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Amended Frequently Asked Questions


Why did I get the Notice?

Answer:

The Proposed Amended Settlement resolves claims in the Lawsuit, California Dental Association, et al. v. Delta Dental of California, San Francisco Superior Court Action No.  CGC-14-538849. The Superior Court has provisionally approved a Class for settlement purposes only described as follows:

“All California dentists who are or were signatories to, or are or were parties to or subject to, a Participating Dentist Agreement with Delta Dental of California for participation in its Premier network at any time from January 1, 2011, through December 27, 2017.”

You received the Notice because Delta Dental’s records indicate that you meet this definition and, therefore, are a Class Member. As a Class Member, your rights may be affected by, and you may receive a payment under, the Proposed Amended Settlement if you do not opt out.

Why is the settlement called a “Proposed Amended Settlement” and what is the relationship between this Proposed Amended Settlement and the previous settlement in this case?

Answer:

In April, 2017, the parties reached a prior proposed settlement of this litigation, which was contained in a written Settlement Agreement.  That prior settlement, which provided for a Settlement Amount of $34,750,000, was preliminarily approved by the Court on April 21, 2017, but that approval required verification of the allocations of the Settlement Amount to be made to Class Members.  In the course of that verification process, it was determined that the previous calculations of the financial impact of the INAP on Class Members were significantly in error. The parties apprised the Court of these events and on June 8, 2017, the Court vacated the date for the final approval hearing then scheduled for August 31, 2017 and all other dates, and directed the parties to determine whether changes to the prior settlement were necessary. The parties conducted that investigation, engaged in further mediation, and determined that changes to the prior settlement agreement were required, which resulted in the “Proposed Amended Settlement Agreement.” Among other changes, the Amended Settlement Amount in the Proposed Amended Settlement has been increased to $65,029,299.

Who are the class representatives?

Answer:

The class representatives are the CDA, Dr. Richard W. Barnes, Dr. Robert E. Reed, Dr. Dean Schweitzer, Dr. Gerald Middleton, Dr. Whitney  Johnson, Dr. Terrence Y. Lau, and Dr. Barbara M. Hawthorne.  CDA  is serving as a class representative because many Class Members are members of CDA.  Each of the individual class representatives is a Class Member because he or she was party to a PDA with Delta Dental for participation in its Premier Network during at least some portion of the Class Period.

What is the Lawsuit about and what claims are being asserted on behalf of Class Members?

Answer:

The Lawsuit asserts claims for breach of contract, breach of the covenant of good faith and fair dealing, violations of California Business and Professions Code sections 17200, et seq., and declaratory relief based on the conduct, acts or omissions alleged in the Second Amended Complaint.  The Lawsuit challenges, among other things, (1) Delta Dental’s amendments to the PDA  announced on August 1, 2013; (2) the adequacy of Delta Dental’s notice regarding those amendments; (3) Delta Dental’s determination of maximum amounts allowed for fees; (4) Delta Dental’s determination of Contracted Fees; (5) Delta Dental’s determination and application of the INAP to limit requested increases in fees since January 1, 2011; and (6) Delta Dental’s limitation on the types of disputes that are subject to binding arbitration before the American Arbitration Association. The claims are contained in the Second Amended Complaint filed in the case, which is available here.

What are Delta Dental’s responses to the claims being asserted?

Answer:

Delta Dental denies each and every claim asserted against it. Delta Dental contends, among other things, that (1) the PDA itself and California’s Knox-Keene Act expressly permit Delta Dental to amend the PDA; (2) the August 1, 2013 notice of amendments to the PDA was fair, accurate and reasonable, and satisfied all contractual and statutory requirements; (3) Delta Dental has properly determined maximum amounts allowed for fees; (4) Delta Dental has properly determined Contracted Fees; and (5) Delta Dental’s determination and application of the INAP has been allowed under the PDA. Delta Dental asserts that any limits on fee increases, or reductions in fees, are a response to competitive and market conditions and are intended to maximize the number of patients who are covered by a Delta Dental plan, which thus benefits Premier Dentists.  Delta Dental also denies that there is anything unlawful or improper about its amendment to the PDA’s dispute resolution provision. Delta Dental’s agreement to settle the Lawsuit is not an admission of liability or that it engaged in any wrongdoing or unlawful conduct of any kind.

