Scooped Coffee Class Action Settlement

UPDATE: The court approved the settlement on May 24, 2013

ONLINE CLAIM SUBMISSION IS NOW AVAILABLE

Welcome! This website is about settlement of a nationwide class action lawsuit relating to purchases of “scooped” (i.e., not prepackaged) coffee beans from Starbucks in amounts less than a pound.
This settlement, if approved by the court, may affect your rights. A federal court authorized this website and its contents. It is not a solicitation from a lawyer.

The case is called In re Starbucks Consumer Litigation, Case No. 2:11-cv-01985, and it is pending in federal court in the Western District of Washington before Chief Judge Marsha J. Pechman.

This website provides information about who is in the class, how you can exclude yourself from the class if you do not want to participate, how to tell the court if you think the proposed settlement is not fair, what the class will get if the settlement is approved, and how you can submit a claim. This website will be updated as necessary during the settlement process. Please use the links below to learn more.

Dates and deadlines.

  • March 19, 2013 – Deadline to opt out of the settlement
  • March 19, 2013 – Deadline to object to the settlement
  • March 19, 2013 – Deadline for notice of appearance by attorneys representing class members objecting to the settlement
  • March 26, 2013 – Deadline for class counsel to file motion for attorneys’ fees and costs
  • April 24, 2013 – Deadline for class counsel to file motion for final approval of settlement agreement
  • May 3, 2013 – Deadline for notice of intent to appear at the Fairness Hearing by objectors or, if applicable, their attorneys
  • May 24, 2013, 9:00 a.m. – Fairness Hearing at court
  • December 24, 2013 – Deadline to submit claims (this deadline is now final)

back to top

What is the lawsuit about and who is in the class?

The lawsuit claims that Starbucks did not disclose to customers who purchased scooped coffee beans in amounts less than one pound at a time in U.S. Starbucks stores that the price for these purchases was higher per pound than the price charged for purchases of one pound of coffee beans.

The lawsuit does not involve purchases of prepackaged coffee beans, available in one-pound or sometimes half-pound bags. The lawsuit does not involve purchases of coffee beverages, such as lattes or drip coffee.

Starbucks denies it has done anything wrong, but has agreed to settle the lawsuit.

Class members are all persons who made a purchase of less than one pound of scooped (i.e., not prepackaged) coffee beans at a time between December 9, 2007 and November 7, 2011 from any company-owned Starbucks store in the United States, other than half-pound purchases during January to March 2008 of types of coffee that had half-pound prices posted on menu boards during that time. You are not a class member if you are: (1) Starbucks Corporation or any entity in which Starbucks Corporation has a controlling interest and their respective legal representatives, officers, directors, assigns, and successors; (2) the judges to whom the Actions are assigned and any member of the judges’ staff and immediate family; and (3) any person who submits a timely, properly executed, and valid request for exclusion from the class as described here.

This class exists only as part of this settlement. If the court does not approve the settlement, then the litigation will return to the way it was before the settlement.

back to top

What will class members get if the settlement is approved? What are the other terms of the settlement?

Starbucks has agreed to settle this lawsuit by paying $1,733,025.71 for class member claims, administrative expenses, attorneys’ fees, and costs.

If the court approves the settlement, class members who made their purchases by using a registered My Starbucks Rewards card will receive the greater of (a) the parties’ best estimate of the difference between what the class member paid for applicable purchases and what the class member would have paid if Starbucks had charged pro-rata the price of one-pound purchases, using a weighted average of $0.45 per transaction, multiplied by the total number of transactions on the card, or (b) Five Dollars ($5). These class members will receive only this credit; they cannot also submit a claim.

Class members who did not use a My Starbucks Rewards card will receive compensation only if they submit a claim. A class member who submits a claim form accompanied by receipts from their purchases will receive the greater of (a) the parties’ best estimate of the difference between what the class member paid for applicable purchases identified on the receipts and what the class member would have paid if Starbucks had charged pro-rata the price of one-pound purchases, using a weighted average of $0.45 per transaction, multiplied by the total number of transactions on the receipts, or (b) Five Dollars ($5). A class member who submits a claim form accompanied by a sworn declaration only, without receipts, will receive the lesser of (a) the parties’ best estimate of the difference between what the class member paid for applicable purchases identified in the declaration and what the class member would have paid if Starbucks had charged pro-rata the price of one-pound purchases, using a weighted average of $0.45 per transaction, multiplied by the total number of transactions identified in the sworn declaration, or (b) Ten Dollars ($10).

