settlement class member

Not exactly a tax-related question, but since there are some very sharp and experienced minds on this board, I thought I’d ask here.

Uniti Group Inc. (stock symbol UNIT) got successfully sued by some stock holders/bond holders/option traders, a $38 million settlement fund is supposedly set up, and I’ve been told that I could qualify as a Settlement Class member.

  1. I’ve seen this happen before, and received something in the mail saying that if I wish to remain a member of the Settlement Class, I don’t need to do anything. But this time, the letter says I have to provide proof that I bought or sold shares/bonds/options during the Class Period. Is this typical? P.S. all my transactions go through my accounts with Etrade or Ameritrade.

  2. The form I’m to fill out wants info about any sales I made during the Class Period “and during the 90-day lookback period.” I’m not familiar with that term. If the Class Period is 4/24/2015 to 6/24/2019, when is the “90-day lookback period”?

  3. I sold covered call options against my shares of UNIT during the Class Period. All of those sales were profitable to me. Am I required to list those also when I respond to the lawyers for this class action suit? The verbage in the mailing implies that I need to have had a loss in order to receive any settlement money. I don’t know for sure if I’d have a net loss if I include the premiums I receive from selling those call options.

The notice I received implied that the average settlement will be about 10 cents a share. Nothing to write home about, but enough to ask for Hendricks instead of well the next time I pull up a bar stool.

Thank you for your time for reading this.
Ira, we’ll be back in Brooklyn in very late October for a quick visit, I still owe you a dinner at a nice place, in case you want to meet up.
Soccer moms and dads, please be nice to the refs. Some of us are there strictly for community service and because we love the game. But we can also enjoy the game by watching the premier league on tv at home or our favorite hangout, instead of being on the pitch and listening to comments from people who wouldn’t know a hand ball if they tripped over one.

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I have received similar notices of class actions for various investments over the years. It is not uncommon that these cases request for you to complete a form listing transactions that might be covered by the claim. Sometimes I have also been asked to attach actual proof of the transaction. Sometimes the forms are confusing (to me) and other times very straightforward.

When I receive these requests, I use a few screening factors to help me decide whether to respond. Mostly, I consider the “hassle factor.” For example, is the potential award significant enough for me to put in the time needed to dig up the applicable records and complete the form? Consider also the need to track the process after you submit.

One problem I have encountered with these requests is that often the class action period can be from considerably in the past. Unless you regularly download all your trade confirmation statements in real time, the required documentation may not be readily accessible from your brokerage account page if more than seven years have passed. This adds to the hassle factor.

In my experience, I have completed the forms to be eligible for a class action claim only to receive a notice later that my situation did not meet the criteria to receive the award. Even though, based on the limited explanation that was provided on the post card it seem that I should have met the criteria. In other situations, I simply never heard back (and found the websites were closed when I went to check status a year or so later). I once received several hundred dollars from a class action award…although I think that may have been from insurance or something, not investment purchases.

As for your question about the mechanisms of the trade and the look-back period, you might try reading some of the fine print in the documents accessible by any links that were provided. Those criteria might be defined there and they are probably specific to the terms of the class action case.

Good luck for whatever you decide.


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The verbage in the mailing implies that I need to have had a loss in order to receive any settlement money. I don’t know for sure if I’d have a net loss if I include the premiums I receive from selling those call options.

Are you sure it says that?
Can it interpreted as meaning it covers any lesser profit you may have had from trading during the period? (ie. losses from what you theoretically should have made)