Has the Court decided who is right?

Answer:

The Court has issued no decision on the merits of the Lawsuit and has not decided who is right or wrong.

Why is this Lawsuit a class action and who is included in the Class?

Answer:

CDA initially filed this Lawsuit on behalf of its members who are or have been Premier Dentists with Delta Dental. After extensive litigation regarding initial challenges to the Lawsuit, the Court suggested that the parties engage in mediation to determine whether the claims could be resolved by a settlement.  In response, the parties agreed to engage a professional mediator with a national reputation, Eric Green of Resolutions, LLC. The mediation began in February, 2016, and in November, 2016, the parties reached an agreement in principle. During the course of the mediation, the parties agreed that to achieve finality, any proposed settlement should not be limited only to CDA members but should include all Delta Dental Premier Dentists who have or had a PDA with Delta Dental at any time from January 1, 2011 through the date the settlement is preliminarily approved by the Court. To accomplish that end, a Second Amended Complaint was filed to assert the claims made in the Lawsuit on behalf of all such dentists. The Court provisionally certified the Class for settlement purposes only and preliminarily approved the initial settlement and ordered that Notice of the initial settlement be sent to the Class. Following the recalculation of the INAP impact as described above in section I.2, this Notice is being sent to Class Members pursuant to the Court’s Order to advise you of the Proposed Amended Settlement and the Final Approval Hearing at which the Court will consider whether to grant final approval of it.

Why is there a Proposed Amended Settlement?

Answer:

As described  in section I.4 of the Notice, this Lawsuit challenges, among other things, Delta Dental’s amendments to the PDA, the adequacy of its notice of those amendments in 2013, Delta Dental’s determination of maximum amounts allowed for Contracted Fees, and Delta Dental’s application of the INAP since January 1, 2011. There are many complex issues that are raised by all of these claims, as well as disputes over the relevant facts. While Class Counsel believes that the claims have merit, Delta Dental believes that it will prevail on all claims. Litigation is inherently unpredictable and there is no guarantee that either party will ultimately prevail or that any monetary damages will be awarded. It would likely take years to resolve the issues raised in the Lawsuit, including any appeals, and there can be no certainty of the outcome.  It would be several years, therefore, before any relief could be granted, if Class Members are entitled to any relief.

In an attempt to resolve their differences, Class Counsel and Delta Dental’s Counsel engaged in the lengthy mediation before a professional mediator, and thereafter a further mediation pertaining primarily to the Amended Settlement Amount, both of which are described section I.7 of the Notice. Those mediations, coupled with the additional negotiations of the parties, resulted in the Proposed Amended Settlement. While there were many factors that led to the Proposed Amended Settlement, some of the most significant were:
  • During the pendency of this Lawsuit and a preceding arbitration, Delta Dental has refrained from reducing maximum amounts allowed for Contracted Fees for what will be more than five years. As a result, Premier Dentists collectively have received many millions of dollars more than they otherwise would have received had Delta Dental reduced the maximum amounts allowed for Contracted Fees under the PDA in 2013. However, there was a substantial possibility that plaintiffs could not forever prevent amendments to the PDA or potential future reductions to the maximum amounts allowed.

  • The provisions in the Amended PDA requiring 120 calendar days’ notice and, in particular, requiring an individualized financial calculation for each Premier Dentist of the impact of any future reduction in maximum amounts allowed, are significant long- term and permanent benefits to Premier Dentists.  Delta Dental’s provision of information about which CDT  codes are affected by a reduction, as well as the significantly longer notice period for future reductions and material changes to the PDA, are important benefits that enhance Premier Dentists’ ability to engage in meaningful long-term planning for their practices.

