If I lost my dogs, I would be devastated.
You may be entitled to a cash payment from a class action settlement fund if you have or had an ADT residential security system that included wireless sensors.
This notice affects you if, between November 13, 2009 and August 15, 2016, you first entered into a contract with ADT or an ADT dealer for installation of a residential security system, or if you had ADT or an ADT dealer install a residential security system, that includes at least one wireless peripheral sensor. Pursuant to a proposed class action settlement, and subject to the approval of the Court, ADT has agreed to pay $16 million to eligible ADT customers, less administrative costs, attorneys' fees and expenses, and representative service awards. You must, however, submit a claim form to claim your share of the proposed settlement fund. The Court authorized publication of this notice in addition to email and other written notice you may receive. This is a summary of the Settlement and your legal rights.
What is the lawsuit about? Several consumers around the country have sued ADT, alleging that ADT failed to disclose that the wireless peripheral sensors used in its residential security systems can be jammed or disrupted and thus allegedly pose security risks. ADT denies these allegations, denies liability, and asserts numerous defenses. The suit is a class action, meaning that the customers who sued (the "class representatives") asked for relief not only for themselves, but for all similarly situated consumers. Without admitting liability or fault, ADT has agreed to pay $16 million to compromise those claims. The settlement, however, does not release any of your claims for personal injuries or for damage to or loss of property. The parties have entered into a Settlement Agreement which will be presented to the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California in the action Edenborough v. ADT LLC, Case No. 16-cv-02233.
What benefits does the settlement provide ? The settlement funds will be used to pay eligible class members, pay the legal fees incurred by the class representatives (up to 25% of the settlement fund) plus expenses, and service awards to each of the class representatives as awarded by the Court, in varying amounts up to a maximum of $10,000. If the Court approves the settlement, ADT customers who meet the eligibility criteria and submit a timely, valid claim form will receive a share of the settlement amount, estimated at $15 and $45 depending on the date of their contracts. These payment amounts may be adjusted up or down depending on the number of Claim Forms received, so as to fully and fairly allocate and pay out the entire net settlement fund to Class Members who submit Claim Forms. None of the money in the settlement fund will revert back to ADT.
Tax Consequences of Settlement . Any benefits you receive may or may not be the subject of state or federal taxation depending on your individual circumstances. Class Counsel are not tax attorneys and you are advised to seek separate legal advice on matters of taxation.
How can you get a payment ? Detailed information about the settlement and the claim submission process is posted on the settlement website and can also be obtained by calling the number below. You must be a class member and submit a Claim Form on or before February 26, 2018 to get a payment.
What other options do you have ? If you would prefer not to be part of the settlement and not get a payment, you have the right to ask the Court to exclude you. To do so, you must complete and submit a request for exclusion by January 2, 2018 . If you want to be part of the settlement but object to its terms, you or your attorney can submit written objections and/or appear at the final approval hearing discussed below. To do so, you must complete and submit your objection by January 2, 2018 .
Final Approval Hearing . The Court will hold a hearing on February 1, 2018 , at which time it will consider any objections, decide what fees to award, and decide whether to approve the Settlement.
Posted on 4/17/2014
Lt. Commander Chris Sacra knows a thing or two about fire. A 17-year Navy veteran, he is trained in basic firefighting and he’s put that training to use many times while on duty. "I don’t profess to be an expert," says Chris, who is 39 and lives in Norfolk, VA, "but I know how quickly it can escalate. I know, with fire, time is not on your side."
That lesson would become personal on the evening of June 26, 2014, when a fire broke out in Chris’s kitchen while he was driving into town to go grocery shopping. No one was home — no one, that is, except for Sophie, Chris’s three-year-old Labrador Retriever, his best friend and constant companion.
Below are the accounts of Chris (whose comments reflect only his views and not those of the U.S. Navy) and ADT Customer Service Representative Michael Gervase, with comments and information from Pets for Patriots*, the National Fire Protection Association** and the American Kennel Club***.
Chris Sacra: I had grilled turkey burgers on a cast iron skillet on the stove. After I finished eating, I took Sophie for a 40-minute walk around the neighborhood. She loves walks. If I say, “We are going to go walkies,” she will jump with all four legs in the air. When we got back, I grabbed my car keys and left for the grocery store.
I had driven maybe two miles when my cell phone went off. It was ADT. The dispatcher told me they had a smoke alarm going off at my house and did I want him to send the fire department. My initial thought was that it must be a false alarm. I had just left my house and everything was fine. But I said “Hold on.” I had the ADT pulse app so I could pull up the [security] camera on my phone.
I could see there was smoke blacking out the picture in my dining room. I said to the dispatcher, “Yes, there’s smoke. Please send the fire department.” I told him “Hey, my dog is in the house.” And I thought to myself, ‘How is she going to get out of the house if there is nobody there?’ And I turned my car around.
ADT Customer Service Representative Michael Gervase was working as a Dispatcher in ADT’s Knoxville, TN monitoring center when his computer screen signaled a smoke alarm at Chris’s house.
Michael Gervase: I had only been taking phone calls for about two weeks at the time. I was brand new. I didn’t get any answer at the house but I got Chris on his cell phone. He saw smoke on his camera and asked me to call the fire department, so I promptly did that. I noted that there was a dog on the premises [and that information was in Chris’s ADT file]. I’ve had dogs most of my life and I love dogs. My wife and I have two dogs of our own — Max, a Cairn Terrier, and Heidi, a Chorkie, which is a Chihuahua-Yorkie mix. If I lost my dogs, I would be devastated.
