UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT DISTRICT OF NEW JERSEY
In re: Caterpillar, Inc. C13 and C15 Engine Products Liability Litigation
A Court authorized a notice because you have a right to know about the proposed Settlement of a class action lawsuit known as In re: Caterpillar, Inc. C13 and C15 Engine Products Liability Litigation, United States District Court District of New Jersey, MDL No. 2540, Master Docket No. 14-3722(JBS)(JS) and about all of your options before the Court decides whether to give final approval to the Settlement. The Notice explains the lawsuit, the Settlement, and your legal rights.
If you did not receive a copy of the Notice, you can download a copy here.Back To Top
The lawsuit alleges that Caterpillar's exhaust emission control system, known as the CAT Regeneration System (“CRS”), failed to work reliably, causing its EPA 2007 Compliant Caterpillar On Highway C13 and C15 engines (manufactured in 2006, 2007, 2008 and 2009), including the CRS components incorporated therewith (“Subject Engines”) to derate (lose horsepower) and shut down and requiring Caterpillar authorized, dealer technicians to repair the Subject Engines, which they allegedly could not effectively do. The complaint in the lawsuit alleges that the CRS failed to operate under all conditions and all applications on a consistent and reliable basis even after repeated CRS warranty repairs and replacements. Allegedly, these repeated warranty repairs and replacements failed to correct the CRS issues, resulting in damages to the owners and lessees of vehicles with the Subject Engines. The alleged damages included diminished value of the vehicles powered by the Subject Engines and out-of-pocket costs such as repair invoices, towing costs, vehicle rental costs and related hotel/taxi charges. Among other claims, the complaint alleges causes of action for breach of express warranty.
Caterpillar has filed answers denying the claims of Plaintiffs and strongly denies all of Plaintiffs’ claims; denies all allegations of wrongdoing, fault, liability or damage of any kind to Plaintiffs or the Class/Settlement Class; denies that it acted improperly or wrongfully in any way; and believes that this litigation is without merit.
Judge Jerome B. Simandle of the United States District Court District of New Jersey is overseeing this case. The people who sued are called the “Plaintiffs.” Caterpillar Inc. (Caterpillar) is the “Defendant.”
The Plaintiffs’ Second Amended Complaint, the Settlement Agreement, Preliminary Approval Order, and other case-related documents are posted here. The Settlement resolves the lawsuit. The Court has not decided who is right.Back To Top
In a class action, one or more people called “Class Representatives” sue on behalf of themselves and other people with similar claims. Together, all the people with similar claims (except those who exclude themselves) are members of a “Settlement Class.”
The Class Representatives here are Ronald Bagley; Bailey Coach, Inc.; BK Trucking Co.; Leroy Bolton Trucking Co.; David Brewer; Brian Brown; Bryant’s Transport, Inc.; C&F Movers, Inc.; Columbia Petroleum Transportation, LLC; DeCamp Bus Lines; Eagle Valley South, Inc.; Easton Coach Company; Eclipse Charter & Tours, LLC; First Priority Tours, Inc.; G&G Specialized Carriers; Gentry Coach d/b/a Gentry Trailways; Harmon Bros. Charter Services, Inc.; John Lamanteer; K Double D, Inc.; Kelton Tours Unlimited Limited Liability Company; Edward Charles McLean; MNS Enterprises, Inc.; NW Navigator Luxury Coaches LLC; Roadrunner Charters, Inc.; Salud Services, Inc. d/b/a Endeavor Bus Lines; S&M Mercado, Inc.; German Saravia; Scenic Boundaries Trans. Inc.; Tri-City Charter of Bossier Inc.; U.S. Transport; Vandalia Bus Lines, Inc.; Ricky A. Williams; and Windy City Limousine LLC.Back To Top
The Court has not decided in favor of the Plaintiffs or Defendant. Instead, both sides have agreed to the Settlement. By agreeing to the Settlement, the Parties avoid the costs and uncertainty of a trial, and if the Settlement is approved by the Court, Settlement Class members will receive the benefits described in the Notice. The proposed Settlement does not mean that any law was broken or that Caterpillar did anything wrong. Caterpillar denies all legal claims in this case. Plaintiffs and their lawyers think the proposed Settlement is best for everyone who is affected.Back To Top
A “Subject Engine” is defined as all EPA 2007 Compliant Caterpillar On Highway C13 and C15 engines (manufactured in 2006, 2007, 2008 and 2009) at issue in the lawsuit, including the CRS components of the engines.
