Habelito v. Guthy-Renker LLC

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. What is this class action about?
  2. Why is there a Settlement?
  3. Why did I receive an email notice or postcard?
  4. How do I know if I am a part of the Settlement?
  5. What if I did not receive an email or postcard but believe I am a Class Member?
  6. What do the terms of the Settlement provide?
  7. What am I giving up to stay in the Class and receive a benefit?
  8. How do I make a claim for cash?
  9. How do I make a claim for product?
  10. What are the product choices?
  11. What if I am not a Current Subscriber?
  12. How do I get out of the Settlement?
  13. How do I object to the Settlement?
  14. What is the difference between objecting and excluding?
  15. Do I have a lawyer in this case?
  16. When and where is the Fairness Hearing?
  17. Do I have to attend the Fairness Hearing?
  18. How do I get more information?
  19. When will I receive my settlement benefit?
  20. Why did I receive a merchandise certificate?
  21. How do I redeem the merchandise certificate?
  22. I did not file a claim or redeem a merchandise certificate. Why did I receive a product bundle from Guthy-Renker?
  1. What is this class action about?

    On April 27, 2015, the California Superior Court for the County of Los Angeles certified as a class action the lawsuit of Habelito v. Guthy-Renker LLC, Case No. BC499558 (the “Action”).  This means that the Plaintiff and Class Representative Jennifer Habelito (“Class Representative”), through the attorneys representing the class (“Class Counsel”), can pursue the certified claims on behalf of all Class Members.

    The Class Representative claims that Guthy-Renker LLC (“Guthy-Renker”) violated California Business & Professions Code §17600 et seq. by enrolling Class Members in automatic renewal billing for Proactiv products, allegedly without complying with the statute’s disclosure requirements and other requirements for automatic renewal billing practices.  The Class Representative also asserts related claims for violation of California’s Consumer Legal Remedies Act, Civil Code § 1750 et seq., violation of California’s Unfair Competition Law, Business & Professions Code § 17200, as well as fraud, negligence, and breach of contract.

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  2. Why is there a Settlement?

    Both sides want to avoid the costs and risk of further litigation and have agreed to the Settlement. 

    Guthy-Renker denies any wrongdoing, and contends that the disclosures for its Proactiv subscription program are compliant with California law and that its customers knowingly consented to join its subscription program.

    The Court has not decided that Guthy-Renker did anything wrong and has not issued any decisions on the merits of the case or made any determination as to whether either party’s contentions are valid.  The Court has merely decided that the lawsuit can proceed as a certified class action with respect to the Class Representative’s claims.

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  3. Why did I receive an email notice or postcard?

    If you have received notice about this class action via e-mail or by postcard, it is because records show that you purchased Proactiv products from Guthy-Renker and as a result of your initial purchase Guthy-Renker later charged you for and you received additional shipments beyond your initial purchase, during the time period at issue in this case.  The notice explains the lawsuit, the Settlement, your legal rights, the eligibility and availability of benefits and how to get them.   The Court ordered a notice to be sent to you because you have the right to know about this proposed Settlement of a class action lawsuit in which you may be a Class Member, and about your options, before the Court decides to approve the Settlement.

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  4. How do I know if I am a part of the Settlement?

    You are a part of the Settlement if, between January 22, 2009 and July 8, 2014, you were a California resident who purchased Proactiv products from Guthy-Renker and, as a result of that purchase, were automatically enrolled in Guthy-Renker’s automatic delivery and automatic renewal billing policy and charged for additional products and shipments beyond your initial purchase.

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  5. What if I did not receive an email or postcard but believe I am a Class Member?

    If you did not receive a notice via email or postcard but believe you may be a Class Member, contact Class Counsel, Wucetich & Korovilas LLP, 222 N. Sepulveda Blvd., Ste. 2000, El Segundo, CA 90245, (310) 335-2001.

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  6. What do the terms of the Settlement provide?

