Mobil AV-1 Notice of Settlement

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Full details of the settlement in the Mobil AV-1 class action lawsuit.

UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
NORTHERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA

MALVERN J. GROSS, JR. and PAUL JIMISON, individually, and on behalf of all others similarly situated,

PIaintiffs,

v.

MOBIL CORPORATION, a corporation; MOBIL OIL CORPORATION, a corporation; MOBIL INTERNATIONAL AVIATION AND MARINE SALES, INC., a corporation,

Defendants.

No. C 95-1237 SI

NOTICE OF PROPOSED SETTLEMENT AND HEARING


CLASS ACTION NOTICE

TO OWNERS OF TELEDYNE CONTINENTAL 360, 470, 520 AND 550 SERIES SYSTEM AIRCRAFT ENGINES

YOUR LEGAL RIGHTS MAY BE AFFECTED BY THIS NOTICE.

PLEASE READ IT CAREFULLY

IF YOU HAVE NOT USED MOBIL AV-1, THEN YOUR RIGHTS.ARE NOT AFFECTED BY THIS NOTICE, AND YOU DO NOT NEED TO RESPOND


THIS NOTICE ANSWERS THESE IMPORTANT QUESTIONS:

  1. Why should I read this Notice?
  2. What is the lawsuit about?
  3. What is a class action?
  4. Who is in the Class?
  5. Who represents the Class?
  6. What are the terms of the proposed Settlement?
  7. Who pays Class Counsel's Fees and Costs?
  8. Do I need to do anything in order to participate in the Class and Settlement?
  9. How do I make a Claim?
  10. How do I comment on or object to the proposed Settlement?
  11. What is the Settlement approval procedure?
  12. Where do I get additional information?

1. WHY SHOULD I READ THIS NOTICE?

Your rights might be affected by the proceedings in the lawsuit known as Gross. et al. v. Mobil Corporation, et al., Case No. C-95-1237 SI ("Gross lawsuit"), pending in the United States District Court for the Northern District of California, ("the Court"). This Notice is given pursuant to Rule 23 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure and by order of the United States District Court.

The purpose of this Notice is to inform you of the lawsuit and the proposed settlement which has been preliminarily approved by the Court. Tln's Notice sets forth essential information concerning the settlement and your potential rights under that settlement.


2. WHAT ARE PLAINTIFFS' CLAIMS?

On April 12, 1995, private pilots and aircraft owners Malvem J. Gross, Jr. and Paul Jimison filed a class action in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Califomia, on behalf of themselves and all other owners of aircraft with Teledyne Continental 520 and 550 series piston engines who used Mobil AV-1 oil, and against defendants Mobil Corporation, Mobil Oil Corporation, Mobil International Aviation and Marine Sales, Inc. (collectively "Mobil"). Subsequently, Plaintiffs and Mobil agreed that the class action would encompass owners of aircraft with Teledyne Continental 470 series and 360 series piston engines as well. Plaintiffs allege that past use of Mobil AV-1 piston aircraft engine oil -- which Mobil designed, manufactured, and marketed between approximately 1987 and June, 1994 -- creates a continuing risk of damage to certain models of aircraft engines manufactured by Teledyne Continental Motors, that such damage may result in sudden in-flight engine failure, and that affected engines should be inspected and, if necessary, repaired. Mobil denies all of the above allegations, and particularly denies that there is a risk of in-flight engine failure.


3. WHAT IS A CLASS ACTION?

The class action is a type of lawsuit in which one or several individuals bring suit on behalf of all members of a group with the same or sirnilar claims, to obtain injunctive relief or damages for all in the group. This avoids the necessity of each individual filing his or her own separate lawsuit. Class actions are used by the Court to decide the common issues of law or fact raised by all claims. Class actions eliminate the potential burdens, costs and confusion of filing multiple lawsuits and assure that all Class members share equitably in any recovery or benefits obtained.


4. WHO IS IN THE CLASS?

On October 25, 1995, pursuant to the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, Rules 23(a) and 23(b)(1) and (2), the Court certified the following class for trial and settlement purposes:

All United States citizens and entities and also all persons or entities residing in the United States who own any aircraft with Teledyne-Continental IO-550, TSIO-550, GTSIO-550, IO-520, TSIO-520, GTSIO-520, O-470, IO-470, TSIO-470, O-360, IO-360 and TSIO-360 piston airctaft engines in which Mobil's AV-1 oil was used for more 150 hours of operation.

