Kiran Kumar Chandra Shekar v. Accurate Background, LLC

No. 2:17-cv-00585-LA in THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT EASTERN DISTRICT OF WISCONSIN MILWAUKEE DIVISION

The notice sent to you is of a settlement of a class action lawsuit.
The notice sent to you is not of a lawsuit against you.

Class members are entitled to compensation as a result of the settlement in the class action lawsuit captioned:

Kiran Kumar Chandra Shekar v. Accurate Background, LLC
No. 2:17-cv-00585-LA (E.D. Wis.)

A federal court authorized the notice sent to you.
This is not a solicitation from a lawyer.

Please read the notice sent to you carefully.
It explains your rights and options to participate in a class action settlement.

What are your legal rights and options?

DO NOTHING:

If you do nothing, you will receive a settlement award and certain other benefits and will release any claim(s) that you have against Defendant related to this case.

EXCLUDE YOURSELF:

If you exclude yourself from the settlement, you will not receive a settlement award or other benefits, and you will not release any claims you may have against Defendant.

OBJECT:

You may object to the settlement.

 

 

  1. Why is this notice available?

    1. The notice sent to you is of a proposed settlement in a class action lawsuit. The settlement would resolve the lawsuit, which Kiran Kumar Chandra Shekar (“Shekar”) filed against Accurate Background, LLC (“Defendant”). Please read this notice carefully. It explains the lawsuit, the settlement and your legal rights, including the process for receiving a settlement check and other benefits, excluding yourself from the settlement or objecting to the settlement.

  2. What is this lawsuit about?

    1. Shekar filed this lawsuit against Defendant, alleging that Defendant violated the federal Fair Credit Reporting Act (“FCRA”) by failing to either: (1) notify the consumer of the fact that adverse public record information was being reported at the time the public record information was reported to the user of the consumer report, together with the name and address of the person to whom such information was being reported; or (2) maintain strict procedures designed to insure that whenever public record information that is likely to have an adverse effect on a consumer’s ability to obtain employment is reported, that information is complete and up-to-date.

  3. Why is this a class action?

    1. In a class action, one or more people called “class representatives” file a lawsuit on behalf of people who have similar claims. All of these people together are a “class” or “class members.” The Court accordingly resolves claims for all class members, except for those who exclude themselves from the class.

  4. Why is there a settlement?

    1. Shekar, on the one hand, and Defendant, on the other, have agreed to settle the lawsuit to avoid the time, risk and expense associated with it, and to achieve a final resolution of the disputed claims. Defendant denies any wrongdoing whatsoever, denies any liability under the FCRA, and denies that class certification would have been appropriate if this case had not been resolved. Under the settlement, participating class members will obtain a payment in settlement of the claims raised in the lawsuit. Shekar and his attorneys think the settlement is best for all class members.

  5. How do you know if your claims are included in the settlement?

    1. This settlement resolves claims on behalf of the following class:

      During the period beginning April 25, 2015 and continuing to November 15, 2018, all natural persons residing in the United States and its Territories: (i) about whom Defendant furnished a consumer report for employment purposes, (ii) whose report contained one or more items of criminal record information, (iii) to whom Defendant did not send any notice under FCRA section 1681k(a)(1) at the time it furnished the report, (iv) who disputed the description of the charge level of the criminal record included on the report, and (v) whose disputes resulted in a correction to the description of the charge level.

       

  6. What does the settlement provide?

    1. Defendant will establish a settlement fund in the amount of $474,200. Out of the settlement fund, Defendant will pay:

      a. Compensation to Settlement Class Members of approximately $300 each;
      b. A Service Award to the Class Representative of $1,500, subject to the Court’s approval;
      c. 
      Notice and Administration Costs incurred by Class Counsel, estimated to be $11,500;
      d. 
      An award of attorneys’ fees in the amount of $314,000, subject to the Court’s approval;
      e. 
      Costs and expenses incurred in litigating this matter, not to exceed $41,000, subject to the Court’s approval; and
      f. 
      An individual settlement payment to Shekar in the amount of $28,500, subject to the Court’s approval.

      Class Counsel will pay the cost of settlement notice and administration. Class Counsel estimates that the amount of each Class Member Payment will be approximately $300.00. Any remaining monies from uncashed payments will be donated to a cy pres recipient.

  7. How can you get a payment?

    1. Unless you opt out of the settlement, you will receive a payment.

  8. When will you be paid?

    1. If the Court grants final approval of the settlement, settlement checks will be mailed to class members no later than 45 days after the judgment in the lawsuit becomes final. If there is an appeal of the settlement, payment may be delayed.

  9. What rights are you giving up in this settlement?

    1. Unless you exclude yourself from the settlement, you will be considered a Settlement Class Member, which means you give up your right to sue or continue a lawsuit against Defendant over the released claims. This is called a “release.” Unless you formally exclude yourself from the settlement, you will release your claims against Defendant.

      For more information on the release, released parties and released claims, you may obtain a copy of the class action settlement agreement from the Important Court Documents tab.

