Frequently Asked Questions

  1. What is the Notice and why should I read it?
  2. What is a class action?
  3. What are the lawsuits about?
  4. Why is there a Settlement?
  5. How do I know if I am included in the Settlement Class?
  6. Are there exceptions to being included in the Settlement Class?
  7. What does the Settlement provide?
  8. What can I get from the Settlement?
  9. Could I get more money than the amount provided on my Claim Form?
  10. How do I get a payment?
  11. What am I giving up in exchange for the Settlement?
  12. What are the Released Claims?
  13. What does it mean to Exclude Yourself from the Settlement?
  14. How do I get out of the Settlement?
  15. If I exclude myself, will I still get a payment from this Settlement?
  16. If I don't exclude myself, can I sue Schiff for the same things later?
  17. How do I object or tell the Court if I don't like the Settlement?
  18. What is the difference between objecting and excluding?
  19. What happens if I do nothing?
  20. Who represents the Settlement Class?
  21. How will the lawyers be paid?
  22. When and where will the Court decide whether to give final approval to the Settlement?
  23. Do I have to come to the Court's hearing?
  24. May I speak at the Court's hearing?
  25. How can I get additional information?

1. What is the Notice and why should I read it?

The Notice is to inform you of the proposed Settlement of two class action lawsuits and about all of your rights and options before the Court decides whether to approve it. The Notice describes the lawsuits, the proposed Settlement, your legal rights, what benefits are available and who can get them.

Judge Mitchell D. Dembin of the United States District Court for the Southern District of California is overseeing the proposed Settlement, Lerma v. Schiff Nutrition International, Inc., et al., No. 3:11-cv-01056-CAB-MDD. The proposed Settlement will resolve all of the claims made in Lerma v. Schiff Nutrition International, Inc., et al., No. 3:11-cv-01056-CAB-MDD (S.D. Cal.), and Jayson v. Schiff Nutrition International, Inc., et al., No. 0:13-cv-60400-RSR (S.D. Fla.). The people who sued are called the Named Plaintiffs. The companies they sued, Schiff Nutrition International, Inc. and Schiff Nutrition Group, Inc. are called the Defendants or Schiff.

2. What is a class action?

In a class action, one or more people, called Named Plaintiffs or Class Representatives (in this case Luis Lerma, Nick Pearson and Muriel Jayson), sue for all people who have similar claims. The people included in the Settlement of these class actions are called a Settlement Class or Settlement Class Members. One court resolves the issues for all Settlement Class Members, except for those who exclude themselves from the Settlement.

3. What are the lawsuits about?

The lawsuits claim that the labeling and packaging of Move Free, Move Free Advanced, Pain Free, Lubriflex, Great American Nutrition, Metaform, Muscle Tribe, Victory, Schiff, Kirkland, Member's Mark and Spring Valley brand joint health products contain false, deceptive and misleading statements and do not warn consumers about their potentially harmful side effects.

Schiff denies each and every allegation of wrongdoing, liability and damages that was or could have been made in the lawsuits. Schiff denies the claims made in the lawsuits and denies that it has done anything wrong. Schiff stands by these joint health products, their labels and packaging, and their safety and efficacy.

4. Why is there a Settlement?

The Court did not decide in favor of either the Named Plaintiffs or Schiff. Instead, both sides have agreed to settle the lawsuits. Schiff is settling to avoid the substantial cost, inconvenience and disruption of litigation. The Named Plaintiffs and Settlement Class Counsel believe that the Settlement is in the best interests of the Settlement Class because it provides an appropriate recovery for Settlement Class Members now while avoiding the substantial risk, expense and delay of pursuing the case through trial and any additional appeals.

5. How do I know if I am included in the Settlement Class?

The Settlement Class includes all residents of the United States who purchased for personal use, and not resale or distribution, one of the "Covered Products" between January 1, 2005 and May 27, 2015.

6. Are there exceptions to being included in the Settlement Class?

Yes, excluded from the Settlement Class are the following persons:

  1. Schiff and its respective affiliates, employees, officers, directors, agents and representatives and their immediate family members;
  2. Settlement Class Counsel; and
  3. the judges who have presided over one of the lawsuits and their immediate family members.

