Settlement reached in Palm Profile data loss class action suit
Ah, this takes us back. If you've been around webOS long enough, you might remember the brouhaha of November 2009. Yes, two years back, back when you could get a Palm Pre or a Palm Pixi, on Sprint and only Sprint, the webOS world was rocked by the news that Palm Profile backups were becoming corrupted on the server and the data was rendered inaccessible - a problem for those that had elected to store years of accumulated Contacts, Calendars, Memos, and Tasks in their Palm Profile. Some users were able to get their data restored by Palm going back to their backups of the backups, but others were just plain lost, and the users understandbly upset.
Thus was born the class action lawsuit of Standiford v. Palm, Inc. and Sprint Spectrum, L.P.. The parties involved today announced that they have reached a settlement and will be going before the United States District Court for the Northern District of California for final approval on May 31 of this year (two-and-a-half years after the backup failure was uncovered).
Being that this is a class action suit, you, the webOS smartphone owner, could sign on as a plaintiff. The only criteria you need meet are having created a Palm Profile on a webOS smartphone between 1 June 2009 and 26 January 2012 and having experienced permanent or temporary loss of access to your data stored in your Palm Profile account.
If your claim submission is deemed valid, you could stand to receive a substantial settlement. How substantial? How does up to three Alexander Hamiltons sound? That's right, $30 could be yours. Except it's not a cash settlement, no, that would be too easy. If you suffered a permanent data loss due to a Palm Profile backup failure, you'll be able to choose from a $30 HP Online Store credit (not an App Catalog credit - this is for printer ink or a mouse pad) or a $30 Sprint bill credit. And if your data loss was temporary and you're still seething about it thirty months later, you could get $20 - again for the HP Online Store or your Sprint bill.
The settlement is still pending approval at a fairness hearing, but considering that iPhone users disgruntled over their iPhone 4 antennae performance were offered a bumper case or $15, we'd guess this one's heading for approval. In the end, you get $30 and your contacts are still gone, while the lawyers make out with a briefcase full of cash.
If you're interested in signing on to the class action suit, hit up the source link below. Full details in press release form can be found after the break.
THIS NOTICE MAY AFFECT YOUR RIGHTS. PLEASE READ IT CAREFULLY.
A federal court has ordered this Notice. This is not a solicitation from a lawyer.
To learn more about the settlement, please read below and visit www.dataaccess-classaction.com
A proposed settlement (the "Settlement Agreement") has been reached in this case. A Fairness Hearing has been scheduled on May 31, 2012, in the United States District Court for the Northern District of California to consider final approval of the settlement.
The Settlement Class includes anyone in the United States who, between June 1, 2009, and the date of Preliminary Approval (January 26, 2012), (1) created a Palm Profile for use with Palm Services and his or her Palm webOS-based mobile phone, (2) stored data on Palm's servers via his or her Palm webOS-based mobile phone, and (3) experienced Permanent Data Inaccessibility, Temporary Data Inaccessibility or both, as defined below.
The settlement provides monetary benefits to all Settlement Class Members who submit valid claims. Specifically, if you permanently or temporarily lost data in your Palm Profile, as defined directly below, you may be eligible for either a credit of up to $30 or $20 at the HP Online Store, or a Sprint bill credit of up to $30 or $20 (for current Sprint customers only).
"Permanent Data Inaccessibility" means you had your own user-created information stored on Palm's servers, through a Palm Profile, and at least some of that data became inaccessible to you, and you never regained access to it.
"Temporary Data Inaccessibility" means you had your own user-created information stored on Palm's servers, through a Palm Profile, and at least some of that data became inaccessible to you, but at a later point you regained access to it. For example, you could not access one address book entry for even a short period of time, but at some point later it became accessible to you.
You may also choose to exclude yourself from the settlement. If you do not choose to exclude yourself from the settlement, you may file written objections to the settlement and appear (or have your own attorney appear) at the hearing. If the settlement is approved and you do not exclude yourself, you give up the right to sue Palm or Sprint for the claims the settlement resolves, and you will be bound by the terms of the Settlement Agreement.
YOUR LEGAL RIGHTS AND OPTIONS IN THIS SETTLEMENT
IF YOU EXPERIENCED PERMANENT DATA INACCESSIBILITY
If you file a valid Claim Form, you may choose between:
- A redemption code worth up to $30 at the HP Online Store; or
- A bill credit worth up to $30 on your Sprint wireless bill (for current Sprint customers only).
