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|1.||Why should I read this Notice?|
The parties have proposed to settle this class action lawsuit. You are a member of the Class. If the Court grants final approval of the proposed Settlement, your legal rights may be affected. This Notice, which has been approved by the Court, is only a summary. A more detailed Settlement Agreement contains the complete terms of the Settlement, and is on file with the Court, where it is available for your review. See Frequently Asked Question 10 for further information.
|2.||What is this lawsuit about?|
A lawsuit entitled Nathan Cozzitorto, et al. v. American Automobile Association of Northern California, Nevada & Utah is now pending in the Superior Court of the State of California, County of Contra Costa, Case No. MSC 13-02656. Plaintiffs Nathan Cozzitorto, Rena Cozzitorto and Michael Cozzitorto, Sr. have alleged claims against AAA NCNU on behalf of themselves and other individuals who perform or have performed emergency road service for AAA members. Plaintiffs allege that AAA NCNU has misclassified contract station owners and employees as independent contractors instead of employees of AAA NCNU. The lawsuit alleges that due to this alleged misclassification, Class Members are entitled to the value of employment benefits offered to AAA NCNU employees pursuant to California Business and Professions Code section 17200 et seq. Plaintiffs seek a monetary recovery on behalf of the Class, along with costs and fees.
Plaintiff Cozz’s Auto Body & Service, Inc. also alleges that AAA NCNU has breached the Contract Station Emergency Road Service Agreement by failing to pay completely and properly for various types of service calls. The claims asserted by Cozz’s Auto Body & Service Inc. in the Lawsuit are independent of the claim asserted by Plaintiffs.
AAA NCNU denies the allegations Plaintiffs, and Cozz’s Auto Body & Service Inc., are asserting in this Lawsuit. The Court has not formed any opinions concerning the merits of the remaining claims in the Lawsuit, and the Court has not ruled for or against Plaintiffs or Cozz’s Auto Body & Service Inc. as to the merits of any of their remaining individual or class claims. The Court has determined only that there is sufficient evidence to suggest that the proposed settlement might be fair, adequate and reasonable and that any final determination of those issues will be made at the Final Approval Hearing. You will not be retaliated against by AAA NCNU for participating in the Settlement.
|3.||Who is covered by the class action lawsuit and the proposed Settlement?|
|4.||What are the terms of the Settlement?|
Monetary Amounts Under the Settlement
The proposed Settlement was negotiated with AAA NCNU by the attorneys for the Class (“Class Counsel”). Class Counsel believes that this Settlement is in the best interest of the members of the Settlement Class. As part of the proposed Settlement, AAA NCNU and Class Counsel have agreed to the following:
Fees and Expenses
Contemporaneous with requesting the Court grant final approval of the proposed Settlement, Class Counsel will apply to the Court for an award of attorneys’ fees in an amount up to Seven Hundred Fifty Thousand Dollars ($750,000) (approximately 17% of the total Gross Settlement Amount that will be paid to the Class, and, a separate class comprised of AAA NCNU contract stations that are also agreeing to settle their claims in this lawsuit) and an award of costs up to Five Hundred Thirty Thousand Dollars ($530,000); costs of settlement administration, and Plaintiffs Nathan Cozzitorto, Rena Cozzitorto and Michael Cozzitorto, Sr. shall apply to the Court for incentive awards of Seven Thousand Five Hundred Dollars ($7,500) each. Such payments, if approved by the Court, will be deducted from the Gross Settlement Amount before calculation of the Net Settlement Amount available for distribution to the Class.
Upon the Court’s final approval of the Settlement, a judgment will be entered fully and finally setting the action as to Plaintiff and all Settlement Class Members.
|5.||How do I receive a payment?|
Any Settlement Class Member who wished to be considered for any payment under this Settlement must have submitted a Claim Form to Cozzitorto et al., v. AAA NCNU et al., c/o GCG, P.O. Box 10676, Dublin, OH 43017-9376, postmarked by March 7, 2019. You must have provided your Social Security Number on the Claim Form in order to receive a settlement payment. Whether or not you return the Claim Form, and whether or not you receive a settlement payment, if the Court approves the Settlement, you will be releasing the claims described above in Section IV.
