On April 22, 2016, the court granted final approval of a $60 million all-cash deal one month before the case was about to go to trial – one of the most significant consumer settlements in years - against Symantec and Digital River. This four-year long nationwide class action battle regarding the marketing of a re-download service in conjunction with the sale of Norton software.
Cohen Milstein was Lead Class Counsel in this case.
On March 31, 2014, the Honorable Judge John Tunheim, of the U.S. District Court for the District of Minnesota, certified the case as a national class action. Judge Tunheim based this Order on a finding that consumers were exposed to uniform misrepresentations and omissions by Symantec and Digital River regarding the re-download services.
On October 8, 2015, Judge Tunheim granted preliminary approval of a class action settlement. The settlement created a fund of $60 million to compensate those who purchased the download insurance. Class members will receive a cash payment of $50 for each Download Insurance service they purchased during the Class Period, subject to pro rata reduction if the total claims exceed the Net Settlement Fund. Valid claim forms must be submitted by February 18, 2016.
This class action litigation was filed in 2011 against technology security provider Symantec and its e-commerce vendor, Digital River, Inc., on behalf of customers who purchased Extended Download Service and Norton Download Insurance for Norton products between January 24, 2005 and March 10, 2011.
Plaintiffs allege that Symantec and Digital River (collectively “Defendants”) sold Extended Download Service and later Norton Download Insurance to consumers using misrepresentations that those services were the only way in which consumers could re-download the software they purchased from Defendants. In particular, Plaintiffs allege that when consumers purchased a Norton product from Defendants, Defendants would automatically place Extended Download Service and Norton Download Insurance in the customer’s online shopping cart, but would deliberately hide from customers material information, including the fact that customers could re-download their Norton purchase for free at any time during their software subscription period. Instead, the information that Defendants did provide suggested that customers could only re-download their Norton product after 60 days of purchase if they also bought Extended Download Service or Norton Download Insurance at the time they bought the Norton software.
Plaintiffs allege millions of customers purchased Extended Download Service or Norton Download Insurance, which cost between $5.99 and $10.99 during the class period. Without a class action lawsuit, individual consumers who purchased Extended Download Service and Norton Download Insurance likely could not afford to bring individual lawsuits challenging the wrongful business practices alleged here.