Frequently Asked Questions
- What are these lawsuits about?
- Who is a Class Member?
- What benefits are available under the Settlement?
- How do I participate in the Settlement?
- Who represents the Class?
- How will the lawyers be paid?
- What do I need to do to be excluded?
- Can I object to this Settlement?
- When and where will the Court decide whether to approve the Settlement?
- Do I have to come to the hearing?
- May I speak at the hearing?
- How do I get more information about this case?
Representative Plaintiffs filed three lawsuits under the captions Dennings v. Clearwire Corp., 2:10-cv-01859-JLR (W.D. Wash.), Minnick v. Clearwire US, LLC, No. 2:09-cv-00912-MJP (W.D. Wash.), and Newton v. Clearwire Corp., No. 2:11-cv-00783-WBS-DAD (E.D. Cal.) (the “Actions”). These lawsuits claim, among other things, that Defendant misrepresented its Internet service speed, intentionally slowed customers’ Internet service speeds without proper disclosure, provided poor Internet and phone service and/or imposed early termination fees (“ETFs”) that prevented customers from terminating despite poor service or required them to pay the ETF. Defendant denies all allegations of wrongdoing and has asserted many defenses. The Settlement is not an admission of wrongdoing.
The Court did not decide in favor of Plaintiffs or Defendant. Instead, both sides agreed to a settlement. That way, they avoid the cost of a trial, and settlement benefits go to the Class Members. The Class Representatives and their attorneys think the Settlement is best for the Class Members.
The Court determined that all persons and entities who (a) purchased Clearwire’s retail services between November 14, 2004, and February 27, 2012, and (b) provided Clearwire with a billing address in the United States is a Class Member. The Class does not include Clearwire, any entity that has a controlling interest in Clearwire, and Clearwire’s current or former directors, officers, counsel, and their immediate families. The Class also does not include any persons who validly requested exclusion from the Class.
Clearwire will provide credits (to current customers) or make payments (to former customers) to each who submitted a valid Claim Form by January 9, 2013 (an “Eligible Claimant”) that meets the requirements for Groups 1, 2, or 3.
- Group 1. Eligible Claimants who attest they paid an ETF to Clearwire after cancellation due to concerns over service quality will receive 50% of the amount of the ETF paid;
- Group 2. Eligible Claimants who initiated Clearwire service before Sept. 1, 2010 and who attest they experienced impaired Internet speeds and believe Clearwire was responsible will receive (i) $14.00 plus (ii) the following amounts for each month of service prior to Feb. 27, 2012 during which Clearwire’s records show it managed the Eligible Claimant’s Internet speed at one of the following levels for at least one hour in the aggregate for that month: (A) 0.25 Mbps: $5.00; (B) 0.60 Mbps: $3.00; (C) 1.0 Mbps: $2.00.
- Group 3. Eligible Claimants who initiated Clearwire service on or after Sept. 1, 2010 and who attest they experienced impaired Internet speeds and believe Clearwire was responsible will receive the following amounts for each month of service prior to Feb. 27, 2012 during which Clearwire’s records show it managed the Eligible Claimant’s Internet speed at one of the following levels for at least one hour in the aggregate for that month: (A) 0.25 Mbps: $5.00; (B) 0.60 Mbps: $3.00; (C) 1.0 Mbps: $2.00. Group 3 Eligible Claimants will receive no less than $7.00, without regard to the number of months (if any) during which Clearwire managed their Internet speed.
Example: If Clearwire managed your Internet speed to 0.6 Mbps for at least one hour per month in each of five months and to 0.25 Mbps for at least on hour per month in each of three other months, and then you cancelled due to service quality and paid an ETF of $40, you would receive $50:
$3 x 5 = $15; $5 x 3 = $15; $40 ÷ 2 = $20; $15 + $15 + $20 = $50
If Clearwire managed an Eligible Claimant’s Internet speeds to different levels in a single month (e.g., sometimes at 1.0 Mbps and at other times 0.6 Mbps or 0.25 Mbps during the same month), the Eligible Claimant will receive only one payment for that month, calculated at the highest dollar amount applicable for that month.
To the extent a former customer has unpaid past due balances, Clearwire may offset past due amounts and issue a check for only the net amount due, if any; but billing disputes previously brought to Clearwire’s attention concerning arithmetic errors will be preserved even if the amount is offset.
In addition, as to its future conduct, Clearwire has agreed to the following:
Network Management. Plaintiffs acknowledge Clearwire manages and will continue to manage its network to maintain network service and integrity, among other things. Clearwire will (i) make available more conspicuous and complete disclosures regarding its network management policy; (ii) modify advertising materials at the next revision in the ordinary course of business to clarify conspicuously that any advertised Internet speeds are subject to network management; and (iii) make readily available disclosures online of a range or examples of Internet speeds to which customers may be managed. In this context, “conspicuous” means the disclosures or a reference to the disclosures (such as an asterisk) will occur not just in Clearwire’s Terms of Service or Acceptable Use Policy but in reasonable proximity to statements in which Clearwire advertises particular Internet speeds or uses the word “unlimited.”