7. What does the Settlement provide?

Schiff has agreed to a Settlement Fund of $6,510,000 to pay all costs associated with this Settlement. Settlement Class Members who submit a timely and valid Claim Form will receive a payment that will generally range between $3-50. Payments will vary based on the number of Covered Products purchased between January 1, 2005 and May 27, 2015 and whether proof of those purchases is provided. In addition, Schiff has agreed to make certain modifications to the marketing and labeling for its Covered Products.

8. What can I get from the Settlement?

Settlement Class Members who submit a timely and valid Claim Form with proof of purchase, such as a cash register receipt, the box or bottles of a Covered Product containing a readable UPC code and lot number, or documentation showing purchase of the Covered Product and the date and location of that purchase, may claim $10 per bottle of Covered Product for up to five bottles (a total of up to $50). Settlement Class Members who submit a timely and valid Claim Form without proof of purchase may claim $3 per bottle of a Covered Product for up to four bottles (a total of up to $12). You may submit a claim for the Covered Products for which you have a proof of purchase and for those you do not. If the total dollar value of valid Claim Form plus Notice and Administrative Costs, Attorneys' Fees Award and Incentive Awards exceeds $6,510,00, the payment to each Settlement Class Member who submitted a valid Claim Form will be reduced until the total amount paid under the Settlement equals $6,510,000.

9. Could I get more money than the amount provided on my Claim Form?

Yes. The amount of cash paid on a claim may be greater than the amount provided on the valid Claim Form depending on the total number and total dollar amount of valid Claim Forms received. For example: (a) if the total dollar value of valid Claim Forms plus Notice And Administrative Costs, Attorneys' Fees Award and Incentive Awards is less than $6,510,00, the payment to each Settlement Class Member who submitted a valid Claim Form with proof of purchase will increase (up to triple the amount of the original claim); (b) if, after increasing these payments, the total payment amount is still less than $6,510,00, the payment to each Settlement Class Member who submitted a valid Claim Form without proof of purchase will increase (up to double the amount of the original claim); and (c) if, after increasing the payment for all valid claims, the total payment amount is still less than $6,510,00, the balance will be distributed on a pro rata basis (meaning divided proportionately among the number of Claim Forms submitted and the dollar amount of those claims) to all Settlement Class Members who submitted a timely and valid Claim Form.

10. How do I get a payment?

To make a claim and be eligible for a cash payment from the Settlement, you must complete and submit a Claim Form. Claim Forms must be completed in full, include proof of purchase to support your claim (if any), and submitted online or be mailed to the Settlement Administrator by September 24, 2015.

Claim Forms may be submitted online or downloaded on this website. Claim Forms are also available by writing to the Settlement Administrator at Schiff Nutrition International Consumer Settlement Administration, P. O. Box 43352, Providence, RI 02940-3352 or by calling toll-free 1-877-219-9780.

The Court still has to decide whether to approve the Settlement. Cash payments will be made if the Court approves the Settlement and after any appeals are resolved.

11. What am I giving up in exchange for the Settlement?

Unless you exclude yourself, you are staying in the Settlement Class. If the Settlement is approved and becomes final, all of the Court's orders will apply to you and legally bind you. You won't be able to sue, continue to sue, or be part of any other lawsuit against the Released Persons for the legal issues and claims resolved by this Settlement. The specific rights you are giving up are called Released Claims (see FAQ 12).

12. What are the Released Claims?

"Released Claims" generally refers to any and all claims, whether known or unknown that could have been asserted by you in a lawsuit against any of the Released Persons (Schiff Nutrition International, Inc. and Schiff Nutrition Group, Inc., Reckitt Benckiser Pharmaceuticals, Inc., Reckitt Benckiser North America, LLC, Reckitt Benckiser LLC, any person or entity in the chain of distribution of the Covered Products, including but not limited to raw material suppliers such as Unigen, Inc. and VDF FutureCeuticals Inc., distributors and retailers such as Costco Wholesale Corporation, CVS Caremark Corporation, Publix Super Markets, Inc., Rite Aid Corporation, Safeway Inc., Sam's Club, Target Corporation, Wal Mart Stores Inc., The Kroger Co., Meijer, Inc., and Walgreen Company, and any person or entity (and their affiliates) that manufactured or sold the Covered Products) arising from or relating to the false and deceptive representations and warranties and omitted material information about the Covered Products.