    Guthy-Renker has agreed to entry of a stipulated injunction requiring it to comply with the provisions of California Business & Professions Code § 17600 regarding automatic renewal billing, to the extent it may not have been in compliance, as alleged.  The full terms of the stipulated injunction can be reviewed in the Settlement Agreement, a copy of which is posted here.  Among other things, the stipulated injunction requires clear and conspicuous disclosures of Guthy-Renker’s automatic renewal billing policies, including on the terms and conditions page of its website, and requires consumers to check a box manifesting their assent to those terms during the ordering process.

    Guthy-Renker shall make available to Class Members up to $15,220,100 in cash on a claims-made basis.  Class Members may choose between a cash payment between $20 and $75 or product worth a minimum of $75 plus free shipping. Class Members who do not submit a claim for either cash or products, and who are current subscribers of Proactiv products, shall automatically receive a minimum $75 worth of product, plus free shipping.   Class Members who do not submit a claim for either cash or products, and who are not current subscribers of Proactiv products, shall automatically receive a merchandising certificate entitling the Class Member to redeem the merchandise certificate for a minimum $75 worth of product.

    The Settlement establishes a minimum $2,500,000 cash floor payment to Class Members and/or cy pres charities subject to the Court’s approval.  Specifically, if the amount of money paid to Class Members, based on claims submitted, is less than $2,500,000, even after adjusting each claimant’s amount up to $75, Guthy-Renker shall pay the difference between the $2,500,000 minimum and the amount paid to Class Members to the Consumer Federation of California and Public Counsel, subject to final allocation at the Fairness Hearing.

    Subject to Court approval, the Class Representative will be paid an enhancement of up to $10,000 for her services as Class Representative and her efforts in bringing the class action and Class Counsel will be paid up to $5,150,000 for their attorneys’ fees and reimbursement of costs.  The final decision regarding the amount of attorneys’ fees, costs, and enhancements that will be paid to Class Counsel and the Class Representative are subject to the discretion of the Court and the Court’s approval.

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  7. What am I giving up to stay in the Class and receive a benefit?

    If the Court approves the proposed Settlement, it will enter judgment pursuant to California Rule of Court 3.769(h). All Class Members who do not validly and timely request to be excluded from the proposed Settlement, and each of their respective successors, assigns, legatees, heirs, and personal representatives shall release and forever discharge Guthy-Renker and each of its parent, sister and subsidiary corporations, affiliated entities, predecessors, successors and assigns, partners, licensors, privies, and any of their present and former directors, officers, employees, shareholders, agents, representatives, attorneys, accountants, insurers, and all persons acting by, through, under or in concert with them, or any of them, from any and all manner of action, causes of action, claims, demands, rights, suits, obligations, debts, contracts, agreements, promises, liabilities, damages, charges, losses, costs, expenses, and attorneys’ fees, of any nature whatsoever, known or unknown, in law or equity, fixed or contingent, which they have or may have arising out of or relating to any of the acts, omissions or other conduct alleged in the Action including any and all violations of Cal. Bus. & Prof. Code § 17600 et seq. and related claims brought in the lawsuit regarding Guthy-Renker’s automatic renewal billing policies.

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  8. How do I make a claim for cash?

    To receive the $20 minimum to $75 maximum cash payment, you must submit a claim form no later than April 17, 2017.  

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  9. How do I make a claim for product?

    If you are a Current Subscriber of Proactiv skin care products and desire to receive a minimum of $75 worth of product instead of cash, you do not need to do anything.  Current Subscribers who do not submit a claim will automatically receive the minimum $75 worth of product.  Guthy-Renker may fulfill the $75 worth of product from any of the three possible bundles at its own discretion.  The three bundles are identified in Frequently Asked Question No. 10. If you would prefer to make a product selection yourself, you can do so by submitting a claim.

    If you are not a Current Subscriber of Proactiv skin care products and desire to receive a minimum $75 worth of product instead of cash, you must submit a claim form no later than April 17, 2017.  Otherwise, you will receive a merchandise certificate which you can later redeem for $75 worth of product.

    If you would like to receive product instead of a cash payment, you must submit a claim form no later than April 17, 2017.  

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  10. What are the product choices?

