Important Update: The Claims Administrator issued settlement benefits on March 5, 2021 to Class Members who submitted a timely and valid Claim Form.
November 1, 2020 - Requests to exclude yourself from the Settlement Class must have been postmarked by this date.
November 1, 2020 - Written Objections to the Settlement must have been postmarked by this date.
December 1, 2020 at 9:00 a.m. Eastern Time - The Court's scheduled Settlement Fairness Hearing.
January 29, 2021 - If you wished to receive a payment from the Cash Settlement Amount, you must have submitted a Claim Form by mail or online by this date.
A settlement has been reached in the case Ostendorf v. Grange Indemnity Insurance Company, et al., Case No. 2:19-cv-01147-ALM-KAJ, entitling Settlement Class members to payment of Sales Tax and Title, Transfer, and Service Fees related to vehicles determined to be total losses. This Notice explains: 1) the terms of the Settlement; 2) who is a member of the Settlement Class; 3) how to submit a Claim Form for payment; 4) how to request exclusion from the Settlement; 5) how to object to the Settlement; and 6) how to get more information about the Settlement.
What is the Settlement About?
Plaintiff alleged that the Grange Defendants (defined below) breached their contracts (insurance policies) by failing to pay Plaintiff and other Ohio insureds who submitted physical damage claims for their vehicles during the class period, and which resulted in a total loss claim payment, the “actual cash value” of their total loss vehicles. Specifically, Plaintiff alleged that Grange’s settlement practice of paying Sales Tax and Title, Transfer, and Service Fees to members of the Class on a reimbursement basis after the insured replaced their totaled vehicle was improper. The Grange Defendants maintain that they complied with the terms of the insurance policies and applicable law and deny that they acted wrongfully or unlawfully and continue to deny all material allegations.
Who is Included?
You may be a member of the Settlement Class against the Grange Defendants if you were an Ohio policyholder and insured by Grange and submitted a physical damage claim with respect to a vehicle that resulted in a Total Loss Claim Payment during the period May 27, 2004 through July 22, 2020, if you were insured by Grange Indemnity Insurance Company or June 9, 2005 through July 22, 2020, if you were insured by Grange Insurance Company (formerly Grange Mutual Casualty Company), Grange Property and Casualty, or Trustgard Insurance Company. If your Total Loss Claim Payment included Sales Tax and Title, Transfer, and Service Fees, you may not be part of the Settlement Class. If you received a Notice, the Grange Defendants' records indicate you may be a member of the Settlement Class.
What Does This Settlement Provide?
Grange Indemnity Insurance Company, Grange Mutual Insurance Company (formerly Grange Mutual Casualty Company, Grange Property and Casualty, and Trustgard Insurance Company (together “Grange” or "Grange Defendants"), have agreed, upon Court approval, to:
- Pay Settlement Class Members who timely submit a Claim Form Sales Tax on the Actual Cash Value of their total loss vehicle at the Ohio average sales tax rate of 7.1%.
- Pay Settlement Class Members who timely submit a Claim Form Title, Transfer, and Service Fees, dependent upon the date of the Settlement Class Member's total loss.
- Separately pay attorneys' fees not to exceed $2,533,561.00, and a Service Award not to exceed $5,000.00 to the Class Representative, which will not come from nor reduce any payment made to Settlement Class Members, with both amounts to be approved by the Court.
In exchange, Plaintiff and the Settlement Class members who do not exclude themselves from the Settlement agree to give up any claim they have for payment of Sales Tax and Title, Transfer, and Service Fees. If you are a member of the Settlement Class, you can submit a Claim Form to be eligible to be paid. Alternatively, you may, if you wish, request to be excluded from the Settlement, which means you are not eligible for payment, and you maintain your right to sue Grange individually and separately for payment of Sales Tax and Title, Transfer, and Service Fees. You may also object to the terms of the Settlement, if you comply with certain requirements.