Sonner v. Schwabe North America, Inc. et al.
Ginkgold® Settlement
5:15-cv-01358 VAP (SP)

Frequently Asked Questions

 

Expand/Collapse All
  • In this lawsuit, called Sonner v. Schwabe North America, Inc. et al., Case No. 5:15-cv-01358 VAP (SP) and pending in the United States District Court for the Central District of California, Plaintiff on behalf of herself and other purchasers of Ginkgold and Ginkgold Max alleges Schwabe North America, Inc. and Nature’s Way Products, LLC (together, “Defendants”) engaged in false advertising by claiming Ginkgold and Ginkgold Max provide cognitive health benefits that they do not actually provide. Plaintiff brought claims against Defendants for violation of consumer protection laws. Defendants have and continue to vigorously deny all of Plaintiff’s claims related to Ginkgold and Ginkgold Max, deny all wrongdoing, and believe the litigation is without merit because each and every cognitive benefit claim is substantiated by science. However, to avoid the cost of litigation, its associated burden, and potential risks for both sides, the Parties have reached a Stipulation of Class Action Settlement, which was preliminarily approved by the Court on October 1, 2020. The Court granted final approval of the Settlement on January 25, 2021.

    This lawsuit does not concern personal injury claims.

  • In a class action lawsuit, one or more people called “Class Representatives” sue on behalf of other people who have similar claims. The people together are a “Class” or “Class Members.” The Court has preliminarily decided that this lawsuit can be a nationwide class action for settlement purposes. The Court granted final approval of the Settlement on January 25, 2021.

  • Plaintiff believes her case is meritorious, yet she has agreed to this settlement because it provides significant benefits to the Settlement Class while avoiding risks associated with further litigation and trial. Defendants believe the lawsuit has no merit, but nevertheless agree to this settlement to end further litigation, which could be protracted burdensome and expensive.

    The Court has not decided who is right or wrong. This settlement is not and should not be considered as evidence of Defendants’ admissions or concession of any fault or wrongdoing.

  • The Final Effective Date of this settlement is the date when the settlement becomes final, which is five (5) business days after the Final Approval Order entered by the Court becomes final. If there is an appeal, the Final Effective Date will be five (5) business days after the date on which (a) all such appeals have been dismissed; or (b) the appropriate Court of Appeals has entered a final judgment affirming the Final Approval Order of the Court, which (i) is no longer subject to any further appellate challenge, or (ii) has been affirmed by the United States Supreme Court, whichever is earlier..

  • You are a Settlement Class Member and part of the settlement if you purchased Ginkgold or Ginkgold Max for personal use in California from July 7, 2011 to October 1, 2020, or anywhere else in the United States from January 1, 2016 to October 1, 2020.

    Excluded from the settlement are: (a) Defendants, their officers, directors and employees, affiliates and affiliates’ officers, directors and employees; (b) Class Counsel; (c) judicial officers and their immediate family members and associated court staff assigned to this case; (d) persons or entities who purchased Ginkgold or Ginkgold Max for resale; and (e) persons who timely and properly exclude themselves from the settlement.

  • If you are a Settlement Class Member and submitted a claim, Defendants will reimburse you for your purchases of Ginkgold and Ginkgold Max. If you have proof of purchase, as described in the claim form, you will be reimbursed for purchases of Ginkgold and Ginkgold Max you made in California from July 7, 2011 and October 1, 2020, and anywhere else in the United States from January 1, 2016 and October 1, 2020. If you do not have proof of purchase, you will be reimbursed for up to three purchases. Reimbursement is based on a blended average retail price of the Ginkgold or Ginkgold Max products purchased up to $18 or $33, depending on the product version purchased. The payment of valid claims may be increased or decreased on a pro rata basis depending on the total value of the claims made.

    Any money remaining in the $3,375,000 Settlement Fund after payment of settlement notice and administration, attorneys’ fees and costs (of up to 33% of the Settlement Fund), a Class Representative incentive payment (of up to $5,000) awarded by the Court, and valid Settlement Class Member claims, will be paid via the cy pres doctrine to the American Brain Foundation.

  • The deadline to submit a claim was February 24, 2021 and has passed.

  • Yes. You can get out of the settlement and the Settlement Class. This is called “excluding yourself” or “opting out.” If you excluded yourself from the settlement, you will not be entitled to receive the settlement benefits. However, you will not be bound by any judgment or settlement of this class action lawsuit and will keep your right to sue Defendants independently over claims you may have.

  • The deadline to exclude yourself from the Settlement was December 28, 2020 and has passed.

  • Yes. If you did not exclude yourself from the settlement, you could have told the Court you do not like the settlement or some part of it by filing an objection to the settlement. However, the deadline to object to the Settlement was December 28, 2020 and has passed.

  • The deadline to object to the Settlement was December 28, 2020 and has passed.

     
  • Excluding yourself means getting out of the settlement altogether – you would not be entitled to receive any benefits pursuant to the settlement, but you will not be bound by the terms of the settlement. Objecting means remaining in the settlement but complaining about some part of it you do not like. You cannot do both.

  • The notice of intent to appear needed to be filed and served no later than December 28, 2020. The deadline has passed.

  • No. You do not need to hire an attorney but can if you want. You, and the entire Settlement Class, are already represented by Class Counsel listed below. You do not have to pay for Class Counsel’s services. You may contact Class Counsel if you have any questions about this notice or settlement, but please do not contact the Court.

    Class Counsel
    Paula R. Brown
    Email: pbrown@bholaw.com
    Telephone: (619) 338-1100
    BLOOD HURST & O’REARDON, LLP
    501 West Broadway, Suite 1490
    San Diego, CA 92101

     

    If you decide to hire your own attorney, you will have to pay for his or her services. Your attorney needed to file an appearance with the Court no later than December 28, 2020, and serve a copy on Class Counsel and Defendants’ counsel. The deadline has passed.

     
  • Class Counsel applied to the Court for reasonable attorneys’ fees and expenses up to 33% of the Settlement Fund. Any award of attorneys’ fees and costs will be paid from the Settlement Fund. Additionally, Class Counsel applied for payment of up to $5,000 to the Class Representative for her service to the Settlement Class. Any award of payment to the Class Representative will be paid from the Settlement Fund.

  • The Court scheduled a Fairness Hearing to be held on January 25, 2021 at 2:00 p.m. Pacific Time, to decide whether certification of the Settlement Class is proper; whether the settlement is fair, adequate, and reasonable; and whether the settlement should be finally approved. The Court granted final approval of the Settlement on that same day.

  • The Court granted final approval of the Settlement on January 25, 2021.

  • If you wish to obtain more information or have questions, you should contact the Settlement Administrator by calling 1-833-900-1646 or by mail. You also may contact Class Counsel directly at the information provided in FAQ 14. Additional papers regarding this lawsuit are available with the Court and can be inspected at the Clerk’s office located at United District Court Central District of California 350 West 1st Street, Suite 4311 Los Angeles, CA 90012.

    PLEASE DO NOT CALL OR WRITE THE COURT

For More Information

Visit this website often to get the most up-to-date information.

Mail
Ginkgold Settlement
c/o JND Legal Administration
P.O. Box 91231
Seattle, WA 98111