UPDATE ON CLAIMS PROCESSING
Some class members have been asking when they might expect to receive their checks, so we wanted to answer this question while also explaining why the claims process takes some time. Based on our current processing, we are hopeful that checks will be mailed in November 2016.
As you know, we intentionally made the claims process as easy as possible, to encourage participation and allow for the settlement to benefit as many class members as we could. To make your claim, you did not have to provide documentation or a particular account number – something which is often found in class action settlements but may have been difficult for a number of class members.
The simple claims process was a success. Well over 200,000 claims were submitted, which for a settlement of this nature is an extraordinary percentage of class members.
The simplicity of the claims process and the large number of claims creates the need for time-consuming claims review. The 200,000+ claims first had to be inputted, with all paper claims inputted by hand. Then we had to attempt to match claimants to the database information provided by Duke, which can sometimes be difficult. For example, someone may have made a claim using their married name instead of their maiden name that was on the account during the Class Period of 2005-2008. This type of review often has to be done by a person rather than a computer. In addition, we have accommodated class member efforts to update information for their preexisting claims. Finally, under the terms of the settlement, where there are deficiencies that can be remedied class members are generally given the opportunity to do so.
Once all claims are processed and correctable deficiencies addressed, we will ask the Court for permission to begin distributing checks. Again, we believe this will take place within a few months. We thank you for your patience.