Cote v. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. Settlement

Welcome to the Cote v. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. Settlement Website

COURT AUTHORIZED NOTICE

If you were a Walmart or Sam's Club associate and had a same-sex spouse at some point between January 1, 2011 and December 31, 2013, then a proposed class action settlement could affect your rights. A federal court has authorized this Notice. If you take no action, you will be bound by the settlement. Your rights will be impacted.

This website describes a proposed class action settlement under which-if approved by the Court-Walmart would pay $7.5 million to settle the claims of Plaintiff Jacqueline Cote (the "Named Plaintiff") and other similarly situated Walmart associates who were legally married to a same-sex spouse between January 1, 2011 and December 31, 2013 ("the Settlement Class Period") and were not permitted to enroll that same-sex spouse in a Walmart-sponsored health insurance plan during the Settlement Class Period ("Settlement Class Members").

If you worked for Walmart between January 1, 2011 and December 31, 2013, were legally married to a same-sex spouse during that same period, and would have been eligible for spousal Health Insurance Benefits from Walmart or Sam’s Club but for the limitation on providing spousal Health Insurance Benefits to same-sex spouses during that time period, you are a member of the Settlement Class in this lawsuit, which is known as Cote v. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., Case No. 15-cv-12945-WGY (D. Mass.).

The purpose of this website is to inform you about (a) this litigation, (b) the certification of a Settlement Class, (c) the terms of the proposed Settlement, and (d) your rights in connection with the proposed Settlement and a hearing to be held before the Court on May 15, 2017 to consider the fairness, reasonableness, and adequacy of the proposed Settlement and related matters. This website also describes the steps necessary to submit a Claim Form to be eligible to receive a payment from the proposed Settlement should the Court approve the proposed Settlement, as well as those steps that must be taken by any Settlement Class Members who wish to be excluded from the Settlement Class.

This lawsuit claims that Walmart discriminated against associates with same-sex spouses based on sex by failing to provide spousal health insurance benefits to the same-sex spouses of associates before January 1, 2014. The Named Plaintiff is seeking damages for herself and other Settlement Class Members who were denied the opportunity to enroll their same-sex spouses in a Walmart-sponsored health insurance plan from January 1, 2011 to December 31, 2013 (“the Settlement Class Period”). The Court has not decided the merits of the case. Walmart denies that it did anything wrong and no court has found that Walmart did anything wrong or violated any federal or state law.  

YOUR LEGAL RIGHTS AND OPTIONS

Submit a Claim Form to 

receive a payment.

If you are a Class Member and would like to receive a payment from the Settlement, you must submit a either a Short Form Claim or a Long Form Claim no later than March 20, 2017. If you file a Long Form Claim, you have an additional 30 days to submit documentation to support your Long Form Claim and must provide that documentation by April 18, 2017. You will give up any right to sue Walmart separately about the claims covered by the Settlement.

Do Nothing.

By doing nothing, you will not receive a payment from the Settlement, but you will still give up any right to pursue claims against Walmart separately about the claims covered by the Settlement.

Exclude Yourself.

You can exclude yourself, or “opt out” from this lawsuit and the proposed Settlement. This means you will not participate in the Settlement and will keep any rights you may have to pursue claims against Walmart separately. Any claims you may have are subject to the applicable statute of limitations, so you should consult an attorney about them promptly if you choose to opt out.

Object.

If you are not satisfied with the terms of the proposed Settlement, then you may inform the Court about your views by filing a written objection with the Claims Administrator and/or the Court in accordance with the procedures set forth in this website, Frequently Asked Question #19. You may also appear in Court to explain why you do not like the proposed Settlement. Unless you opt out, you may object to the proposed Settlement. You are allowed to file a Long Form Claim or a Short Form Claim and object to the proposed Settlement. You cannot both opt out and object to the proposed Settlement.

 

NOTE:  PLEASE DO NOT CALL OR CONTACT THE COURT, THE OFFICE OF THE CLERK OF COURT, OR WALMART WITH QUESTIONS REGARDING THE NOTICE.