|By Marketwired .||
|March 8, 2011 07:00 AM EST||
LOS ANGELES, CA -- (Marketwire) -- 03/08/11 -- The Superior Court has approved a settlement agreement in a class-action lawsuit alleging Amway Corporation, a Delaware corporation, and its related companies Quixtar Inc., a Virginia corporation, and Alticor Inc., a Michigan corporation, sold and marketed gift cards that contained a notation instructing consumers to "redeem before" a certain date, which plaintiffs contended violated numerous state laws prohibiting or restricting the expiration of gift cards. The settlement provides that consumers will soon be able to redeem or replace more than $20 million worth of expired gift cards.
In Adell v. Quixtar Inc. et al., plaintiffs alleged that as a result of Amway's improper placement of a "redeem before" date on its gift cards, many consumers believed their cards had expired and either disposed of them, or never redeemed them for merchandise. Through a sales force of Independent Business Owners ("IBOs"), Amway marketed and sold various categories of "Ribbon Gift Cards" throughout the United States. Amway has denied that its use of "redeem before" dates constituted expiration dates in violation of any state law.
"Amway received millions of dollars from consumers for gift cards that were never redeemed and that contained 'redeem before' dates that have passed," said James Kawahito, class co-counsel of Kawahito, Shraga & Westrick LLP (Los Angeles). "In California and many other states, laws designed to protect consumers make it illegal for gift cards to contain any expiration date."
After more than two years of litigation, Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Anthony Mohr granted preliminary approval of the settlement on February 16, 2011. Class-action notices informing consumers they can replace expired or discarded Amway gift cards by visiting www.giftcardsettlement.com will be sent out by April 10, 2011. Consumers will have until June 20, 2011 to obtain a new card.
"We are extremely pleased that Amway will no longer be placing 'redeem before' dates on its gift cards," said Lisa Brant, class co-counsel, Brant Law Offices, APC (San Diego). "Now our goal is to get the word out to as many consumers as possible to ensure they are aware of their ability to redeem or replace their gift cards, even if they have already thrown them away."
Additional Settlement Benefits to Consumers Include:
- Class members will have the opportunity to redeem expired gift cards or exchange gift cards for new cards that do not have expiration dates.
- Class members who discarded expired gift cards can receive new gift cards.
- Amway will cease using the words "redeem before" preceding dates on gift cards or any language that specifies a particular date or time period by which redemption must occur.
- Amway will make a $200,000 product donation to a charitable organization.
About Brant Law Offices, APC (San Diego)
Brant Law Offices is a litigation boutique dedicated to providing its clients with efficient, result-oriented representation of the highest caliber. Brant Law Offices specializes in a wide array of litigation areas, including consumer and employment class actions. For more information, please go to www.brant-law.com.
About Kawahito, Shraga & Westrick LLP (Los Angeles)
Since 2008, the law firm of Kawahito Shraga & Westrick LLP has obtained over $25 million in relief for consumers and employees in California and nationwide through class-action lawsuits. For more information, please go to www.kswlawyers.com.
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