Frequently Asked Questions

  1. What is the purpose of this website?

    The purpose of this website is to inform retail purchasers of a proposed settlement and their rights with respect to that settlement. Those rights include the right to be excluded from the settlement. If you are a Class Member and do not request to be excluded as set forth in FAQ 14, you will be bound by the terms of the settlement.

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  2. What is the lawsuit about?

    A class action lawsuit against AmeriGas (the "Lawsuit") claims that in 2008, AmeriGas and Blue Rhino agreed with each other to reduce the amount of propane gas in the pre-filled propane tanks ("Propane Tanks") they sold to their customers from 17 pounds to 15 pounds, while maintaining the price of the tanks, and that this improperly inflated the cost of propane to retail purchasers. The Lawsuit concerns sales of Propane Tanks from December 1, 2009, to November 30, 2020 (the "Class Period"), and the plaintiffs allege that AmeriGas and Blue Rhino continued to charge inflated prices for their Propane Tanks during this time. Both AmeriGas and Blue Rhino are defendants in the Lawsuit. Although this settlement relates to and includes purchases you have made of both AmeriGas and Blue Rhino Propane Tanks, the settlement involves only the claims against AmeriGas; the claims against Blue Rhino are continuing in court.

    AmeriGas denies plaintiffs' allegations. It contends that the fill reductions were legal and that it did not improperly inflate prices for Propane Tanks. The proposed settlement is a compromise of disputed claims and does not mean that AmeriGas has any liability or did anything wrong.

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  3. Why is this a class action?

    In a class action, one or more people, called Class Representatives, sue on behalf of people who have similar claims. The group of people they sue on behalf of is called a "Class" and the individual people or companies in that Class are called "Class Members." The Missouri Federal Court will decide if this case should be a class action for purposes of the settlement. If it does, the Missouri Federal Court will resolve the issues for all Class Members, except for those who exclude themselves from the Class.

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  4. Why is there a class action settlement?

    The lawyers representing the Class Members ("Settlement Class Counsel") have investigated and evaluated the claims asserted in the Lawsuit and have determined that the proposed settlement is fair, reasonable, and adequate, in light of the benefits of the settlement and the disadvantages of continuing the Lawsuit. AmeriGas has agreed to pay $6.5 million into a settlement fund, out of which will be paid attorneys' fees and costs, incentive awards to the Class Representatives (described in FAQ 18), and costs of administration of the settlement including required notices. The remainder of the settlement fund will be available to pay Class Members.

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  5. How do I know if I am included in the proposed settlement?

    There are two settlement classes, and you may be a member of one or both:

    Indirect Purchaser Settlement Class: this class includes all persons who, between December 1, 2009, and November 30, 2020, in the States of Arizona, California, Iowa, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, New Mexico, North Carolina, North Dakota, South Dakota, Utah, or West Virginia, purchased an AmeriGas or Blue Rhino Propane Tank or paid to exchange their already-purchased Propane Tank for an AmeriGas or Blue Rhino Propane Tank, other than a wholesale purchase directly from AmeriGas or Blue Rhino for resale.

    Direct Purchaser Settlement Class: this class includes all persons who, between December 1, 2009 and November 30, 2020, in the United States, purchased an AmeriGas or Blue Rhino Propane Tank directly from AmeriGas or Blue Rhino, through a vending machine installed at a retailer or other location, or paid AmeriGas or Blue Rhino directly through a vending machine installed at a retailer or other location to exchange an already-purchased Propane Tank for an AmeriGas or Blue Rhino Propane Tank, other than a wholesale purchase for resale.

    If you are a Class Member, you will be entitled to recover money as part of the settlement. If you think you may be a Class Member, you may submit a claim form and relevant information or supporting documentation, including, by way of example only, a copy of a receipt for your purchase or exchange of a Propane Tank. The Claims Administrator will review your claim form and determine if you are a Class Member and how much money you get.

    You do not need to do anything to be a Class Member, but you must submit a claim form to receive any money under the settlement. If you do not want to be a Class Member and want to retain any individual right to pursue claims against AmeriGas, you must request exclusion from the settlement.

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  6. What does the proposed settlement provide?

    Under the proposed settlement, cash payments will be made to Class Members who file valid and timely claims. If money is left over after these payments and the payment of attorneys' fees, costs, and other expenses, it will be distributed by order of the Court.

    The Claims Administrator will be responsible for determining the validity of the claims that are submitted and how much each person will receive, subject to AmeriGas' right to audit certain claims and to potential review by the Court.

