Mark Kokoszki, et al. v. Playboy Enterprises, Inc.
Playboy Magazine Settlement
2:19-cv-10302-BAF-RSW

Frequently Asked Questions

 

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  • A Court authorized the notice because you have a right to know about a proposed Settlement of the 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 lawsuit, the Settlement, and your legal rights.

    The Honorable Bernard A. Friedman, of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan, is overseeing the case. The case is called Kokoszki v. Playboy Enterprises, Inc., Case No. 2:19-cv-10302-BAF-RSW. The person who sued is called the Plaintiff. The Defendant is Playboy Enterprises, Inc.

  • In a class action, one or more people called class representatives (in the case, Mark Kokoszki) sue on behalf of a group or a “class” of people who have similar claims. In a class action, the court resolves the issues for all class members, except for those who exclude themselves from the Class.

  • The lawsuit claims that Defendant violated Michigan’s Preservation of Personal Privacy Act, M.C.L. § 445.1712 (“PPPA”) between January 1, 2016 and July 30, 2016, by disclosing information related to its customers’ magazine subscriptions to third parties. The Defendant denies it violated any law. The Court has not determined who is right. Rather, the Parties have agreed to settle the lawsuit to avoid the uncertainties and expenses associated with ongoing litigation.

  • The Court has not decided whether the Plaintiff or the Defendant should win the case. Instead, both sides agreed to a Settlement. That way, they avoid the uncertainties and expenses associated with ongoing litigation, and Class Members will get compensation sooner rather than, if at all, after the completion of a trial.

  • The Court decided that everyone who fits the following description is a member of the Settlement Class:

    Persons that have a Michigan street address who subscribed to a Playboy Publication between January 1, 2016 and July 30, 2016 to be delivered to a Michigan street address, and who did not opt out of Playboy’s information sharing service.

    Playboy Publications include any magazine published by Defendant or one of its subsidiaries in the United States, including but not limited to Playboy magazine.

  • Monetary Relief: A Settlement Fund has been created totaling $3,850,000.00. Class Member payments, and the cost to administer the Settlement, the cost to inform people about the Settlement, attorneys’ fees (inclusive of litigation costs), and an award to the Class Representative will also come out of the fund (see Question 12).

    A detailed description of the settlement benefits can be found in the Settlement Agreement.

  • The amount of the payment will depend on how many requests for exclusion are submitted. Each Class Member who does not exclude him or herself will receive a proportionate share of the Settlement Fund, which Class Counsel anticipates will be approximately $110. You can contact Class Counsel at (646) 837-7150 to inquire as to the number of requests for exclusion that have been received to date.

  • The hearing to consider the fairness of the settlement is scheduled for August 19, 2020. If the Court approves the settlement, eligible Class Members will receive their payment 28 days after the Settlement has been finally approved and/or after any appeals process is complete. The payment will be made in the form of a check, and all checks will expire and become void 180 days after they are issued.

  • If you are a Class Member who received a Notice via postcard and you want to get a payment, do nothing and you will automatically receive a pro rata share of the Settlement Fund, which Class Counsel anticipates will be approximately $110 sent to the postal address identified in the Notice you received. If you have changed addresses or are planning to change addresses prior to August 19, 2020, please click here to complete and submit a change of address form.

    If you are a Settlement Class Member who did not receive a Notice via postcard and you want to get a payment, you must complete and submit a Claim Form.  You may submit a Claim Form either electronically on the Settlement Website by clicking here, or by printing and mailing in a paper Claim Form, copies of which are available for download here.  Claim Forms must be submitted online by 11:59 p.m. EST on July 24, 2020 or postmarked and mailed by July 24, 2020.

  • If the Settlement becomes final, you will give up your right to sue the Defendant and other Released Parties for the claims being resolved by the Settlement. The specific claims you are giving up against the Defendant are described in the Settlement Agreement. You will be “releasing” the Defendant and certain of its affiliates, employees and representatives as described in Section 1.24 of the Settlement Agreement. Unless you exclude yourself (see Question 13), you are “releasing” the claims.

    The Settlement Agreement describes the released claims with specific descriptions, so read it carefully. If you have any questions you can talk to the lawyers listed in Question 11 for free or you can, of course, talk to your own lawyer if you have questions about what this means.

  • The Court has appointed Bursor & Fisher, P.A. and Hedin Hall LLP to be the attorneys representing the Settlement Class. They are called “Class Counsel.” They believe, after conducting an extensive investigation, that the Settlement Agreement is fair, reasonable, and in the best interests of the Settlement Class. You will not be charged for these lawyers. If you want to be represented by your own lawyer in the case, you may hire one at your expense.

  • The Defendant has agreed that Class Counsel attorneys’ fees and costs may be paid out of the Settlement Fund in an amount to be determined by the Court. The fee petition will seek no more than 35% of the Settlement Fund, inclusive of reimbursement of their costs and expenses; the Court may award less than the amount. Under the Settlement Agreement, any amount awarded to Class Counsel will be paid out of the Settlement Fund.

    Subject to approval by the Court, Defendant has agreed that the Class Representative may be paid a service award of $5,000 from the Settlement Fund for his services in helping to bring and resolve the case.