  • The Amended Settlement Amount of up to $65,029,299 to be paid to eligible Settlement Class Members, which is in addition to the benefits to Premier Dentists from the delay in reductions in maximum amounts allowed described above, will provide monetary compensation within a reasonable time for Premier Dentists who were affected by Delta Dental’s application of the INAP.  This monetary relief could not have been obtained except through subsequent litigation, because as an association CDA (which brought the initial complaint in this case) does not have standing to seek individual damages for dentists, even for its members. The law requires that damages be sought either by individual actions or a class action.

  • CDA and the individual class representatives were legally constrained by applicable federal and state antitrust laws in their ability to collectively negotiate with Delta Dental regarding specific fees, fee levels, fee-setting provisions or fee-setting limitations. In addition, Delta Dental contends that the Knox-Keene Act permits a health care service plan like Delta Dental to make material changes to its provider agreements, including a change to the plan that affects rates and fees paid to providers.

  • The outcome of continued litigation was uncertain and not knowable. It was possible that, absent a settlement, plaintiffs might not obtain any relief whatsoever after years of expensive litigation. Moreover, years of continued litigation in an effort to block Delta Dental from adjusting fees in response to competitive market conditions posed a potential threat to the long-term viability of Delta Dental plans that treat Premier Dentists as in-network providers.

  • The Settling Parties recognized that the only mechanism to reach a settlement that would provide relief to all Premier Dentists and provide closure on the disputed issues is through a class action, which subjects the Proposed Amended Settlement to the Court’s review to ensure that it is fair, reasonable and adequate for Class Members and also affords Class Members the opportunity to object to, or opt out of, the Proposed Amended Settlement.
Considering the benefits that will accrue under the Proposed Amended Settlement and all of the risks, time and expense that would be required for continued litigation, Class Counsel and the class representatives have concluded that the Proposed Amended Settlement is fair, reasonable and adequate.

Can I participate in the Proposed Amended Settlement, and if I do how are my rights affected?

Answer:

The Class Period is from January 1, 2011 through December 27, 2017. If you were a Delta Dental Premier Dentist pursuant to a PDA at any time during this period, you are a Class Member.  Unless you decide to opt out of the Proposed Amended Settlement in accordance with the instructions contained in this Notice, you will receive benefits under the Proposed Amended Settlement on the same basis as other Delta Dental Premier Dentists who are Class Members and also do not opt out, and you will be bound by the terms of the Proposed Amended Settlement, including the release of claims.

What amendments to the PDA are required by the Proposed Amended Settlement?

Answer:

A full description of the amendments to the PDA being made as a part of this Proposed Amended Settlement is set forth in section III.B of the Proposed Amended Settlement Agreement, which is available here. The shaded sections of the attached, redlined version of the PDA’s Rules show the amendments to the PDA that the Class is agreeing to:

  1. The Amended PDA amends the definition of “Contracted Fee” in the Rules section to provide: 
    “In the event of a decrease in Premier Contracted Fee maximum amounts allowed or levels or amounts of fee reimbursement generally applicable to Premier dentists (other than a decrease resulting solely from changes to the Code on Dental Procedures and Nomenclature (CDT  codes)), Delta Dental will provide participating dentists with 120 calendar days’ notice.  Such notice will provide each affected Premier dentist (1) his/her Contracted Fees affected by the reduction(s) and (2) the potential financial impact of the reduction(s) on his/her Contracted Fee reimbursements from Delta Dental based upon the Premier dentist’s submissions for procedures to Delta Dental over the twelve (12) month period ending on the most recent complete calendar quarter preceding the notice and the assumption that the participating dentist will perform the same set of procedures during the twelve (12) months following the reduction(s). If the dentist does not wish to accept the new Premier Contracted Fees, the dentist shall so advise Delta Dental and terminate his/her participating dentist agreement within the 120 calendar day notice period. Nothing herein requires Delta Dental to provide any notice of any INAP limit or any change in the INAP limit (including the amount, rate or percentage) or any specific maximum amounts allowed for specific CDT codes.”

