UPDATE: If you wish to attend the January 13, 2023 final approval hearing remotely, please use the following log on information to join at 1:00 P.M. The hearing will begin at 1:30 P.M.
SUPERIOR COURT OF THE STATE OF WASHINGTON, COUNTY OF KING
Proudlove v. Seed Consulting, LLC, et al.,
Case No. 20-2-09220-7 SEA
If you paid any money to Seed Capital and received consumer credit cards or lines of credit as a result of Seed’s services at any time after May 22, 2016, while residing in the state of Washington, you may be entitled to benefits from a class action settlement.
A Washington State court authorized this notice.
This is not a solicitation from a lawyer and it is not a lawsuit against you. This is not an attempt to collect a debt.
- Defendants have agreed to establish a $1,575,000 fund from which class members will receive cash awards. The fund will also be used to pay court-ordered settlement administration expenses, service awards, and attorneys’ fees and costs.
- The settlement resolves a lawsuit claiming that Defendants Seed Consulting, LLC, dba Seed Capital, Corp., Erik Gantz, and Kevin Tussy, (collectively referred to in this notice as “Defendants”) violated Washington’s Credit Services Organization Act, 15 U.S.C. § 1692, et seq. (“CSOA”), and the Washington Consumer Protection Act, RCW 19.86.010, et seq. (“CPA”) because Seed acted as credit services organization but failed to comply with all requirements of the CSOA, and because Seed’s business model was unfair or deceptive to consumers.
- The Defendants do not admit to any wrongdoing and deny the allegations in Plaintiff’s lawsuit.
- The Court presiding over the case authorized this notice of the settlement to the Class and will decide whether the proposed settlement should ultimately be approved.
- Court-appointed lawyers for the Class (“Class Counsel”) will ask the Court for a payment of up to $519,750 from the fund for their attorneys’ fees and expenses.
- The two sides disagree on whether Plaintiff and the Class would have won at trial.
- Your estimated share of the Settlement Fund, if you do not exclude yourself, is included on the postcard notice sent to you. Please note, the amount included in the postcard notice is an estimate. The final amount may be different. Your legal rights are affected whether you act or not. Please read the information on this website carefully. Your options are explained in this notice. To ask to be excluded, you must act by December 29th, 2022.
- Any questions? Read on, view the full Settlement Agreement here or call 1-855-349-7023 toll-free.
Your Legal Rights and Options in This Lawsuit
Stay in this lawsuit. Be eligible for settlement benefits. Give up certain rights.By doing nothing, you will receive a payment from the settlement, but you give up any rights to sue the Defendants separately about the same or similar legal claims in this lawsuit. You do not have to file a claim to receive payment. If you did not receive a postcard but think you are in the Class, please call 1-855-349-7023.
|Exclude Yourself By December 29th, 2022.||
Get out of this lawsuit. Get no benefits from it. Keep rights to sue.If you exclude yourself, you will not be eligible to receive any money or benefits that come from the settlement and you may not object. But you keep any rights to sue Defendants separately about the same legal claims in this lawsuit.
|Object By December 29th, 2022.||
Stay in this lawsuit. File a written objection to the settlement with the Court.If you disagree with any part of the Settlement Agreement, you may file a written objection with the Court, which will be considered at the Final Approval Hearing. If you file an objection, you may not exclude yourself from the settlement. If the settlement is approved, you will be bound by the Settlement Agreement and you give up rights to sue Defendants separately about the same or similar legal claims in this lawsuit, but you will still be eligible to receive money and benefits that come from the settlement.
|Attend a Hearing on January 13th, 2023 at 1pm||
Attend the final approval hearing and ask the Court to speak.If you do not exclude yourself, you may ask to speak to the Court about the fairness of the settlement. You may access the hearing remotely: https://kingcounty.zoom.us/j/87033779565
|1. What is this website about and why should I read it?|
|The purpose of this website is to let you know that a proposed settlement has been reached in the class action lawsuit titled Proudlove v. Seed Consulting, LLC, et. al., Case No. 20-2-09220-7 SEA. Judge Jason Poydras of the King County Superior Court preliminarily approved the proposed settlement. You have legal rights and options that you may act on before the Court decides whether to grant final approval of the proposed settlement. Because your rights will be affected by this settlement, it is important that you read the information on this website carefully.
