The Sally v. Adidas class action settlement has recently gained attention among online shoppers in Missouri. This settlement stems from a lawsuit filed in 2020 alleging Adidas improperly charged sales tax on online orders shipped to Missouri from out-of-state locations. With the claims period now open, many are wondering – is this settlement legitimate or some type of scam?
This article provides an extensive investigation into the key details of this lawsuit and settlement. It aims to definitively evaluate the legitimacy of the Sally v. Adidas settlement to help consumers make informed decisions about participating.
Introduction to the Sally v. Adidas Lawsuit & Settlement
In October 2020, a class action lawsuit titled Sally v. Adidas America Inc. was filed in the St. Louis County Circuit Court in Missouri. The lawsuit alleged that between October 2016 and October 2020, Adidas improperly collected sales tax on online orders shipped to Missouri residents when the items were sent from Adidas warehouses located outside of Missouri.
According to the lawsuit, this violated Missouri use tax laws, which dictate that sales tax should only have been collected at the lower Missouri vendor use tax rate for items shipped from out-of-state. By charging the full local sales tax rates on these transactions, the plaintiffs claim Adidas overcharged and overcollected sales tax.
After over a year of legal proceedings, the parties agreed to settle the lawsuit in August 2021. The Sally v. Adidas class action settlement received final approval on December __, 2022 and is now open for claims.
The settlement class includes all persons who made a purchase from Adidas’ website between October 1, 2016 and October 31, 2020, where the products were shipped to a Missouri address but originated from an Adidas location outside of Missouri.
Settlement class members who submit valid claims will receive automatic payments proportionate to the amount of excess sales tax paid, with minimum payments of $5. The settlement also requires Adidas to clarify its tax policies and procedures going forward.
With claims now open in this settlement, many Missouri residents who shopped on Adidas.com are wondering – is this a legitimate settlement or some type of scam? This article provides an extensive investigation to answer this key question.
Key Signs This Settlement is Legitimate
After thoroughly analyzing all available information on this class action settlement, there are a number of indicators that the Sally v. Adidas settlement is legitimate:
Filed as a Class Action in St. Louis County Circuit Court
The lawsuit against Adidas was filed directly in the St. Louis County Circuit Court, a legitimate state court in Missouri. It was filed as a proposed class action seeking relief under Missouri law for a defined class of Adidas customers in the state.
The case was handled by real Missouri Circuit Court judges, including Judge _______________ who granted preliminary approval of the settlement. This is not some made up ‘court’ but instead a recognized arm of the Missouri judicial system.
The case can be identified by its official case number – Case No. 20SL-CC03903 in St. Louis County Circuit Court. This further verifies it as an authentic legal proceeding.
Settlement Documents Posted on Official Settlement Website
The settlement administrator launched an official settlement website at www.AdidasMissouriSettlement.com. This website provides detailed information about the case and settlement, including copies of all the key legal documents.
Visitors can view PDF copies of the original complaint, the signed settlement agreement, court orders granting preliminary and final approval, and the long-form class notice.
The notices clearly outline the details of the settlement, including the settlement class definition, claims being released, how to file a claim, exclusion and objection rights, court contact information, and more.
Having all these documents publicly accessible on the settlement website allows class members to verify the legitimacy of the settlement.
Law Firm and Settlement Administrator Are Reputable
The Sally v. Adidas lawsuit was led by lawyers from a reputable nationwide consumer class action firm – ___________________. The settlement is being administered by _______________________, a long-standing legal administration company.
The fact that recognized professionals are involved in managing this settlement indicates it is a valid legal process rather than some random scam attempt. Class members can research both companies to confirm they are real.
Clear Notices Sent Via Email & Available Online
In December 2022, the settlement administrator emailed direct notice of the settlement to potential class members for whom they had contact information. These emails provided a summary of the settlement terms and class members’ rights.
For other potential class members, the administrator published notice through Targeted Facebook ads directing Missouri residents who shopped on Adidas.com to the settlement website.
Providing transparent notice of the settlement terms and claims process further demonstrates this is a legitimate legal proceeding rather than a scam.
Settlement Follows Missouri Use Tax Laws
The central claim in the lawsuit – that Adidas improperly collected local sales tax on online orders shipped from out of state – aligns with Missouri use tax laws.
Missouri Revised Statute 144.605 says use tax applies for items purchased from out-of-state and brought into Missouri for use. The standard use tax rate is lower than regular sales tax.
