Trepte v. Bionaire, Inc.
Bionaire Heater Settlement
Superior Court of California, County of Los Angeles, Case No. BC540110

Frequently Asked Questions

 
 

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  • You have been identified as a potential Class Member who may have purchased a Bionaire Ceramic Tower Heater that is covered by this Settlement. You have legal rights and options that you may exercise before the Court decides whether to approve the Settlement. The Notice has been approved by the Court and summarizes the proposed Settlement. For the precise terms and conditions of the Settlement, please review the Settlement Agreement and Release, available at the Important Documents page. Judge Amy D. Hogue of the Superior Court of California, County of Los Angeles, is overseeing this class action. The lawsuit is known as Trepte v. Bionaire, Inc., Case No. BC540110.

  • The lawsuit claimed that the Product at issue is defective and that if Plaintiff had known of the defect, she would not have purchased the Product or would have paid less for the Product than she did. Plaintiff alleged that normal, intended use of the Product — heating a space to a predetermined temperature within the normal operating range and maintaining that temperature — results in overheating. Defendant does not believe Plaintiff’s claims have merit and has denied and continues to deny any and all claims, including but not limited to claims of defect and/or allegations concerning the safety of the Product.

     
  • In a class action lawsuit, one or more people called Class Representatives sue on behalf of other people who have similar claims. The people together are a Class or Class Members. The people who sued — and all the Class Members like them — are called the Plaintiffs. The company they sued is called the Defendant. One court resolves the issues for everyone in the Class, except for those people who choose to exclude themselves from the Class.

  • The Court did not decide in favor of Plaintiff or Defendant. Instead, both sides agreed to a settlement. That way, they avoid the risk and cost of a trial, and the people affected will get compensation. The Parties believe that the proposed Settlement is fair, reasonable, and adequate.

     
  • The Court decided that everyone who fits this description is a Class Member: All persons within the State of California who purchased a new Bionaire BCH9208 Ceramic Tower Heater for their own use and not for resale at any time since March 20, 2010.

    Excluded from the Class are Defendant; Defendant’s affiliates, subsidiaries, or co-conspirators; employees of Defendant, including its officers and directors; the Court to which this case is assigned; and any persons who have already returned and have been refunded for their heater.

     
  • If you are still unsure whether you are included, you can call or email the Claims Administrator at info@HeaterSettlement.com or 1-833-759-2977.

     
  • The Settlement provides two benefit options for Class Members. The first option provides a $25.00 cash refund to any Class Member who submits a timely Claim Form and both cuts and returns the power cord from the heater and provides a photograph of the heater from which the power cord was cut. The Claims Administrator will provide you with a free pre-paid mailing label and envelope to return the cord after you submit your Claim Form. Proof of purchase is also required unless you purchased the heater from Costco.

    For Class Members who do not wish to cut the power cord from their heater or no longer have the heater in their possession, the second option provides a $12.50 cash refund or $17.50 purchase credit to any Class Member who submits a timely Claim Form. Proof of purchase is required unless you are a verified purchaser of the heater from Costco. The purchase credit may be applied toward new purchases from www.holmesproducts.com and will be valid for one hundred eighty (180) days from the date of issuance.

    To qualify for payment, you must submit a Claim Form. You may submit a Claim Form online here. If you are unable to complete the online form, you may download a Claim Form from the Important Documents page or request that one be mailed to you by calling the Claims Administrator toll-free at 1 833-759-2977 or emailing info@HeaterSettlement.com. Online Claim Forms must be submitted on or before March 4, 2020. If you submit a Claim Form by mail, it must be postmarked or on before March 4, 2020.

  • The Court will hold a Final Approval Hearing on June 3, 2020 to decide whether to approve the Settlement. If the Court approves the Settlement after that, there may be appeals. Note that the Court may change the Final Approval Hearing date without further notice so please check this website for updates. It’s always uncertain whether those appeals can be resolved, and resolving them can take time, perhaps more than a year. Please be patient.

     
  • 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 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. If you sign the Claim Form, you will agree to a release of claims which describes exactly the legal claims that you give up if you get settlement benefits. The Release is defined and detailed in the Settlement Agreement, which is available at the Important Documents page.

    The release provided by the Amended Settlement Agreement provides for the following:

    Release as to All Class Members. By this Settlement Agreement and the following Release, Defendant and Released Parties are released from any and all claims or causes of action that were, or could have been, asserted by the Plaintiff or any Class Members against them regarding the Product as alleged in the Third Amended Complaint or that could have been alleged in the Third Amended Complaint based on facts pled by Plaintiff. This Settlement Agreement does not affect the rights of Class Members who timely and properly request exclusion from the Settlement Agreement, nor does this Settlement Agreement release claims for personal injury, personal and/or real property, and/or claims for subrogation. Upon entry of the Judgment, Class Members shall waive and forfeit, and be deemed to have fully, finally and forever released and discharged against all Released Parties and all Released Claims (as defined herein).

    Upon issuance of the Final Approval Order: (i) the Settlement Agreement shall be the exclusive remedy for any and all Class Members, except those who have opted out in accordance with the terms and provisions hereof; (ii) Defendant and Released Parties shall not be subject to liability or expense of any kind to any Class Member(s) for reasons related to the Litigation except as set forth herein; and (iii) Class Members shall be permanently barred from initiating, asserting, or prosecuting any and all released claims against Defendant and Released Parties. Pursuant to California Rule of Court 3.769(h), the Court shall enter judgment in the action, but will not enter a dismissal of the claims.