The Released Claims are fully described in Section IX of the Second Amended Settlement Agreement and General Release, which is available on this website or by writing to the Settlement Administrator at Schiff Nutrition International Consumer Settlement Administration, P.O. Box 43352, Providence, RI 02940-3352.

13. What does it mean to Exclude Yourself from the Settlement?

If you want to keep the right to sue or continue to sue Schiff about the legal claims in the lawsuits, and you don't want a payment from this Settlement, you must take steps to remove yourself from the Settlement Class. This is called excluding yourself or opting out of the Settlement.

14. How do I get out of the Settlement?

If you wish to be excluded from the Settlement Class, you must submit a request for exclusion to the Settlement Administrator online or by mail to Schiff Nutrition International Consumer Settlement Administration, P. O. Box 43352, Providence, RI 02940-3352, no later than September 24, 2015.

Your request for exclusion must (1) be signed by you, (2) contain a statement that you want to be excluded from the Settlement Class, and (3) contain a statement that you are a member of the Settlement Class and have purchased one or more of the Covered Products. If you have any questions concerning these procedures, please contact the Settlement Administrator at 1-877-219-9780.

You may opt out for yourself only and may not opt out on behalf of others.

15. If I exclude myself, will I still get a payment from this Settlement?

No. If you exclude yourself, you are telling the Court that you don't want to be part of the Settlement Class in this Settlement. You can only get a payment if you stay in the Settlement Class and submit a timely and valid Claim Form as described above. If you submit a request for exclusion and a Claim Form, your request for exclusion will be withdrawn.

16. If I don't exclude myself, can I sue Schiff for the same things later?

No. Unless you exclude yourself, you are giving up the right to sue the Defendants for the claims that this Settlement resolves. You must exclude yourself from this Settlement Class to start or continue with your own lawsuit or be part of any other lawsuit.

17. How do I object or tell the Court if I don't like the Settlement?

If you are a Settlement Class Member and you do not ask to be excluded, you may object to the terms of the Settlement, the Attorneys' Fee Award or the Incentive Award. The Court will consider your views before making a decision. To object, you must provide: (1) your name, address and telephone number and, if represented by an attorney, their name address and telephone number; (2) a signed declaration stating that you are a member of the Settlement Class and you purchased a Covered Product; (3) a statement of all objections to the Settlement; and (4) a statement of whether you intend to appear at the Fairness Hearing, either with or without your personal counsel, and if with counsel, their name. Your objection must be submitted to all three addresses below and be postmarked by September 24, 2015.

Clerk of the Court Settlement Class Counsel Schiff's Counsel
U.S. District Court for the
Southern District of California
Attn: Clerk of the Court
880 Front Street
Suite 4290
San Diego, California 92101
Elaine A. Ryan
Bonnet, Fairbourn, Friedman & Balint, P.C.
2325 East Camelback Road
Suite 300
Phoenix, Arizona 85016
Mark S. Mester
Kathleen P. Lally
LATHAM & WATKINS LLP
330 North Wabash Avenue
Suite 2800
Chicago, Illinois 60611

18. What is the difference between objecting and excluding?

Objecting is simply telling the Court that you don't like something about the Settlement. You can object only if you stay in the Settlement Class (do not exclude yourself). If you object, you can still file a Claim Form to receive a payment from the Settlement. Excluding yourself is telling the Court that you don't want to be part of the Settlement Class. If you exclude yourself, you cannot object or receive a payment because the Settlement no longer affects you.

19. What happens if I do nothing?

If you do nothing you won't get a payment from this Settlement. If the Court approves the Settlement, you will be bound by its terms, and you will give up your right to start a lawsuit, continue with a lawsuit, or be part of any other lawsuit against Schiff about the legal issues or claims resolved by this Settlement.