  • To exclude yourself from the Settlement, you must submit a request for exclusion by 11:59 p.m. EST on July 24, 2020. Requests for exclusion may be submitted either on the Settlement Website (via the online form accessible here or by mailing or otherwise deliver a letter (or request for exclusion) stating that you want to be excluded from the Kokoszki v. Playboy Enterprises, Inc., Case No. 2:19-cv-10302-BAF-RSW settlement. Your letter or request for exclusion must also include your name, your address, the name of the Playboy publication(s) to which you subscribed, your signature, the name and number of this case, and a statement that you wish to be excluded. If you choose to submit a request for exclusion by mail, you must mail or deliver your exclusion request, postmarked no later than July 24, 2020, to the address of the Settlement Administrator.

  • No. Unless you exclude yourself, you give up any right to sue the Defendant for the claims being resolved by the Settlement.

  • No. If you exclude yourself, you will not receive a pro rata share of the Settlement Fund.

  • If you are 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 file with the Court a letter or brief stating that you object to the Settlement in Kokoszki v. Playboy Enterprises, Inc., Case No. 2:19-cv-10302-BAF-RSW and identify all your reasons for your objections (including citations and supporting evidence) and attach any materials you rely on for your objections. Your letter or brief must also include your name, your address, the basis upon which you claim to be a Class Member (including the name of the Playboy publication(s) which you purchased or to which you subscribed), the name and contact information of any and all attorneys representing, advising, or in any way assisting you in connection with your objection, and your signature. If you, or an attorney assisting you with your objection, have ever objected to any class action settlement where you or the objecting attorney has asked for or received payment in exchange for dismissal of the objection (or any related appeal) without modification to the settlement, you must include a statement in your objection identifying each such case by full case caption. You must also mail or deliver a copy of your letter or brief to Class Counsel and Defendant’s Counsel listed below.

    Class Counsel filed with the Court (and posted on this website here) its request for attorneys’ fees. 

    If you want to appear and speak at the Final Approval Hearing to object to the Settlement, with or without a lawyer, you must say so in your letter or brief. File the objection with the Court (or mail the objection to the Court) and mail a copy of the objection to Class Counsel and Defendant’s Counsel, at the addresses below, postmarked no later than July 24, 2020.

    The Court
    The Honorable Bernard A. Friedman
    United States District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan
    231 W. Lafayette Blvd., Room 120
    Detroit, MI 48226

    Class Counsel
    Joseph I. Marchese
    Bursor & Fisher P.A.
    888 Seventh Avenue
    New York, NY 10019

    Defendant's Counsel
    Jeffrey K. Lamb
    Honigman LLP
    2290 First National Bldg
    660 Woodward Avenue
    Detroit, MI 48226

  • Objecting simply means telling the Court that you don’t like something about the Settlement. You can object only if you stay in the Class. Excluding yourself from the Class 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.

  • The Court will hold the Final Approval Hearing at 11:00 AM on August 19, 2020 in Room 120 at the Theodore Levin United States Courthouse, 231 W. Lafayette Blvd., Detroit, MI 48226. The purpose of the hearing will be for the Court to determine whether to approve the Settlement as fair, reasonable, adequate, and in the best interests of the Class; to consider the Class Counsel’s request for attorneys’ fees and expenses; and to consider the request for an incentive award to the Class Representative. At that hearing, the Court will be available to hear any objections and arguments concerning the fairness of the Settlement.

    The hearing may be postponed to a different date or time without notice, so it is a good idea to check for updates on this website or calling 1-833-900-1639. If, however, you timely object to the Settlement and advised the Court that you intend to appear and speak at the Final Approval Hearing, you will receive notice of any change in the date of the Final Approval Hearing.

  • No. Class Counsel will answer any questions the Court may have. But, you are welcome to come at your own expense. If you send an objection or comment, you don’t have to come to Court to talk about it. As long as you file and mail your written objection on time, the Court will consider it. You may also pay another lawyer to attend, but it’s not required.

  • Yes. You may ask the Court for permission to speak at the Fairness Hearing. To do so, you must include in your letter or brief objecting to the settlement a statement saying that it is your “Notice of Intent to Appear in Kokoszki v. Playboy Enterprises, Inc., Case No. 2:19-cv-10302-BAF-RSW.” It must include your name, address, telephone number and signature as well as the name and address of your lawyer, if one is appearing for you. Your objection and notice of intent to appear must be filed with the Court and postmarked no later than July 24, 2020 and be sent to the addresses listed in Question 16.

  • The Notice summarizes the Settlement, more details are in the Settlement Agreement. You may also write with questions to Playboy Magazine Settlement, c/o JND Legal Administration, PO Box 91350, Seattle, WA 98111. You can call the Settlement Administrator at 1-833-900-1639 or Class Counsel at (646) 837-7150, if you have any questions. Before doing so, however, please read the full Notice carefully. You may also find additional information elsewhere on this case website.

For More Information

Visit this website often to get the most up-to-date information.

Mail

Playboy Magazine Settlement
c/o JND Legal Administration
PO Box 91350
Seattle, WA 98111