  2. The Amended PDA is also being amended to include the following in Section 13 of the Rules:
    “Any material amendment(s) made as provided [in this Section 13] is/are binding upon Delta Dental participating dentists and effective 120 calendar days from the time Delta Dental mails complete and accurate notice to the participating dentist of the amendment(s), which notice will include a link to an online site which provides a redline identifying all changes. If the dentist declines to be bound by the amendment(s), the dentist shall so advise Delta Dental and terminate his/her participating dentist agreement within the 120 calendar day notice period.”

  3. Delta Dental will provide the notices described above in Sections II.1.a and II.1.b to CDA for the benefit of all Premier Dentists no less than 12 calendar days before providing the notice to Premier Dentists.  After Delta Dental provides notice to Premier Dentists, CDA will be free to communicate with Premier Dentists (whether or not members of CDA) regarding its analysis of the nature and effect of the amendments.

  4. Other than the amendments described above, Delta Dental has the right to determine unilaterally the provisions of the PDA (including the Rules), including without limitation any provisions relating to fee reimbursement; levels or amounts of fee reimbursement; methods, procedures or formulas for determining fee reimbursement; dispute resolution; and Delta Dental’s right to amend the PDA (including the Rules), provided that nothing in the Proposed Amended Settlement is an agreement that Delta Dental may violate any statutory or common law right by future amendment or other conduct.

  5. Delta Dental  has made certain other amendments to the PDA  that  are not required by this Proposed Amended Settlement and are not subject to Court approval. Those amendments are redlined (but not shaded) in the attached redlined version of the PDA’s Rules, which is also available to you on this website and on Delta Dental’s website at www.deltadentalins.com/dentists/.  If you signed a PDA with Delta Dental on or after May 1, 2017, your PDA already contains these amendments.

Am I entitled to receive money under this Proposed Amended Settlement and if so, how will the amount be determined?

Answer:

The Plan of Allocation and Distribution of the Amended Settlement Amount is set forth in Appendix 3 to the Proposed Amended Settlement Agreement, which is available here.  In summary, if you do not opt out of the Proposed Amended Settlement, you will be a Settlement Class Member and you may be allocated and entitled to receive a portion of the Amended Settlement Amount.  Class Counsel and experts working for the Class will determine the allocation of the Amended Settlement Amount among Class Members based on Delta Dental’s available records of actual fee and claim submissions for services performed from January 1, 2011 through September 14, 2017 and processed through December 31, 2017. In general, the amount allocated to each Class Member will be a share of the Amended Settlement Amount that is proportionate to the INAP impact on the Class Member based on determinations using available data, when compared to the total INAP impact on the entire Class. Allocations will be made based on the best data available. There will be no allocation or distribution to Class Members whose fee payments were not limited by the INAP and no distribution to Class Members who opt out of the Proposed Amended Settlement. Once the allocations have been determined, they will be deemed final and not subject to legal challenge.

Distributions will be made pursuant to the Amended Plan of Allocation and Distribution, which is Appendix 3 to the Amended Settlement Agreement.  In sum, allocations not relating to a Settlement Class Member’s fee payments from Delta Dental directed to a group practice will be distributed directly to the Settlement Class Member.  In connection with allocations relating to a Settlement Class Member’s fee payments from Delta Dental to a group practice in the normal course of business, within 20 days after Final Approval the Settlement Class Member and the group practice will be told the amount of the Settlement Class Member’s allocation associated with the group practice and that the distribution will be made to the group practice unless an objection is made within 30 days after the notice is sent. If no written objection is received within 30 days, then the distribution will be made to the group practice. If an objection is made, the distribution will be held for a maximum of 60 days to allow the Settlement Class Member and the group practice to reach an agreement. If no agreement is reached within that period, the distribution shall be deposited in a Qualified Settlement Fund established pursuant to the Amended Settlement Agreement (Appendix 4), and thereafter paid either in accordance with instructions agreed upon by the the Settlement Class Member and the group practice or a final, non-appealable court order directing how payment shall be made. Once the distribution has been determined, it will be deemed final and not subject to legal challenge. To the extent feasible, recipients of a distribution from the Amended Settlement Amount will receive a Form 1099-MISC.

