I just received the email below about a class action lawsuit against the New York Road Runners. The lawsuit alleges the lottery system NYRR used to select participants for the 2010-2014 New York Marathon and the 2011-2015 New York Half Marathon constituted illegal lotteries under New York State law.
If you participated in one of these races, it appears you do not need to take any action in order to benefit from the settlement payouts. Although read the full email and visit the website referenced, as there are important dates and information if you decide to abstain/object to the settlement terms (which seems like a costly and time-consuming process with very little potential benefit, particularly when we're talking about only a few dollars per person at stake).
This page lists the payout each runner who entered the lottery for the NYC Marathon or NYC Half Marathon can expect to receive:
2010, 2011, and 2012 Marathon - $2.75 if selected to participate in the race, and $5.50 if not selected to participate in the race
2013 & 2014 Marathon - $5.50 if selected and $11.00 if not selected
2011, 2012, and 2013 Half - $1.25 if selected and $2.50 if not selected
2014 & 2015 Half - $2.50 if selected and $5.00 if not selected
If the Settlement is approved by the Court, Settlement Class Members who entered the drawings for the Covered Races will receive a voucher by email, which can be used to pay the Entry Fee for the following eligible future races: the Marathon, the Half Marathon, the Brooklyn Half Marathon, the Queens 10K, the Bronx 10 Mile, or the Staten Island Half Marathon. When you receive the voucher the accompanying instructions will explain when the two year period during which you can use the voucher begins
********** Begin Full Text of Email **********
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF NEW YORK
In Re: New York Road Runners Litigation (Case No. 1:16 Civ. 00450-KBF)
REGARDING NEW YORK ROAD RUNNERS CLASS ACTION
A Federal Court has authorized this Notice. This is not a solicitation from a lawyer.
You are receiving this Notice because you sought to enter one or more of the following races through a drawing for non-guaranteed entry (“Drawing”) or the New York Road Runners Charity Partners Program: the 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013 or 2014 New York City Marathon (“Marathon”) or the 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, or 2015 NYC Half Marathon (“Half Marathon”) (together, the “Covered Races”). Entry into these races through these methods is the subject of a proposed class action Settlement that may affect your rights. If you entered the drawing for one or more of these races, you may be entitled to a credit toward the Entry Fees for eligible future New York Road Runners races.
If you take no action, you will be bound by the Settlement. Your rights will be affected.
You can learn more about the lawsuit and the proposed Settlement, including how to participate in the Settlement, exclude yourself, or object to the Settlement by reviewing the detailed Notice, www.NYRRSettlement.com. You can view a copy of the complaint in the lawsuit www.NYRRSettlement.com, Legal Documents tab. To receive a paper copy of the more detailed Notice, call 1-866-759-6514.
Settlement Class Members who entered the drawings for the 2010-2014 Marathon and 2011-2015 Half Marathon will receive a credit that can be used towards the Entry Fees for eligible future New York Road Runners races. If the Court approves the Settlement, eligible Settlement Class Members will automatically receive any credit voucher they are entitled to and instructions in a later email. You do not need to take any action to receive the credit.
The Court will hold a Fairness Hearing at 10:00am ET on February 10, 2017 at the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York, 500 Pearl St., New York, New York, 10007-1312, Courtroom 15A. You are not required to attend the Fairness Hearing. Class Counsel will represent you at the hearing. You are welcome to come to the hearing at your own expense. You may also ask your own lawyers to attend the hearing, but it is not necessary to do so.
You only need to respond to this notice if you wish to exclude yourself or object to this settlement in which case you must take action by December 29, 2016. Please see www.NYRRSettlement.com for further information.
New York Road Runners Settlement Administrator
Quite the scam. Offering a credit that you have to spend more $$ to benefit from. Not to mention the fact that there are lotteries to get into some of the listed races. So it's unclear that you'd even be able to use the voucher within the two-year window. The only ones to benefit here are the plaintiffs' lawyers whose fees were likely paid as part of the settlement agreement. [rant over]
I agree the payout should be a cash refund for the full amount of registration/lottery fees in question, as opposed to a discounted entry to one of a select list of future races (and a lesser discount on what were probably similar fees assessed on registering for earlier years or shorter races). All of the future races are in NYC, rendering it highly unlikely that most out-of-towners or former NYC residents who have moved away (of which there were a lot for world renowned races like the NYC marathon & half) will go back to claim the discount. But the case was settled outside of court, so I'm guessing they had more leeway to determine the payout level and process, and it appears they decided to use that leeway to create an incentive to drive race entries to future races. Then again, the Schlesinger v. Ticketmaster class action was settled in a similar fashion by offering discounted tickets to future events, so I'm guessing this is just the standard settlement agreement.
I wonder if there will be a similar case against the New York City Triathlon? I recall paying $11 to register for the 2011 NYC Triathlon lottery run by Active.com. I was not selected to compete in the race, and I was not offered a refund for the $11. It seems the same New York State lottery laws that apply to the NYC Marathon & Half should also apply to the NYC Triathlon. Curious if any attorneys in the group have insights on this...
Quite the scam. Offering a credit that you have to spend more $$ to benefit from.
Methinks the lawyers were not paid in credits.