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Commonly Asked Questions


What is the current status of the case?

Answer:

Pursuant to the Settlement Agreement, on March 16, 2018 the Settlement Administrator mailed 553,016 postcard checks to all eligible Settlement Class Members. You are an eligible Settlement Class Member if you cashed or deposited your Phase I and Phase II Distribution checks.  


These checks have an issue date of March 16, 2018 and will become void after 90 days, on June 14, 2018. If you received a postcard check from the Phase III Distribution, please cash or deposit it immediately.

If you need to request a Phase III check reissue for any reason, your check reissue request must be received by April 23rd, 2018. After this date, the Settlement Administrator will no longer accept check reissue requests for any reason.

How was my award calculated?

Answer:

Eligible Settlement Class Members who cashed or deposited their Phase I and Phase II Distribution checks were entitled to an equal pro rata percentage of the Net Settlement residual amount. 

I have not received a Settlement check yet. What is the status of my payment?

Answer:

The distribution of the Phase III Settlement payments occurred on March 16, 2018 by mailed postcard checks. All checks were mailed via the United States Postal Service (USPS), and should be delivered pursuant to their normal delivery times.

If you are a Settlement Class Member eligible to receive an award from the Settlement, and you have not received your Phase III award by March 30, 2018, you may request that your award be researched by writing to:

Sylvania Automotive Lighting Settlement
P.O. Box 1939
Faribault, MN 55021-7194

What is the timeframe to request a reissued check?

Answer:

If you need a Phase III check reissue for any reason, your check reissue request must be received by April 23, 2018. After this date, the Settlement Administrator will no longer accept check reissue requests for any reason. Please send your check reissue request to:

Sylvania Automotive Lighting Settlement
P.O. Box 1939
Faribault, MN 55021-7194

Note: Checks with an issue date prior to March 16, 2018 are no longer able to be reissued.

When will my Phase III check be reissued?

Answer:

Checks will be reissued within approximately 4-6 weeks after the Administrator receives and processes your written request. Your Phase III reissue request must be received by April 23, 2018. After this date, the Settlement Administrator will no longer accept check reissue requests for any reason.

How can I get a damaged or misplaced Phase III check replaced?

Answer:

If your Phase III check is damaged, or it has been misplaced, you may contact the Settlement Administrator to request a check reissue. Your reissue request must be received by April 23, 2018. After this date, the Settlement Administrator will no longer accept check reissue requests for any reason. Please request a check reissue by writing to:

Sylvania Automotive Lighting Settlement
P.O. Box 1939
Faribault, MN 55021-7194

The Settlement Administrator will review your record, verify that the original check has not been cashed, stop payment on the original check, and then reissue the check to you. Replacement checks will be issued within 4-6 weeks after the Administrator receives your request.


My name changed, because I got married/divorced/etc. Can I still cash/deposit the check?

Answer:

Yes. Please go to your financial institution first as they may cash the check if documentation regarding the status of your name is presented.

If your bank will not cash the check, please void it and return it to the Settlement Administrator, along with a letter of instruction and proof of your name change (e.g., a copy of your marriage certificate). Your reissue request must be received by April 23, 2018. After this date, the Settlement Administrator will no longer accept check reissue requests for any reason. Please send the voided check, written reissue request and any supporting documentation to:

Sylvania Automotive Lighting Settlement

P.O. Box 1939
Faribault, MN 55021-7194

I recently moved and believe the payment was mailed to my old address. Can you update my address and re-mail my check?

Answer:

Yes. Please send a letter to the Settlement Administrator requesting a check reissue, it must include your former and current mailing addresses. Mail your request to:

Sylvania Automotive Lighting Settlement
P.O. Box 1939
Faribault, MN 55021-7194

Your reissue request must be received by April 23, 2018. After this date, the Settlement Administrator will no longer accept check reissue requests for any reason.

The person listed on the check is deceased. What do I do?

Answer:

Please go to your financial institution first as they may cash the check if documentation regarding the status of the account holder and your status as the beneficiary/executor is presented.

If your bank will not cash the check, please void it and return it to the Settlement Administrator, along with a letter of instruction and proof of beneficiary/executor. This would include a copy of the death certificate. If you are listed as the surviving spouse on the Death Certificate, this is all the evidence the Settlement Administrator will need to reissue the check to you.

If you are NOT listed on the death certificate, please send a copy of the court documents that list you as the estate executor or equivalent.