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  7. How much am I eligible to receive?

    The following chart shows how much a Class Member may be eligible to receive, assuming the Settlement Fund is sufficient to pay out the total number of claims.

    For Each Purchase and/or
    Exchange
    You Will be Eligible
    for a Payment of:
    Maximum Number of Tanks
    You Can Claim:
    WITH Proof of Purchase
    "Category A Claim"
    => Up to $5.00 per tank => No Limit
    WITHOUT Proof of Purchase
    "Category B Claim"
    => Up to $2.50 per tank => Payment of up to fifty (50) tanks, or $125

    If you only have proof of purchase for some of your qualifying AmeriGas or Blue Rhino Propane Tank purchases, you may submit BOTH types of claims (some WITH proof of purchase and some WITHOUT proof of purchase).

    All payments will be made pro rata from the Settlement Fund after all costs of settlement administration (including, but not limited to, costs related to Class Notice, the fees and expenses of the Claims Administrator, attorneys' fees and expenses, and any incentive award payments to the Class Representatives), are deducted from the Settlement Fund. This means that if the total claims exceed the value of the Settlement Fund after all fees and expenses have been deducted, all claims will be reduced proportionally (meaning you will get the same percentage of the available fund regardless of how many claims are made).

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  8. What types of documentation should I submit for proof of my purchases?

    Valid Proof of Purchase means a verifiable document confirming a qualifying transaction. Examples include, but are not limited to, store receipts, credit card receipts, propane tank UPC codes from tank labels, and store records. If you have something else you think confirms your transaction, submit it with your claim form and the Claims Administrator will determine whether it is sufficient.

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  9. How do I get paid?

    In order to receive any payment, you MUST submit a Claim Form on or before the Claim Deadline, March 8, 2021.

    1. File a Claim Online here and include any copies of supporting documents. Your claim must be submitted on or before the Claim Deadline.
    2. Fill Out the Claim Form and E-MAIL it (with copies of any supporting documents) to Claims@PropaneSettlement.com. Your claim must be received on or before the Claim Deadline.
    3. Fill Out the Claim Form and MAIL it (with copies of any supporting documents) to the address below. Your claim must be postmarked on or before the Claim Deadline.

    AmeriGas Class Action Settlement
    P.O. Box 2730
    Portland, OR 97208-2730

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  10. If I submit an eligible claim, when will I get my payment?

    It may be a while before you receive any payment. Please be patient. The Court will hold a hearing on March 30, 2021, commonly referred to as a Fairness Hearing, to decide whether to approve the settlement. If the Court approves the settlement, payments will be made when its order of approval becomes final, which would include the resolution of any appeals from that order. Resolving appeals can take time. Again, please be patient. Information on payment status will be posted on the settlement website.

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Your Options as a Class Member

  1. What are my options as a Class Member?

    You may remain a Class Member or request exclusion from the settlement (which is known as "Opting-Out"). If you remain a Class Member, you may also make comments supporting or objecting to the proposed settlement.

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  2. How do I remain a Class Member, and what does that mean?

    To remain a Class Member, you do not need to do anything. You must, however, submit a claim form by March 8, 2021 to be eligible to receive any money from the settlement.

    Being a Class Member means that if the settlement is approved by the Court and becomes final, you will give up any right to sue AmeriGas for any claim relating to the price paid for (or the fill level of) any AmeriGas or Blue Rhino Propane Tank that you purchased during the Class Period, including any claims that AmeriGas conspired to charge inflated prices for Propane Tanks or otherwise violated the antitrust laws. This will also apply to your heirs, executors, administrators, representatives, agents, partners, successors, and assigns.

    You are NOT giving up any claims against Blue Rhino, since that company is not part of this settlement. The full language of the release by class members is contained in the Stipulation of Settlement, available on the Important Documents page of this website.

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  3. How do I object to the proposed settlement?

    If you remain a Class Member, you have the right to comment in support of or to object to the settlement, the proposed award of attorneys' fees and expenses, and/or the proposed incentive awards to the class representatives, described in FAQ 17 & FAQ 18.

    Objections must be in writing and include:

    1. your name, address, and telephone number;
    2. reference to "In re Pre-Filled Propane Antitrust Litigation, MDL No. 2567, Master Case No. 14-02567-MD-W-GAF;
    3. the dates and locations of your eligible purchases or exchanges of AmeriGas or Blue Rhino Propane Tanks during the Class Period (establishing that you are a member of one or both of the Settlement Classes);
    4. whether your objection applies to all Class Members or only some Class Members;
    5. the specific grounds for your objection; and
    6. your signature.

    You will be bound by the Court's orders in this litigation, even if your objection is rejected. If you wish to exclude yourself from the settlement, you must opt out as described in FAQ 14.

    If you are represented by a lawyer, your objection must include your lawyer's name and contact information. If you intend to have a lawyer appear at the hearing, they must also comply with details in FAQ 21.

    You must send or deliver the written objections or comments to:

    Clerk of the Court
    United States District Court for the Western District of Missouri
    Charles Evans Whittaker Courthouse
    400 East 9th Street
    Kansas City, Missouri 64106

    You must also mail copies to:

    Settlement Class Counsel AmeriGas Counsel
    John DeStefano
    HAGENS BERMAN SOBOL SHAPIRO LLP
    11 West Jefferson Street, Suite 1000
    Phoenix, AZ 85003
    Joseph D. Lee
    MUNGER, TOLLES & OLSON LLP
    350 South Grand Avenue, 50th Floor
    Los Angeles, CA 90071-3426

    For your objection or comment to be considered, you must ensure that it is received no later than March 8, 2021. If you file an objection, you or your lawyer may appear at the Final Fairness Hearing to explain your objection, but you are not required to attend.

    See FAQ 20 and FAQ 21 for information on attending the settlement approval hearing.

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  4. How do I exclude myself from ("opt out" of) the settlement?

    If you do not want to participate in the settlement, you have the right to be excluded. If you are excluded, you will not receive any money from the settlement and may pursue your own claims outside of the class action process.

    If you wish to be excluded from the settlement, you must submit a request for exclusion to the Claims Administrator by first-class mail to the address in the box below, postmarked no later than the Claim Deadline March 8, 2021, or by email to Claims@PropaneSettlement.comby the Claim Deadline. The request for exclusion must:

    1. List your name, address, and telephone number;
    2. State that you wish to be excluded from the settlement in the lawsuit In re Pre-Filled Propane Antitrust Litigation, MDL No. 2567, Master Case No. 14-02567-MD-W-GAF; and
    3. If mailed, be personally signed by you or, if submitted by email, include a statement under penalty of perjury that the opt-out request is being submitted by you personally or by a person legally authorized to act on your behalf, such as a guardian or conservator.

    AmeriGas Class Action Settlement
    P.O. Box 2730
    Portland, OR 97208-2730

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  5. If I opt out, can I get money from this settlement?

    No. If you opt out, you are no longer a Class Member, and you cannot receive a payment from the settlement.

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The Lawyers Representing You

  1. Do I have a lawyer representing my interests in this case?

    Yes. The Court has appointed the following lawyers to represent you and other Class Members:

    Robert B. Carey
    Leonard W. Aragon
    John M. DeStefano
    HAGENS BERMAN SOBOL SHAPIRO LLP
    11 West Jefferson Street, Suite 1000
    Phoenix, AZ 85003
    Norman E. Siegel
    Barrett Vahle
    Curtis Shank
    STUEVE SIEGEL HANSON LLP
    460 Nichols Road, Suite 200
    Kansas City, MO 64112
    Stuart M. Paynter
    Jennifer L. Murray
    Sara Willingham
    THE PAYNTER LAW FIRM PLLC
    1200 G Street N.W., Suite 800
    Washington, DC 20005

    These lawyers are called Settlement Class Counsel. You will not be charged personally for these lawyers, but they will ask the Court to award them a fee out of the Settlement Fund. More information is provided in FAQ 17. These lawyers are not submitting your individual claim forms for you; you must do that yourself or retain your own attorney to do so at your own expense if you wish.

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  2. How is Settlement Class Counsel being paid?

    Since they filed this case, Settlement Class Counsel have not received any payment for their time in prosecuting the lawsuit, nor have they been reimbursed for any out-of-pocket expenses. If the Court approves the settlement, Settlement Class Counsel will ask the Court to award them attorneys' fees and expenses not to exceed one-third of the Settlement Amount, plus reasonable expenses, in compensation for the services provided and expenses advanced by Plaintiffs' counsel in this case since its inception. AmeriGas has agreed not to oppose an award in this amount.

    As a Class Member, you do not have to pay Settlement Class Counsel anything.

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  3. Are the Class Representatives receiving anything for the time and effort they contributed to the lawsuit?

    As part of the proposed settlement, the Class Representatives are asking the Court to award them $5,000 for any named Plaintiff that has been deposed and $2,500 for any named Plaintiff that has not been deposed for the time and effort they contributed to the prosecution of the Lawsuit. AmeriGas has agreed not to oppose this request. Any award will be paid out of the Settlement Fund.

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  4. Should I get my own lawyer?

    You do not need to get your own lawyer, but you do have the right to do so, at your own expense.

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The Court's Settlement Approval Hearing and the Future of the Lawsuit

  1. When and where will the Court decide on whether to approve the proposed settlement?

    The Court will hold a hearing on March 30, 2021, at 10:00 a.m., before the Honorable Gary Fenner, United States District Court Judge, at the United States District Court for the Western District of Missouri, Charles Evans Whittaker Courthouse, 400 East 9th Street, Kansas City, Missouri 64106, to determine: (1) whether the proposed settlement is fair, reasonable, and adequate; (2) whether the settlement is a good faith settlement pursuant to California Code of Civil Procedure sections 877 and 877.6 and meets analogous standards of the laws of other relevant states; (3) the attorneys' fees and expenses the Court should award to Settlement Class Counsel; and (4) any incentive awards to the Class Representatives. The hearing may be continued without further notice to the class. Class Members interested in attending the hearing should consult the Court's website or this website, or contact the Claims Administrator, to confirm the hearing date and time, and to obtain information respecting court procedures in light of COVID, including whether virtual attendance is permitted or required.

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  2. Do I have to attend the settlement approval hearing, and if so, may I speak?

    You do not have to attend the settlement approval hearing, but you may do so. If you decide to attend, you must do so at your own expense.

    You may speak at the settlement approval hearing only if you filed a timely, written comment on or objection to the proposed settlement and requested permission to speak at the hearing (see FAQ 13).

    If you want your own lawyer to speak on your behalf at the hearing, you also must have filed a written comment on or objection to the proposed settlement that identified the lawyer (see FAQ 13). In addition, the lawyer must file with the Court a "Notice of Appearance." The Notice of Appearance should use the following case name and number: In re Pre-Filled Propane Antitrust Litigation, MDL No. 2567, Master Case No. 14-02567-MD-W-GAF, and should state that counsel will appear on your behalf at the hearing. It also must include your name, address, telephone number and signature. The Notice of Appearance must be mailed to the Clerk of the Court at the address below such that it is actually received no later than March 8, 2021:

    Clerk of the Court
    United States District Court for the Western District of Missouri
    Charles Evans Whittaker Courthouse
    400 East 9th Street
    Kansas City, Missouri 64106

    Class Members who have timely requested exclusion ("opted out") from the settlement may not speak at the hearing or comment on the settlement.

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  3. If the Court approves the settlement, will that end the lawsuit as to AmeriGas?

    Yes. If the Court approves the proposed settlement, that will end this Lawsuit as to AmeriGas. However, it will not end the Lawsuit with respect to the other defendants.

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  4. What happens if the Court does not approve the proposed settlement?

    If the settlement is not approved, the Lawsuit will proceed as though no proposed settlement had been reached.

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  5. Where do I obtain more information?

    Any questions should be directed in writing to any of the Settlement Class Counsel listed in FAQ 16 or to the Claims Administrator, Epiq Global, at Claims@PropaneSettlement.com, by calling 1-855-940-5296, or in writing at the following address:

    AmeriGas Class Action Settlement
    P.O. Box 2730
    Portland, OR 97208-2730

    Copies of the Settlement Agreement and other documents filed in the Lawsuit are on file at the United States District Court for the Western District of Missouri, and may be examined and copied during regular office hours at the Office of the Clerk of the Court. The documents referenced on this Website (including the Settlement Agreement) are also available on the Important Documents section of this website. If there is any difference between the Settlement Agreement and the Notice, the terms of the Settlement Agreement will control.

    Do not direct any questions to the Court.
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  6. What are the deadlines I need to know about?

    If you wish to submit a claim, your claim must be submitted online here on or before March 8, 2021, via email so that it is received by March 8, 2021 or via U.S. mail postmarked by March 8, 2021. See FAQ 9.

    If you wish to be excluded from the settlement, you must mail your Request for Exclusion, postmarked no later than March 8, 2021, to the Claims Administrator at the address listed in FAQ 14.

    If you wish to submit comments on or objections to the proposed settlement, you must submit them in writing to the Clerk of the Court at the address listed above in FAQ 13, with copies to both Settlement Class Counsel and AmeriGas Counsel at the addresses listed in FAQ 13, such that they are received no later than March 8, 2021.

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