The settlement also provides that the attorneys who brought this lawsuit on behalf of the class will request approval from the court for up to 25% of the total settlement amount (25% of $1,733,025.71) to be paid to them as their attorneys’ fees. Costs incurred by those attorneys (not to exceed $12,000), the administrative expenses of providing notice, and cost of administering the claims process (not to exceed $49,000) will also come out of the total settlement amount.

If too many claims are received to pay all of them in full, each class member who submitted a valid claim will receive a pro-rata portion of the claimed amount. Conversely, if there is money left over after paying out all claims, the money will be donated to the National Consumer Law Center.

You can review the full settlement agreement for more information.

back to top

What are my options regarding participation in the settlement?

  1. What should I do if I do not want to be in the class or participate in the settlement? You may opt out of the settlement. You will not be eligible for benefits under the settlement. You keep your right to sue regarding settlement claims. To opt out, you must send a written letter stating you want to be excluded from the settlement, signed under penalty of perjury, sent by mail with postage prepaid, and postmarked no later than March 19, 2013, to Class Counsel at the following address:

    BLOCK & LEVITON LLP c/o Jason M. Leviton
    155 Federal Street, Suite 1303
    Boston, MA 02110
  2. What should I do if I want to remain in the class, but tell the court that I do not like some or all of the settlement? You may write to the court and explain why you object to or disagree with the settlement. To do this, you must prepare a written statement that (1) explains in detail your objections to the terms of the settlement, including any supporting evidence or legal authority; (2) lists your contact information including your name, email address, and postal address; and (3) includes or attaches information showing that you made the type of purchases at issue and are a class member. You must file this statement with the court in the Western District of Washington and also mail it to both of the parties’ attorneys no later than March 19, 2013:

    BLOCK & LEVITON LLP c/o Jason M. Leviton
    155 Federal Street, Suite 1303
    Boston, MA 02110

    PERKINS COIE LLP c/o Rebecca S. Engrav
    1201 Third Avenue, Suite 4900
    Seattle, WA 98101

    You or your attorney may (but do not have to) appear and speak at a court hearing prior to the court’s decision on whether to approve the settlement. If you want or your attorney wants to appear, you must file with the Court and send to both the law firms listed above a notice of your intent to appear no later than May 3, 2013. If your attorney is going to appear, the attorney also must file and serve a notice of appearance prior to the same date.
  3. What should I do if I want to stay in the class and receive compensation? If you paid for your scooped coffee bean purchases with a My Starbucks Rewards card, you do not need to do anything to receive compensation. If you did not use a My Starbucks Rewards card to pay for your scooped coffee bean purchases, you need to submit a claim following the procedures outlined on this website.
  4. What happens if I do nothing? If you are a class member and the settlement is approved and you do nothing, the following will happen: If you paid for your scooped coffee bean purchases with a registered My Starbucks Rewards card, you will receive a credit to your account as provided in the settlement agreement. You will give up your right to sue on your own regarding claims that are a part of the settlement. If you did not use a registered My Starbucks Rewards card to pay for your scooped coffee bean purchases, you will not receive any benefit under the settlement agreement unless you file a claim. You will give up your right to sue on your own regarding claims that are a part of the settlement.
  5. What is the effect if the court approves the settlement? Unless you exclude yourself from this settlement, this settlement is final and binding and your legal rights are affected even if you do not act. The court will determine whether to approve the settlement at a court hearing on May 24, 2013. You or your attorney may appear at this hearing but you don’t have to appear.

back to top

How do I submit a claim?

There are two ways to submit a claim: (1) print out the paper claim form, fill it out, sign it, and mail it, postage prepaid, to the address on the top of the claim form or (2) fill out and submit the online claim form.

You must fill out the form completely. Paper claim forms must be postmarked by December 24, 2013. Online claim forms must be submitted by 11:59 p.m. PST on December 24, 2013. This deadline is final.

Valid claims will be processed and gift cards or checks (see the claim form) will be mailed out within a month after the deadline to submit claims.

back to top

Copies of court documents.

back to top