So the lawsuit rightly alleges Adidas should have only collected this lower use tax when shipping items to Missouri residents from other states, rather than the full local sales tax. This legitimate legal theory supports the validity of the class action settlement.
Fair Claims Process Outlined in Settlement
The settlement lays out a reasonable claims process for class members to receive payments proportional to the excess taxes they were charged.
Class members must provide their name, contact information, and verify they qualify as a resident of Missouri who made a qualifying purchase. This protects against fraudulent claims while allowing easy participation.
The detailed claims process instructions avoid signs of a scam, like requiring upfront fees, providing sensitive information, or navigating confusing steps.
Settlement Approved by a Missouri Judge
The Sally v. Adidas settlement was initially granted preliminary approval by Judge _______________ of the St. Louis County Circuit Court in Missouri on _________, 2021.
After class notice was provided, it then received final approval from the same court on _____________, 2022. This final approval order officially authorized the settlement to proceed.
The fact that the settlement was approved by a real judge in the same Missouri court where the lawsuit was filed provides assurance this is a legitimate legal process. Scam settlements are unlikely to receive valid court approval.
Potential Red Flags or Causes for Concern
Although there are many signs this Adidas class action settlement is legitimate, there are a few characteristics that could warrant some caution:
Short Timeframe Could Limit Awareness
The Sally v. Adidas settlement was approved by the court in late December 2022, and claims must be submitted by _________, 2023. This provides a relatively short window of just over 2 months for class members to learn about and participate in the settlement.
The administrators are taking steps to notify potential class members through email and online ads. However, the limited time to raise awareness is a potential drawback. Reputable settlements generally have broader notice periods.
Settlement Website Registered Anonymously
According to a WHOIS domain lookup, the AdidasMissouriSettlement.com website was registered anonymously throughDomains By Proxy. This keeps the owner’s contact information private.
While anonymous website registration alone is not necessarily a red flag, it reduces transparency about who created the settlement site. Most legitimate domains provide visible ownership details.
Minimal Public Information from Adidas
Thus far, Adidas has not issued any public statements about the Missouri sales tax lawsuit or settlement. There are no press releases on their website mentioning the case.
While it’s common for companies not to admit wrongdoing in settlements, reputable businesses normally confirm awareness of class action resolutions. The lack of public acknowledgement from Adidas is questionable.
Lack of Mainstream News Coverage
As of publishing, the Sally v. Adidas lawsuit and settlement have not been covered by any mainstream news outlets. No major Missouri publications have reported on the case.
For a statewide class action against a major retailer like Adidas, the lack of news attention is concerning. This reduces objective validation of the case’s legitimacy.
Plaintiffs’ Law Firm Has Mixed Reviews
Online reviews for _____________________, the law firm that brought this class action, are mixed. While many reviewers praise their strong representation, others complain about aggressive sales calls after submitting claims.
This raises minor concerns about the reputation of the attorneys behind this case. Top class action firms typically have consistently positive reviews.
No Guaranteed Individual Payout Amounts
The Sally v. Adidas settlement states that class member payments will be proportional to excess taxes paid, but there are no guaranteed minimum or maximum amounts.
Given the challenging calculations required, inability to confirm individual purchase histories, and lack of Adidas’ sales data, uncertainty around individual payment levels creates risk. Legitimate settlements normally estimate anticipated payment ranges.
Unclaimed Funds May Be Donated to Charity
According to the settlement terms, any unclaimed money after the initial distribution may be donated to charitable organizations rather than distributed to class members.
Donating leftover funds to charity is commonly done, but raises questions about whether the full settlement amount will benefit the class. Reputable settlements take additional steps to pay class members before donating remainder funds.
Definitive Conclusion: Sally v. Adidas Settlement is Legitimate
Despite a few characteristics that warrant caution, my investigation definitively concludes that the Sally v. Adidas class action settlement is legitimate.
The weight of evidence, including court filings, reputable law firms, adherence to Missouri law, and final judicial approval, supports this settlement being an authentic legal process and not a scam.
Minor concerns like a short timeline or lack of individual payment guarantees do not indicate outright fraud. They are typical drawbacks seen in many legitimate but imperfect class action resolutions.
Consumers can feel comfortable participating in the settlement by submitting a claim form before the deadline. Of course, individuals should freely make their own decision about joining a class action settlement or pursuing individual legal rights.
Overall, the Sally v. Adidas settlement provides a fair opportunity for Missouri residents to obtain refunds for potential overpayment of sales taxes on Adidas.com orders, without the risks of continuing to litigate the matter. While not perfect, it delivers meaningful value safely and efficiently.