20. Who represents the Settlement Class?

For purposes of the Settlement, the Court has approved the appointment of the following as Settlement Class Counsel to work on behalf of the Settlement Class:

Elaine A. Ryan
Bonnet, Fairbourn, Friedman & Balint, P.C.
2325 East Camelback Road, Suite 300
Phoenix, Arizona 85016
Telephone: (602) 274-1100

Stewart M. Weltman
BOODELL & DOMANSKIS, LLC
353 North Clark Street, Suite 1800
Chicago, Illinois 60654
Telephone: (312) 938-1670

Jeffrey I. Carton
Robert J. Berg
Denlea & Carton LLP
2 Westchester Park Drive, Suite 410
White Plains, NY 10604
Telephone: (914) 331-0100

You will not be charged for the services of Settlement Class Counsel. If you want to be represented by your own lawyer, you may hire counsel at your own expense.

21. How will the lawyers be paid?

Settlement Class Counsel has not been paid any attorneys' fees and they have not been reimbursed for any of their out-of-pocket expenses. As payment for their work in the lawsuits and in obtaining the Settlement, Settlement Class Counsel will ask the Court to approve a payment of Attorneys' Fee Award of up to 33% of the $6,510,000 Settlement Fund as well as costs. They will also ask the Court to approve an Incentive Award of up to $10,000 to be paid to the Named Plaintiffs for the time and effort they contributed to the lawsuits and Settlement.

22. When and where will the Court decide whether to give final approval to the Settlement?

The Settlement has already been preliminarily approved by the Court. However, the Court will hold a hearing to decide whether to give final approval to the Settlement. You may attend and you may ask to speak at the hearing, but you don't have to.

The Fairness Hearing will be held before Judge Mitchell D. Dembin on October 30, 2015 at 10:00 a.m. in Courtroom 1E at the Edward J. Schwartz Federal Courthouse, 221 W. Broadway, San Diego, California 92101. At the hearing, the Court will decide whether the proposed Settlement is fair, reasonable and adequate and decide whether to grant final approval to it. If there are objections, the Court will consider them. The Court will listen to people who have asked to speak at the hearing (see FAQ 23). The Court may also decide the amount of fees, costs and expenses to award Settlement Class Counsel and whether to approve the Incentive Award.

23. Do I have to come to the Court's hearing?

No. You do not need to attend the Fairness Hearing. Settlement Class Counsel will answer any questions the Court may have. If you file an objection to the Settlement, you don't have to come to Court to talk about it, unless the Court requires you to do so. As long as you filed and delivered your written objection on time, signed it and provided all of the required information (see FAQ 17) the Court will consider it. If you file an objection and the Court requires you or your attorney's attendance at the hearing, you or your attorney will be notified by the Court or Settlement Class Counsel. If you wish, you or your own counsel may attend the Fairness Hearing, at your own expense, but it is not required.

24. May I speak at the Court's hearing?

Yes. As long as you do not exclude yourself from the Settlement Class, you may ask the Court for permission to speak at the Fairness Hearing. To do so, you must file a written request with the Court saying that it is your "Notice of Intent to Appear at the Fairness Hearing" or have stated that you intend to appear in your objection. You must include your name, address, phone number, and signature. If you plan to have your own attorney speak for you at the hearing, you must also include the name, address and telephone number of the attorney who will appear. Your written request must be sent to the Settlement Administrator (address provided in FAQ 14) and the Clerk of the Court (address provided in FAQ 17) by September 24, 2015. The time, date and location of the hearing may be changed by the Court without additional notice. If you plan to attend the hearing, you should confirm its time, date and location on this Settlement Website.

25. How can I get additional information?

The Notice, the Second Amended Settlement Agreement and General Release, and other documents related to this Settlement are posted on this Settlement Website, and are also available by contacting the Settlement Administrator at Schiff Nutrition International Consumer Settlement Administration, P. O. Box 43352, Providence, RI 02940-3352 or 1-877-219-9780.

Direct any inquiries to the Settlement Administrator. Do not contact the Clerk of Court or the Judge except as directed in the Notice.