1. Why is this notice being provided?
This notice explains the lawsuit, the settlement, your legal rights, what benefits are available, who is eligible for them, and how to get them.
A class action is a lawsuit in which one or more individuals sue an individual(s), company or other entity on behalf of all other people who are in a similar position. Collectively, these people are referred to as a “Class” or “Class Members.” In a class action, the court resolves certain legal issues, legal claims and defenses for all Class Members in one lawsuit, except for those who ask to be excluded from the Class.
2. What is this lawsuit about?
This lawsuit is about alleged safety defects in the following Taurus-branded firearms: PT-111 Millennium; PT-132 Millennium; PT-138 Millennium; PT-140 Millennium; PT-145 Millennium; PT-745 Millennium; PT-609; PT-640; and/or PT-24/7. The “PRO” series of each model are also included. The lawsuit asserts that these alleged safety defects may cause some Class Pistols to unintentionally fire with the safety in the “on” or “safe” position when the trigger is pulled and some Class Pistols may unintentionally fire when dropped or bumped. The Taurus Companies stand by the Class Pistols and vigorously deny all allegations of wrongdoing and liability. The lawsuit does not involve Taurus G2 model pistols.
3. What is a class action?
In a class action, one or more people, called class representatives (in this case, Chris P. Carter) sue on behalf of people who have similar claims. One court resolves the issues for all Class Members, except for those who exclude themselves from the Class. A judge in the United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida, Miami Division, is overseeing this class action.
4. Why is there a settlement?
The Court did not decide in favor of Plaintiff or Defendants. Instead, both sides agreed to a settlement. That way, they avoid the time and expense of going to trial. The Class Representative and his attorneys think the settlement is best for everyone.
5. How do I know if I am part of the settlement?
The Court previously decided that everyone who fits the following description is a Settlement Class Member:
All Persons or entities of the United States, Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, U.S. Virgin Islands, and Guam who owned one or more of the following Taurus-branded firearms on July 30, 2015: PT-111 Millennium; PT-132 Millennium; PT-138 Millennium; PT-140 Millennium; PT-145 Millennium; PT-745 Millennium; PT-609; PT-640; and PT-24/7. The "Pro" Series of each model are also included. The settlement does not include Taurus G2 model pistols. Excluded from the Settlement Class are all state, local or federal governments, bodies or agencies, the District Court Judge and Magistrate Judge to whom the lawsuit is assigned and any member of their staffs and immediate families, as well as all persons who validly request exclusion from the Settlement Class.
6. What does the settlement provide?
The settlement provides the following benefits: the Taurus Companies will pay the costs of notice and administration; will pay a class representative incentive payment of up to $15,000; will provide an Enhanced Warranty; will pay cash to Settlement Class Members who timely submit a valid claim form and return their Class Pistol to the Taurus Companies; and will make safety training available to all Settlement Class Members.
These benefits are explained more fully below.
7. I own a Class Pistol, What are my options?
If you own a Class Pistol, the following benefits are available to you under the settlement:
THE DEADLINE TO FILE A CLAIM FOR THE CASH PAYMENT ENDED ON FEBRUARY 6, 2018.
Settlement Class members may have elected to return their Class Pistol to the Taurus Companies to receive a payment of up to $200 per Class Pistol. The Taurus Companies will pay shipping costs. The actual amount you will receive is based on a weighted average and will depend on the total number of Class Pistols returned. You can see an example of the weighted average on the website. The amount of the cash payments will be based on the following schedule:
- If less than 10,000 Class Pistols are returned, the payment for each returned Class Pistol will be $200.
- If 10,001 to 20,000 Class Pistols are returned, the payment for each returned Class Pistol will be $175.
- If 20,001 to 200,000 Class Pistols are returned, the payment for each returned Class Pistol will be $150.
- If more than 200,000 Class Pistols are returned, the payment for each returned Class Pistol will be less than $150 and shall be equal to a $30 Million aggregate cap divided by the number of Class Pistols returned.
