Lopez-McNear v. Superior Health Linens, LLC

Frequently Asked Questions

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Questions

Answers

1. Why did I receive a Notice and why should I read it?

A Court authorized a Notice to let you know about a proposed Settlement with the Defendant. You have legal rights and options that you may act on before the Court decides whether to approve the proposed Settlement. You may be eligible to receive a cash payment as part of the Settlement. This website explains the lawsuit, the Settlement, and your legal rights.  

Judge Rebecca R. Pallmeyer of the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois is overseeing this class action. The case is called Lopez-McNear v. Superior Health Linens, LLC, Case No. 19-cv-2390. The person who filed the lawsuit, Sonia Lopez-McNear, is the Plaintiff. The company she sued, Superior Health Linens, LLC, is the Defendant. 


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2. What is a class action lawsuit?

A class action is a lawsuit in which one or more plaintiffs—in this case, Sonia Lopez-McNear––sue on behalf of a group of people who have similar claims. Together, this group is called a “Class” and consists of “Class Members.” In a class action, the court resolves the issues for all class members, except those who exclude themselves from the class. After the Parties reached an agreement to settle this case, the Court granted preliminary approval of the Settlement and recognized it as a case that should be treated as a class action for settlement purposes. 


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3. What is this lawsuit about?

This lawsuit alleges that SHL violated an Illinois law called the Biometric Information Privacy Act (“BIPA”) by using hand scanning time clocks in Illinois without complying with the law’s requirements. That law says companies can’t collect, store, or give out “biometric data,” which includes things like face, hand, or fingerprint scans, without first giving notice, getting consent, and posting a policy about what they will do with the data.  

SHL denies Plaintiff’s claims of wrongdoing and contends that it violated no laws. No court has decided who is right. The parties are instead entering into the Settlement to avoid the time and expense of continuing to fight in court. The Settlement is not an admission of wrongdoing by SHL. More information about the complaint in the lawsuit and the Defendant’s position can be found in the “Documents” section of this website .

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4. Who is included in the Settlement Class?

The Court decided that this Settlement includes all current and former employees of Superior Health Linens, LLC that used a hand scanner time clock at a Superior Health Linens facility in the State of Illinois between February 28, 2014 and January 12, 2021. There are 790 people in the Settlement Class.

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5. Who is not included in the Settlement Class?

Some current and former employees of SHL are excluded from the Settlement Class. The Settlement Agreement has a list of the categories of people who are excluded. This list includes  employees that have already released their claim in a separate settlement with SHL or that were in bargaining units of any union, including the Chicago and Midwest Regional Joint Board, Workers United an SEIU affiliate, while working at SHL. Union members aren’t included because federal labor laws may cover the claims in this case and would need to be resolved through the grievance and arbitration procedures set forth in the collective bargaining agreements between SHL and the unions. Other persons are excluded because they worked for the judges or the lawyers involved.   

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6. How do I know if I am in the Settlement Class?

If you are a current or former employee of SHL that used a hand scanner time clock at a Superior Health Linens facility in the State of Illinois between February 28, 2014 and January 12, 2021, and are not subject to any of the exclusions above, then you are a member of the Settlement Class and are entitled to a cash payment.


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7. What does the Settlement provide?

Cash Payments to Class Members: If the Court approves the Settlement, SHL has agreed to pay a gross amount of $1,000 per class member from a $790,000 “Settlement Fund.” Class Counsel will apply to the Court for compensation of up to 35% of the total the Settlement Fund in legal fees and expenses. This amount and the costs of administering the Settlement, as well as an incentive award to the named Plaintiff, will be deducted from the Settlement Fund before it is equally distributed to class members, which if granted, Class Counsel expect will result in settlement payments to class  members of approximately $620 each.

Agreement on Future Conduct: As part of the Settlement, SHL has agreed that it will destroy the biometric data of all former employees. SHL has stopped using its hand scanning time clocks as of March 2019 and further agrees that if it goes back to using a biometric timekeeping system at its Illinois facilities, it will comply with BIPA going forward by obtaining written releases from all Illinois employees who use biometric time clocks, making BIPA-required disclosures, destroying biometric data that it no longer needs, and establishing a retention policy. 

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8. How can Class Members get a payment?

If you are a Class Member, the Settlement Administrator will send a check to your last known address. You can request to update your address on this Website through the Contact section.

In order to avoid backup tax withholding of your payment under this Settlement, you must complete the electronic W-9 form or download the W-9 form available in the documents section of this website and mail it to: Lopez-McNear v. SHL, c/o Settlement Administrator P.O. Box 292 Warminster, PA 18974-0292 . You will still receive a payment if you do not fill out the W-9 form, but taxes will be withheld from your check.

