Suchanek v. Sturm

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Why did I get this notice?
  2. What is this lawsuit about?
  3. What is a class action and who is involved?
  4. Am I part of this Class?
  5. Who is not part of the Class?
  6. What does the lawsuit complain about?
  7. How do Defendants answer?
  8. Has the Court decided who is right?
  9. What happens if I do nothing at all?
  10. Why would I ask to be excluded?
  11. How do I exclude myself from the Class?
  12. Do I have a lawyer in this case?
  13. Should I get my own lawyer?
  14. How will the lawyers be paid?
  15. Are more details available?
  1. Why did I get this notice?

    If you are a resident of one of the eight states named above and you purchased one or more of the GSCs in a retail store since September 2010, you have a right to know about a class action lawsuit and your options. You may have received the Notice because you requested more information after reading one of the Publication Notices.

    The Notice explains the lawsuit and your legal rights. The Court in charge of the case is the United States District Court for the Southern District of Illinois, and the case is known as Suchanek et. al. v. Sturm Foods, Inc. and Treehouse Foods, Inc., Case No. 11-CV-565-NJR-PMF. The persons who sued are called the Plaintiffs, and the companies that were sued are called the Defendants.

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  2. What is this lawsuit about?

    This lawsuit is about whether Defendants sold Grove Square Coffee in labeling that misled consumers about the nature of the product in violation of state consumer protection statutes.

    Defendants deny that they did anything wrong. Defendants further deny that the Plaintiffs and the Class have suffered any damages or that they have been harmed in any way.

    The Court has not made any ruling on the factual allegations in the lawsuit.

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  3. What is a class action and who is involved?

    In a class action lawsuit, one or more people called “Class Representatives” (in this case, Plaintiffs, Linda Suchanek, Richard McManus, Carol Carr, Paula Gladstone, Edna Avakian, Charles Cardillo, Ben Capps, Deborah Debenedetto, and Carol J. Ritchie) sue on behalf of other people who have similar claims. The people together are a “Class” or "Subclass" or “Class Members.” One court will resolve the issues for everyone in the Class – except for those people who choose to exclude themselves from the Class.

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  4. Am I part of this Class?

    If you fit into the following description, you are a Class Member:

    All persons or consumers who purchased Defendants’ Grove Square Coffee (“GSC”) products in Alabama, California, Illinois, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Tennessee since September 2010 in a retail store.

    You are a Class Member if you purchased one or more of these products since September 2010 in a retail store*:

    *Please note that while these exemplar photographs include only 18 cup packets, you are a Class Member if you fit within the above class description, regardless of the quantity purchased.

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  5. Who is not part of the Class?

    If you purchased Grove Square Coffee products (“GSCs”) online, you are not part of the class.

    Also excluded from the Class are: (a) Defendants’ Board members or executive level officers, including its attorneys; (b) persons or entities who purchased the GSC primarily for resale; (c) retailers or re-sellers of the GSC; (d) governmental entities, including this Court; (e) any consumer that already received a refund from Defendants; and (f) any consumer who purchased GSC online.

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  6. What does the lawsuit complain about?

    Beginning in September of 2010, Defendants began selling the GSCs in Alabama, California, Illinois, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Tennessee. Plaintiffs allege that Defendants' packaging of the GSCs violated the state consumer protection statutes of these eight states. You can read Plaintiffs' Second Amended Complaint and related documents on the Case Documents page.

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  7. How do Defendants answer?

    Defendants deny any wrongdoing and deny the Plaintiffs' allegations. You can read Defendants' Answer to Second Amended Complaint and related documents on the Case Documents page.

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  8. Has the Court decided who is right?

    The Court hasn’t decided whether the Defendants or the Plaintiffs are correct. Instead, the Court has only determined that the lawsuit will proceed as a class action.

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  9. What happens if I do nothing at all?

    By doing nothing, you are staying in the Class and will be bound by any judgment at trial. Keep in mind that if you do nothing now, you will not be able to separately sue Defendants – as part of any other lawsuit – about the same legal claims that are the subject of this lawsuit. You will also be legally bound by all of the Orders the Court issues and judgments the Court makes in this class action. You must exclude yourself to start a lawsuit, continue with a lawsuit, or be part of any other lawsuit against Defendants about the subject matter of this lawsuit.

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  10. Why would I ask to be excluded?

    If you exclude yourself from the Class – which is sometimes called “opting-out” of the Class – you won’t be bound by this lawsuit. However, you may then be able to separately sue Defendants for the legal claims that are the subject of this lawsuit. If you exclude yourself, you will not be legally bound by any judgment in this action.

    If you bring your own lawsuit against Defendants after you exclude yourself, you will have to hire and pay your own lawyer for that lawsuit, and you will have to prove your claims. If you do exclude yourself so you can start or continue your own lawsuit against Defendants, you should talk to your own lawyer soon, because your claims may be subject to a statute of limitations.

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  11. How do I exclude myself from the Class?

    To exclude yourself from the Class, you must send a written request for exclusion that is received no later than September 16, 2016, to:

    Suchanek et. al. v. Sturm et. al. Notice Administrator

    P.O. Box 1110

    Corte Madera, CA 94976-1110

    Your request for exclusion must contain: (1) the name of this lawsuit, “Suchanek et. al. v. Sturm Foods Inc. et. al., Case No. 11-CV-565-NJR-PMF”; (2) your full name and current address; (3) a clear statement of intention to exclude yourself such as “I wish to be excluded from the Class”; and (4) your signature. You may also get an Exclusion Request Form at www.instantcoffeelawsuit.com.

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  12. Do I have a lawyer in this case?

    The Court decided that the law firms of Burke Harvey, LLC. and Ward & Wilson are qualified to represent you and the other Class Members. Together the law firms are called “Class Counsel.” You will not be charged for these lawyers. Additional law firms are also working with them on behalf of you and the other Class Members.

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  13. Should I get my own lawyer?

    If you choose to remain in the Class, you do not need to hire your own lawyer because Class Counsel are working on your behalf. But if you hire your own lawyer, you will have to pay that lawyer.

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  14. How will the lawyers be paid?

    From the inception of the litigation in July 2011 to the present, Class Counsel has not received any payment for their services in prosecuting the case, nor have they been reimbursed for any out-of-pocket expenses they have incurred. Only if there is a money Judgment in favor of the Class or if a Settlement between Plaintiffs and Defendants is eventually reached, would Class Counsel petition the Court for an award of attorneys’ fees. At this time, there is no Settlement and the case is set to proceed to trial in May of 2017.

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  15. Are more details available?

    Additional documents related to this case may be reviewed on the Case Documents page

    If you are interested in being kept informed regarding this litigation, you are encouraged to register your name and contact information by clicking here. This will allow us to provide you with individual notice about the status of this case, including notifying you if there is a settlement eventually reached or the result of any jury trial.  If a settlement is later reached, by registering with us now, class counsel would have your contact information allowing you to receive individual notice information.

    You may also contact Class Counsel by email at info@Burkeharvey.com, or by writing to:

    Suchanek et. al. v. Sturm et. al. Notice Administrator

    P.O. Box 1110

    Corte Madera, CA 94976-1110

    PLEASE DO NOT CALL OR WRITE TO THE COURT FOR INFORMATION OR ADVICE.

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