Your reissue request must be received by April 23, 2018. After this date, the Settlement Administrator will no longer accept check reissue requests for any reason.

Please send the voided check, written request and any supporting documentation to:

Sylvania Automotive Lighting Settlement
P.O. Box 1939
Faribault, MN 55021-7194



The claimant is now under guardianship/has given me power of attorney, what do I do?

Answer:

Please go to your financial institution first as they may cash the check if documentation regarding the status of the claimant and your status as guardian/power of attorney is presented.

If your bank will not cash the check, please void it and return it to the Settlement Administrator, along with a letter of instruction and proof of guardianship/power of attorney. Your reissue request must be received by April 23, 2018. After this date, the Settlement Administrator will no longer accept check reissue requests for any reason.

Please send the voided check, written reissue request and any supporting documentation to:

Sylvania Automotive Lighting Settlement
P.O. Box 1939
Faribault, MN 55021-7194

Why is there a notice?

Answer:

A Court authorized this Notice because you have a right to know about a proposed Settlement of this class action lawsuit and about options before the Court decides whether to give final approval to the Settlement.  This Notice explains the lawsuit, the proposed Settlement, your legal rights and options, what benefits are available, who is eligible for them, and how to receive them.

Judge Madeline Cox Arleo, U.S.M.J., of the United States District Court for the District of New Jersey is overseeing this case.  This lawsuit is known as Chaudhri v. Osram Sylvania, Inc., Civil Action No. 2:11-cv-05504-SDW-MCA.  The people who sued are called the "Plaintiffs” or “Class Representatives.”  The “Defendant,” the party who is being sued, is Sylvania.  The Plaintiffs or Class Representatives and Defendants may be referred to collectively as “Parties.”

What is this lawsuit about?

Answer:

The lawsuit claims that Sylvania made misrepresentations regarding the performance of certain premium automotive lighting, including claims regarding brightness, road visibility, and life of the bulbs. Sylvania denies these claims and denies that it did anything wrong.

Why is this a class action?

Answer:

In a class action, one or more people called “class representatives” sue on behalf of themselves and other people with similar claims.  All of these people together are the “class” or “class members.”  In this case, the Class Representatives are Imran Chaudhri, Lee Kelly, Derek Hahn, David Christopher, Larry Byrd, Richard Smith and Deidra Ross.  In a class action, the Court resolves the legal issues, legal claims, and legal defenses for all class members in one lawsuit, except for individuals or entities who ask to be excluded from the class.

Why is there a Settlement?

Answer:

The Parties have reached a proposed Settlement to resolve this lawsuit.  The Court has not decided in favor of the Class Representatives or Sylvania, and there has been no trial.  If the Court grants final approval of the proposed Settlement, the Class Members may receive the Settlement benefits described in the question: "How much will my payment be?".  The Class Representatives and their attorneys believe that the proposed Settlement is in the best interests of the Class.

Who is included in the Settlement?

Answer:

If you received notice of the Settlement by a postcard addressed to you, then you are a Class Member.  But even if you did not receive a notice, you may be a Class Member, as described below.

The Settlement includes any person or entity that bought one or more of the Covered Products, other than for resale or distribution, in the United States (or any territory or possession) from September 22, 2005 to July 11, 2014.

The Covered Products are:

  • SilverStar ULTRA®, SilverStar®, XtraVision®, or Cool Blue® replacement headlight capsules; 
  • SilverStar®, XtraVision®, or Cool Blue® sealed beam headlights; and

  • SilverStar® fog or auxiliary lights.

The Settlement does not include: (1) Sylvania, (2) Sylvania’s current or former employees, officers, and directors, (3) Defense Counsel, and (4) the judge in the case (or any related case), and their immediate family members.

What if I am not sure whether I am included in the Settlement?

Answer:

If you are not sure whether you were included in the Settlement, you may review the long form notice located here. You may also write with questions to Sylvania Automotive Lighting Settlement, P.O. Box 1939, Faribault, MN 55021-7194 or email info@autolightclaims.com. 

What does the Settlement provide?

Answer:

The Settlement will create a $30 million Settlement Fund to pay eligible Class Members who were sent a postcard notice in the mail or submitted valid claims.  The cost to administer the Settlement, attorney fees and expenses and incentive awards to the Class Representatives will come out of this fund (see Question: "How will the lawyers be paid?").   And while Sylvania denies the claims in this case, it also has changed the packaging for the Covered Products to address the issues in this lawsuit, partly in response to and for the settlement of the claims made in this litigation. 