    Class Members who file claims electing to receive a minimum of $75 worth of product can choose one of three different bundles of product -- Sheer Cover Sun-Kissed Bronzing Materials and Trio of Brushes (Bundle No. 1); Meaningful Beauty Firming Serum and Travel Size Skin Brightening Decollete & Neck Treatment (Bundle No. 2); or Proactiv Redness Relief Serum and Eye Brightening Serum (Bundle No. 3).

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  11. What if I am not a Current Subscriber?

    If you were receiving automatic shipments of any of the Proactiv line of skin care products as of November 11, 2016, you would be considered a Current Subscriber.  If you are not a Current Subscriber of Proactiv skin care products and do nothing, you will receive a merchandise certificate entitling you to redeem the certificate for a minimum $75 worth of product.  If you prefer to receive cash, or if you prefer to receive product without the need to redeem a merchandise certificate, you must submit a claim no later than April 17, 2017.

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  12. How do I get out of the Settlement?

    You have the right to exclude yourself from the Class and the Settlement.  To exclude yourself from the Class, you must send a letter by U.S. Mail saying that you wish to do so.  The Request for Exclusion must state:
     
    “I request that I be excluded from the Settlement in Habelito v. Guthy-Renker LLC, Los Angeles Superior Court Case No. BC499558.  I understand that by requesting to be excluded from the Class, I will not receive any benefits under the Settlement.”

    You must also include: (1) the name of this Action (“Habelito v. Guthy-Renker LLC”); (2) your full name, current address, and telephone number; (3) your signature; and (4) the words “Request for Exclusion” at the top of the document.  Mail your Request for Exclusion to the Claims Administrator, postmarked no later than April 17, 2017, to the following address:

    Habelito v. Guthy-Renker LLC
    Claims Administrator
    c/o KCC Class Action Services, LLC
    P.O. Box 43460
    Providence, Rhode Island  02940-3460
     
    REQUESTS FOR EXCLUSION THAT ARE NOT POSTMARKED ON OR BEFORE APRIL 17, 2017 WILL NOT BE HONORED.

    You cannot exclude yourself by telephone or by email.  You cannot exclude yourself by mailing a request to any other location or after the April 17, 2017 deadline.  The letter must be signed by you.  You cannot exclude yourself by having an actual or purported agent or attorney acting on behalf of you or a group of Class Members sign the letter.

    If you timely and validly submit a Request for Exclusion from the Class, you will be excluded from the Class, you will not be bound by the judgment entered in this lawsuit, and you will not be precluded from otherwise prosecuting any individual claim, if timely, against Guthy-Renker based on the conduct complained of in this lawsuit.  However, should you not submit a timely and valid Request for Exclusion, you will be bound by the Settlement and will be barred from pursuing an individual claim.

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  13. How do I object to the Settlement?

    If you are a Class Member, you can object to the proposed Settlement if you do not think the proposed Settlement is fair, reasonable, or adequate.  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 stating that you object to the proposed Settlement.  You must include (1) the name of the this Action (“Habelito v. Guthy-Renker LLC”); (2) your full name, current address, and telephone number; (3) your signature; (4) the word “Objection” at the top of the document; and (5) the legal and factual arguments supporting the objection.

    Mail your Objection to the Claims Administrator, postmarked no later than April 17, 2017, to the following address:

    Habelito v. Guthy-Renker LLC
    Claims Administrator
    c/o KCC Class Action Services, LLC
    P.O. Box 43460
    Providence, Rhode Island  02940-3460

    If your objection is rejected, you will be bound by the final judgment just as if you had not objected.

    You may, but need not, enter an appearance through counsel of your choice.  If you do, you will be responsible for your own personal attorneys’ fees and costs.

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  14. What is the difference between objecting and excluding?

    Objecting is simply telling the Court that you don’t like something about the Settlement.  You can object only if you stay in the Class.  Excluding yourself is telling the Court that you do not want to be a part of the Class.  If you exclude yourself, you cannot object because the case no longer affects you. 

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  15. Do I have a lawyer in this case?

    The Court has appointed the law firm of Wucetich & Korovilas LLP to represent you and the Class.  These lawyers are called Class Counsel.  The firm's contact information is provided below in response to Frequently Asked Question No. 18. If you want to be represented by your own lawyer, you may hire one at your own expense. 