|2. Why did I get this notice?|
|Defendants’ records show that, while you lived in the state of Washington, you paid money to Seed Capital and received only consumer credit cards as a result of their services during the class period (from May 22, 2016 to the present).
|3. What is this lawsuit about?|
|In a class action lawsuit, one or more people called “Class Representatives” (in this case Douglas Proudlove) sue on behalf of other people who the Plaintiff alleges have similar claims. The people together are called a “Class” or “Class Members.” The individual who sued is called “Plaintiff.” The companies and the individuals Plaintiff sued (in this case Seed Consulting, LLC, dba Seed Capital, Corp., Erik Gantz, Kevin Tussy, and Does 1-10) are called the “Defendants.” Defendants are represented by Mix Sanders Thompson, PLLC of Seattle, Washington, Bullivant Houser Bailey PC of Seattle, Washington, and Marquis Aurbach Coffing of Las Vegas, Nevada. The King County Superior Court will resolve the issues for everyone in the Class—except for those people who choose to exclude themselves from the Class.
The Plaintiff claims the Defendants, Seed Consulting, LLC, dba Seed Capital Corp., Erik Gantz, and Kevin Tussy violated Washington’s Credit Services Organization Act, 15 U.S.C. § 1692, et seq. (“CSOA”), and the Washington Consumer Protection Act, RCW 19.86.010, et seq. (“CPA”) because Seed acted as credit services organization but failed to comply with all requirements of the CSOA, and because Seed’s entire business model was unfair or deceptive to consumers.
The Court has certified the Class. Judge Jason Poydras is in charge of this class action.
Defendants deny the claims and deny that they have violated state law but have agreed to a settlement.
|4. Why is there a settlement?|
|The Court did not decide in favor of the Plaintiff or Defendants. Instead, both sides agreed to a settlement. This avoids the cost and risk of a trial, and the people affected will benefit now from the settlement. The Plaintiff and their attorneys think the settlement is best for all Class Members under the circumstances. Defendants have not admitted fault or that they violated any laws, but Defendants agree that a settlement is in all parties’ best interests.
Who is in the Settlement?
|5. How do I know if I am part of the settlement?|
|You are a member of the Umbrella Class if you signed an agreement and paid any money to Seed Capital and received only consumer credit cards as a result of Seed Capital’s services at any time on or after May 22, 2016.
You may also be in the Response Marketing Sub-class if you purchased Seed Capital’s services in connection with a program operated by Response Marketing Group. All members of the Class and Response Marketing Sub-class will be paid back the same percentage of fees they paid to Seed.
The Settlement Classes do not include any persons who validly request exclusion from the Settlement, as described under Question 11.
If you have questions about whether you are a part of the Class, you may call 1-855-349-7023.
The Settlement Benefits–What You Get
|6. What does the settlement provide?|
|The settlement requires Defendants to establish a Settlement Fund in the amount of $1,575,000 that will be used to pay Settlement Awards to Class Members, a service award of no more than $10,000, total, to the Class Representative, up to $519,750 in attorneys’ fees and costs, and settlement administration costs estimated at $10,000, subject to Court approval. If the Court awards anything less than the amounts requested for service awards, or attorneys’ fees and costs, then the difference shall be allocated to payment of Settlement Awards.
In addition to monetary relief, the Settlement requires Defendants to provide the following injunctive relief:
A list of important dates and deadlines regarding this Settlement can be found here.
|7. Will I receive a payment and how much will it be?|
|Settlement Class Members for whom the Class Administrator has a deliverable address will be sent a check comprised of their Settlement Award. Class Members will receive a portion of the fee they each paid Seed. The estimated average payment will be $1,980. Your estimated award amount is listed on your postcard notice.
These are estimates. Your estimated share of the Settlement Fund may increase or decrease depending on factors such as, but not limited to, the outcome of any challenge by Class Members to the settlement and the number of Class Members who effectively exclude themselves from the settlement.