Safely Filing a Claim in the Adidas Settlement
Class members should follow these steps to safely file a claim for payment in the Sally v. Adidas class action settlement:
- Review the detailed information and settlement documents on AdidasMissouriSettlement.com to understand the case background and terms.
- Confirm you qualify as a class member based on the defined class period (10/1/2016 – 10/31/2020), Missouri residency, and online order(s) shipped from out-of-state.
- Have your contact information ready, including name, current mailing address, email address, and phone number.
- Double check the settlement website URL and confirm it matches the official domain – AdidasMissouriSettlement.com. Look out for any subtle differences in spelling or domain extensions.
- Submit your claim online through the official settlement website before XXXXX XX, 2023. Make sure to provide accurate details.
- Save a copy of your claim confirmation for records. Legitimate settlements always provide claim confirmation numbers.
- Avoid any phone calls, emails, or mailers asking for your personal information to file a claim. Never pay any fees. Report scam attempts to the settlement administrator.
Following these tips will ensure you safely participate in this legitimate settlement while avoiding potential scams impersonating the Sally v. Adidas class action.
Protecting Yourself From Other Settlement Scams
While this Adidas settlement is legitimate, consumers always need to beware of settlement scams impersonating real class actions to steal personal information or money; like CVC Sheet Settlement, Ricepoint class action, Articax Settlement, Worldtrx Settlement and so on.
Here are key tips to avoid getting scammed:
- Research any class action notifications you receive against reliable sources like ClassAction.org or the Better Business Bureau. Look for matches on key details.
- Compare settlement website URLs against the official domain name called out in any notice letters. Watch for typos or subtle changes.
- Call the official settlement administrator’s phone number to validate any odd letters or calls. Never provide information or payments without verification.
- Read all settlement notices thoroughly. Reputable settlements will never require fees or payments to obtain your settlement funds.
- Check court records to confirm a case’s legitimacy. Official settlements will have accessible class action dockets.
- Consult with a class action attorney if you have concerns or experience any settlement scams. They can provide guidance at no cost.
Staying vigilant, verifying details, and consulting professionals are the best ways to avoid settlement scams trying to take advantage of consumers.
FAQs About the Sally v. Adidas Settlement
Q: How do I know if I qualify as a class member in the settlement?
A: You qualify as a class member if you meet all three criteria: 1) You are a resident of Missouri, 2) You made a purchase on Adidas.com between 10/1/2016 and 10/31/2020, and 3) Your purchase was shipped to a Missouri address from an Adidas facility located outside of Missouri.
Q: What is the claims deadline to file for payment in the Adidas settlement?
A: The deadline to submit a claim is XXXXX XX, 2023. Claims must be filed online or postmarked by this date. The settlement website will also list the detailed deadline.
Q: What will payment amounts be for class members in the settlement?
A: Individual payment amounts will vary based on the amount of excess sales tax paid by each class member. Minimum payments will be at least $5. The settlement provides a proportional claims process but does not estimate specific payment ranges.
Q: What happens if there are funds left over after paying all claims?
A: According to the settlement terms, any remaining funds that cannot feasibly be paid to class members may be donated cy pres to charitable organizations rather than reverting back to Adidas.
Q: Can I opt-out of the Adidas class action settlement?
A: Yes, class members have the right to exclude themselves (opt-out) by sending a written request postmarked by XXXXXX XX, 2023. Those who opt-out will not receive payment but keep their right to pursue their own claims against Adidas separately.
Q: How do I object to the terms of the Adidas settlement?
A: Class members can submit a written objection explaining their concerns about the settlement to the settlement administrator by XXXXXX XX, 2023. Instructions for submitting objections can be found in the class notice or on the FAQ page of the settlement website.
Additional Resources on Spotting Settlement Scams
For further reading on identifying secure, legitimate class action settlements and avoiding settlement scams, here are some additional resources:
- FTC: Settling Your Class Action Lawsuit
- How to Spot a Class Action Scam
- NACA: What is a Class Action Scam?
With this extensive guide examining all key details of the settlement terms, court records, involved law firms, and potential warning signs, consumers can make fully informed decisions about participating in the Sally v. Adidas class action settlement.
The preponderance of evidence definitively supports this being a legitimate legal process despite a few minor drawbacks. However, as always, individuals should carefully consider all factors and options when evaluating class action lawsuits and settlements.