Unless you exclude yourself, you are staying in the Class, and that means that you can’t sue, continue to sue, or be part of any other lawsuit against Defendant about the legal issues in this case. It also means that all of the Court’s orders will apply to you and legally bind you. If you sign the Claim Form, you will agree to a release of claims which describes exactly the legal claims that you give up if you get settlement benefits. The Release is defined and detailed in the Settlement Agreement.
The release provided by the Class Action Settlement Agreement and Release provides, in relevant parts, for the following:
By this Settlement Agreement and the following Release, Defendant and Released Parties are released from any and all claims or causes of action that were, or could have been, asserted by the Plaintiffs or any Class Members against them regarding the claims made, or that could have been made, in the Complaint and Complaint Amendment relating to the allegedly defective Merlex stucco applied to their homes, except as set forth in section VIII(D) below. Without assuming that the Release given by this Settlement Agreement is a general release, Plaintiffs and Class Members expressly waive and relinquish all such claims or causes of action against the Released Parties to the fullest extent permitted by law. Plaintiffs, on their behalf and not on behalf of the Class Members, expressly understand and acknowledge that through this Settlement Agreement Plaintiffs only will be deemed by the Final Approval Order to acknowledge and waive Section 1542 of the Civil Code of the State of California, which provides that:
A general release does not extend to claims that the creditor or releasing party does not know or suspect to exist in his or her favor at the time of executing the release and that, if known by him or her, would have materially affected his or her settlement with the debtor or released party.
Plaintiffs on behalf of themselves only expressly waive and relinquish any and all rights and benefits that they may have under, or that may be conferred upon them by, the provisions of Section 1542 of the California Civil Code, or any other law of any state or territory that is similar, comparable or equivalent to Section 1542, to the fullest extent they may lawfully waive such rights. Plaintiffs and the Class Members recognize that, even if they later discover facts in addition to or different from those which they now know or believe to be true, they nevertheless agree that, upon entry of the Final Approval Order and accompanying Judgment, Plaintiffs and the Class Members fully, finally, and forever settle and release any and all of the Released Claims against the Released Parties. The Parties acknowledge that the foregoing waiver and release was bargained for and is a material element of the Settlement Agreement.
Plaintiffs represent and warrant that they are the sole and exclusive owner of all claims that they personally are releasing under this Agreement. Plaintiffs further acknowledge that they have not assigned, pledged, or in any manner whatsoever sold, transferred, assigned or encumbered any right, title, interest or claim arising out of or in any way whatsoever pertaining to the Action, including without limitation, any claim for benefits, proceeds or value under the Action, and that Plaintiffs are not aware of anyone other than themselves claiming any interest, in whole or in part, in the Action or in any benefits, proceeds or values under the Action. Class Members submitting a Claim Form shall represent and warrant therein that they are the sole and exclusive owners of all claims that they personally are releasing under the Settlement and that they have not assigned, pledged, or in any manner whatsoever, sold, transferred, assigned or encumbered any right, title, interest or claim arising out of or in any way whatsoever pertaining to the Action, including without limitation, any claim for benefits, proceeds or value under the Action, and that such Class Member(s) are not aware of anyone other than themselves claiming any interest, in whole or in part, in the Action or in any benefits, proceeds or values under the Action.
This Settlement Agreement does not affect the rights of Class Members who timely and properly request exclusion from the Settlement Agreement. The Settlement Agreement does not release claims for personal injury or claims for subrogation.
Upon issuance of the Final Approval Order: (i) the Settlement Agreement shall be the exclusive remedy for any and all Class Members, except those who have opted out in accordance with the terms and provisions hereof; (ii) Defendant and Released Parties shall not be subject to liability or expense of any kind to any Class Member(s) for reasons related to the Litigation except as set forth herein; and (iii) Class Members shall be permanently barred from initiating, asserting, or prosecuting any and all released claims against Defendant and Released Parties.