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  16. When and where is the Fairness Hearing?

    On May 16, 2017, at 9:00 a.m., a Fairness Hearing will be held on the fairness of the proposed Settlement. At the hearing, the Court will be available to hear any objections and arguments concerning the fairness of the proposed Settlement. The hearing will take place before Judge Ann I. Jones, in Department 308 of the Los Angeles Superior Court, located at 600 South Commonwealth Ave., Los Angeles, California 90005.

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  17. Do I have to attend the Fairness Hearing?

    You do not have to attend the hearing.  Class Counsel will answer questions the Court may have.  You are welcome, however, to come at your own expense.  If you submit a written objection, you do not have to come to Court to talk about it.  As long as you submitted your written objection on time, the Court will consider it.  You may also pay your own lawyer to attend, but it is not necessary.

    You may ask the Court for permission to speak at the Fairness Hearing.  To indicate that you would like to speak at the Fairness Hearing, it is requested that you send a letter stating you intend to appear at the Fairness Hearing.  You should include (1) the name of the Consumer Action (“Habelito v. Guthy-Renker LLC”); (2) your full name, current address, and telephone number; (3) your signature; (4) the words “Notice of Intention to Appear” at the top of the document; (5) the points you wish to speak about at the Fairness Hearing; and (6) the identity (name, address, and telephone number) of any lawyer who will speak on your behalf at the Fairness Hearing.

    Mail your Notice of Intention to Appear to the Claims Administrator, postmarked no later than April 17, 2017, to the following address:

    Habelito v. Guthy-Renker LLC
    Claims Administrator
    c/o KCC Class Action Services, LLC
    P.O. Box 43460
    Providence, Rhode Island  02940-3460

    You cannot speak at the hearing if you have excluded yourself from the Settlement.

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  18. How do I get more information?

    For additional information, you can review the Settlement Agreement and other important case documents here.  In order to see the complete file of the case, you may visit the office of Clerk of the Court, Central Civil West Courthouse, 600 South Commonwealth Avenue, Los Angeles, CA  90005.  The Clerk will make the file relating to this lawsuit available to you for inspection and copying at your own expense.  Please do not address any questions about the Settlement or the litigation to the Clerk of the Court or to the Judge. 

    You may also contact Plaintiff’s Counsel, Jason Wucetich and DImitri Korovilas, Wucetich & Korovilas LLP, 222 N. Sepulveda Blvd., Ste. 2000, El Segundo, California  90245, (310) 335-2001 or the Claims Administrator at (844) 531-5016 for more information.

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  19. When will I receive my settlement benefit?

    The process of distribution of settlement benefits commenced on July 7, 2017.  Regardless of whether you selected cash payment or a product bundle, please allow  at least four to six weeks for the delivery of your award.

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  20. Why did I receive a merchandise certificate?

    If you were a Class Member but did not file a claim for cash or porduct, you may have received a merchandise certificate either in post card or email form.  This certificate was sent pursuant to the terms of the Settlement Agreement.

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  21. How do I redeem the merchandise certificate?

    Certificates can only be redeemed on this website.  It is a straightforward process and takes just a few minutes to complete.  Simply click on the “Redeem Certificate” button in the top right-hand corner.  Enter your Class Member Number and Merchandise Voucher Number, update your contact information (if necessary) and select your product bundle.  Please allow at least four to six weeks for the delivery of your product bundle.  The merchandise certificate is valid until November 4, 2017.  It is non-transferable and cannot be redeemed for cash.  The certificate will not be replaced if it is lost, stolen, expired or damaged.

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  22. I did not file a claim or redeem a merchandise certificate. Why did I receive a product bundle from Guthy-Renker?

    If you did not file a claim or redeem a merchandise certificate, you may have still received a product bundle if you were a Current Subscriber.  A Current Subscriber is a Class Member who was continuing to receive shipments of any Proactiv line of skin care products as of November 2016, according to Guthy-Renker’s records.  Under the terms of the Settlement Agreement, Current Subscribers automatically receive $75 worth of product as selected by Guthy-Renker. 

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