SAN FRANCISCO – The U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California approved a “judgment distribution plan” in a class action breach of contract lawsuit filed against Safeway Inc., according to an Aug. 23 order.
The court said it entered a $42.32 million judgment Nov. 30, 2015, in the case filed by lead plaintiff Michael Rodman. In the lawsuit, Rodman alleged although Safeway promised to charge the same price for groceries delivered to customers, it charged more for those items than they cost when purchased in an actual Safeway store.
The class members include anyone in the United States who signed up to buy groceries on Safeway.com before Nov. 15, 2011, as well as those who bought groceries from the store online “subject to the price markup implemented on or about April 12, 2010.”
In all, the court said, 297,822 consumers are part of the class.
According to the order, Safeway put the judgment amount in a distribution fund held at Huntington National Bank on Dec. 15, 2017.
Under the plan for distribution of the judgment amount, the court said “class members will receive checks based on their pro rata share of the judgment available for distribution and at least three reminders to cash their checks within 90 days of the mailing date.”
Unclaimed funds will be distributed first to class members who cashed the initial distribution checks. Any funds remaining after the second distribution to class members will go to Meals on Wheels.
Also, U.S. District Judge Jon Tigar ordered Safeway to pay 20 percent of the plaintiffs’ attorney fees, with those payments to be made from a common fund established for the trial attorneys. A total of $296,442 from a fund established for reimbursement of expenses also will be earmarked for paying the plaintiffs’ suit-related expenses.
Tigar also awarded Rodman a $5,000 incentive award.