West Marine Class Action

June 26, 2012

Class action attorneys recover monies for consumers who purchased improperly branded outboard engine oil

Donald "Chip" Cassidy v. West Marine Products, Inc.
Case No. 2005-CV-564, Court of Common Pleas, Erie County, Ohio

To: West Marine Ohio West Advantage Member

Our records indicate that you may be a member of a possible class settlement because you purchased TC W3 "Sea Ranger" or "West Marine"
marine engine oil during the period from January 1, 2003 through September 30, 2005 and that your legal rights may be affected by the settlement.

The Court of Common Pleas, Erie County, Ohio authorized this notice.
This is not a solicitation from a lawyer.

*    There is a proposed settlement with West Marine Products, Inc.
("West Marine") in a class action lawsuit. This case is about whether West Marine violated state laws when it used the certification mark "TC-W3" on containers of marine engine oil during a period of time when West Marine had inadvertently failed to pay its license fee to the National Marine Manufacturers' Association ("NMMA"), the owner of the certification mark.
    
    
*    This case was brought on behalf of Plaintiff Donald "Chip"
Cassidy by Dennis E. Murray, Sr. and Donna Jean A. Evans of Murray & Murray of Sandusky, Ohio.
    
    
*    West Marine strongly denies whether it has done anything wrong
or whether this case may proceed as a class action.
    
    
*    The Court has not decided whether West Marine did anything wrong
or whether the case may proceed as a class action. However, the parties have reached a settlement to avoid the costs of litigation and you have choice to make that could affect your legal rights.
    
    
*    The settlement will provide non-revocable West Marine Gift Cards
to all consumers who were members of the West Advantage Rewards Program and who purchased or received purchases of TC-W3 oil under the brand names "Sea Ranger" or "West Marine" anywhere in Ohio during the period from January 1, 2003 through September 30, 2005. The settlement will also provide for payments to the Class Representative and to Class Counsel for their efforts and expenses.
    
    
*    Your legal rights and options in this settlement:
    
    
*    Do Nothing - If you do nothing, you will receive a
non-revocable West Marine Gift Card in an amount as determined by the terms of the settlement and calculated from West Marine's records showing the retail value of the TC-W3 oil under the brand names "Sea Ranger" or "West Marine" that you purchased in Ohio during the period from January 1, 2003, through September 30, 2005.
        
        
*    Opt Out - If you do not want to receive the Gift Card,
you need to complete the attached Opt-Out Form and return it to West Marine. If you opt out, you will not be bound by the settlement.
        
        
*    Object - You can write to the Court about why you don't
like the settlement.
        
        
*    Go To A Hearing - You can ask to speak in Court about
the settlement. Dennis E. Murray, Sr. and Donna Jean A. Evans of Murray & Murray of Sandusky, Ohio will be there to represent the class.
        
        

*    These rights and options-and the deadlines to exercise
them-are explained in this notice.
    
    
*    The Court in charge of this case still has to decide
whether to approve the settlement. If it does, and after any appeals are resolved, the Gift Cards will be distributed to people who do not opt out of the settlement. Please be patient.

Section I
BASIC INFORMATION

1.1 This is a lawsuit brought on behalf of Donald "Chip" Cassidy for a class of consumers who purchased, or received shipments of, West Marine branded marine engine oil, labeled as TC-W3 in Ohio. Dennis E. Murray, Sr. and Donna Jean A. Evans of Murray & Murray of Sandusky, Ohio are the attorneys representing the class

1.2 Why is this notice being provided?
A Court authorized this notice because you have a right to know about a proposed settlement of this class action lawsuit and about all of your options before the Court decides whether to give "final approval" to the settlement. If the settlement is ultimately approved, everyone who does not opt out will receive a West Maine Gift Card. This notice explains the lawsuit, the settlement, your legal rights, who will receive benefits, what benefits are available to you, and how to opt out of the settlement.
Judge Roger E. Binette and Magistrate Steven Bechtel of the Court of Common Pleas, Erie County, Ohio, oversee this class action. This case is called Donald "Chip" Cassidy v. West Marine Products, Inc., Case No.
2005-CV-564. Donald "Chip" Cassidy, who sued West Marine, is known as the "Plaintiff," and is also called the "Class Representative."