Chris: As I was driving back, I had to stop at a red light. I saw a fire truck [from the Norfolk Fire Department] with the siren on pulling in front of me. I said to myself, “I bet they’re going to my house.” While I was waiting at the light, I used the ADT pulse app to unlock the front door so they wouldn’t have to break it with an axe. When I got there, the firefighters were hopping out of the truck and unloading equipment. I stopped the car and ran out and opened the door.
Sophie was right there waiting. She was happy, like, “Oh, you’re back!” But I could see the house was filled with smoke in the kitchen, living room and dining room. Sophie had gotten stitches for a cut and she was wearing one of those collars — the “cone of shame.” I took her to the front lawn and told her to lay down and I pet her. I didn’t go in the house. I wanted to let the professionals do their job.
(The National Fire Protection Association says, in the event of a fire, people should evacuate the house immediately; they should not stay in the house or go back in to try to find or rescue pets — firefighters are trained in search and rescue. “There have been people who have not survived after reentering a burning home,” says Judy Comoletti, NFPA’s division manager for public education).
Chris: It turned out that Sophie had jumped up and put her paws on the stove to get at the skillet that had the turkey grease. She somehow had pushed the left front burner knob and turned on the gas burner. I had left one of those plastic microwave trays for cooking bacon on the metal grill and that caught on fire. That sent flames to the microwave over the stove. When the firefighters ripped it out, it was a mutilated heap. There was so much soot it was unbelievable. The entire kitchen ceiling was black.
The firefighters explained to me how with each second smoke increases exponentially and it was filling the house. I would say another three minutes and Sophie would have died of smoke inhalation. I live on a corner lot and no houses face the back of my house so there was no one to see what was happening. If ADT hadn’t called me, I would have come back from the grocery store and my house would have been 50% burned up and Sophie would have been dead. I would have been devastated. It would have been like losing a family member.
Chris adopted Sophie in 2013, after his dog, Samantha, died of cancer a year earlier. He got help from Pets for Patriots (petsforpatriots.org), a national nonprofit that helps military servicemen and women (active and retired) adopt dogs and cats who need homes. To date, the organization has facilitated 1,082 pet adoptions.
Chris: I never had dogs growing up. But when we were little, my brother and I always talked about how one day we would have a house and a dog. I like having a dog as a single person. No mater what happens during the day, when I come home she is always happy to see me and I can tell her about my day and she is there to wag her tale and lick my face. And it makes you social—you walk your dog and people come up and ask about her. Sophie has a big cushion next to the bed but if she bugs me during the night, I let her come up and lie on the bed. She has to be touching me or leaning against me. For me, it’s the closest thing to having a child.
Pets for Patriots Executive Director Beth Zimmerman: Chris was really hurting after his dog Samantha died; she accompanied him all over the world whenever the military relocated him. Chris wasn’t ready to bring another pet into his life and he had gone into one [Norfolk] shelter repeatedly. One day, Sophie picked him and he knew it was right. Many of these dogs and cats have been abused, or this is their second, third or even fourth chance at a new life. Veterans each have their own story, too. Many are returning from combat with wounds, seen and unseen; others may be lonely; some may want to help fill the void of their absence when they deploy. They develop a remarkable empathy with these animals, and it’s amazing to see how they bond.
Back in Knoxville, ADT’s Michael Gervase didn’t know what the outcome of his call to the fire department had been.
Michael: One of the ADT managers called me into the office and told me what had happened. They told me that the dog’s life had been saved and that Chris wanted to meet me. I was flabbergasted. I didn’t do anything special. I just did what I was supposed to do. But it’s a great feeling to know that you have helped save basically a family member for someone.
On August 6, 2014, Chris and Michael met at an ADT LifeSaver award ceremony at Chris’s home.
Michael: Chris is in the Navy and I’m retired Navy and my first duty station was Norfolk, so he and I traded notes a little bit. And Sophie is a sweetheart. She’s like a big puppy. Chris sees Sophie the way I see my dogs — they mean so much.
Chris: When I met Michael I said, “Thank you very much. You saved my dog’s life.” He reached out and he pet Sophie right away. I called ADT the next morning and said “I want you to know that the ADT system saved my dog’s life.” If my alarm hadn’t gone off, if ADT hadn’t called me or the app didn’t work, and the firefighters, they were on a call but went directly to my house — if all these people hadn’t done their jobs, it could have turned out pretty ugly and this could have been a sad story.
I learned that when you leave your pet alone, it’s like leaving a child at home. You have to make sure your house is pet-proofed. I went out and bought those stove-knob protector things they sell [for young children] so she couldn’t turn the knobs on. Now, I don’t leave anything flammable on top of the stove ever. Also, after I cook on my stove, I take the pot off right away and put it in the sink. When your pet is home and you are out, there has to be some way for the fire department to be alerted. Because a pet isn’t going to dial 911. They can’t call for help. They can’t open the door and go outside. They are dependent on us.
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The ADT LifeSaver Program recognizes outstanding ADT professionals who helped save a customer’s life.
- Amy S., Wayne Township, IN