court that I do not like the Settlement?
- What is the difference between objecting and asking to be excluded?
- When and where will the Court decide whether to approve the Settlement?
- Do I have to attend the hearing?
- May I speak at the hearing?
- What happens if I do nothing at all?
- How do I get more information?
Why did I get a Notice of Settlement?
The Court authorized the Notice because you have a right to know about the proposed Settlement in this class action lawsuit and about all of your options before the Court decides whether to give “final approval” to the Settlement. The Notice explains the legal rights and options that you may exercise before the Court decides whether to approve the Settlement.
Judge Mark C. Scarsi of the United States District Court for the Central District of California is overseeing this case. The case is known as Hameed-Bolden, et al. v. Forever 21 Retail, Inc., et al, Case No. 2:18-cv-03019 MCS (JPRx). The persons who sued are called the Plaintiffs. Forever 21 Retail, Inc. and Forever 21, Inc. are called the Defendants.
To view a copy of the Settlement Notice, click here.Back To Top
What is this lawsuit about?
The lawsuit claims that Forever 21 was responsible for the Security Incident that occurred and asserts claims such as: breach of implied contract and violations of California consumer protection statutes. The lawsuit seeks compensation for people who had out-of-pocket expenses, fraudulent charges, lost time spent dealing with fraudulent charges or card replacement issues, or unreimbursed extraordinary monetary losses as a result of the Security Incident.
Forever 21 denies all of the Plaintiffs’ claims and says it did not do anything wrong.Back To Top
Why is the lawsuit a class action?
In a class action, one or more people called “Representative Plaintiffs” sue on behalf of all people who have similar claims. All of these people together are the “Class” or “Class Members.” In this case, the Representative Plaintiffs are Jowharah Hameed-Bolden and Ali Conrad O’Brien. One lawsuit resolves the issues for all Class Members, except for those who exclude themselves from the Class.Back To Top
Why is there a settlement?
By agreeing to settle, both sides avoid the cost and risk of a trial, and people who submit valid claims will get compensation. The Representative Plaintiffs and their attorneys believe the Settlement is fair, reasonable, and adequate and, thus, best for the Class and its members. The Settlement does not mean that Forever 21 did anything wrong.Back To Top
How do I know if I am included in the Settlement?
You are included in the Settlement Class if you reside in the United States, and used a credit, debit, or other payment card to make a point-of-sale purchase at an affected Forever 21 store while payment card data at the store was at risk. For more information on the specific stores affected, click here.
Specifically excluded from the Settlement Class are: (i) Forever 21 and its officers and directors; (ii) all Settlement Class Members who timely and validly request exclusion from the Settlement Class; (iii) the Judge assigned to evaluate the fairness of this Settlement; (iv) the attorneys representing the Parties in the Litigation; (v) banks and other entities that issued payment cards which were utilized at Forever 21 during the Security Incident; and (vi) any other Person found by a court of competent jurisdiction to be guilty under criminal law of initiating, causing, aiding or abetting the criminal activity occurrence of the Security Incident or who pleads no contest to any such charge.Back To Top
What if I am still not sure whether I am part of the Settlement?
If you are not sure whether you are included in the Settlement, you may call 1-855-675-3135 (Toll-Free) with questions. You may also write with questions to Forever 21 Claims Administrator, P.O. Box 4454, Portland, OR 97208-4454. Please do not contact the Court with questions.Back To Top
What does the Settlement provide?
The Settlement will provide payments to people who submit valid claims (see FAQ 10).
There are two types of payments that are available:
- Expense Reimbursement: which includes time spent (up to 4 hours & $25), reimbursement of self-paid credit monitoring, and expense reimbursement of up to $250 (see FAQ 8) and
- Extraordinary Expense Reimbursement: which includes Class Members who had other extraordinary unreimbursed monetary losses because of information compromised as part of the Security Incident are eligible to make a claim for reimbursement of up to $10,000 (see FAQ 9).
You may submit a claim for either or both types of payments. You must provide proof of your class membership by submitting the number associated with the credit or debit card used at a Forever 21 store. Also, you must describe each expense and how it related to the Security Incident. You may also provide related documentation (receipts, bank statements, etc.) with your Claim Form if they are available. The Claim Form includes examples of types of expenses you may have incurred and how to document them.Back To Top
What payments are available for Expense Reimbursement?