  10. How can you exclude yourself from the settlement?

    1. You may exclude yourself from the settlement, in which case you will not receive a payment. If you wish to exclude yourself from the settlement, you must mail a written request for exclusion to the settlement administrator, at the addresses set forth below, postmarked by March 132021. You must include in your request for exclusion your:

      a. Full name;
      b. Address;
      c. Last 4 of SSN; and
      d. A clear and unambiguous statement that you wish to be excluded from the settlement, such as “I request to be excluded from the settlement in the Shekar action.”

       

      You must sign the request personally. If any person signs on your behalf, that person must attach a copy of a power of attorney or other official document authorizing that signature.

      Opt Out Requests – Shekar v. Accurate Background
      c/o Settlement Administrator
      PO Box 23648
      Jacksonville, FL 32249


      If you wish to revoke your previously sent statement of Exclusion/Opt-out, please send a written statement of revocation to [email protected] or the address above by May 14, 2021.

  11. When and where will the Court decide whether to approve the settlement?

    1. The Court will hold a final fairness hearing on May 28, 2021, at 11:15 am. The hearing will take place in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin, 517 E. Wisconsin Avenue, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, before the Honorable Lynn Adelman. At the final fairness hearing, the Court will consider whether the settlement is fair, reasonable, and adequate and, if so, whether it should be granted final approval. The Court will also hear objections to the settlement, if any. The Court may make a decision at that time, postpone a decision or continue the hearing.

  12. Do you have to attend the hearing?

    1. No. You are not required to attend the hearing. But you are welcome to attend the hearing at your own expense. You cannot speak at the hearing if you have excluded yourself from the class settlement. Once you have excluded yourself, the class settlement does not affect your legal rights.

  13. What if you want to object to the settlement?

    1. If you do not exclude yourself from the settlement, you can object to the settlement if you do not believe it is fair, reasonable, and adequate. If you wish to object, you must mail a written notice of objection, postmarked by March 13, 2021, to Class Counsel, Defendant’s attorneys, and to the Court, at the following addresses:

      Class Counsel:
      Francis Mailman Soumilas, P.C.
      James A. Francis
      John Soumilas
      Jordan M. Sartell
      1600 Market Street, Suite 2510
      Philadelphia, PA 19103

      SmithMarco, P.C.
      Larry P. Smith
      55 W. Monroe St., Suite 1200
      Chicago, IL 60603

      Defendant’s Counsel:
      Seyfarth Shaw LLP
      Pamela Q. Devata
      John W. Drury
      233 South Wacker Drive
      Suite 8000
      Chicago, IL 60606

      Court:
      U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin
      517 E. Wisconsin Avenue
      Room 364
      Milwaukee, WI 53202

       

      You must include in your objection your:

      a. Full name;
      b. Address;
      c. A statement of the specific objection(s);
      d. The grounds for objection(s);and
      e. A statement noting whether you intend to appear a the fairness hearing.

       

  14. By when must you enter an appearance?

    1. Any class member who objects to the settlement and wishes to enter an appearance must do so by May 14, 2021. To enter an appearance, you must file with the Clerk of the Court a written notice of your appearance and you must serve a copy of that notice, by U.S. mail or hand-delivery, upon Class Counsel and Defendant’s attorneys, at the above addresses.

  15. What will happen if the Court does not approve the settlement?

    1. If the Court does not finally approve the settlement or if it finally approves the settlement and the approval is reversed on appeal, or if the settlement does not become final for some other reason, you will receive no benefits and the lawsuit will continue.

  16. Who are the attorneys for Shekar?

    1. Shekar’s attorneys are:

      James A. Francis
      John Soumilas
      Jordan M. Sartell
      Francis Mailman Soumilas, P.C.
      1600 Market Street, Suite 2510
      Philadelphia, PA 19103
      Tel: (215) 735-8600
      Fax: (215) 940-8000

      Larry P. Smith
      SmithMarco, P.C.
      55 W. Monroe St., Suite 1200
      Chicago, IL 60603
      Tel: (312) 324-3532
      Fax: (888) 418-1277

       

       

       

       

       

       

       

      The Court has appointed these attorneys to act as Class Counsel. You do not have to pay Class Counsel. If you want to be represented by your own lawyer, and have that lawyer appear in Court for you in this case, you must hire one at your own expense.

  17. Who are Defendant’s attorneys?

    1. Defendant’s attorneys are:

      Pamela Q. Devata
      John W. Drury
      Seyfarth Shaw LLP
      233 South Wacker Drive, Suite 8000
      Chicago, IL 60606
      Tel: (312) 460-5000
      Fax: (312) 460-7000

  18. Where can you get additional information?

    1. The notice sent to you  is only a summary of the settlement. All documents filed with the Court, including the full class action settlement agreement, may be reviewed or copied at the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin. In addition, pertinent case materials are available at the Important Court Documents tab.

      If you would like additional information about this matter, please contact:

      Shekar v. Accurate Background, LLC -- Class Counsel
      c/o Francis Mailman Soumilas, P.C.
      1600 Market Street, Suite 2510
      Philadelphia, PA 19103
      Tel: (215) 735-8600
      Fax: (215) 940-8000

      Please do not call the Judge about this case. Neither the Judge, nor the Clerk of Court, will be able to give you advice about this case. Furthermore, neither Defendant nor Defendant’s attorneys represent you, and they cannot give you legal advice.