What is the range of recovery for Settlement Class Members?

Answer:

Based on current calculations and available data, it is currently estimated that approximately 14,300 Class Members will be allocated a portion of the Amended Settlement Amount.  Of these, approximately 6,300 are estimated to be allocated the minimum of $500 and approximately 8,000 are estimated to be allocated amounts ranging from $500 to approximately $465,000. The average allocation from the Amended Settlement Amount is currently estimated to be approximately $4,500.

Am I required to file a claim form or any documentation in order to be allocated money under this Proposed Amended Settlement?

Answer:

No. It will not be necessary for you to file a claim form in order to be allocated and entitled to receive a portion of the Amended Settlement Amount, and your eligibility for a payment does not depend on your ability to document fee submissions that you have made. Delta Dental maintains databases that will be used to make the calculations for allocations and payments under the Proposed Amended Settlement. The allocations and payments will be based on Delta Dental’s record of requests for fee increases submitted to Delta Dental, any application of the INAP to those requested fee increases, and claims history for services performed during the period January 1, 2011 through September 14, 2017, and processed through December 31, 2017, determined in the manner described above. It is anticipated that all payments from the Amended Settlement Amount will be completed within 120 calendar days after the Proposed Amended Settlement Agreement becomes effective. Any payments from the Amended Settlement Amount that remain outstanding (i.e., checks that are issued but are returned as undeliverable, or which are not cashed or redeemed within 90 days after being mailed) will be paid to the CDA Foundation Student Loan Repayment Program. Those funds will be made available to and awarded to California dentists regardless of whether they are or become members of CDA.

What is the effect of the Proposed Amended Settlement on my rights if I do not opt out?

Answer:

If you decide to remain a Class Member and do not opt out of the Proposed Amended Settlement, you will receive its benefits as described in the Notice and it will be binding on you. You will also be bound by the “Release of Claims” included in the Proposed Amended Settlement Agreement, which provides as follows:

“[1] In addition to and not in lieu of the effect of any final judgment entered in accordance with the Amended Settlement Agreement, and in consideration of Delta Dental’s agreement to pay the Amended Settlement Amount and for other valuable consideration provided by the Amended Settlement Agreement, each Settlement Class Member and CDA hereby expressly and irrevocably waives, and fully, finally, and forever settles, discharges, and releases the Released Parties, from any and all manner of claims, demands, actions, suits, and causes of action, whether individual, class, derivative, representative, or otherwise in nature, for damages (whether compensatory, consequential, special, statutory or punitive), interest, costs, expenses, attorneys’ fees, fines, civil or other penalties, or other payment of money, or for injunctive, declaratory, or other equitable relief, whether directly, indirectly, derivatively, or otherwise, whether known or unknown, suspected or unsuspected, in law or in equity, that are based on, arise from or relate directly to Delta Dental’s conduct, acts or omissions alleged in the Second Amended Complaint including without limitation the determination or application of Fee Reimbursement Limits, and/or Contracted Fees for Premier Dentists prior to the Effective Date of the Amended PDA, Delta Dental’s determination or application of INAP, Delta Dental’s amendments to the PDA announced on November 17, 2010, Delta Dental’s amendments to the PDA announced on August 1, 2013, and/or Delta Dental’s notice to dentists of those amendments, and/or the claim that the terms of the current or any prior version of the PDA, the covenant of good faith and fair dealing implied in the current or any prior version of the PDA, or any other law applicable to the current or prior versions of the PDA preclude the amendment proposed by Delta Dental to the Amended PDA, regardless of when such claims accrue or accrued, for the period through the Effective Date of the Amended PDA  (the “Release Date”) as provided herein (the “Released Claims”).  Settlement Class Members and CDA shall not, after the Release Date, seek to establish liability against the Released Parties based on, arising from or relating directly to the conduct, acts or omissions asserted in the Second Amended Complaint.  Settlement Class Members, CDA and the Released Parties agree that the Amended Settlement Agreement may be pleaded as a bar to a lawsuit, arbitration demand or administrative claim, and an injunction may be obtained, preventing any action from being initiated or maintained in any lawsuit, arbitration or administrative proceeding sought to be prosecuted by or on behalf of Settlement Class Members or CDA with respect to the Released Claims.