Class Members are eligible to receive reimbursement of up to $250 (in total) for the following categories of out-pocket expenses resulting from the Security Incident:
- Unreimbursed bank fees;
- Unreimbursed card reissuance fees;
- Unreimbursed overdraft fees;
- Unreimbursed charges related to unavailability of funds;
- Unreimbursed late fees;
- Unreimbursed over-limit fees;
- Long-distance telephone charges;
- Cell minutes (if charged by minute);
- Internet usage charges and text messages;
- Unreimbursed charges from banks or credit card companies;
- Interest on payday loans due to card cancellation or due to over-limit situations;
- If fraudulent charges occurred on a payment card (whether or not the charges were reimbursed or reversed), $25 representing compensation for inconvenience associated with up to one hour of lost time, plus an additional $25 per hour for up to four (4) hours of documented lost time spent dealing with the Security Incident. The claimant must provide a detailed description of the time spent or attach documentation of the time spent to the Claim Form;
- If no fraudulent charges occurred on a payment card, up to three (3) hours of lost time (calculated at the rate of $25 per hour) spent dealing with the Security Incident, but only if at least one full hour was spent. The claimant must provide a detailed description of the time spent or attach documentation of the time spent to the Claim Form;
- Costs of credit report(s) purchased by Settlement Class Members between April 13, 2017 and March 21, 2022; and
- Up to $135 in costs incurred toward credit monitoring, identity theft insurance, or similar products purchased by Settlement Class Members between April 13, 2017 and July 1, 2019.
What payments are available for Extraordinary Expense Reimbursement?
Class Members who had other extraordinary unreimbursed monetary losses because of information compromised as part of the Security Incident are eligible to make a claim for reimbursement of up to $10,000. As part of the claim, the Class Member must show that:
- It is an actual, documented, and unreimbursed monetary loss;
- The loss was more likely than not caused by the Security Incident;
- The loss occurred during the time period from April 13, 2017 through and including the end of the Claims Deadline, March 21, 2022;
- The loss is not already covered by one or more of the categories in FAQ 8; and
- A reasonable effort was made to avoid or seek reimbursement for the loss (including exhaustion of all available credit monitoring insurance and identity theft insurance).
More details are provided in the Settlement Agreement.Back To Top
How do I get benefits?
To ask for a payment, you must have submitted a Claim Form by the Claim Filing Deadline on March 21, 2022. The Claims Administrator is no longer able to accept claims for this Settlement.Back To Top
How will claims be decided?
The Claims Administrator will initially decide whether the information provided on a Claim Form is complete and valid. The Claims Administrator may require additional information from any claimant. If the required information is not provided timely, the claim will be considered invalid and will not be paid.
If the claim is complete and the Claims Administrator denies the claim entirely or partially, the Claimant will be provided an opportunity to have their claim reviewed by an impartial Claim Referee who has been appointed by the Court.Back To Top
Do I need to do anything to remain in the Settlement?
You did not have to do anything to remain in the Settlement, but if you wanted a payment, you must have submitted a Claim Form by March 21, 2022.Back To Top
What am I giving up as part of the Settlement?
If the Settlement becomes final, you will give up your right to sue Forever 21 for the claims related to the Security Incident being resolved by this Settlement. The specific claims you are giving up against Forever 21 are described in Section 1.20 of the Settlement Agreement. You will be “releasing” Forever 21 and all related people or entities as described in Section 6 of the Settlement Agreement.
The Settlement Agreement describes the released claims with specific descriptions, so read it carefully. If you have any questions you can talk to the law firms listed in FAQ 17 for free or you can, of course, talk to your own lawyer at your own expense if you have questions about what the terms of the Settlement Agreement mean.Back To Top
If I exclude myself, can I get a payment from this Settlement?
No. If you excluded yourself, you are not entitled to any benefits of the Settlement, but you are not bound by any judgment in this case or any release of claims against Forever 21 related to the Security Incident.Back To Top
If I do not exclude myself, can I sue Forever 21 for the same thing later?
No. Unless you excluded yourself, you gave up any right to sue Forever 21 for the claims that this Settlement resolves. You must have excluded yourself from the Settlement Class to start your own lawsuit or to be part of any different lawsuit relating to the claims in this case.Back To Top
How do I exclude myself from the Settlement?