Settlement Award checks that are not cashed within 90 days after the issue date on the check will be voided.
If you request to be excluded from the settlement, you will not receive any payment from the settlement.
How You Get A Payment
|8. How can I get a payment?|
|If you received a postcard notice and are eligible for a Settlement Award, you will automatically be sent your payment. You do not need to submit a claim form or contact anyone unless you need to update your mailing address. If you did not receive a postcard notice but believe you are in the Class, you must call 1-855-349-7023 to update your address.
|9. When will I get my payment?|
|The Court will hold a hearing on January 13, 2023, to decide whether to finally approve the settlement. If the hearing date changes, this website will be updated. If the Court approves the settlement, the parties will then have to wait up to 30-days to see whether there is an appeal. An appeal can take up to a year or more to resolve. In the event of an appeal, information about the appeal’s progress will be posted on this website.
If there is no appeal, Class Counsel expect the payments to be mailed within sixty-five days of the Court’s approval of the settlement.
|10. What am I giving up to receive a benefit?|
|Unless you exclude yourself, you will be part of the Class. That means you may not sue, continue to sue, or be part of any other lawsuit against Seed Consulting, LLC, Seed Capital, Erik Gantz, Kevin Tussy, or related entities regarding claims that are the same or similar to the ones in this lawsuit. It also means that all of the Court’s orders will apply to you and legally bind you.
The Settlement Agreement (available here) describes the claims you are releasing (the “Released Claims”) and against whom you are releasing claims (the “Released Parties”) in detail, so read it carefully. To summarize, the Release includes all claims under the Washington Consumer Protection Act and Credit Services Organization Act based on money you paid to Seed for its services. If you are currently involved in another lawsuit against one of the Defendants in this lawsuit, or contemplating filing such a lawsuit, you should consult with your own attorney to determine whether you need to opt out of this settlement.
Excluding Yourself From the Settlement
If you don’t want a payment from this settlement, but you want to keep the right to sue or continue to sue one or more of the Defendants in a different case, then you must remove yourself from the Class. This is called excluding yourself – or “opting out” – of the settlement.
|11. How do I exclude myself from the settlement?|
|You may exclude yourself from this settlement by mail, or on-line. To exclude yourself by mail, you must send a written letter to the Class Counsel at the address provided below. Your opt-out request must include your name and address and should state that you do not want to be a Class Member. Opt-out requests must be postmarked on or before the Opt-out deadline: December 29th, 2022.
Opt-out requests may be mailed to:
Terrell Marshall Law Group
936 N. 34th Street, Suite 300
Seattle, WA 98103
If you ask to be excluded, you will not get any payment, and you cannot object to the settlement. You will not be legally bound by anything that happens in the lawsuit. You may be able to sue (or continue to sue) Defendants in the future.
|12. If I don’t exclude myself, can I sue Seed Consulting, LLC for the same things later?|
|No. Unless you exclude yourself, you give up any right to sue Defendants for the claims that this settlement resolves. If you already have a lawsuit relating to Defendants, you should speak to your lawyer in that case immediately. You must exclude yourself from the Class to continue your own lawsuit based on the same facts in this case. The exclusion deadline is December 29th, 2022.
|13. If I exclude myself, can I get anything from this settlement?|
|No. You will not receive any monetary benefits if you exclude yourself and additional settlement benefits described in section 6 will not apply to you.
The Lawyers Representing You
|14. Do I have a lawyer in this case?|
|The Court has decided that the Law Office of Paul Arons, Leonard Law, and Terrell Marshall Law Group PLLC are qualified to represent you and all Class Members. Together the lawyers are called “Class Counsel.”
The lawyers representing the Class are:
Beth E. Terrell
More information about Law Office of Paul Arons, Leonard Law, and Terrell Marshall Law
You will not be separately charged for these lawyers; they will be compensated for their time and reimbursed for their costs out of the Settlement Fund in whatever amounts are approved by the Court. If you want your own lawyer, you may hire one at your own expense.
