DWAYNE BALLARD v THE KENAN ADVANTAGE GROUP, INC., et al.

Case No. 5:20-cv-1042 in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Ohio, Eastern Division

  1. Why did I get this notice?

    1. Adverse Class:

      You received a notice because the records of KAG show that you applied for a company driver position at KAG and KAG may have denied you employment based in whole or in part on a background check or other consumer report between October 17, 2016 and January 31, 2019.

      The Court sent you this notice because you have a right to know about a proposed settlement of a Class Action lawsuit, and about your options, before the Court decides whether to approve this Settlement. If the Court approves the Settlement and after objections and appeals are resolved, a settlement administrator will distribute the benefits the Settlement allows.

      This notice explains the lawsuit, the settlement, your legal rights, what benefits are available, who is eligible for them, and how to get them.

      The Court in charge of the case is the United States District Court for the Northern District of Ohio, and the case is known as Ballard v. The Kenan Advantage Group, Inc., Case No. 5:20-cv-01042-CEH. The person who sued is called the Plaintiff, and the company he sued, KAG, is called the Defendant.

      Disclosure Class:

      You received this notice because the records of KAG show you applied for a company driver position at KAG and that a background check or other consumer report was obtained about you sometime on or between October 17, 2016 and January 31, 2019.

      The Court sent you this notice because you have a right to know about a proposed settlement of a Class Action lawsuit, and about your options, before the Court decides whether to approve this Settlement. If the Court approves the Settlement and after objections and appeals are resolved, a settlement administrator will distribute the benefits the Settlement allows.

      This notice explains the lawsuit, the settlement, your legal rights, what benefits are available, who is eligible for them, and how to get them.

      The Court in charge of the case is the United States District Court for the Northern District of Ohio, and the case is known as Ballard v. The Kenan Advantage Group, Inc., Case No. 5:20-cv-01042-CEH. The person who sued is called the Plaintiff, and the company he sued, KAG, is called the Defendant.

  2. What is this lawsuit about?

    1. Adverse Class:

      This lawsuit alleges that KAG did not comply with the FCRA based on how it obtained and/or relied upon or used the consumer reports of job applicants. If you are a Class Member, KAG procured and/or relied upon or used your consumer report in connection with your application for employment with KAG. The suit alleges that KAG violated your rights under a federal law – the FCRA – based on how it procured and/or relied upon or used your consumer report in connection with your application for employment with KAG. KAG denies liability

      Disclosure Class:

      This lawsuit alleges that KAG did not comply with the FCRA in how it obtained and/or relied upon or used the consumer reports of job applicants. If you are a Class Member, KAG procured and/or relied upon or used your consumer report in connection with your application for employment with KAG. The suit alleges that KAG violated your rights under a federal law – the FCRA– based on how it procured and/or relied upon or used your consumer report in connection with your application for employment with KAG. KAG denies liability.

  3. Why is this lawsuit a class action?

    1. In a class action, one or more people called Class Representatives (in this case Dwayne Ballard), sue on behalf of people who have similar claims. Collectively these people are called 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 Magistrate Judge Carmen E. Henderson is in charge of this class action.

  4. Why is there a settlement?

    1. The Court did not decide in favor of the Plaintiff or KAG. The Plaintiff thinks he could have won at trial. KAG thinks the Plaintiff would not have won at trial. But there was no trial. Instead, both sides agreed to a settlement. That way, they avoid the cost of a trial and the people affected will get compensation. The Plaintiff and the Plaintiff’s 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 a member of this Settlement Class and are affected by the settlement because you applied for employment with KAG and/or KAG obtained and/or relied upon or used your consumer report on or after October 17, 2016 through January 31, 2019 (“Class Period”).

      Specifically, for the purposes of settlement only, the Court has provisionally certified two Classes defined as follows:

      1.    Disclosure Class:

      All persons residing in the United States: (1) who applied for a company driver position with Defendant described by 15 U.S.C. § 1681b(b)(2)(C) during the Class Period; (2) about whom Defendant procured a consumer report; and (3) whom Defendant did not hire.

      2.    Adverse Action Class:

      All persons residing in the United States: (1) who are members of the Disclosure Class; and (2) who are listed on KAG’s Tenstreet tracking notes with at least one reference to “MVR,” “DAC,” “Speed” or “Fals.”

  6. What does the settlement provide?

    1. KAG has agreed to pay up to a maximum possible amount of $938,068.00 to settle all claims presented by this lawsuit. Included in this total Settlement Amount is a “Common Fund” of up to a maximum possible amount of $938,068.00, which is to be divided among two different groups of people:

      Disclosure Class Adverse Action Class
      $497,568.00 Up to $430,500.00

       

  7. What is the amount of my payment?

    1. Adverse Class:

      You are a member of the Disclosure Class and entitled to a gross amount of $48 (less settlement administration costs, attorney’s fees and litigation expenses, and a service award for the Plaintiff). The Parties anticipate that the net recovery for each Disclosure Class Member will be approximately $29 after settlement administration costs, attorney’s fees and litigation expenses, and a service award for Plaintiff.

      Additionally, KAG’s records indicate that you are also a member of the Adverse Action Class, which entitles you to an additional amount of up to $273.85 if you submit a valid claim form.

      Disclosure Class:

      You are a member of the Disclosure Class and entitled to a gross amount of $48 (less settlement administration costs, attorney’s fees and litigation expenses, and a service award for the Plaintiff). The Parties anticipate that the net recovery for each Disclosure Class Member will be approximately $29 after settlement administration costs, attorney’s fees and litigation expenses, and a service award for Plaintiff.

  8. How can I get a payment?

    1. Adverse Class:

      If you do nothing, you will automatically receive payment for the Disclosure Class. Since you are also a member of the Adverse Action Class, you will need to submit a valid Claim Form to receive the additional payment. You must submit your Claim Form by November 14, 2021.

      Your Claim Form is included with this Notice. Your Claim Form may be submitted electronically or via electronic or regular mail.

      Online: To submit your Claim Form online, please visit www.KAGClassAction.com and submit your Claim Form by 11:59 Eastern Time on November 14, 2021.

      By Email: To submit your Claim Form by email, please email your completed Claim Form to [email protected] by 11:59 Eastern Time on November 14, 2021.

      By Mail: To submit your Claim Form by mail, please enclose your completed Claim Form in an envelope postmarked (or equivalent) to the Settlement Administrator at the address below by or before November 14, 2021:

      KAG Class Action
      c/o Settlement Administrator
      PO Box 23680
      Jacksonville, FL 32241

      If you elect to submit your Claim Form by mail, you are responsible for paying your own postage.

      Disclosure Class:

      If you do nothing, you will automatically receive payment by mail to your address on file. You do not need to do anything to receive your settlement payment. If the settlement is approved, the Settlement Administrator will mail a check to your address on file. To make sure the Settlement Administrator has your correct address on file, please visit https://www.kagclassaction.com/page/update-address or call (866) 294-8988. If you move or your address changes for any reason, please contact the Settlement Administrator at (866) 294-8988 to update your address.  You must cash your check within 60 days or your settlement payment will be forfeited.

  9. When would I get my payment?

    1. The Court will hold a hearing on March 1, 2022 at 10:00 AM, to decide whether to approve the settlement. If the Court approves the settlement after that, there may be appeals. It’s always uncertain whether these appeals can be resolved, and resolving them can take time, perhaps more than a year. Everyone will be informed of the progress of the settlement. Please be patient.

      If the settlement is approved, you will receive your settlement payment by check to your address on file. To make sure the Settlement Administrator has your correct address on file, please call (866) 294-8988. If you move or your address changes for any reason, please contact the Settlement Administrator at (866) 294-8988 to update your address. You must cash your check within 60 days or your settlement payment will be forfeit.