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9. When will Class Members receive a payment?

The hearing to consider the fairness of the Settlement is scheduled for April 27, 2021 at 11:00 a.m. If the Court approves the Settlement, eligible Class Members will automatically be sent a check within 60 days. Please be patient. All checks will expire and become void 90 days after they are issued. Uncashed checks will be donated to the Electronic Privacy Information Center (“EPIC”) and Legal Aid Chicago, earmarked to support the Workers’ Rights Practice Group, pending Court approval.

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10. Do I have a lawyer in the case?

Yes, the Court has appointed lawyers Jay Edelson, J. Eli Wade-Scott, and Schuyler Ufkes of Edelson PC and David Fish of the Fish Law Firm PC as the attorneys to represent Class Members. These attorneys are called “Class Counsel.” In addition, the Court appointed Plaintiff Sonia Lopez-McNear to serve as the Class Representative. She is also Class Member. Class Counsel can be reached by calling 1-866-354-3015.

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11. Should I get my own lawyer?

You don’t need to hire your own lawyer because Class Counsel is working on your behalf. You may hire your own lawyer, but if you want your own lawyer, you will have to pay that lawyer. 

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12. How will the lawyers be paid?

Class Counsel will ask the Court for attorneys’ fees and expenses of up to 35% of the $790,000 Settlement Fund, and will also request an incentive award of $5,000 for the Class Representative. The Court will determine the proper amount of any attorneys’ fees and expenses to award Class Counsel and the proper amount of any award to the Class Representative. The Court may award less than the amounts requested. 

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13. What happens if I do nothing at all?

If you received a Notice and do nothing, you will be a Settlement Class Member, and if the Court approves the Settlement, you will automatically receive a payment and you will also be bound by all orders and judgments of the Court. Unless you exclude yourself, you won’t be able to start a lawsuit or be part of any other lawsuit against SHL or any other related entity for the claims or legal issues being resolved by this Settlement.

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14. What happens if I ask to be excluded?

If you exclude yourself from the Settlement, you will receive no payment under the Settlement, and you will no longer be a Settlement Class Member. You will keep your right to start your own lawsuit against SHL for the same legal claims at issue in this lawsuit. You will not be legally bound by the Court’s judgments related to the Settlement Class and the Defendant in this class action.


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15. How do I ask to be excluded?

You can mail or email a letter stating that you want to be excluded from the Settlement. Your letter must: (1) be in writing, (2) identify the case name, “Lopez-McNear v. Superior Health Linens, LLC, Case No. 19-cv-2390 (N.D. Ill.),” (3) state your full name and current address, (4) be physically signed by you, and (5) be postmarked or received by the Settlement Administrator on or before April 6, 2021. Your request to be excluded must also include a statement to the effect that: “I hereby request to be excluded from the proposed Settlement Class in Lopez-McNear v. Superior Health Linens, LLC, Case No. 19-cv-2390 (N.D. Ill.).” You must mail or email your exclusion request no later than April 6, 2021 to:

Lopez-McNear v. SHL
c/o Settlement Administrator
P.O. Box 292
Warminster, PA 18974-0292


You can’t exclude yourself over the phone.


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16. If I don’t exclude myself, can I sue SHL for the same thing later?

No. Unless you exclude yourself, you give up any right to sue SHL and any other released party for the claims being resolved by this Settlement. 

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17. If I exclude myself, can I get anything from this Settlement?

No. If you exclude yourself, you will not receive a payment.

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18. How do I object to the Settlement?

If you do not exclude yourself from the Settlement Class, you can object to the Settlement if you don’t like any part of it. You can give reasons why you think the Court should deny approval by filing an objection. To object, you must file a letter or brief with the Court stating that you object to the Settlement in Lopez-McNear v. Superior Health Linens, LLC, Case No. 19-cv-2390 (N.D. Ill.), no later than April 6, 2021.Your objection must be e-filed or delivered to the Court at the following address:

Clerk of the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois
Everett McKinley Dirksen United States Courthouse
219 South Dearborn Street 
Chicago, Illinois 60604

The objection must be in writing, must be signed, and must include the following information: (1) your full name and current address, (2) a statement that you believe yourself to be a member of the Settlement Class, (3) the specific grounds for your objection, (4) all documents or writings that you desire the Court to consider, (5) the name and contact information of any and all attorneys representing, advising, or in any way assisting you in connection with the preparation or submission of your objection or who may profit from the pursuit of your objection, and (6) a statement indicating whether you (or your counsel) intend to appear at the Final Approval Hearing. If you are represented by a lawyer, he or she must file an appearance or seek pro hac vice admission to practice before the Court, and electronically file the objection.