1.3 What is the lawsuit about?
The certification mark "TC-W3" is owned by the National Marine Manufacturers Association. NMMA requires a yearly license from each manufacturer who uses the "TC-W3" mark on marine engine oil. While West Marine initially signed yearly licenses with NMMA for its "Sea Ranger"
and "West Marine" brands of marine engine oil, West Marine inadvertently allowed some of those licenses to lapse for non-payment of license fees for part or all of the period from January 1, 2003 through September 30, 2005. When this error was brought to the attention of West Marine by the filing of this lawsuit, it immediately renewed the licenses. At all times, however, the marine engine oil sold by West Marine met or exceeded the quality standards set by NMMA for TC-W3 oil.

West Marine denies all of Plaintiff's claims and says that it did nothing wrong, especially because the marine engine oil sold by West Marine met or exceeded the quality standards set by NMMA for TC-W3 oil.
Specifically, West Marine disagrees with Plaintiff's factual allegations and says that it has many defenses, is not liable to Plaintiff, and that Plaintiff is not entitled to any benefits from the litigation.

1.4 Why is this a class action?
In a class action, a person-called the Class Representative-sues on behalf of people who have similar claims. People with similar claims are a "Class" or "Class Members." The Court is able to resolve the issues for the Class Representative and for all of the Class Members in one proceeding.

1.5 Why is there a settlement?
In this lawsuit, the Court has decided certain issues in favor of Plaintiff Cassidy and other issues in favor of West Marine. Both sides have agreed to settle this case to avoid the cost and risk of a trial.
The settlement does not mean that West Marine did anything wrong or that it would win if the case proceeded to trial. Similarly, the settlement does not mean that Plaintiff would win if this case continues. The Class Representative, Cassidy, and his lawyers, attorney Dennis E. Murray, Sr.
and attorney Donna Jean A. Evans of Murray & Murray of Sandusky, Ohio think that the settlement is best for all Class Members.

Section II
WHO IS IN THE SETTLEMENT

2.1 Who are Class Members?
For purposes of this settlement, Class Members are consumers who were members of the West Advantage Rewards Program who purchased or received purchases of TC-W3 oil under the brand names "Sea Ranger" or "West Marine" anywhere in Ohio during the period from January 1, 2003 through September 30, 2005.

2.2 How do I know if I am part of the settlement?
If you have received a copy of this notice, West Marine's records indicate that you are a member of Class. This means that you are part of the settlement.

Section III
THE SETTLEMENT BENEFITS-WHAT YOU GET IF YOU DO NOTHING

3.1 What can I get as part of the settlement?
As part of the settlement, each Class Member who does not submit an Opt-Out Form will receive a non-revocable West Marine Gift Card. The amount of the Gift Card will be based on the retail value reflected in West Marine's records for the total purchases by each Class Member of "Sea Ranger" and "West Marine" brands of marine engine oil purchased in Ohio from January 1, 2003 through September 30, 2005. The amounts of the Gift Cards, will be as follows:

*    $5.00 for Class Members who purchased $50.00 and below (retail
value).
*    $15.00 for Class Members who purchased more than $50.00 and up
to and including $150.00 (retail value).
*    $30.00 for Class Members who purchased more than $150.00 and up
to and including $300.00 (retail value).
*    $50.00 for Class Members who purchased more than $300.00 and up
to and including $500.00 (retail value).
*    $100.00 for Class Members who purchased more than $500.00
(retail value).

West Marine will make a total of $13,670.00 available for Gift Cards for the Class Members.
Based on West Marine's records, you will receive a Gift Card in the amount of: $50.00.

