NOYE v. YALE ASSOCIATES, INC.

United States District Court, Middle District of Pennsylvania, Case No. 1:15-cv-02253-YK

UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE MIDDLE DISTRICT OF PENNSYLVANIA

 

If you were the subject of a consumer report created by Yale Associates, Inc. between November 24, 2010 and November 30, 2017, you could get a payment from a class action settlement.

 

A federal court authorized this notice. This is not a solicitation from a lawyer.

 

·     A settlement will provide a Settlement Fund of $562,500 to pay people who were the subject of a consumer report created by Yale Associates between November 24, 2010 and November 30, 2017.

 

·    The settlement resolves a lawsuit over whether Yale Associates, Inc. (“Defendant”) failed to comply with legal requirements in obtaining background checks on people applying for jobs.  The settlement avoids costs and risks to you from continuing the lawsuit; pays money to people like you; and releases Defendant from liability.

 

·    The two sides disagree on how much money could have been won if this case went to trial.

 

·    The parties estimate that class members will receive approximately $ 313.00 from the Settlement Fund.

 

·    Lawyers for the class members will ask the Court for up to one-third of the Settlement Fund to be paid by Defendant—as fees and expenses for investigating the facts, litigating the case, and negotiating the settlement—and for $10,000 to be paid to the Class Representative for his services.

 

·    Your legal rights are affected whether you act, or don’t act.  Read this notice carefully.

 

YOUR LEGAL RIGHTS AND OPTIONS IN THIS SETTLEMENT:

DO NOTHING

Receive a payment under the settlement.

EXCLUDE YOURSELF

Get no payment. This is the only option that allows you to ever be part of any other lawsuit against Yale Associates about the legal claims in this case.

OBJECT

Write to the Court about why you don’t like the settlement.

GO TO A HEARING

Ask to speak in Court about the fairness of the settlement.

 

·    These rights and options—and the deadlines to exercise them—are explained in this notice.

 

·    The Court in charge of this case still has to decide whether to approve the settlement. Payments will be made if the Court approves the settlement and after any appeals are resolved. Please be patient.

  1. What is contained in your notice package?

    1. If you are a member of the class of persons described in section 5 below, you may be eligible to receive a payment from a class action settlement. This package explains the lawsuit, the settlement, your legal rights, what benefits are available, who is eligible for them, and how to get them.

       

      You have a right to know about the proposed settlement of a class action lawsuit, and about all of your options, before the Court decides whether to approve the settlement. If the Court approves it, and after objections and appeals are resolved, an administrator appointed by the Court will make the payments that the settlement allows. You will be informed of the progress of the settlement.

       

      The Court in charge of the case is the United States District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania.  This class action is Noye v. Yale Associates, Inc. The person who sued is called the Plaintiff, and the company he sued, Yale Associates, Inc., is called the Defendant.

  2. What is this lawsuit about?

    1. The lawsuit claimed that Defendant failed to comply with the federal Fair Credit Reporting Act by failing to provide required FCRA notices to Plaintiff and for maintaining a policy and practice of inaccurately reporting Pennsylvania summary offenses, a separate and less serious category of criminal offense, as misdemeanors. Defendant denies that it did anything wrong. The Complaint and Answer to the Complaint are available here.

  3. Why is this a class action?

    1. In a class action, one or more people called Class Representative (in this case TJ Noye), 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. U.S. District Judge Yvette Kane oversees this class action.

  4. Why is there a settlement?

    1. The Court did not decide in favor of the Plaintiff or the Defendant. There was no trial. Instead, both sides agreed to a settlement after vigorous pre-trial litigation, including mediation sessions in front of a professional mediator in Philadelphia, PA. By reaching a settlement agreement (which is available here), the parties avoid the cost of a trial, and the people affected will get compensation. The Class Representative and the attorneys think the settlement is best for all Class Members.

  5. How do I know if I am part of the settlement?

    1. You are receiving this notice because, according to Defendant’s records, you were the subject of a consumer report created by Yale Associates, Inc. containing  one or more traffic violations; offenses listed as pending awaiting trial; driving while intoxicated, driving under the influence, or operating while intoxicated offenses; felonies; misdemeanors; or violations, infractions, or summary offenses; which included records provided by Pennell & Associates from its court searches, less those reports which included admitted convictions on the application and those where Yale personally spoke to the applicants and confirmed the public record, from November 24, 2010 through November 30, 2017.

  6. Are there exceptions to being included?

    1. You are not a Class Member if you are an employee, officer, director, legal representative, or agent of any of the Defendant.

  7. What if I am not still not sure that I am included?

    1. If you are still not sure whether you are included, you can ask for free help.  You can call 1-800-351-1745 for more information.

  8. What does the settlement provide?

    1. Defendant has agreed to create a $562,500 fund from which each Class Member who does not exclude him or herself from the settlement will be mailed a check.  

  9. When would I get my payment?

    1. The Court will hold a hearing on December 17, 2019 at 9:30 a.m. at the United States District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania, United States Courthouse, 228 Walnut Street, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania 17101 in Courtroom 1, to decide whether to approve the settlement.   If Judge Kane approves the settlement after that, there may be appeals.   It’s always uncertain what the outcome of any appeals will be, and resolving them can take time, perhaps more than a year.  Please be patient.

  10. What am I giving up to get a payment or stay in the Class?

    1. Unless you exclude yourself, you are staying in the Class, and that means that you can’t sue, continue to sue, or be part of any other lawsuit against the Defendant about the legal issues in this case. It also means that all of the Court’s orders will apply to you and legally bind you.