[2] In addition to the provisions of Section [1] above, each Settlement Class Member and CDA expressly agrees that, upon the Release Date, he, she or it waives and forever releases with respect to the Released Claims any and all provisions, rights and benefits conferred by either (a) section 1542 of the California Civil Code, which reads:

Section 1542. General release; extent.
A general release does not extend to claims which the creditor does not know or suspect to exist in his or her favor at the time of executing the release, which if known by him or her must have materially affected his or her settlement with the debtor.

or (b) any law of the United States or any state or territory of the United States, or principle of common law, which is similar, comparable or equivalent to section 1542 of the California Civil Code.  Each Settlement Class Member and CDA acknowledges that he, she or it may hereafter discover facts other than or different from those which he, she or it knows or believes to be true with respect to the Released Claims, but each Settlement Class Member and CDA hereby expressly waives and fully, finally, and forever settles and releases, upon the Release Date, any known or unknown, suspected or unsuspected, contingent or non-contingent claim based on, arising from or relating directly to the conduct, acts or omissions alleged in the Second Amended Complaint, whether or not concealed or hidden, without regard to the subsequent discovery or existence of such different or additional facts.”

Who is paying the costs associated with the Proposed Amended Settlement?

Answer:

Delta Dental will bear the costs of administering the Amended Settlement Amount.  However, under certain circumstances, Delta Dental will establish a Qualified Settlement Fund (“QSF”) as provided in the Proposed Amended Settlement Agreement, into which the Amended Settlement Amount, or a portion of it, and any award of attorney’s fees and expenses and service awards shall be deposited. In that event, the costs and expenses for the operation and administration of the QSF, if one is established, including but not limited to fees and expenses for any claims administrator fees and expenses relating to the distribution of the Amended Settlement Amount, which are currently estimated to be less than $100,000, will be paid out of the QSF.

What should I do if I want to be part of the Proposed Amended Settlement?

Answer:

If you want to participate in the Proposed Amended Settlement, you do not need to do anything.  You automatically will be included in the Settlement Class, may be eligible to receive a payment from the Amended Settlement Amount, and will be bound by the terms of the Proposed Amended Settlement, including the release of claims as provided in the Proposed Amended Settlement Agreement. You do not need to file a claim form or take any other action. The Class Notice Administrator will provide notice through this website if the Court enters an order granting final approval of the Proposed Amended Settlement and a judgment.  Any payment will be made within 120 calendar days after the effective date of the Proposed Amended Settlement Agreement, unless otherwise ordered by the Court.  It is possible that this date may be postponed if there is any appeal of the Court’s order. In that case, payments will be made after all appeals have been resolved and the Proposed Amended Settlement is upheld on appeal.

What should I do if I want to opt out or exclude myself from the Proposed Amended Settlement, and what are the consequences of opting out?

