Stevia in the Raw Settlement
Processed by Dahl Administration
Following is a list of frequently asked questions about this settlement. To view the answer to a question, please click on the question from the list below. The answers to these questions will be updated periodically to reflect the current status of the settlement.
A proposed settlement has been reached in a class action lawsuit about the labelling, marketing, and advertising of Cumberland’s Stevia in the Raw brand Consumer Products. The two plaintiffs who filed the lawsuit allege the Stevia in the Raw brand Consumer Products are not “natural,” “all natural” or “100% natural” and are inaccurately and deceptively labeled as so. Cumberland denies that its marketing, advertising, and/or labeling of the Stevia in the Raw Consumer Products is false, deceptive, or misleading to consumers or violates any legal requirement.
You are a member of the Settlement Class of consumers on behalf of whom the Lawsuit was filed (a “Class member”) if you purchased at least one Stevia in the Raw brand product containing the phrases “natural,” “all natural” or “100% natural” in the United States between October 9, 2009, and July 1, 2014. Settlement Class Members must have both resided in the United States and purchased the product in the United States for their household use or personal consumption and not for resale or distribution.
The following persons are excluded from the Settlement Class: (a) Cumberland’s board members, executive-level officers, and attorneys; (b) governmental entities; (c) the Court, the Court’s immediate family, and the Court staff; and (d) any person that timely and properly excludes himself or herself from the Settlement Class in accordance with the procedures approved by the Court.
Cumberland will create a fund of up to $1,547,000 to pay Class Members’ Claims, certain administrative costs, attorneys’ fees and expenses, incentive awards, and other costs. You may obtain a cash payment of up to $2 for each package of a Stevia in the Raw brand Consumer Product containing the phrases “natural,” “all natural” or “100% natural” that you purchased between October 9, 2009 and July 1, 2014, up to a maximum of 8 packages. The maximum cash payment is $16 per claimant. The amount of your payment will depend on the statements in your Claim Form. These awards may be subject to pro rata downward adjustment depending on the number of claims approved. Only one Claim Form is permitted for each household, and two or more claimants may not submit Claim Forms for the same alleged damage.
You must return a Claim Form to get a cash payment. A copy of the Claim Form is included in a mailed Notice Package you may have received. Claim Forms may be filed online or you may download the Claim Form from this website to complete and submit by mail. You may also request a Claim Form by calling 1-888-313-3557.
The Claim Forms are simple and easy to complete.
The Claim Form requires that you provide:
Returning a Claim Form is the only way to receive a cash payment from this settlement. Only one Claim Form is permitted for each household, and two or more claimants may not submit Claim Forms for the same alleged damage.
The Settlement Administrator may request verification or additional information if the Claim Form is insufficient to process your claim. Failure to provide any requested documentation may result in the denial of your claim and may limit the remedy you receive.
If you mail your Claim Form, it must be postmarked no later than June 6, 2016.
If you submit your Claim Form online on this settlement website, it must be submitted no later than June 6, 2016.
The Claim Forms will be reviewed by an independent Settlement Administrator according to criteria agreed to by the parties. Any Settlement Class Member whose claim is rejected by the Settlement Administrator will have the right to petition the Court for review of the rejection within 14 days of the date of such rejection.
The Settlement Administrator may contact you or other persons listed in your Claim Form if additional information is needed verify information in your Claim Form.
The Court will hold a Final Fairness Hearing at 2:00 p.m. on April 6, 2016 in the Courtroom of the Honorable Roanne L. Mann, United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York, 225 Cadman Plaza East, Brooklyn, New York, 11201, to decide whether to approve the settlement. If the Court approves the settlement, after that there may be appeals. It is always uncertain whether these appeals can be resolved, and resolving them can take time, perhaps more than a year.
If there are no appeals or other delays, you should be sent your cash payment approximately 120 days after the claim deadline, which is June 6, 2016. Updates on the status of the settlement will be posted on this website as they become available.
If the total amount of timely and valid claims is more than $880,000, the payments to Settlement Class Members will be reduced pro rata such that each claimant would receive proportionally less than the amount he or she claimed.
You must return a Claim Form to receive a cash payment. If you are a Class Member and you do nothing, you will get no money from the settlement, and, unless you exclude yourself, you will not be able to start a lawsuit against Cumberland about the legal issues in this case.