This class has been certified as a mandatory class pursuant to Federal Rules of Civil Procedure 23(a) and 23(b)(1) and (2), which means that you may not exclude yourself from or opt out of the class. If you are a member of the above-defined Class your rights may be affected by this Notice.

The class was previously certified by the Court in orders dated April 28, 1995, and September 11, 1995, as a mandatory class, pursuant to Fed. R. Civ. P. 23(b)(1) and (2), and included owners of Teledyne Continental 550, 520 and 470 series aircraft engines in which Mobil oil had been used for any amount of time. Based on discovery conducted by the parties, the parties have determined that 150 hours of past AV-1 use is a reasonable threshold for class membership. In addition, based on discovery conducted by class counsel, the parties have agreed that the 360 series Teledyne Continental aircraft engines in which AV-1 has been used for more than 150 hours should be included in the class.


5. WHO REPRESENTS THE CLASS?

Plaintiffs Malvern Gross and Paul Jimison have been designated as Class Representatives by the Court.

Class Counsel are Lieff, Cabraser, Heimann & Bemstein, and Harry V. Lehmann of Lehmann & Chase.

Please direct any questions concerning this Notice or the proposed settlement to Class Counsel as follows:

Mobil Engine Oil Class Counsel
c/o Michael F. Ram
LIEFF, CABRASER, HEIMANN & BERNSTEIN
275 Battery Street, 30th Floor
San Francisco, CA 94111
Telephone: 800-936-1009

Class counsel have been appointed by the Court to represent the interests of the Class, and YOU WILL NOT BE CHARGED for their services. You also have the right to hire your own attorney. If you hire your own attorney, you will be responsible for paying that attorney's fee. You also have the right to represent yourself before the Court.

The attorney representing Mobil in this litigation is:

Barbara A. Caulfield
LATHAM & WATKINS
505 Montgommy Street, Suite 1900
San Francisco, CA 94111

Class Counsel believe that the proposed settlement is fair, reasonable and adequate. Class Counsel, on behalf of plaintiffs and the Class, entered into the settlement after weighing the subsantial benefits of the settlement against the probabilities of success or failure and the delays that would be likely if the case proceeded to trial.


6. WHAT ARE THE TERMS OF THE PROPOSED SETTLEMENT?

After extensive investigation of plaintiffs' claims, and as a result of arms-length settlement discussions supervised by a neutral mediator, Plaintiffs and Mobil have entered into a settlement agreement; which includes the inspection protocol described in Exhibit "A" to this Notice, and compensation for past repairs and for "loss-of-use" as also described in Exhibit "A".

The Settlement inspection program has already commenced. I'he claims procedure is described in Exhibit "A". You start this process by sending in the claim form attached as Exbibit "B". Prompt submission of your claim form is important to your participation in the Settlement.

Claimants participating in the inspection aad compensation program described in Exhibit "A" prior to an entry by the Court of a final judgment, shall execute a release when they have completed the protocol and received value, even if the settlement is not yet a final judgment, or if the settlement never becomes a final judgment When the Settlement Agreement becomes fmal, all Class members and their successors in interest shall be deemed to have released all claims against Defendants arising out of past AV-1 use, except personal injury claims, and claims for property damage other than damage to the engine, as set forth in the Settlement Agrcement..


7. WHO PAYS CLASS COUNSEL'S FEES AND COSTS?

You do not pay Class Counsel's fees or costs. The proposed settlement does not provide for, and is not conditioned on, the payment of any specific attomeys' fees to Class Counsel. In the proposed settlement, Mobil obligated itself to pay reasonable attomeys' fees and reasonable outlay of expenses incurred by Class counsel.

If the Court approves the proposed settlement, the Court will decide the amount of attorneys' fees and expenses awarded to Class Counsel. The attomeys' fees and expenses awarded by the Court to Class Counsel will be paid solely by Mobil and will not reduce, directly or indirectly, any of the benefits the Class members will receive under the proposed settlement.

Class Counsel will apply to the Court for fees of $4.5 million and for costs, to be paid by Mobil, and not to be paid by Class members. Mobil intends to opposc the fee application.