3.2 What am I giving up as part of the settlement?
As part of the settlement, West Marine will receive a release from all Class Members. This means that you and the other members of the Class will not be able to sue West Marine for any claims connected to its use of the TC-W3 certification mark on the "Sea Ranger" and "West Marine"
brands of engine oil during the period from January 1, 2003 to September 30, 2005

You can talk to the law firm representing the Class or you can, at your own expense, talk to your own lawyer if you have questions about the released claims or what they mean. The lawyers representing the class are attorney Dennis E. Murray, Sr., dms@murrayandmurray.com, and attorney Donna Jean A. Evans, dae@murrayandmurray.com, of Murray and Murray Co., L.P.A., 111 E. Shoreline Drive, Sandusky, Ohio 44870. The attorneys' phone number is (800) 624-3009 (please ask for Rhonda Rice).

3.3 When do I get my Gift Card?
West Marine will mail the gift cards to Class Members who do not opt out within thirty (30) days of the time that the settlement becomes final, that means, it is approved by the Court and not subject to appeal.

3.3 What happens to any undeliverable Gift Cards?
If West Marine is not able to deliver Gift Cards to certain Class Members, West Marine will donate cash in the amount of the value of those Gift Cards to Back to the Wild, a charity selected by the Class Representative.

Section IV
HOW TO OPT OUT

4.1 How do I opt out of the settlement?
To opt out of the settlement, you need to complete the Opt-Out Form at the end of this notice and return it to West Marine at the address provided on the form. If you submit an Opt-Out Form, you will not receive a Gift Card and will not receive any benefits as part of the settlement.

Section V
THE LAWYERS REPRESENTING YOU

5.1 Do I have a lawyer in this case?
The Court appointed Dennis Murray Sr. and Donna Evans of the firm Murray & Murray Co., L.P.A. as "Class Counsel" to represent you and the Class Members. Class Counsel's address is 111 East Shoreline Drive, Sandusky, OH 44870-2517. Class Counsel can be reached at telephone number (800)
624-3009 (please ask for Rhonda Rice). You will not be charged for the services of Class Counsel in connection with their representation of the Class. If you want to be represented by your own lawyer in this case, you may hire one at your own expense.

5.2 How will the lawyers and class representative be paid?

If the Court approves the settlement, Class Counsel will receive $65,000.00 in full payment of their fees and expenses. This will be paid by West Marine. Class members will not be responsible for the fees of Class Counsel.
If the Court approves the settlement, the Class Representative will receive a payment of $2,000.00 from West Marine.


Section VI
OBJECTING TO THE SETTLEMENT

6.1 How do I tell the Court if I do not like the settlement?

You can comment on the settlement if you don't like some part of it. The Court will consider your views. To do so, you must send in a written objection in the case Donald "Chip" Cassidy v. West Marine Products, Inc., Case No. 2005-CV-564. Be sure to include your full name, address, telephone number, your signature, the specific reasons why you object to the settlement, any legal support that you wish to bring to the Court's attention, and any evidence that you wish to introduce in support of your objection. You must mail your objection postmarked by December 22, 1010, to:

*    The Court: Clerk of Courts, Common Pleas Court, Erie County,
Ohio, 323 Columbus Avenue, Sandusky, OH 44870
*    Class Counsel: Dennis Murray Sr. and Donna Evans, Murray &
Murray Co., L.P.A., 111 East Shoreline Drive, Sandusky, OH 44870-0019
*    West Marine's Counsel: Albert E. Hartmann, DLA Piper LLP (US),
203 North LaSalle Street, Suite 1900, Chicago, IL 60601

Filing a written objection with the Court is the only permissible way to contact the Court. Do not call the Court. Do not call or send correspondence to Judge Binnette, Magistrate Bechtel or their staff.