If you are a member of the Settlement Class and you move or change your address, and you want to receive your settlement benefits at your new address, you must send a notice of your change of address to Cozzitorto et al., v. AAA NCNU et al., c/o GCG, P.O. Box 10676, Dublin, OH 43017-9376 or contact the Settlement Administrator by email at info@AAANCNUClassAction.com.
|6.||Who represents the Class?|
The Court has designated Plaintiffs Nathan Cozzitorto, Rena Cozzitorto and Michael Cozzitorto, Sr. to serve as Class Representatives in this lawsuit. The attorneys and law firms that serve as Class Counsel are: Niall McCarthy, Eric Buescher and Stephanie Biehl of Cotchett, Pitre & McCarthy LLP, 840 Malcolm Road, Suite 200, Burlingame, CA 94010, (650) 697-6000; and Matthew Edling and Victor Sher of Sher Edling LLP, 100 Montgomery Street, Suite 140, San Francisco, CA 94104, (628) 231-2520.
|7.||What are the reasons for the Settlement?|
Class Counsel agreed to enter into this proposed Settlement after weighing the risks and benefits to the Class of this Settlement compared with those of continuing the litigation. The factors that Class Counsel considered included the uncertainty and delay associated with continued litigation, a trial and appeals, and the uncertainty of particular legal issues that have yet to be determined. Class Counsel balanced these and other substantial risks in determining that the proposed Settlement is fair, reasonable, and adequate in light of all circumstances and in the best interests of Class Members.
AAA NCNU agreed to this proposed Settlement in order to avoid the expense and distraction associated with lengthy litigation, and to allow it to focus on continuing to provide quality service to its members. In agreeing to the proposed Settlement, AAA NCNU also considered the uncertainty associated with continued litigation, a trial and appeals, and the uncertainty of particular legal issues that have yet to be determined.
|8.||What are my rights and options?|
|9.||When is the court hearing and what is it for?|
On May 9, 2019 at 9:00 a.m., the Court will hold a public hearing in Department 39 of the Superior Court for the State of California, County of Contra Costa, 725 Court Street, Martinez, CA 94553, for the purposes of determining whether the proposed Settlement is fair, adequate and reasonable and should be approved, whether to approve Class Counsel’s applications for attorneys’ fees and costs, and whether to approve the Class Representatives’ request for service awards. This hearing may be continued or rescheduled by the Court without further notice. Class Members who support the proposed Settlement do not need to appear at the hearing and do not need to take any other action to indicate their approval. Class Members who object to the proposed Settlement are not required to attend the Settlement Hearing. If you want to be heard orally in support of or in opposition to the Settlement, either personally or through counsel, you must indicate your intention to appear at the Settlement Hearing in writing as detailed above.
|10.||Where can I get more information?|
If you have questions about this Notice, the Claim Form, or the Settlement, or if you did not receive this Notice in the mail and you believe that you are or may be a member of the Class, you should contact the Settlement Administrator, for more information or to request that a copy of the Notice be sent to you in the mail. In addition, if you did not receive this Notice in the mail, you believe that you are or may be a member of the Settlement Class and you wish to participate in the Settlement, you must, by March 7, 2019, submit a Claim Form via mail or online at www.AAANCNUClassAction.com to the Settlement Administrator at Cozzitorto et al., v. AAA NCNU et al., c/o GCG, P.O. Box 10676, Dublin, OH 43017-9376, establishing and attesting under penalty of perjury that you worked at a Contract Station between December 13, 2009 and November 20, 2017 and performed emergency road services for AAA NCNU for an average of at least thirty (30) hours per week as a driver, dispatcher, fleet mechanic, administrator or manager, supervisor between December 13, 2009 and November 20, 2017; the number of weeks during that time period in which you did so; and the name(s) of the Contract Station(s) where you worked. You may also view the webpage maintained by the Settlement Administrator for this Settlement at the following web address: www.AAANCNUClassAction.com. If you wish to communicate directly with Class Counsel, you may contact them at the address above. You may also seek advice and guidance from your own private attorney at your own expense, if you so desire.
The Notice is only a summary. For more detailed information, you may review the Settlement Agreement, containing the complete terms of the proposed Settlement, which is on file with the Court and available to be inspected at any time during regular business hours at the Clerk’s Office, of the Superior Court for the State of California, County of Contra Costa, 725 Court Street, Martinez, CA 94553. You may also review the pleadings, records and other papers on file in this lawsuit at the Clerk’s Office.
PLEASE DO NOT WRITE OR TELEPHONE THE COURT OR AAA NCNU FOR INFORMATION ABOUT THE PROPOSED SETTLEMENT OR THIS LAWSUIT.