Answer:

You have the right to be excluded from this Proposed Amended Settlement, which is also referred to as “opting out”.  If you want to opt out of the Proposed Amended Settlement, you must do so on your own behalf. To opt out of the Proposed Amended Settlement, you must submit to the Class Notice Administrator a written request to opt out of the Proposed Amended Settlement that is delivered to the Class Notice Administrator or postmarked no later than March 5, 2018. The Class Notice Administrator’s address is provided in section VI of the Notice.

To be effective, your opt-out request must:
  1. state the name of this Lawsuit, California Dental Association, et al. v. Delta Dental of California, San Francisco County Superior Court Action No. CGC-14-538849;

  2. state your full legal name, address, telephone number and Dental Board of California license number;

  3. state the time period during which you believe that you have been a Premier Dentist with Delta Dental pursuant to a PDA based on available records or, if records are not available, to the best of your recollection;

  4. state that you are opting out of the Proposed Amended Settlement; and

  5. be signed and dated by you or your counsel if you are represented by counsel.

Opt-out requests that are not postmarked or received by the Class Notice Administrator by March 5, 2018, or which fail to include the information outlined above, will be of no force or effect. Delta Dental has an option to terminate the Proposed Amended Settlement if total opt outs exceed certain thresholds.

If you decide to opt out of the Proposed Amended Settlement, you will not be eligible to receive any payment from the Amended Settlement Amount, you will not release any claim you may have against Delta Dental, and you will no longer be represented by Class Counsel. You will be subject to the Amended PDA, and you will be free to pursue any claim you believe you may have against Delta Dental on your own.

What should I do if I object to the Proposed Amended Settlement, and is objecting the same as “opting out”?

Answer:

If you decide to participate in and do not opt out of the Proposed Amended Settlement, you still have the right to object in writing to all or any part of it should you wish to do so. If you want to object to any aspect of the Proposed Amended Settlement, you must do so on your own behalf. To object to the Proposed Amended Settlement or any part of it, you must submit a written objection to the Class Notice Administrator that is delivered or postmarked no later than March 5, 2018. The Class Notice Administrator’s address is provided in section VI of the Notice. For an objection to be considered by the Court, the objection must include:
  1.  the name of this Lawsuit, California Dental Association, et al. v. Delta Dental of California, San Francisco County Superior Court Action No. CGC-14-538849;

  2.  your full name, address, telephone number and Dental Board of California license number;

  3.  the time period during which you believe you have been a Premier Dentist with Delta Dental pursuant to a PDA based on available records or, if records are not available, to the best of your recollection;

  4.  a description of the nature of your objection and the grounds for your objection, accompanied by any legal or factual support for the objection known to your or your counsel if you are represented by counsel;

  5.  the identity of counsel who represent you in connection with this matter; and

  6.  your signature or your counsel’s signature, if you are represented by counsel, and the date of the signature.
Objections that are not postmarked or received by the Class Notice Administrator by March 5, 2018, or which fail to include the information outlined above, will not be considered by the Court.

Objecting to the Proposed Amended Settlement is not the same as opting out of the Proposed Amended Settlement.  You may object to the Proposed Amended Settlement and still participate in it if you don’t opt out. If you opt out of the Proposed Amended Settlement, however, you will have no right to object to it or to speak at the Final Approval Hearing because it will no longer affect your rights.

When and where will the Court decide whether to finally approve the Proposed Amended Settlement?

Answer:

Under California law, the Court, after considering any valid objections to the Proposed Amended Settlement, must make a final determination as to whether it is fair, adequate and reasonable for Class Members. A formal “Final Approval Hearing” is conducted by the Court in order to determine whether the Proposed Amended Settlement is fair, adequate and reasonable.

The Final Approval Hearing is currently scheduled for April 25, 2018, at 1:30 p.m. in Courtroom 305, San Francisco County Superior Court, 400 McAllister Street, San Francisco, California 94102. It is possible that the date and time of this hearing will be postponed if the Court determines this is necessary. If this occurs, the revised date and time for this hearing will be posted on this website for this Proposed Amended Settlement.  A separate written notice of the rescheduled hearing date will not be mailed to Class Members. If you wish to attend the Final Approval Hearing, therefore, please consult this website to confirm the date and time for the hearing.