15. How will the lawyers be paid?
|Class Counsel will ask the Court to approve payment of up to $519,750 to them for attorneys’ fees and their out-of-pocket expenses. These payments will pay Class Counsel for investigating the facts, litigating the case, and negotiating the settlement. Class Counsel will also request a service award of no more than $10,000 for the Class Representative to compensate him for his time and effort. Class Counsel’s complete request for fees, costs, and incentive awards to the Class Representative will be posted to this website no later than November 15th, 2023. The Court may award less than these amounts.
Objecting to the Settlement
|16. How do I object to the settlement?|
|If you are a Class Member and you do not exclude yourself from the Class, you may object to the settlement if you don’t like any part of it. You may give reasons why you think the Court should not approve it. The Court will consider your views. The Court cannot change the terms of the settlement. The Court can only approve or deny the settlement.
To object, you must file your objection through electronic court filing or by mailing a written letter to the Court at the address provided below. The letter must include:
(1) the following case name and number: Proudlove v. Seed Consulting LLC, No. 20‐2‐09220‐7 SEA;
(2) your name, address, telephone number, and email address, and if represented by counsel, of your counsel; and
(3) your specific objections to the settlement (i.e., why you think the Court should not approve the settlement).
The objection must be postmarked no later than December 29th, 2022. If the settlement is approved, you will still be eligible to receive a payment under the settlement.
Objections to the settlement must be filed with the Court by mailing your letter to:
King County Superior Court
516 Third Avenue, Room E-609
Seattle, WA 98104
17. What is 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 and asking the Court to reject it. You can object only if you stay in the Class. Excluding yourself from the settlement is telling the Court that you don’t want to be part of the Class. If you exclude yourself, you may not object because the case no longer affects you.
The Court’s Fairness Hearing
|18. When and where will the Court hold a hearing on the fairness of the settlement?|
|The Court will hold a Final Approval Hearing at 1:00 p.m. on January 13, 2023, at the King County Superior Court, 516 Third Avenue, Seattle, WA 98104. If this hearing is conducted by remote means, this website will be updated with information for participating remotely. The purpose of this hearing is for the Court to determine whether the settlement should be approved because it is fair, reasonable, adequate, and in the best interest 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 service award to the Class Representative. After the hearing, the Court will decide whether to approve the settlement. We do not know how long these decisions will take.
Note: The date and time of the fairness hearing are subject to change by Court order. Any changes will be posted on this website.
|19. Do I have to come to the hearing?|
|No. Class Counsel will answer any questions the Court may have. You are welcome to come to the hearing at your own expense. If you send an objection you don’t have to come to the 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 Agreement, the Court will consider it. You may also pay a lawyer to attend, but you don’t have to.
|20. May I speak at the hearing?|
|If you do not exclude yourself from the Class, you may ask the Court for permission for you or your attorney to speak at the hearing concerning any part of the Settlement Agreement. If you filed an objection (see Question 16 above) and intend to appear at the hearing, please send a letter saying that it is your “Notice of Intention to Appear” in Proudlove v. Seed
Consulting LLC, No. 20‐2‐09220‐7 SEA.” Be sure to include your name, address, telephone number, that you are a Class Member, and your signature. If you are represented by your own attorney, he or she must file a notice of appearance with the Court no later than ten (10) days before the Final Approval Hearing. Your Notice of Intention to Appear should be received at the address in Question 16, no later than ten (10) days before the hearing date, January 2nd, 2023. You cannot speak at the hearing if you exclude yourself.
If You Do Nothing
|21. What happens if I do nothing at all?|
|If you do nothing, you will be a member of the Class and you will be eligible to receive settlement benefits if the Court approves the settlement.
Get More Information
|22. Are more details about the settlement?|
|This website summarizes the proposed settlement and includes links to some of the important documents in this case. More details are in the Settlement Agreement. You may review the Settlement Agreement here. You can also get a copy of the Settlement Agreement by writing to the Class Counsel at the address below.
|23. How do I get more information?|
|First review all the information on this website. If you still have questions, you can call 1-855-349-7023 toll free or write to the Class Counsel at 936 N. 34th Street Suite 300, Seattle WA 98104.
Please Do NOT Contact the Court, the Judge, or Defendants with Questions about the Settlement.