“CRS” stands for “Caterpillar Regeneration System” and describes the components of the Subject Engines. The parts that make up the CRS are described here.
A “CRS Related Repair” means a repair or replacement of any Caterpillar Regeneration System related part or component (an ARD Head for example) as indicated by the 45 DT and F code combinations set forth here. Repairs or replacements made due to a Caterpillar Service Letter performed pro-actively shall not be considered as a CRS Related Repair. The CRS Related Repair can have occurred at any time during your ownership of a vehicle with the Subject Engine. If you have any questions about how to determine the number of CRS Related Repairs that cannot be answered by the Notice or this website, you may call the Settlement Administrator at 1-888-593-5379.Back To Top
The Settlement includes all persons or entities in the United States who are original purchasers, original lessees, subsequent purchasers or subsequent lessees (including but not limited to those having purchased via a TRAC option or some rights to residual purchase of vehicles at lease end) of a vehicle powered by a Subject Engine. The Parties agree to certification of the national Settlement Class for purposes of the Settlement Agreement only.
Excluded from the Class are Defendant, all present or former affiliates and/or directors of Defendant, the Judge of this Court, the Judge’s family and staff, and all persons who have already made a timely and valid exclusion to be excluded from the Class in accordance with the provisions of the Notice of Pendency, all persons who have already released claims against Defendant for the relief provided herein, and all persons who will make a timely and valid election to be excluded from the Class in accordance with the provisions of the Notice. Settlement Class does not include persons or entities that have previously executed settlement releases concerning the Subject Engines. Such persons or entities that have previously executed settlement releases are specifically excluded from the Class.Back To Top
The Settlement establishes a $60 million Settlement Fund for the benefit of the Class. All Class members who submit an Approved Claim (one deemed by the Settlement Administrator to be on time, accurate and complete) will be eligible to receive a pro rata share of the Net Settlement Fund according to the following guidelines:
Instead of seeking a payment as set forth in B or C above, each eligible Class member that experienced at least one CRS Related Repair has the option to seek to claim losses (proofs could include receipts, invoices, bills, etc.) up to a maximum of $15,000, experienced as a consequence of qualified CRS Related Repairs. These losses can include but not be limited to towing charges, rental charges, and hotel charges. In the event the Class member seeks payment pursuant to this optional prove up process, the Class member shall not be eligible to seek payment under B. or C. above.
Payments to eligible Claimants may be adjusted pro rata (up or down) depending on the number of eligible claims filed and the total amount of the Settlement Fund available to pay claims. Payments to Class members will exhaust the Net Settlement Fund. No money will be returned to Caterpillar.Back To Top
The deadline to file a Claim Form has passed.Back To Top
Unless you exclude yourself from the Settlement, you cannot sue or be part of any other lawsuit against Caterpillar about the issues in this case, including any existing litigation, arbitration, or proceeding. Unless you exclude yourself, all of the decisions and judgments by the Court will bind you. If you file a Claim Form for benefits or do nothing at all, you will be releasing Caterpillar from all of the claims described and identified in Section 12 of the Settlement Agreement.