You will not know the cash payment amount until after the deadline to return Class Pistols has passed and the exact number of Class Pistols returned for payment is known. Upon returning your Class Pistol for a payment, it will not be returned to you even if the payment amount is less than you want.
If you have selected the Cash Benefit Option and sent your firearm to Taurus, please maintain the Confirmation and a copy of the FedEx Shipping Label you printed at the end of your claim submission as proof that you are no longer in possession of the firearm. When the Cash Awards are mailed in 2018, a letter will accompany the check, confirming that Taurus has received and is now in possession of the firearm.
PLEASE NOTE, IN ORDER TO RECEIVE YOUR CASH PAYMENT YOU MUST SHIP YOUR CLASS PISTOL TO TAURUS NO LATER THAN MARCH 31, 2018.
Enhanced Warranty Benefit. Under the Enhanced Warranty benefit, you can return your Class Pistol for repair or replacement, at no cost to you.
Taurus will provide a free, transferrable lifetime Enhanced Warranty benefit. Under this benefit, you may ship your Class Pistol to Taurus at Taurus’s expense. Taurus will inspect the pistol and repair or replace it, with no requirement that you prove the pistol is defective. Taurus will ship the repaired or replaced pistol back to you at Taurus’s expense. You should anticipate a minimum three week turn-around if returning a Class Pistol for it to be repaired or replaced.
Before you decide to return your Class Pistol to Taurus under the Enhanced Warranty benefit, keep these things in mind:
- You can receive a replacement pistol only if applicable law permits the shipping of a replacement pistol to your state and municipality. See the website for more information. Replacement pistols will be shipped directly to the Federal Firearms Licensed dealer of your choosing. The dealer may require you to complete standard background check forms before transferring the replacement pistol to you. You may seek reimbursement from Taurus for fees associated with the transfer process.
- Certain calibers of the Class Pistol models are not available in Taurus G2 model pistols. You can review the calibers currently available in Taurus G2 model pistols at http://www.taurususa.com/pistols.cfm.
- More details about the Enhanced Warranty benefit can be found in the Enhanced Lifetime Warranty document available on the settlement website.
8. What is the Safety Training?
Safety Training is an additional benefit available to all Settlement Class Members. Taurus has produced special and particularized safety training addressing the operation and handling of Class Pistols.
Among other things, this safety training addresses proper handling and carrying to avoid dropping a pistol; educates owners concerning the safety features and safety systems in the Class Pistols; and provides information and instructions on how to properly store, pack, and ship the Class Pistols for return to the Taurus Companies.
The training videos can be viewed online at www.TaurusCarterSettlement.com or you can request a hard copy DVD by calling 1-844-528-0180 or mailing Chris P. Carter v. Forjas Taurus S.A., c/o Heffler Claims Group, PO Box 230, Philadelphia, PA 19105-0230.
9. I want to return my pistol under the Enhanced Warranty. How do I do that?
EFFECTIVE NOVEMBER 9, 2018, claims for the Extended Warranty Benefit Option can no longer be filed electronically on this website, and paper claim packages cannot be requested from Heffler Claims Group. For information about the Extended Warranty Benefit Option, please contact Taurus International Manufacturing, Customer Service Department at 305-624-1115 or by facsimile at 305-624-1126. Information to the Settlement Class Members is also available at https://www.taurususa.com/repair-policy-use.cfm
If you want to return your Class Pistol to Taurus for repair or replacement under the Enhanced Warranty, visit the settlement website and follow the instructions. You will receive a shipping checklist and a prepaid shipping label.
On the settlement website,there is a safety video to be viewed prior to packing and shipping your Class Pistol.This video has important safety information. Failing to properly disarm your Class Pistol and ship it in accordance with federal law could result in injury, harm, or damage and subject you to penalties. You must follow all instructions.
10. I want to return my pistol for a cash payment. How do I do that?
THE DEADLINE TO FILE A CLAIM FOR THE CASH PAYMENT ENDED ON FEBRUARY 6, 2018.