To exclude yourself, you must have sent a letter that said you wanted to be excluded from the Settlement in Hameed-Bolden, et al. v. Forever 21 Retail, Inc., et al., Case No. 2:18-cv-03019 MCS (JPRx).Back To Top
Do I have a lawyer in this case?
Yes. The Court appointed the following lawyers as “Class Counsel”:
John A. Yanchunis
Jean Sutton Martin
Morgan & Morgan Complex Litigation Group
201 N. Franklin Street
Tampa, Florida 33602
Paul C. Whalen
Law Office of Paul C. Whalen
P.O. Box 111
Haines Falls, NY 12436
Glancy Prongay & Murray LLP
230 Park Avenue
New York, NY 10169
Jasper D. Ward IV
Jones Ward PLC
312 S. Fourth Street
Louisville, KY 40202
You will not be charged for these lawyers. If you want to be represented by your own lawyer, you may hire one at your own expense.Back To Top
How will the lawyers be paid?
Class Counsel will request the Court’s approval of an award for attorneys’ fees and reasonable costs and expenses of $500,000. Class Counsel will also request approval of a Service Award of $2,500 for each of the Representative Plaintiffs. Any amount that the Court awards for attorneys’ fees, costs, expenses, and Service Awards will be paid separately by Forever 21 and will not reduce the amount of payments to Class Members who submit valid claims.Back To Top
How do I tell the Court that I do not like the Settlement?
You must have submitted your objection by the deadline on March 21, 2022.Back To Top
What is the difference between objecting and asking to be excluded?
Objecting is telling the Court that you do not like the Settlement and why you do not think it should be approved. You can object only if you do not exclude yourself from the Class. Excluding yourself is telling the Court that you do not want to be part of the Class. If you exclude yourself, you have no basis to object because the case no longer affects you.Back To Top
When and where will the Court decide whether to approve the Settlement?
The Court will hold a Fairness Hearing at 8:30 a.m. on June 30, 2022, at the United States District Court for the Central District of California located at the United States Courthouse, 350 W. 1st Street, Los Angeles, CA 90012. The hearing may be moved to a different date or time without additional notice, so it is a good idea to check back at this website or call 1-855-675-3135. At this hearing, the Court will consider whether the Settlement is fair, reasonable, and adequate. If there are timely objections, the Court will consider them and will listen to people who have asked to speak at the hearing if such a request has been properly made. The Court will also rule on the request for an award of attorneys’ fees and reasonable costs and expenses, as well as the request for a Service Award for the Representative Plaintiffs. After the hearing, the Court will decide whether to approve the Settlement. We do not know how long these decisions will take.Back To Top
Do I have to attend the hearing?
No. Class Counsel will present the Settlement Agreement to the Court. You or your own lawyer are welcome to attend at your expense, but you are not required to do so. If you send an objection, you do not have to come to the Court to talk about it. As long as you filed your written objection on time with the Court and mailed it according to the instructions provided in FAQ 19, the Court will consider it.Back To Top
May I speak at the hearing?
You may ask the Court for permission to speak at the Fairness Hearing. To do so, you must have filed an objection according to the instructions in FAQ 19, including all the information required by items (v), (vi), and (vii). Your Objection must have been filed with the Clerk of the Court for the United States District Court for Central District of California no later than March 21, 2022. In addition, you must have mailed a copy of your objection to both Class Counsel and Defense Counsel listed in FAQ 19, postmarked no later than March 21, 2022.Back To Top
What happens if I do nothing at all?
If you did nothing, you will get no benefits from this Settlement. Unless you excluded yourself, after the Settlement is granted final approval and the Judgment becomes Final, you will not be able to start a lawsuit, continue with a lawsuit, or be part of any other lawsuit against Forever 21 about the legal issues in this case, ever again.Back To Top
How do I get more information?
This website and the Notice summarize the proposed Settlement. More details are in a Settlement Agreement. The Settlement Agreement and other related documents are available here. You may also write with questions to Forever 21 Claims Administrator, P.O. Box 4454, Portland, OR 97208-4454.
Please do not telephone the Court, the Clerk of Court's office, or Forever 21 regarding this Settlement.Back To Top