Do I have to attend the Final Approval Hearing to participate in the Proposed Amended Settlement?

Answer:

No, attendance is not required and whether you do or do not attend will not affect your right to participate in the Proposed Amended Settlement.  Attendance at the Final Approval Hearing is entirely optional.

Do I have the right to speak at the Final Approval Hearing?

Answer:

You may attend the Final Approval Hearing regardless of whether you objected to the Proposed Amended Settlement.  If you do not opt out or request exclusion, as provided in Section III.2 in the Notice, you may address the Court at the Final Approval Hearing. If you want to make a substantive objection to the Proposed Amended Settlement or any portion of it at the Final Approval Hearing, you must submit a written objection as set forth in Section III.3 in the Notice.

Who represents me?

Answer:

The Class is represented by attorneys at the firm of Arnold & Porter Kaye Scholer LLP at the address below:

Arnold & Porter Kaye Scholer, LLP
Attn: Paul Alexander
George Langendorf
3 Embarcadero Center, 10th Floor
San Francisco, CA 94111-4204

Paul.Alexander@APKS.com

How will Class Counsel be paid?

Answer:

Pursuant to the Proposed Amended Settlement and subject to Court approval, Delta Dental will pay Class Counsel up to $2,350,000 in attorney’s fees and expenses. Class Counsel will file a motion for approval of this payment, which will be decided by the Court at the Final Approval Hearing. In addition, if approved by the Court, each individual class representative will receive a service award of up to $3,500 to reimburse him or her for the time and effort he or she has devoted to this case as a class representative. The basis for this award will be included in the motion for attorney’s fees and service awards and considered at the Final Approval Hearing. These service awards, if approved by the Court, will also be paid by Delta Dental. No part of the attorney’s fees and expenses, or the service awards, will reduce the Amended Settlement Amount. These are separate and additional payments made by Delta Dental.

Class Counsel’s motion for approval of attorney’s fees and service awards will be filed no later than February 16, 2018, or at least two weeks before the Objection and Opt-Out Deadline set by the Court.  If you wish to object to the motion for approval of attorney’s fees and service awards, you must submit your written objection to the Class Notice Administrator, which must be delivered or postmarked no later than March 5, 2018.

Can I get more information from the Class Notice Administrator?

Answer:

All significant pleadings, notices and documents, including a copy of the Proposed Amended Settlement, are available on this website. Notice of hearings and any changes in hearing dates, including for the Final Approval Hearing, also will be posted on this website.

If you still have any questions regarding the information provided in the Proposed Amended Settlement or the Notice, including the amount you may be eligible to receive under the Proposed Amended Settlement (subject to appropriate confidentiality limitations), you may contact the Class Notice Administrator at the following:

California Dental Association, et al. v. Delta Dental of California c/o Rust Consulting, Inc.
Class Notice Administrator - 5492
PO Box 2563
Faribault, MN 55021-9563
1- 866-431-8455

If you still have questions that you believe have not been adequately answered by the Class Notice Administrator, you may contact Class Counsel at the address provided in section V of the Notice.

PLEASE DO NOT CONTACT THE COURT OR THE COURT CLERK’S OFFICE TO INQUIRE ABOUT THIS PROPOSED AMENDED SETTLEMENT OR THE BENEFITS AVAILABLE UNDER IT.

Disclaimer

THIS SITE IS NOT OPERATED BY THE CALIFORNIA DENTAL ASSOCIATION OR DELTA DENTAL OF CALIFORNIA.  THIS SITE IS OPERATED AND ADMINISTERED BY THE CLASS NOTICE ADMINISTRATOR.  PLEASE DIRECT ANY WEBSITE ERRORS OR QUESTIONS TO THE ADMINISTRATOR, RUST CONSULTING, INC.

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