Section VII
THE COURTS FAIRNESS HEARING

7.1 When and where will the Court decide whether to approve the settlement?

Judge Binette will hold a "Fairness Hearing" at 10:00 A.M. on January 14, 2011, at the Common Pleas Court, Erie County, Ohio, 323 Columbus Avenue, Second Floor Sandusky, OH 44870. At the Fairness Hearing, the Court will consider whether the settlement is fair, reasonable, and adequate and should be granted final approval. If there are objections, the Court will consider them. If the Court grants final approval, that will be the final hearing held in this case by the Court and the case will be over (unless there is an appeal).

The Fairness Hearing may be moved to a different date, extended, or moved to a different location without additional notice. Therefore, it is recommended that you check with Class Counsel if you intend to appear at the hearing to confirm the date and time.

7.2 Do I have to come to the hearing?
No. The attorneys for the class Dennis E. Murray, Sr., dms@murrayandmurray.com, and Donna Jean A. Evans, dae@murrayandmurray.com, of Murray and Murray Co., L.P.A., 111 E.
Shoreline Drive, Sandusky, Ohio 44870, (800) 624-3009 (please ask for Rhonda Rice), will attend and answer any questions that the Court may have about the settlement You are, however, welcome to attend the hearing at your own expense. If you send in a written objection, you do not have to come to the Fairness Hearing to talk about it. As long as you mailed your written objection on time, the Court will consider it.
You may also pay your own lawyer to attend the Fairness Hearing, but it is not necessary.

7.3 May I speak at the hearing?
To speak at the Fairness Hearing, you must send a letter or other written document saying that the letter or document is your "Notice of Intent to Appear" in Donald "Chip" Cassidy v. West Marine Products, Inc., Case No. 2005-CV-564. Be sure to include your name, address, telephone number, and your signature. You also must include information about what you intend to say the Fairness Hearing and, if you will be represented by a lawyer other than Class Counsel, you must include the name, address, and telephone number of your lawyer. You must send copies of your "Notice of Intent to Appear" to the Court, Class Counsel, and West Marine's counsel at the addresses provided above for objections to the settlement. Your "Notice of Intent to Appear" must be postmarked no later than December 22, 1010. The Court will decide if you will be allowed to speak at the Fairness Hearing.


Section VIII
GETTING MORE INFORMATION

8.1 How do I get more information about the settlement?
This notice summarizes the settlement. If you want a complete copy of the Settlement Agreement, or the other documents submitted to the Court by Plaintiff and West Marine in support of the settlement, you can obtain one from Class Counsel. Email Murray & Murray for a copy at Rhonda@murrayandmurray.com.
Do not call the Court. Do not call or send correspondence to Judge Binnette or Magistrate Bechtel or their staff.


Section IX
OPT-OUT FORM

If you do not want to be part of the settlement and receive a Gift Card from West Marine, you must complete this Opt-Out Form, sign it, and return it to West Marine so that it is postmarked by December 22, 1010.
If you do not complete this Opt-Out Form and return it so that it is postmarked by December 22, 1010, you will be part of the settlement, you will release your claims against West Marine, and you will receive a Gift Card as described above.

OPT-OUT FORM

    Please print (or type) clearly in blue or black ink.

    1. Opt-Out Information:
    Name: _______________
    
    Mailing Address - Number and Street: _______________
    
    Mailing Address - City, State and Zip Code: _______________
    
    Phone Number: _______________
    
    Email Address: _______________
    
    By signing this form, I attest that I have read the Notice of Class Action Settlement in Donald "Chip" Cassidy v. West Marine Products, Inc., Case No. 2005-CV-564, and have decided to opt out of the settlement. I understand that, by completing and mailing this Opt-Out Form, I will not receive any benefit from the settlement.
    
    Signature: _______________
    
    Printed Name: _______________
    
    Date (Month/Day/Year): _______________

    2. Mail this completed Opt-Out Form:
   
Opt-Out Forms must be postmarked by December 22, 1010, and mailed to:

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