  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 KAG 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 electronic or regular mail saying that you want to be excluded from Ballard v. KAG. Be sure to include your name, address, telephone number, and your signature. You must mail your exclusion request postmarked no later than November 14, 2021, to: KAG Class Action, c/o Settlement Administrator, PO Box 23680, Jacksonville, FL 32241. You are responsible for paying your own postage. You may exclude yourself by sending an email to KAG Class Action at [email protected]. Your exclusion must be emailed by November 14, 2021.

      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) KAG in the future.

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

    1. No. Unless you exclude yourself, you give up any right to sue KAG 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 14, 2021.

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

    1. No. If you exclude yourself, you will not receive any money from this settlement.

  14. Do I have a lawyer in this case?

    1. The Court appointed the law firms of O’Toole McLaughlin Dooley & Pecora, Co. LPA and CounselOne P.C., to represent you and other Class Members. These lawyers are called Class Counsel. You will not be charged directly 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 one-third of the Common Fund (approximately $312,689.00) for attorney’s fees incurred to prosecute the case. The fees would compensate Class Counsel for investigating the facts, litigating the case, and negotiating the settlement. Class Counsel will also ask the Court to approve payment of its litigation expenses and a service award payment up to $10,000 to Dwayne Ballard for his service as Class Representative. These expenses will be paid from the Common Fund.

  16. How do I tell the Court that I do not 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 or email saying that you object to Ballard v. KAG. Be sure to include your name, address, telephone number, email address, your signature, and the reasons you object to the settlement. Mail or email the objection to the Settlement Administrator, KAG Class Action, c/o Settlement Administrator, PO Box 23680, Jacksonville, FL 32241 no later than November 14, 2021.

  17. What is the difference between objecting and excluding?

    1. 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 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 to approve the settlement?

    1. The Court will hold a Fairness Hearing on March 1, 2022, at 10:00 AM, at the United States District Court for the Northern District of Ohio, Thomas D. Lambros Federal Building & U.S. Courthouse, 125 Market Street, Room 242, Youngstown, Ohio 44503. At this hearing the Court will consider whether the settlement is fair, reasonable, and adequate. If there are objections, the Court will consider them. The Court will listen to people who have asked to speak at the hearing. The Court may also decide how much to pay to Class Counsel. 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 the Court 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 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.

  20. May I speak at the hearing?

    1. You may ask the Court for permission to speak at the Fairness Hearing. To do so, you must send a letter saying that it is your “Notice of Intention to Appear in Ballard v. KAG”. Be sure to include your name, address, telephone number, and your signature. Your Notice of Intention to Appear must be postmarked no later than November 14, 2021 and be sent to the Clerk of the Court at the address listed in Question 18 above. You cannot speak at the hearing if you excluded yourself.

  21. What happens if I do nothing at all?

    1. Adverse Class:

      If you do nothing, you will receive only one of the payments listed above, and you won’t be able to start a lawsuit, continue with a lawsuit, or be part of any other lawsuit against KAG about the legal issues in this case, ever again. You must submit a valid claim form to receive both payments listed above.

      Disclosure Class:

      If you do nothing, you will receive the payment listed above, and you won’t be able to start a lawsuit, continue with a lawsuit, or be part of any other lawsuit against KAG about the legal issues in this case, ever again.

  22. Are there more details about the settlement?

    1. This notice summarizes the proposed settlement. More details are in a Stipulation of Settlement. You can get a copy of the Stipulation of Settlement by writing to the Settlement Administrator at KAG Class Action, c/o Settlement Administrator, PO Box 23680, Jacksonville, FL 32241 or by visiting Important Court Documents.

  23. How do I get more information?

    1. You can call (866) 294-8988 toll free; write to KAG Class Action, ATTN: Settlement Administrator, PO Box 23680, Jacksonville, FL 32241; or visit the website at www.KAGClassAction.com where you will find answers to common questions about the settlement, plus other information to help you determine whether you are a Class Member and whether you are eligible for a payment.