If you do not wish to be included in the Class and receive settlement benefits, you must send a letter to the Settlement Administrator stating that you want to be excluded from this lawsuit. Be sure to include your name and address and your signature. You must mail your exclusion request post-marked no later than March 8, 2016 to:
If you ask to be excluded, you will not get any settlement payment, and you cannot object to the settlement. You will not be legally bound by anything that happens in this lawsuit. You may be able to sue (or continue to sue) Cumberland in the future.
If you have a pending lawsuit against Cumberland, speak to your lawyer immediately. Remember, the exclusion date is March 8, 2016.
The Court appointed the law firms of Reese LLP and Halunen Law to represent you and other class members. These lawyers are called Class Counsel. If you want to be represented by your own lawyer, you may hire one at your own expense.
Class Counsel will ask the Court to award them attorneys' fees and expenses. Cumberland has agreed to pay attorney’s fees and expenses awarded by the Court up to $450,000.
The two plaintiffs will also ask the Court to award them an amount not to exceed $3,500 each for their time and effort acting as plaintiffs and for their willingness to bring this litigation and act on behalf of consumers. These amounts, if approved by the Court, will be paid from the Settlement Fund.
The costs to administer the settlement, to review Claim Forms, and notify Class Members about this Settlement will be paid out of the Settlement Fund, up to $210,000.
If you are a Class Member, you can object to the settlement if you do not like any part of it and the Court will consider your views. To object, you must file an objection with the Court saying that you object to the settlement in Frohberg, et al. v. Cumberland Packing Corp., No. 1:14-cv-00748-KAM-RLM (E.D.N.Y.). The written objection must include: (a) your name, address, email address, and phone number, or the address and phone number of any attorney you have hired; (b) a clear and concise statement of your objection, the facts supporting your objection, and the legal grounds for your objection; and (c) documents to establish your standing as a Settlement Class Member, such as (i) a signed declaration with language similar to that included in the Claim Form you purchased at least one Stevia in the Raw product during the Class Period; or (ii) receipt(s) reflecting such purchase(s).
If an objecting Settlement Class Member chooses to appear at the hearing, no later than March 22, 2016, a Notice of Intention to Appear must be filed with the Court and list the name, address and telephone number of the attorney, if any, who will appear.
The objection must be filed with the Court and served on Class Counsel no later than March 8, 2016. Send your objection to:
Objecting is telling the Court that you do not like something about the settlement. You can object only if you stay in the Class. Excluding yourself is telling the Court that you do not want to be part of the Class or the lawsuit. You cannot request exclusion and object to the settlement. If you exclude yourself, you have no basis to object because the case no longer affects you.
If the Court approves the proposed Settlement, and you do not request to be excluded from the Class, you will be deemed to have released (given up) all claims that are subject to the Releases contained in Section VII of the Class Action Settlement Agreement. If you remain in the Class, you may not assert any of those claims in any other lawsuit or proceeding.
The Honorable Roanne L. Mann will hold a Final Approval Hearing at 2:00 p.m. on April 6, 2016 at the United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York, 225 Cadman Plaza East, Brooklyn, New York, 11201. At this hearing, the Judge will consider whether the settlement is fair, reasonable and adequate. If there are objections, the Judge will consider them. The Judge will listen to people who have asked to speak at the hearing. After the hearing, the Judge will decide whether to approve the settlement. We do not know how long this decision will take.
No. Class Counsel will answer questions the Judge may have. But, you are welcome to come at your own expense. If you submit an objection, you do not have to come to the Court to talk about it. As long as you deliver your written objection on time, the Judge will consider it. You may also pay your own lawyer to attend, but it is not necessary.
You may ask the Court for permission to speak at the Final Approval Hearing. To do so, you must file with the Court a “Notice of Intention to Appear in Frohberg, et al. v. Cumberland Packing Corp., No. 1:14-cv-00748-KAM-RLM (E.D.N.Y.).” Be sure to include the name, address and telephone number of the attorney, if any, who will appear. Your Notice of Intention to Appear must be filed with the Court no later than March 22, 2016.
The Long Form Notice and this settlement website summarize the proposed settlement. More details are in the Class Settlement Agreement. You can get also copy of the Class Action Settlement Agreement by writing to the Settlement Administrator at:
If you have questions about how to complete a Claim Form, you can call the Settlement Administrator at 1-888-313-3557.