  • Any Class Member who wants to be excluded from the Class must submit a Request for Exclusion in writing to the Claims Administrator at the address provided below. Your request must be postmarked on or before March 4, 2020 and must include your full name and current address as well as a specific statement of your desire to be excluded from the Settlement and from the Class. If you do not comply with these requirements, you will be bound by the terms of the Settlement. Any Class Member who submits a timely Request for Exclusion shall be deemed to have waived any rights or benefits under the Settlement Agreement.

    Heater Settlement
    c/o JND Legal Administration
    PO Box 91048
    Seattle, WA 98111-9148

  • No. Unless you exclude yourself, you will be bound by the Final Order and Judgment, and you give up the right to sue Defendant for the claims that this settlement resolves. If you have a pending lawsuit, speak to your lawyer in that lawsuit immediately. You must exclude yourself from the Class to continue your own lawsuit.

  • No. If you exclude yourself, do not submit a Claim Form to ask for any compensation. But, you may sue, continue to sue, or be part of a different lawsuit against Defendant.

  • The Court has appointed the law firms of Pearson, Simon & Warshaw, LLP and Perona, Langer, Beck, Serbin and Harrison, LLP to represent you and other Class Members. Together, the 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.

    You may contact one of the following attorneys appointed by the Court to serve as Class Counsel:

    Daniel L. Warshaw
    Michael H. Pearson
    Pearson, Simon & Warshaw, LLP
    15165 Ventura Blvd, Suite 400
    Sherman Oaks, CA 91403
    Telephone: (818) 788-8300
    E-Mail: heater@pswlaw.com

  • Class Counsel will ask the Court for attorneys’ fees up to $339,472.17 and expenses up to $138,027.83 and a payment up to $7,500 for the Class Representative. The Court may award less than these amounts. The fees and expenses that the Court approves will be paid by Defendant. The costs to administer the Settlement will also be paid by Defendant. Class Counsel’s Motion for Attorneys’ Fees and Costs will be available on the Important Documents page once it has been filed.

     
  • If you are a Class Member, you can object to the Settlement if you don’t like any part of it. You can ask the Court to deny approval by filing an objection. You can’t ask the Court to order a different Settlement; the Court can only approve or reject the Settlement. If the Court denies approval, no payments will be sent out, and the lawsuit will continue. If that is what you want to happen, you must object.

    Any objection to the proposed Settlement must be in writing. If you file a timely written objection, you may, but are not required to, appear at the Final Approval Hearing, either in person or through your own attorney. If you appear through your own attorney, you are responsible for hiring and paying that attorney. All written objections and supporting papers must be mailed to the Claims Administrator at the addresses provided below. Your objection must be filed on or before March 4, 2020.

    To state a valid objection to the Settlement, an objecting Class Member must provide the following information in their written objection:

    • Full name, current address, and telephone number of the objecting Class Member;
    • A statement of the specific position(s) the objector wishes to assert, including the factual and legal grounds for the position(s);
    • Copies of any documents the objector wishes to submit to support their position; and
    • Proof of purchase of the Product (if not purchased from Costco).

     

    Clerk of the Court
    Clerk of the Court
    Los Angeles County Superior Court
    Stanley Mosk Courthouse
    111 North Hill Street
    Los Angeles, CA 90012
     

    Claims Administrator
    Heater Settlement
    c/o JND Legal Administration
    PO Box 91048
    Seattle, WA 98111-9148

    Class Counsel
    Daniel L. Warshaw
    Pearson, Simon & Warshaw, LLP
    15165 Ventura Blvd, Suite 400
    Sherman Oaks, CA 91403
     

    Defendant's Counsel
    David J. O’Connell
    Goldberg Segalla
    222 West Adams Street, Suite 2250
    Chicago, IL 60606
     

    Any objecting Class Member may appear, in person or by counsel, at the Final Approval Hearing to show cause why the Settlement should not be approved as fair, adequate, and reasonable, or to object to any applications for the Class Representative Service Award or Class Counsels’ Fees and Expenses.

  • 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.

     
  • The Court will hold a Fairness Hearing at 11:00 a.m. on June 3, 2020, at the Los Angeles County Superior Court, Spring Street Courthouse, Department SSC 7, 312 North Spring Street, Los Angeles, California 90012. 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 Class Counsel. After the hearing, the Court will decide whether to approve the Settlement. We do not know how long these decisions will take. Note that the Court may change the Final Approval Hearing date without further notice so please check this website for updates.

  • 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, you don’t have to come to Court to talk about it. As long as you filed your written objection on time, the Court will consider it. You may also pay your own lawyer to attend, but it’s not necessary.

  • You may ask the Court for permission to speak at the Final Approval Hearing. You cannot speak at the hearing if you excluded yourself.

  • If you do nothing, you’ll get no compensation from the Settlement. And, 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.

  • This website summarizes the proposed Settlement. More details are in the Settlement Agreement and Release. You can get a copy of the Settlement Agreement and Release and other important case documents at the Important Documents page.

  • You can call toll-free 1-833-759-2977, email info@HeaterSettlement.com, or review this website, where you will find answers to common questions about the Settlement, an online Claim Form, and important documents related to the Settlement. You should check this website regularly for updates on the case.

    You may also contact one of the following attorneys appointed by the Court to serve as Class Counsel:

    Daniel L. Warshaw
    Michael H. Pearson
    Pearson, Simon & Warshaw, LLP
    15165 Ventura Blvd, Suite 400
    Sherman Oaks, CA 91403
    Telephone: (818) 788-8300
    E-Mail: heater@pswlaw.com

     

For More Information

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

Mail
Heater Settlement
c/o JND Legal Administration
PO Box 91048
Seattle, WA 98111-9148