ETF Reinstatement. Clearwire currently does not offer fixed term contracts with ETFs and has no plans to reinstate its use of fixed term contracts. If Clearwire elects to reinstate fixed term contracts within the two years following February 27, 2012, it will at the time of reinstatement instruct its customer service representatives not to charge customers an ETF if they withdraw from their contract for reasons related to quality or speed of service. Clearwire will refund any ETF charged to a customer in violation of Clearwire’s instructions to its customer service representatives.
ETF Waiver. For at least the two years following February 27, 2012, Clearwire will instruct its customer service representatives to waive the ETF for current customers on fixed term contracts who seek to withdraw from their contracts for reasons related to quality or speed of service. Clearwire will refund any ETF charged to a customer in violation of Clearwire’s instructions to its customer service representatives.
To qualify for a credit or payment, you must have submitted a Claim Form electronically or postmarked no later than January 9, 2013.
The Court appointed the law firms of (a) Law Offices of Clifford A. Cantor, P.C.; (b) Milberg LLP; (c) Reese Richman LLP; (d) Tycko & Zavareei LLP; (e) Peterson Wampold Rosato Luna Knopp, PS; (f) Audet & Partners, LLP; and (g) Baillon Thome Jozwiak Miller & Wanta LLP to represent the Class. These lawyers are called Class Counsel. You will not be charged for these lawyers. The Court will determine the amount of Class Counsel’s fees and expenses, which will be paid by Defendant. If you want to be represented by your own lawyer, you may hire one at your own expense.
Class Counsel are moving the Court for an award of attorneys’ fees and expenses and for service awards for the Representative Plaintiffs. The total amount sought will not exceed $2,000,000, including service awards of up to $2,000 each for the Representative Plaintiffs. Defendant will pay Class Counsel’s fees and expenses and the service awards. These amounts will not come out of any funds for payments to Class Members. Defendant has agreed not to oppose these fees and expenses and awards.
Class Counsel filed their papers in support of Final Approval of the Settlement and their application for attorneys’ fees and reimbursement of expenses, and for service awards to the Representative Plaintiffs. These papers were posted on this Settlement website.
You will automatically be considered a Settlement Class Member unless you had specifically requested to opt out of the Settlement. To have been excluded from the Settlement, you must have sent a signed letter by mail stating that you "wanted to opt out of the Clearwire Litigation." You must have included your name, address, telephone number, and your signature. You must have mailed your exclusion request postmarked no later than November 30, 2012 to:
P.O. Box 9910
Dublin, OH 43017-5810
You could not have excluded yourself on the phone or by fax or email.
If you asked to be excluded, you will not get any credit or payment from this Settlement, and you could not have objected to the Settlement, but you will not be legally bound by anything that happens in these Actions. Unless you excluded yourself, you give up your right to sue Clearwire and the other Released Parties for the claims that this Settlement resolves.
If you’re a Class Member, you could have objected to the Settlement if you didn’t like any part of it. You could have given reasons why you think the Court should not approve it. The Court will consider your views. To have objected, you must have sent a signed letter saying that you objected to the proposed settlement in Dennings v. Clearwire Corp., 2:10-cv-01859-JLR. You must have included your name, address, telephone number, that you are a Class Member, and your signature, and state the reasons why you objected to the Settlement. Your objection and any supporting papers must have been mailed to and actually received by Class Counsel at the address below no later than November 30, 2012:
Clifford A. Cantor
Law Offices of
Clifford A. Cantor, P.C.
627 208th Ave. SE
Sammamish, WA 98074-7033
The Court held the Fairness Hearing at 3:00 p.m. on December 19, 2012, at the U.S. Courthouse, 700 Stewart Street, Seattle, Washington 98101. At this hearing, the Court decided the Settlement was fair, reasonable, and adequate and granted approval of the Settlement.
You did not have to come to the hearing. The Court held the Fairness Hearing at 3:00 p.m. on December 19, 2012.
The deadline to submit your Notice of Intention to Appear was November 30, 2012.
More details about the Settlement can be found in the Settlement Agreement and Release of Claims (the “Agreement”). Copies of the Agreement and the pleadings and other documents relating to the case are available on this website or on file at the United States District Court for the Western District of Washington at Seattle and may be examined and copied at any time during regular office hours at the Office of the Clerk, U.S. Courthouse, 700 Stewart Street, Seattle, Washington 98101.
You may also write to: Clearwire Litigation, c/o GCG, P.O. Box 9910, Dublin, OH 43017-5810. Questions may not be directed to the Court.