More details are in a document called the Settlement Agreement, located here.

How much was my payment?

Answer:

Eligible individuals have received:

 -a Phase I award amount of $11.70 mailed in August of 2015. (All claims are limited to a single purchase only. Payment is based on the number of eligible Claims); and

- a Phase II award amount of $9.24 mailed in June of 2017; and

-a Phase III award amount of $2.47 mailed in March of 2018. 

If there is any money remaining in the Settlement Fund (after paying all claims, attorneys’ fees and expenses, notice and administration costs, and incentive awards to Class Representatives) it may be used to make additional payments to Class Members who cashed and accepted their initial payments.

What am I giving up to stay in the Settlement Class?

Answer:

If the Settlement becomes final, you will give up your right to sue Sylvania for the claims being resolved by this proposed Settlement.  The specific claims you are giving up against Sylvania are described in Section XIII of the Settlement Agreement.  You will be “releasing” Sylvania and all related people as described in Section XIII of the Settlement Agreement.  The Settlement Agreement is available on the Court Document tab of this website.

The Settlement Agreement describes the released claims with specific descriptions, so read it carefully.  If you have any questions you can contact the law firms listed in Question: "Do I have a lawyer in the case?" for free or you can, of course, talk to your own lawyer if you have questions about what this means.

How can I receive a payment?

Answer:

If you received a postcard notice in the mail, you do not need to submit a Claim Form.  You will get a payment automatically if the Settlement becomes final.

If you did not receive a postcard, the deadline to submit a claim form has now passed. You needed to complete and submit a claim form by November 14, 2014, provide proof of purchase (such as a receipt, credit card record, document, or product packaging) or swear under oath you purchased one of the included Covered Products.

How do I get out of – or exclude myself from – the Settlement?

Answer:

As of November 14, 2014, the timeframe to request to be excluded from this Settlement has passed. If you mailed in your exclusion request and it is received after November 14, 2014, you will not be excluded from this Settlement.

If I do not exclude myself, can I sue Sylvania for the same thing later?

Answer:

No.  Unless you exclude yourself, you give up the right to sue Sylvania for the claims that this Settlement resolves.

If I exclude myself, can I still get a payment?

Answer:

No.  You will not get a payment if you exclude yourself from the Settlement.  Also, if you choose to pursue a lawsuit on your own, you will be responsible for any fees and costs that your individual attorney charges you.

Do I have a lawyer in the case?

Answer:

The Court has appointed a number of lawyers to represent all Class Members as “Class Counsel.”  They include:

John E. Keefe, Jr., Esq.
KEEFE BARTELS
170 Monmouth Street
Red Bank, NJ 07701
SylvaniaClassAction@KeefeBartels.com


Barry R. Eichen, Esq.
EICHEN CRUTCHLOW ZASLOW & McELROY, LLP
40 Ethel Road
Edison, NJ 08817SylvaniaClassAction@NJAdvocates.com

You will not be charged for contacting these lawyers.  If you want to be represented by your own lawyer, you may hire one at your own expense.

How will the lawyers be paid?

Answer:

Class Counsel has not received any fees or reimbursement for the expenses associated with litigating this case.  If the Court grants final approval of the proposed Settlement, Class Counsel will ask the Court to award them reasonable attorneys’ fees, costs and expenses.  Class Counsel’s request for attorneys’ fees, costs and expenses will not exceed one-third (33 1/3%) of the $30 million Settlement Fund.  The Court will decide the amount of fees to award.  Class Counsel will also request that total incentive awards up to $25,000 be awarded to the Class Representatives for their services on behalf of the whole Class.  The fees, costs and expenses, and incentive awards that are approved by the Court will be paid out of the Settlement Fund.

How do I tell the Court if I do not like the Settlement?

Answer:

If you are a member of the Class, you can object to any part of the Settlement, the Settlement as a whole, Class Counsel’s requests for fees, costs and expenses, and/or the incentive awards to the Class Representatives.  To object, you must submit a letter that includes the following:

  • Your name, address, and telephone number;
  • A statement identifying as an “Objection to Class Settlement in Chaudhri v. Osram Sylvania, Inc., Civil Action No. 2:11-cv-05504-SDW-MCA;”
  • The reasons you object to the Settlement, along with the legal grounds;
  • Documentation such as Proof of Purchase or verification under oath that you are a Class Member (see Question: "How can I receive a payment?");
  • The name and contact information for the attorney representing you (if applicable); and
  • Your signature.

