On April 22, 2014, the Plaintiff in Poertner v. Gillette Co. moved for final approval of settlement and for attorneys’ fees and costs. The settlement, reached in September 2013, would bring to an end two class actions against Gillette – one in California and one in Florida. The settlement class is comprised of over 7 million people in the United States, its territories, and Puerto Rico, who purchased at retail certain types of Duracell Ultra Advanced and/or Ultra Power Batteries (“Ultra Batteries”) beginning in June 2009. The settlement sets forth three types of relief: cash and in-kind payments, as well as injunctive relief. First, the monetary payments available to settlement class members are a refund of $3.00 per pack. A claimant who provides valid proof of purchase will be entitled to receive a maximum of up to four refunds. A claimant who does not submit valid proof of purchase can receive only a maximum of two refunds. The three dollars per pack is about the difference in cost between Ultra Batteries and cheaper CopperTop batteries. Thus, the settlement is worth at least $49.87 million dollars, since there are 7.26 million class members who can receive up to $6.00 in refunds without proof of purchase. The settlement also includes attorneys’ fees and costs. Second, defendants will also make in-kind payments over five years, whose total retail value is $6 million. These in-kind payments will be given to charities. Third, as long as the batteries continue to have the present chemical formula, defendants will stop claiming in the United States that the Ultra Batteries are “‘Our Longest Lasting’” – or other similar claims that indicate that Ultra Batteries last for a longer period of time than CopperTop batteries – on Duracell’s website and on the batteries’ packaging or displays for the batteries in the United States.
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