If you have filed a claim for the Cash payment, you must return your Class Pistol to Taurus by March 31, 2018 to be eligible to receive the cash payment. You were provided with a pre-paid FedEx Shipping Label to be used to ship your pistol to Taurus, at no cost to you. You must include in the FedEx package a copy of the Verification Checklist that was provided when you filed your claim. On the settlement website, there is a safety video to be viewed prior to packing and shipping your Class Pistol. This video has important safety information. Failing to properly disarm your Class Pistol and ship it in accordance with federal law could result in injury, harm, or damage and subject you to penalties. You must follow all instructions.
11. What am I giving up if I stay in the Settlement Class?
The time to exclude yourself has passed. Unless you timely excluded yourself, you cannot sue, continue to sue, or be part of any other lawsuit against the Taurus Companies (refer to question no. 13 below) or anyone else about the claims and legal issues in this case. If you stayed in the Settlement Class, all of the Court’s orders apply to you and legally bind you.
The lawsuit and settlement does not cover or release any claims for personal injuries or property damage (other than damage to the Class Pistols themselves). If you have claims for personal injuries or property damage (other than damage to the Class Pistols themselves) now or in the future, this settlement does not prohibit you from suing the Defendants to recover for those damages.
12. Will I have to pay taxes on the cash payment?
The parties cannot provide tax advice and encourage you to seek tax advice from your accountant or advisor. Depending upon the amount of your payment, pursuant to IRS regulations, you and/or the government may receive a 1099 reflecting the payment for your Class Pistol.
13. How do I opt-out or exclude myself from the settlement?
The time to exclude yourself has passed.
14. If I did not exclude myself, can I sue the Defendants or anyone else for the same thing later?
No. Unless you excluded yourself, you gave up the right to sue the Defendants or anyone else for the claims resolved by this settlement.
15. If I excluded myself, can I get benefits from this Settlement?
No. If you excluded yourself, do not send in your Class Pistol or a Claim Form to ask for any benefits. But, you may sue, continue to sue, or be part of a different lawsuit.
16. Do I have a lawyer in the case?
The lawyers and law firms of Bailey & Glasser LLP and Morris, Haynes, Wheeles, Knowles & Nelson represent you and the other Settlement Class Members. Together, these lawyers are called Class Counsel. You will not be charged for these lawyers. If you want to be represented by your own lawyer, you may hire one at your own expens
17. How will the lawyers be paid?
With the Court's approval, the Taurus Companies paid Class Counsel $8.3 million in attorneys' fees and costs. The payment did not reduce any Settlement Class Members' payments or benefits under the Settlement.
18. What happens if I do nothing at all?
If you do nothing during the 120 day claim period you will not get a cash payment, but you will still have the enhanced warranty benefit. Also, if you do nothing, the safety training benefit is still available to you. But, unless you excluded yourself, you will not be able to start a lawsuit, continue with a lawsuit, or be part of any other lawsuit about the legal issues in this case, ever again.
If you do nothing, keep in mind that the lawsuit alleges there are safety defects which may cause your Class Pistol to unintentionally fire with the safety in the “on” or “safe” position when the trigger is pulled and it may unintentionally fire when dropped or bumped.
19. Are there more details about the settlement?
This notice summarizes the proposed settlement. More details are in the Class Settlement Agreement. You can get a copy of the Class Settlement Agreement online or by contacting Taurus International Manufacturing, Customer Service Department at 305-624-1115 or by facsimile at 305-624-1126. Information to the Settlement Class Members is also available at https://www.taurususa.com/repair-policy-use.cfm
20. How do I get more information?
You can visit the settlement website at www.TaurusCarterSettlement.com where you will find answers to common questions about the settlement, plus other information. You may also contact Settlement Class Counsel at BAILEY & GLASSER, LLP, 3000 Riverchase Galleria, Suite 905, Birmingham, AL 35244.
21. Will my identity as a Class Member be kept confidential?
There is no publicly available list of class members. However, if you object or opt-out of the settlement, that information may be included in the Court’s file and be publicly available