Saturday, September 23, 2023
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Just $1.8 Million to Settle Southwest Receipt Case

SAN FRANCISCO (CN) - Southwest Airlines can pay $1.8 million to settle claims over receipts that showed the credit and debit card information of its customers, a federal judge ruled.

U.S. District Judge Charles Breyer gave preliminary approval on Friday to the settlement of the consolidated class actions filed by Robert Miller and Jamie Lumos.

Miller had filed suit in Alameda County Superior Court last year, but the counts alleging violations of the Fair Credit Reporting Act gave the case federal jurisdiction.

In his complaint, Miller claimed that Southwest Airlines printed the expiration date of customers' credit and debit cards on receipts printed at airport ticket counters and cargo counters between Oct. 17, 2007, and Jan. 25, 2013.

Southwest maintains that it did nothing wrong, but both parties told the court that they reached a settlement to avoid the costs of trial.

The deal requires Southwest to create a $1.8 million settlement fund that will be divided equally among the class members. Deduction of fees and costs will leave about $1.1 million to divide among the class, and each individual can expect to receive between $25 and $200, according to the order.

Southwest must also get the email addresses of class members and give them to the settlement administrator, who has one month to email the class members notice of the settlement.

The agreement requires the settlement administrator to create a website that, among other things, summarizes the terms of the agreement and informs class members how to submit a claim. Those who want to participate must submit claims by Feb. 5, 2014, while those who wish to opt out of the agreement must fill out an opt-out form by that date, according to the settlement.

The deadline also applies to class members who object to any terms of the settlement.

Southwest must pony up $82,498 to pay for the settlement website, as well as publishing the notice of settlement twice, according to the agreement.

Judge Breyer will hold a final settlement approval hearing on March 14 "to consider the fairness, reasonableness, and adequacy of the proposed settlement as well as the award of costs, fees and incentive awards."

Miller was represented by Eric Grover with Keller Grover. Todd Carpenter of San Diego served as counsel for Lumos.

Colin Murray with Baker and McKenzie represented Southwest Airlines.

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