Customers of Grant's Appliances and other Grant stores who never received their promised $500 rebates could get a check by June after getting a letter in the mail this week about a $600,000 proposed settlement.
About 7,000 consumers are part of the class-action lawsuit, filed in 2010 in Cook County circuit court. The exact amount each customer would receive will be determined after all claim forms are submitted by April 2, said Vincent DiTommaso with DiTommaso Lubin PC in Oakbrook Terrace and a lead attorney for the plaintiffs.
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Frank and Mona Solare of Burr Ridge, Cheryl Craigo of Romeoville and Matthew Lulich of Orland Park were the lead plaintiffs and each could receive about $5,000 from the settlement, according to the document. They declined to comment.
"Each of these plaintiffs spent quite a bit of time on the case and all sat for depositions lasting a number of hours each," said DiTommaso.
The lawyers also have asked the court to approve their $275,000 fee and up to $3,000 in costs and expenses. That amount will not be taken from the $600,000 earmarked for the consumers, DiTommaso said.
Bassgar-Illinois Inc., doing business as Grant's Appliances TV & Video and Grant's Appliances Electronics & More, among other names, denied any wrongdoing. Grant's has been in business for more than 80 years and has two stores in Downers Grove and one each in Aurora, Joliet, Orland Park and Merrillville, Ind.
Grant's President and CEO George Olsen and his attorney in Lisle did not immediately return calls or an email seeking comment.
According to the 2010 lawsuit, customers who registered for a promotional rebate program and had spent more than $399 at a Grant's store were supposed to receive a $500 rebate for gasoline or groceries. The rebate required customers to go only to select gas stations or grocery stores, submit those receipts each month and then wait for the reimbursement. The firm behind the promotion had gone out of business, DiTommaso said.
When customers didn't receive the rebates. Grant's was charged with violating the Illinois Consumer Fraud Act, breach of contract, unjust enrichment and deceptive practices, the suit said.
The settlement agreement was filed in late December and could be approved by the court on April 3 at the Daley Plaza. If that happens as scheduled, then customers could get checks in June, If any money is left over in the settlement pool, it will not be returned to Grant's and instead will be divided among four nonprofits, including three legal assistance organizations, the settlement said.
"We believe the settlement is a fair settlement and will provide real money to the class members who timely submit a claim form," said DiTommaso.