Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Why is there a notice?

    A court has established, or “certified,” this case as a class action lawsuit.

    If you are a Class Member, you have legal rights and options before the Court decides whether to give final approval to the proposed Settlement.

    Judge David R. Herndon of the United States District Court for the Southern District of Illinois (the “Court”) is currently overseeing this case. The case is known as Hale v. State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company, Case No. 12-cv-00660-DRH. The people who sued are called the Plaintiffs. The company and people they are suing, State Farm, Edward Murnane and William G. Shepherd, are called the Defendants.

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  2. What is this lawsuit about?

    In the First Amended Class Action Complaint (available here), Plaintiffs claimed that the Defendants violated the RICO statute in an attempt to overturn, in the Illinois Supreme Court, a $1.05 billion judgment in favor of approximately 4.7 million State Farm policyholders, which would allow State Farm to avoid paying the amount of the judgment rendered in Plaintiffs' favor in the trial court. Plaintiffs bring this class action for damages against Defendants for violation of the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (“RICO”), 18 U.S.C. §§ 1961 et seq.

    In the Second Amended Class Action Complaint (available here), Plaintiffs added a claim for unjust enrichment. The Settlement, if approved and once final, releases all claims in the class action.

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  3. Why is this a class action?

    In a class action, one or more people called “Class Representatives” (in this case, Mark Hale, Todd Shadle and Laurie Loger) sue on behalf of people who have similar claims. All these people are a “Class” or “Class Members.” One court resolves the issues for all Class Members, except for those who exclude themselves from the Class.

    The Court certified this case as a class action on September 16, 2016, and an earlier class notice was sent in May 2018. Orders, notices, and schedules relating to the case are posted here.

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  4. Why is there a Settlement?

    The Court has not decided in favor of the Plaintiffs or Defendant. Instead, both sides have agreed to the Settlement. By agreeing to the Settlement, the Parties avoid the costs and uncertainty of a trial, and if the Settlement is approved by the Court, Settlement Class Members will receive benefits. The proposed Settlement does not mean that any law was broken or that the Defendants did anything wrong. The Defendants deny all legal claims in this case. Plaintiffs and their lawyers think the proposed Settlement is best for everyone who is affected.

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  5. Who is included in the Settlement?

    The Court has decided that everyone who fits the following description is a Class Member:

    The Class includes: All persons in the United States, except those residing in Arkansas and Tennessee, who, in between July 28, 1987, and February 24, 1998, (1) were insured by a vehicle casualty insurance policy issued by Defendant State Farm and (2) made a claim for vehicle repairs pursuant to their policy and had non-factory authorized and/or non-OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer) “crash parts” installed on or specified for their vehicles or else received monetary compensation determined in relation to the cost of such parts.

    Excluded from the class are employees of Defendant State Farm, its officers, its directors, its subsidiaries, and its affiliates. In addition, the following persons are excluded from the class: (1) All persons who resided or garaged their vehicles in Illinois and whose Illinois insurance policies were issued/executed prior to April 16, 1994, and (2) all persons who resided in California and whose policies were issued/executed prior to September 26, 1996.

    If you excluded yourself from the Class on or before August 14, 2018 in response to the prior class notice, then you are not included in the Settlement.

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  6. What if I’m a resident of Arkansas or Tennessee?

    If you are a resident of Arkansas or Tennessee, you will not receive an automatic payment. However, if you lived in a different state at the time you made the claim with State Farm for vehicle repairs and believe that you are a member of the Class, you had the option to submit a Claim Form seeking a payment. As the claims filing deadline has passed, claim forms can no longer be submitted.

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  7. What if my policy was issued or executed in California or Illinois?

    If your policy at the time you made the claim for vehicle repairs was issued or executed in California or Illinois, whether you are a Class Member depends on when your policy was issued or executed. If you resided or garaged your vehicle in Illinois and your Illinois insurance policy was issued/executed prior to April 16, 1994, you are not a member of the Class. If you resided in California and your policy was issued/executed prior to September 26, 1996, you are not a member of the Class.

    If you believe you fit one of these exclusions and are not a member of the Class but received a postcard or email advising you that you will receive an automatic payment, you may call to remove yourself from the list, in which case you will not receive a payment, or you may simply decline to cash or deposit the check when you receive it. By cashing or depositing the check, you will be agreeing that you are a member of the Class.

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  8. What are “Crash Parts”?

    Crash parts include:

    Fenders Hoods
    Doors Deck lids
    Luggage lid panels Quarter panels
    Rear outer panels Front-end panels
    Header panels Filler panels
    Door shells Pickup truck beds, box sides, and tail gates
    Radiator/grill support panels Grilles
    Head lamp mounting panels/brackets/housings/lenses Tail lamp mounting panels/brackets/housings/lenses
    Cutter body mouldings Door body side moulding
    Front wheel opening mouldings Side mouldings
    Front and rear fascias Outer panel mounting brackets, supports, and surrounds
    Bumpers (excluding chrome bumpers) Bumper covers/face bars
    Bumper brackets/supports
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  9. What if I am not sure whether I am included in the Settlement?

    If you are still not sure whether you are included in the Class, or have any other question about the Settlement, you can view documents regarding this lawsuit by clicking here. You can also call toll-free 1-844-420-6491, or write to Hale v. State Farm Class Action Administrator, P.O. Box 5053, Portland, OR 97208-5053, for more information.