In addition to filing your objection with the Court, you must send via mail, email, or delivery service, by no later than April 6,2021, copies of your objection and any supporting documents to both Class Counsel and the Defendant’s lawyers at the addresses listed below:

Class Counsel:
Schuyler Ufkes
[email protected]
EDELSON PC
350 North LaSalle Street, 14th Floor
Chicago, Illinois 60654 

Defense Counsel:
Michael D. Hayes
[email protected]
HUSCH BLACKWELL LLP
120 South Riverside Plaza, Suite 2200 
Chicago, Illinois 60606

Class Counsel will file with the Court and post on the Settlement Website its request for attorneys’ fees and incentive award on March 23, 2021.

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19. What’s the difference between objecting and excluding myself from the Settlement?

Objecting simply means telling the Court that you don’t like something about the Settlement. You can object only if you stay in the Settlement Class as a Class Member. Excluding yourself from the Settlement Class is telling the Court that you don’t want to be a Settlement Class Member. If you exclude yourself, you have no basis to object because the case no longer affects you.   

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20. When and where will the Court decide whether to approve the Settlement?

The Court will hold the Final Approval Hearing on April 27, 2021 at 11:00 a.m. before the Honorable Rebecca R. Pallmeyer in Room 2541 of the Everett McKinley Dirksen United States Courthouse, 219 South Dearborn Street, Chicago, Illinois 60604. The purpose of the hearing is for the Court to determine whether the Settlement is fair, reasonable, adequate, and in the best interests of the Class. At the hearing, the Court will hear any objections and arguments concerning the fairness of the proposed Settlement, including those related to the amount requested by Class Counsel for attorneys’ fees and expenses and the incentive award to the Class Representative.

Note: The date and time of the Final Approval Hearing are subject to change by Court Order. Any changes will be posted on this website

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21. Do I have to come to the hearing?

No. Class Counsel will answer any questions the Court may have. You are welcome to come at your own expense. If you send an objection, you don’t have to come to Court to talk about it. As long as your written objection was filed or mailed on time and meets the other criteria described in the Settlement, the Court will consider it. You may also pay a lawyer to attend, but you don’t have to. 

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22. May I speak at the hearing?

Yes. If you do not exclude yourself from the Settlement Class, you may ask the Court for permission to speak at the hearing concerning any part of the proposed Settlement. If you filed an objection (see FAQ 18) and intend to appear at the hearing, you must state your intention to do so in your objection.

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23. Where do I get more information?

This website summarizes the proposed Settlement. More details, including the Settlement Agreement and other documents are available in the documents section of this website  or at the Clerk’s Office in the Everett McKinley Dirksen United States Courthouse, 219 South Dearborn Street, Chicago, Illinois 60604, between 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, excluding Court holidays and any closures as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. You can also contact Class Counsel at 1-866-354-3015 with any questions.

PLEASE DO NOT CONTACT THE COURT, THE JUDGE, THE DEFENDANT OR THE 
DEFENDANT’S LAWYERS WITH QUESTIONS ABOUT THE SETTLEMENT OR DISTRIBUTION OF CHECKS.

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This website is authorized by the Court, supervised by counsel and controlled by the Settlement Administrator approved by the Court. This is the only authorized website for this case.

For more information please call 1-833-644-1594

Final Approval Hearing Information

Final Approval Hearing Information

Documents

Please read for a full explanation of the settlement and your options and all applicable timelines.

Contact

Contact us with any inquiries, comments, and/or requests.

W-9 Form

Click here to safely and securely submit a W-9Form.

Important Dates

  • Exclusion Deadline

    Tuesday, April 6, 2021
    You must complete and mail your request for exclusion so that it is postmarked no later than Tuesday, April 6, 2021.
  • Objection Deadline

    Tuesday, April 6, 2021
    You must mail your objection(s) and/or notice of intent to appear at the Final Approval Hearing so that it/they are postmarked no later than Tuesday, April 6, 2021.
  • W-9 Form Deadline

    Tuesday, April 27, 2021
    You must submit your W-9 Form on-line no later than Tuesday, April 27, 2021, or mail your completed paper W-9 Form so that it is postmarked no later than Tuesday, April 27, 2021.
  • Final Approval Hearing Date

    Tuesday, April 27, 2021
    The Final Approval Hearing is scheduled for Tuesday, April 27, 2021 at 11:00 a.m. Please check this website for updates.

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