IF YOU EXPERIENCED TEMPORARY DATA INACCESSIBILITY
If you file a valid Claim Form, you may choose between:
- A redemption code worth up to $20 at the HP Online Store; or
- A bill credit worth up to $20 on your Sprint wireless bill (for current Sprint customers only).
If you do nothing, you will not be eligible to receive any individual Settlement Benefits. You will, however, still be giving up legal claims against defendants and other related entities.
You will receive no individual Settlement Benefits, but you will not be giving up your right to sue defendants or related entities. You may not submit a claim, object or speak in Court if you exclude yourself from the settlement.
Write to the Court about why you do not want the Settlement Agreement to be approved. You must be a member of the Settlement Class to object. If the Court overrules your objection, you will be bound by the terms of the Settlement Agreement.
GO TO A HEARING
Ask to speak in Court about the fairness of the settlement. In order to speak at the Fairness Hearing, you must be a member of the Settlement Class and submit a written request to appear.
The Court must decide whether the settlement is fair and whether to give it final approval. Settlement Benefits, as described above, will be distributed if the Court gives final approval to the settlement, and if there are any appeals, after those appeals are resolved.
As stated in the Settlement Agreement, the formal Settlement Class definition is: All Persons and entities in the United States who, between June 1, 2009, and January 26, 2012, (1) created a Palm Profile for use with Palm Services and their Palm webOS-based mobile phones, (2) stored data on Palm's servers via their Palm webOS-based mobile phones, and (3) experienced Permanent Data Inaccessibility, Temporary Data Inaccessibility or both. Excluded from the Class are Defendants, their legal representatives, assigns, and successors, and any entity in which Defendants have a controlling interest. Also excluded are any judges to whom this case is or has been assigned and those judges' immediate families.
What is this lawsuit about?
The lawsuit is Standiford v. Palm Inc. and Sprint Spectrum L.P., Case No. 09-cv-05719-LHK, in the United States District Court for the Northern District of California. Plaintiff alleges that Defendants falsely stated Palm's ability to store and back up user data (including address book entries) with respect to webOS devices, and that defendants failed to store and back up user data as promised. Defendants deny all of plaintiff's claims, and deny that anyone has been harmed or deserves compensation or relief of any kind. The Court has not made a decision on the merits. This Notice is not an admission by either party as to the strength of the other's position or of any weakness in its own position.
Defendants will create a Settlement Fund of $640,000 (the "Settlement Fund"), which will be used to pay Settlement Benefits to those Class Members who experienced Permanent or Temporary Data Inaccessibility. To receive an individual benefit, you must submit a valid Claim Form available at www.dataaccess-classaction.com
. The Settlement Fund will also be used to pay Settlement Administration Expenses, any attorneys' fees awarded to plaintiff's counsel, and an incentive award to plaintiff. Plaintiff's attorneys will apply for an attorneys' fee award not to exceed $160,000 and an incentive award for plaintiff not to exceed $1,500, all subject to Court approval. Class Counsel's request for attorneys' fees and an incentive award will be posted on the Settlement Website no later than April 20, 2012.
If the value of valid claims for individual benefits exceeds the amount in the Settlement Fund after payment of Settlement Administration Expenses, attorneys' fees awarded to plaintiff's counsel, and the incentive award, individual monetary benefits will be reduced on a pro rata basis, meaning that individual monetary relief may be reduced. Any money remaining in the Settlement Fund after the payment of valid claims will be donated to the Center for Democracy and Technology ("CDT"). The CDT works to enhance and protect consumers' civil liberties online, including promoting free expression and the privacy of communications through changes in public policy. More information about the CDT can be found here.
These rights and options are explained in further detail on the Settlement Website at www.dataaccess-classaction.com
The important deadlines in this settlement are:
Deadline to Submit a Claim Form: May 29, 2012
Deadline to Opt-Out: May 2, 2012
Deadline to Object: May 2, 2012
Fairness Hearing: May 31, 2012
PLEASE DO NOT CALL OR CONTACT THE COURT, DEFENDANTS, OR COUNSEL FOR DEFENDANTS ABOUT THIS NOTICE, THE SETTLEMENT OR THE LAWSUIT. YOU MAY VISIT THE SETTLEMENT WEBSITE, OR CALL CLASS COUNSEL AT 866-354-3015 OR THE SETTLEMENT ADMINISTRATOR AT 888-312-0818.