  11. How do I get out of the settlement?

    1. To exclude yourself from the settlement, you must send a letter by mail saying that you want to be excluded from Noye v. Yale Associates.  Be sure to include your name, address, telephone number, and your signature.  You must mail your exclusion request postmarked no later than November 12, 2019 to:

       

      Noye Yale FCRA Settlement

      c/o Settlement Administrator

      PO Box 23648

      Jacksonville, Florida 32241

       

      If you ask to be excluded, you will not get any settlement payment, and you cannot object to the settlement.  You will not be legally bound by anything that happens in this lawsuit.  You may be able to sue (or continue to sue) the Defendant in the future.

  12. If I don't exclude myself, can I sue Defendant for the same thing later?

    1. No.  Unless you exclude yourself, you give up any right to sue Defendant for the claims that this settlement resolves.  If you have a pending lawsuit, speak to your lawyer in that case immediately. You must exclude yourself from this Class to continue your own lawsuit.  Remember, the exclusion deadline is November 12, 2019.

  13. If I exclude myself, can I get money from this settlement?

    1. No.  If you exclude yourself, you will not receive money from this settlement. But you may sue, continue to sue, or be part of a different lawsuit against Defendant.

  14. Do I have a lawyer in this case?

    1. The law firms of Francis & Mailman, P.C. in Philadelphia, PA, and the Community Justice Project in Harrisburg, PA represent you and other Class Members.  The contact information for these law firms is:

       

      FRANCIS & MAILMAN, P.C.

      1600 Market Street, Suite 2510

      Philadelphia, PA 19103

      COMMUNITY JUSTICE PROJECT

      118 Locust Street

      Harrisburg, PA 17101

       

      These lawyers are called Class Counsel.  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.

  15. How will the lawyers be paid?

    1. Class Counsel will ask the Court to approve payment of up to one-third of the Settlement Fund to them for attorneys’ fees and expenses.  The attorneys’ fees would pay Class Counsel for investigating the facts, litigating the case, and negotiating the settlement.  The Court may award less than this amount.  Defendant has agreed not to oppose the request for fees and expenses. The costs of administering the settlement will be paid separately by the Defendant.

  16. How do I tell the Court that I don't like the settlement?

    1. If you’re a Class Member, you can object to the settlement if you don’t like any part of it.  You can give reasons why you think the Court should not approve it.  The Court will consider your views.  To object, you must send a letter saying that you object to the settlement in Noye v. Yale Associates.  Be sure to include: your name, the city and state in which you live, your telephone number, the reasons you object to the settlement; whether you plan to come to the Fairness Hearing and you (or anyone else) want to speak; if you have a lawyer (who is not one of the lawyers for the class), the name of the lawyer(s) representing you; and if they exist, any agreements relating to your objection or the process of objecting. You must sign the letter yourself – an attorney or other representative cannot sign for you.

       

      Your objection must be received by the Clerk of the court at the following address no later than November 12, 2019, with copies also served on Counsel at the following addresses:

       

      COURT

      Clerk of the Court

      U.S. District Court
      Middle District of Pennsylvania
      228 Walnut Street,
      P.O. Box 983
      Harrisburg, PA 17101

      CLASS COUNSEL

      Francis & Mailman, P.C.

      1600 Market Street, Suite 2510

      Philadelphia, PA 19103

      DEFENSE COUNSEL

      Wilson Elser Moskowitz

          Edelman & Dicker LLP

      Two Commerce Square

      2001 Market Street, Suite 3100

      Philadelphia, PA 19103

       
  17. What's the difference between objecting and excluding?

    1. Objecting is simply telling the Court that you don’t like something about the settlement. You can only object if you stay in the Class.

       

      Excluding yourself is telling the Court that you don’t want to be part of the Class.  If you exclude yourself, you have no basis to object because the case no longer affects you.

  18. When and where will the Court decide whether to approve the settlement?

    1. The Court will hold a Fairness Hearing at 9:30 a.m. on December 17, 2019, at the United States District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania, United States Courthouse, 228 Walnut Street, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania 17101, in Courtroom ­­­­­1. At this hearing the Court will consider whether the settlement is fair, reasonable, and adequate and whether the requested payments to Class Counsel and Class Representatives are proper. If there are objections, the Court will consider them.  Judge Kane will listen to people who have asked to speak at the hearing. After the hearing, the Court will decide whether to approve the settlement. We do not know how long these decisions will take.

  19. Do I have to come to the hearing?

    1. No.  Class Counsel will answer questions Judge Kane may have. But you are welcome to come at your own expense. If you send an objection, you don’t have to come to Court to talk about it. As long as you mailed your written objection on time, the Court will consider it. You may also pay your own lawyer to attend, but it’s not necessary.

  20. May I speak at the hearing?

    1. You may ask the Court for permission to speak at the Fairness Hearing. If you plan to speak at the hearing because you don’t like the settlement, you must also send a letter as described in Section 16. You cannot speak at the hearing if you excluded yourself.

  21. What happens if I do nothing at all?

    1. If you do nothing, you’ll still receive money from this settlement. But, unless you exclude yourself, you won’t be able to start a lawsuit, continue with a lawsuit, or be part of any other lawsuit against Defendant about the legal issues in this case, ever again.

  22. How do I get more information?

    1. This notice summarizes the proposed settlement.  More details—including the Settlement Agreement, the Complaint and Answer, answers to common questions, plus other information to help you determine whether you are a Class Member and whether you are eligible for payment—are available at here.  You can also request this information by calling 1-800-351-1745 toll free or writing to the Settlement Administrator at Noye Yale FCRA Settlement, c/o Settlement Administrator, PO Box 23648, Jacksonville, Florida 32241.  You may also speak to one of the attorneys working on this class action by calling: 1-800-735-8600 or emailing the attorneys at the following address: [email protected]