    Neither State Farm personnel nor State Farm agents are authorized to discuss this case with you. Please do not call your State Farm agent about this case.

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  10. What does the Settlement provide?

    Under the Settlement, State Farm has agreed to pay $250 million. The Settlement Agreement can be found here. Class Members will release the Defendants from all past, present and future claims relating to the subject matter of the lawsuit and the Avery lawsuit, including RICO claims, unjust enrichment claims, due process claims, and any and all claims, whether known or unknown, that could have been asserted in this lawsuit or in the Avery lawsuit.

    Following payment of settlement administration costs, current and past class notice costs, and attorneys’ fees, expenses, and service awards determined by the Court, each eligible Class Member will receive an equal share of the remaining settlement fund. The exact amount of the payment will depend in part on the number of claims filed by Class Members who did not receive a postcard or email regarding an automatic payment.

    If any funds remain after these payments are made, Class Counsel will submit an additional Class distribution plan to the Court for approval. If the amount of funds remaining is so small that redistribution among Class Members is cost-ineffective or impractical, Class Counsel will propose, and the Court will determine, subject to the terms of the agreement and escheatment law, the best disposition of the funds for the class benefit. No funds will go back to State Farm.

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  11. How do I know if I need to file a claim?

    If you received a notice by postcard or email, and your address is not in Arkansas or Tennessee, you do not need to file a Claim Form. You will automatically receive a payment.

    If you were not sent notice by postcard or by email, or if your address is in Arkansas or Tennessee, but believe you are a member of the Class, then in order to receive a payment you had to complete and submit a valid Claim Form. However, the claims filing deadline has passed.

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  12. When will I receive my payment?

    Automatic payments and payments to Class Members who file eligible claims will be made only after the Court grants “final approval” to the Settlement and after any appeals are resolved (see FAQ 17). If there are appeals, resolving them can take time. Please be patient.

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  13. Can I exclude myself from the Settlement?

    You cannot exclude yourself from the Settlement. Notice and an opportunity to request exclusion was given in May of 2018 and the deadline to request exclusion from the Class has passed. Those who timely requested exclusion from the lawsuit are no longer part of the Class and cannot participate in this Settlement.

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  14. Do I have a lawyer in the case?

    The Court has appointed the following lawyers as “Class Counsel” to represent all members of the Settlement Class: Lieff Cabraser Heimann & Bernstein, LLP; Barrett Law Group, P.A.; Hausfeld LLP; Clifford Law Offices; Much Shelist, P.C.; Thrash Law Firm, P.A.; Law Offices of Gordon Ball; Pendley, Baudin & Coffin, LLP; and Erwin Chemerinsky, Esq.

    You will not be charged for these lawyers. If you want to be represented by another lawyer, you may hire one to appear in Court for you at your own expense.

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  15. How will the lawyers be paid?

    Class Counsel are paid from the Settlement Fund, not by Class Members. The Court will be asked to reimburse Class Counsel for the reasonable costs they have spent in this case, and to pay Class Counsel a reasonable fee under all the circumstances of the case. Class Counsel filed their application for fees and costs on October 16, 2018 and it is available here.

    Class Counsel also will request that Service Awards of $25,000 be paid from the Settlement Fund to each of the three Class Representatives for their service as representatives on behalf of the whole Settlement Class. Each of these Class Representatives has sat for deposition, responded to discovery requests, and monitored the litigation in consultation with Class Counsel for years.

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  16. How do I tell the Court if I do not like the Settlement or the request for attorneys’ fees, expenses, and service awards?

    If you are a Class Member, you had the option to object to any part of the Settlement or the request for attorneys’ fees and expenses or to the request for Service Awards for the Class Representatives. However, the deadline to object to the Settlement has passed.

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  17. When and where will the Court decide whether to approve the Settlement?

    The Fairness Hearing occurred on December 13, 2018 at 9:00 a.m., at the United States District Court Southern District of Illinois, 750 Missouri Avenue, East St. Louis, IL 62201. The Settlement was approved.

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  18. Do I have to attend the Fairness Hearing?

    No. Class Counsel will answer any questions the Court may have. But, you are welcome to attend the hearing at your own expense. If you send an objection, you do not have to come to Court to talk about it. As long as you submitted your written objection on time, to the proper addresses, and it complies with the other requirements set forth above, the Court will consider it. You also may pay your own lawyer to attend the hearing, but it is not necessary.

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  19. May I speak at the Fairness Hearing?

    The Fairness Hearing occurred on December 13, 2018.

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  20. How do I get more information?

    Click here to view the Settlement Agreement, Preliminary Approval Order, all pertinent motions and submissions (including motions and other submission in support of settlement approval, motions for attorneys’ fees and expenses, and submissions relating to relating to settlement administration), important Orders entered by the Court, and other information. You may also call toll-free at 1-844-420-6491, or write to Hale v. State Farm Class Action Administrator, P.O. Box 5053, Portland, OR 97208-5053.

    Neither State Farm personnel nor State Farm agents are authorized to discuss this case with you. Please do not call your State Farm agent about this case.

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  21. How can I update my mailing address?

    If you are a member of the Class, or you filed a Claim Form, and your address has changed, please use the Address Change Request Form here to submit your updated information.

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