8. DO I NEED TO DO ANYTHING TO PARTICIPATE IN THE SETTLEMENT?

Yes. You need to send in the claim form attached as Exhibit "B" no later than three (3) months from the date on which the Court enters an order granting final approval to the proposed settlement.

The Plaintiffs' Class counsel listed in this notice will act as your representatives. If you wish, you may also appear by your own attomey, at your own expense. If you want your own attorney to represent you, your attorney must file a notice of appearance, by November 14, 1995, with the Clerk of the Court, United States District Court for the Northern District of California, 450 Golden Gate Avenue, San Francisco, Califomia 94102. You must also send a copy to Class Counsel and Counsel for Mobil at the addresses listed in Question 5, above.

You may make a claim under the terms of the settlement and you may participate in the benefits of the settlement. If the settlement is not approved you will be bound by that result as well.


9. HOW DO I MAKE A CLAIM?

If you are a member of the Class described above, and wish to make a claim under this settlement, you must do so according to the procedure set forth by the Court.

To start your claims procedure, you should complete, sign and return the claim form, attached as Exhibit "B". The deadline for sending in this form is 3 months from the date on which the Court enters an order granting final approval to the proposed settlement.


10. HOW DO I COMMENT ON OR OBJECT TO THE PROPOSED SETTLEMENT?

You may comment in favor of or object to the proposed settlement by filing and serving a written comment or objection. You must sign your comment or objection personally. Any objection must state why you object to the proposed settlement and any reason supporting your position. If you intend to appear personally at the November 28, 1995 hearing described below you must include with your objection a notice of your intenton to appear at the hearing. You must mail any objection, along with any notice of intent to appear postmarked on or before November 14, 1995. These documents should be filed with the clerk of the court by mailing them to the following address: Clerk of the Court, United States District Court for the Northern District of California, 450 Golden Gate Avenue, San Francisco, California 94102, File: Gross et al. v. Mobil Corporation et al., Case No. C-95-1237-Sl. You must also mail a copy of your objection along with your notice of intent to appear, postmarked on or before November 14, 1995, to Class Counsel and counsel for Mobil at the address listed in Question 5 above.


11. WHAT IS THE SETTLEMENT APPROVAL PROCEDURE?

On November 28, 1995 at 3:30 p.m., this Court will hold a hearing in the courtroom of U.S. District Judge Susan Illston, 450 Golden Gate Avenue, San Francisco, Califomia 94102, to determine whether the proposed settlement is fair, reasonable, and adequate and should be approved, and the Gross lawsuit diseased. The Court will also consider Class Counsel's application for an award of attorneys' fees and reimbursement of costs and expenses, to be paid by Mobil in the amount awarded by the Court. The hearing may be postponed to a later time without further notice.

You will be represented at the hearing on the fairness of the settlement by Class Counsel, unless you enter an appearance in person or through your own counsel. The appearance of your own attorney is not necessary to permit participation in the settlement.

If the proposed settlement is approved, it will be binding and will release Mobil from any and all claims, including any claims for consumer damages or equitable relief, arising out of or related to the Mobil AV-1 oil, that were or could have been asserted by CIass members in the Gross lawsuit. However, the proposed settlement does not release, dismiss, or affect any claims for personal injury or wrongful death as an alleged result of the AV-1 engine oil; nor does it affect damage to property other than engines.


12. WHERE DO I GET ADDITIONAL INFORMATION?

This Notice is only a summary. The full settlement agreement, the complaint, answer and other documents filed in the Gross lawsuit can be requested, in writing, from Class Counsel identified in Question 5 above, or can be inspected and copied, during normal business hours, at the office of the Clerk of the Court:

Clerk of the Court
United States District Court
450 Golden Gate Avenue
San Francisco, CA 94102
File: Gross, et al. v. Mobil Corporation, et al.
Case No. C-95-1237 SI

ALL QUESTIONS ABOUT THIS NOTICE, THE CLASS ACTION, OR THE PROPOSED SETTLEMENT SHOULD BE DIRECTED TO CLASS COUNSEL IDENTIFIED IN QUESTION 5 ABOVE. PLEASE DO NOT CALL OR WRITE THE COURT OR THE CLERK'S OFFICE FOR INFORMATION.

DATED: October 25, 1995

 

(signed)

THE HONORABLE SUSAN ILLSTON
UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE