Frequently Asked Questions
- What is the purpose of this website?
- What is the lawsuit about?
- Why is this a class action?
- Why was there a class action settlement?
- How do I know if I am included in the Settlement?
- What does the Settlement provide?
- How much am I eligible to receive?
- What types of documentation should I have submitted for proof of my purchase?
- How do I get paid?
- If I submitted an eligible claim, when will I get my payment?
- What are my options as a Class Member?
- How do I remain a Class Member, and what does that mean?
- How do I object to the Settlement?
- How do I exclude myself from ("opt out" of) the Settlement?
- If I opted out, can I get money from this Settlement?
- Do I have a lawyer representing my interests in this case?
- How is Settlement Class Counsel being paid?
- Are the Class Representatives receiving anything for the time and effort they contributed to the lawsuit?
- Should I get my own lawyer?
- When and where will the Court decide on whether to approve the Settlement?
- Do I have to attend the settlement approval hearing, and if so, may I speak?
- If the Court approves the Settlement, will that end the lawsuit as to AmeriGas?
- Where do I obtain more information?
- What are the deadlines I need to know about?
What is the purpose of this website?
The purpose of this website is to inform retail purchasers of a Settlement and their rights with respect to that Settlement. Those rights included the right to be excluded from the Settlement. If you are a Class Member and did not request to be excluded as set forth in FAQ 14, you are bound by the terms of the Settlement.Back To Top
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 Settlement is a compromise of disputed claims and does not mean that AmeriGas has any liability or did anything wrong.Back To Top
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 has decided that this case should be a class action for purposes of the Settlement. The Missouri Federal Court resolved the issues for all Class Members, except for those who excluded themselves from the Class.Back To Top
Why was 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 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.Back To Top
How do I know if I am included in the 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 are a Class Member, you must have submitted 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 have submitted a Claim Form to receive any money under the Settlement. If you did not want to be a Class Member and wanted to retain any individual right to pursue claims against AmeriGas, you had to request exclusion from the Settlement.Back To Top
What does the Settlement provide?
Under the Settlement, cash payments will be made to Class Members who filed 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.Back To Top
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
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
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).Back To Top
What types of documentation should I have submitted for proof of my purchase?
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, you needed to submit it with your Claim Form, and the Claims Administrator will determine whether it is sufficient.Back To Top
How do I get paid?
In order to receive any payment, you MUST have submitted a Claim Form on or before the Claim Deadline, March 8, 2021.Back To Top
If I submitted an eligible claim, when will I get my payment?
It may be a while before you receive any payment. Please be patient. The Court held a hearing on March 30, 2021, commonly referred to as a Fairness Hearing, and approved the Settlement. Payments will be made when the Court’s order of approval becomes final, which includes 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.Back To Top
Your Options as a Class Member
What are my options as a Class Member?
You had an opportunity to remain a Class Member or request exclusion from the Settlement (which is known as “Opting-Out”). If you remained a Class Member, you also had an opportunity to make comments supporting or objecting to the Settlement.Back To Top
How do I remain a Class Member, and what does that mean?
To remain a Class Member, you do need to do anything. You must have, however, submitted a Claim Form by March 8, 2021, to be eligible to receive any money from the Settlement.
Being a Class Member means that you gave 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 Documents page of this website.Back To Top
How do I object to the Settlement?
The deadline to object to the terms of the Settlement has passed. This was your only opportunity that would have allowed you to write to the Court to object to the terms of the SettlementBack To Top
How do I exclude myself from ("opt out" of) the Settlement?
The deadline to exclude yourself has passed. This was the only option that would have allowed you to retain your rights to start or continue your own lawsuit against Amerigas/Blue Rhino for claims at issue in the SettlementBack To Top
If I opted out, can I get money from this Settlement?
No. If you opted out, you are no longer a Class Member, and you cannot receive a payment from the Settlement.Back To Top
The Lawyers Representing You
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
STUEVE SIEGEL HANSON LLP
460 Nichols Road, Suite 200
Kansas City, MO 64112
Stuart M. Paynter
Jennifer L. Murray
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.Back To Top
How is Settlement Class Counsel being paid?
The Court approved the Settlement, Settlement Class Counsel asked 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. The Court granted the request for attorneys’ fees equal to 33.33% of the Settlement Amount and $318,818.84 in reimbursement for litigation costs and expenses. To read more on the Court’s decision please read the Order Granting Attorneys’ Fees on the documents page of this website.
As a Class Member, you do not have to pay Settlement Class Counsel anything.Back To Top
Are the Class Representatives receiving anything for the time and effort they contributed to the lawsuit?
As part of the Settlement, the Class Representatives were granted by the Court an award of $5,000 for any named Plaintiff that had been deposed and $2,500 for any named Plaintiff that had not been deposed for the time and effort they contributed to the prosecution of the Lawsuit.. These awards will be paid out of the Settlement Fund.Back To Top
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.Back To Top
The Court's Settlement Approval Hearing and the Future of the Lawsuit
When and where will the Court decide on whether to approve the Settlement?
The Court held a hearing on March 30, 2021, before the Honorable Gary Fenner, United States District Court Judge, at the United States District Court for the Western District of Missouri. The Court found that (1) the Settlement was fair, reasonable, and adequate; (2) the Settlement was a good faith Settlement; (3) the attorneys’ fees and expenses requested were reasonable; and (4) the incentive awards to the Class Representatives were also appropriate. To read more on the Court’s decision please read the Order Granting Final Approval on the Documents page of this websiteBack To Top
Do I have to attend the settlement approval hearing, and if so, may I speak?
You did not have to attend the settlement approval hearing, but you had an opportunity to do so if you wanted to. The settlement approval hearing has now passed.Back To Top
If the Court approves the Settlement, will that end the lawsuit as to AmeriGas?
Yes. The Court approved the Settlement, that ended this Lawsuit as to AmeriGas. However, it did not end the Lawsuit with respect to the other defendants.Back To Top
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 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.
What are the deadlines I need to know about?
If you wished to submit a claim, your claim must have been sent via email by 11:59 P.M. March 8, 2021, or via U.S. Mail postmarked by March 8, 2021.
If you wished to be excluded from the Settlement, you must have mailed your Request for Exclusion, postmarked no later than March 8, 2021, to the Claims Administrator at the address listed in FAQ 14.
If you wished to submit comments on or objections to the Settlement, you needed to 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 were received no later than March 8, 2021.Back To Top