The Settlement Agreement is available here. The Settlement Agreement provides more detail regarding the release and describes the released claims with specific descriptions in necessary, accurate legal terminology, so read it carefully.Back To Top
The deadline to exclude yourself from the Settlement has passed.Back To Top
No. Unless you exclude yourself, you give up any right you might have to sue Caterpillar for legal claims that the Settlement resolves. You must exclude yourself from the Settlement Class in order to try to maintain your own lawsuit. If you start your own lawsuit, you will have to hire your own lawyer, and you will have to prove your claims.Back To Top
No. You will not get a payment from the Settlement Fund if you exclude yourself from the Settlement.Back To Top
The Court has appointed the following lawyers as “Lead Class Counsel” to represent all members of the Settlement Class: Cohen Milstein Sellers & Toll PLLC; Shepherd Finkelman Miller & Shah, LLP; Quantum Legal, LLC and Carella Byrne Cecchi Olstein Brody & Agnello, P.C. Other firms include Seeger Weiss, LLP, Kohn; Swift & Graf and Farmer, Jaffe, Weissing, Edwards, Fistos & Lehrman.
You will not be charged for these lawyers. If you want to be represented by another lawyer, you may hire one to appear in Court for you at your own expense.Back To Top
Class Counsel intend to request up to thirty-three and 1/3 percent (33⅓% ) of the value of the Settlement Fund for attorneys’ fees plus reimbursement of reasonable expenses. The Court will decide the amount of fees and expenses to award.
Class Counsel also will request that Service Awards of $20,000 be paid from the Settlement Fund to each of the Class Representatives for their service as representatives on behalf of the whole Settlement Class.Back To Top
The deadline to tell the Court that you do not like the Settlement has passed.Back To Top
Objecting is simply telling the Court that you do not like something about the Settlement. You can object to the Settlement only if you do not exclude yourself. Excluding yourself is telling the Court that you do not want to be part of the Settlement. If you exclude yourself, you have no basis to object to the Settlement because it no longer affects you.
The Court will hold a hearing to decide whether to approve the Settlement and any requests for fees and expenses (“Fairness Hearing”).Back To Top
The Final Approval Order and Judgement was approved on September 20th 2016.Back To Top
If you are a Class member and do nothing, you will not get benefits from the Settlement. And, unless you exclude yourself, you will be bound by the judgment entered by the Court. This means you will not be able to start a lawsuit, continue with a lawsuit, or be part of any other lawsuit or proceeding against Caterpillar about the statements and claims at issue in this case.Back To Top
More details are in the Settlement Agreement. For a complete, definitive statement of the Settlement terms, refer to the Settlement Agreement. You may also write with questions to the Settlement Administrator or call the toll-free number, 1-888-593-5379.
Caterpillar Engine Settlement Administrator
PO Box 4153
Portland, OR 97208-4153
All claims were processed in accordance with the terms of the Settlement Agreement. Unfortunately, once a claim has been denied the denial cannot be disputed.Back To Top
Due to the complexity of the claims that were submitted some of the Class Member records required further review and adjudication by a Special Master who was selected by the parties and approved by the Court to carry out any further review that was necessary. We were unable to mail payments until all claims had been reviewed and finalized by the Special Master.Back To Top
Pursuant to the terms of the Settlement, checks were issued to Class Members who submitted valid, timely claims.Back To Top
If you submitted a claim for a cash but did not receive a check, then your claim was considered not eligible for a payment under the terms of the Settlement for one or more of the following reasons:
In accordance with the terms of the Settlement, the payments are a pro rata share of the total Settlement Award.Back To Top
The pro-rata share means that the Gross Settlement Amount was insufficient to pay the maximum possible award to each class member who submitted a valid claim form. Each class member’s payment was calculated using the pro-rata Reduction Formula, which consisted of an equal percentage reduction to each class member’s award.Back To Top
The amount of approved claims exceeded the funds available to pay them. In accordance with the Settlement Agreement Section 3B, the payment amounts have been reduced to 45.8% of the claimed amounts. No funds will revert to Caterpillar.Back To Top
No. The time to amend or revise all claims has passed. The determination of your claim and the payment amount is final not subject to appeal or challenge.Back To Top
You should seek advice about any tax questions from a tax specialist. Neither Class Counsel nor the Settlement Administrator can provide you with tax advice concerning this payment. The Settlement Administrator will not issue tax forms.Back To Top