You must mail your objection to each of the following addresses, and your objection must be postmarked by February 9, 2015:

Court:

Clerk of the Court
United States District Court
District of New Jersey
M.L. King, Jr. Federal Bldg. & U.S. Courthouse
50 Walnut Street
Newark, NJ 07101

Class Counsel:

John E. Keefe, Jr., Esq.
KEEFE BARTELS
170 Monmouth Street
Red Bank, NJ 07701

Barry R. Eichen, Esq.
EICHEN CRUTCHLOW ZASLOW & McELROY, LLP
40 Ethel Road
Edison, NJ 08817 

Defense Counsel

Brant W. Bishop, P.C.
Eunnice H. Eun
KIRKLAND & ELLIS LLP
655 15th Street, NW
Washington, DC 20005

Stephen M. Orlofsky
David C. Kistler
BLANK ROME LLP
301 Carnegie Center, 3rd Floor
Princeton, NJ 08540

What is the difference between objecting and asking to be excluded?

Answer:

Objecting is simply telling the Court that you do not like something about the Settlement.  You can object only if you do not exclude yourself from the Class.  Excluding yourself is telling the Court that you do not want to be part of the Class.  If you exclude yourself, you have no basis to object because the case no longer affects you.

When and where will the Court decide whether to approve the Settlement?

Answer:

The Court held the Fairness Hearing at 11:00 a.m. EST on March 20, 2015, at the Martin Luther King, Jr. Federal Bldg. & Courthouse, 50 Walnut Street, Newark, New Jersey 07101.

The Hon. Madeline Cox Arleo, U.S.D.J., of the United States District Court, District of New Jersey, entered a six-page order reviewing the written submissions and oral presentations made by the parties and the objector, and granted final approval of the class action settlement in Chaudhri v OSRAM Sylvania, Inc. A copy of the Court's order can be viewed and downloaded from the Court Documents link.

An appeal of the settlement was filed, but subsequently dismissed on June 3, 2015. The “Effective” date for this settlement is June 3, 2015.

Do I have to attend the hearing?

Answer:

No.  Class Counsel will answer questions the Court may have, but, you and/or your lawyer is welcome to attend at your expense.  If you send an objection, you do not have to come to Court to talk about it.  As long as you mailed your written objection on time, the Court will consider it.  You may also have your own lawyer attend, but it is not necessary.

May I speak at the hearing?

Answer:

You may ask the Court for permission to speak at the Fairness Hearing.  To do so, you must send a letter stating that it is your “Notice of Intention to Appear in Chaudhri v. Osram Sylvania, Inc., Civil Action No. 2:11-cv-05504-SDW-MCA.”  Be sure to include whether you will be appearing through an attorney and your name, address, telephone number, your signature, and the name and contact information for your attorney (if applicable).  Your Notice of Intention to Appear must be postmarked no later than February 9, 2015, and must be sent to the addresses listed in the Question: "How do I tell the Court if I do not like the Settlement?".

How do I get more information?

Answer:

More details are in the Settlement Agreement.  You can get a copy of the Settlement Agreement by clicking here

If you did not receive a postcard, the deadline to submit a claim form has now passed. You needed to complete and submit a claim form by November 14, 2014, provide proof of purchase (such as a receipt, credit card record, document, or product packaging) or swear under oath you purchased one of the included Covered Products.

If you have questions call the automated toll-free number, 1-866-430-8976 or write to:

Sylvania Automotive Lighting Settlement
P.O. Box 1939
Faribault, MN 55021-7194

Disclaimer

Please do not contact either OSRAM SYLVANIA or the Court with questions about this Settlement. Any and all callers will be directed to this website. If you have questions, please refer to the Commonly Asked Questions and the other information posted here or contact the Settlement Administrator by writing to Sylvania Automotive Lighting Settlement, P.O. Box 1939, Faribault, MN 55021-7194.

This site is not operated by OSRAM SYLVANIA. This class action Settlement is supervised by the Court and is administered by an administration firm that handles all aspects of claims processing. OSRAM SYLVANIA is not authorized to respond to questions from members of the Settlement Class regarding the Settlement.

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