Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Why was the Notice provided?

    A Court authorized the Notice because you have a right to know about a proposed Settlement of this class action lawsuit, and to know your options before the Court decides whether to give final approval to the Settlement. The Notice explains the lawsuit, the Settlement, your legal rights, what benefits are available, who may be eligible for those benefits, and how to get them.

    The Honorable William L. Campbell, Jr. of the United States District Court for the Middle District of Tennessee is overseeing this class action. The Settlement resolves the case captioned, Jacquelyn D. Ajose, et al. v. Interline Brands, Inc., Case No. 14-CV-01707, which claimed that specific plastic Coupling Nuts on these DuraPro Toilet Connectors were defective and that the instructions and warnings about hand tightening or the use of a tool during installation of the Coupling Nut were inadequate or non-existent.

    The people who sued are called the “Plaintiffs” and the company being sued, Interline, is the “Defendant.”

    To review a copy of the Notice, click here.

    Back To Top
  2. What is this lawsuit about?

    The lawsuit claims that Interline:

    • Imported, manufactured, designed, distributed and sold DuraPro Toilet Connectors with defective plastic Coupling Nuts;
    • Knew of the defective condition of the Coupling Nuts for years before the product was redesigned or replaced;
    • Failed to provide, or provided inadequate, installation instructions; and
    • Failed to provide warnings to prevent failure of the Coupling Nuts.

    The lawsuit claims that Interline’s actions led to damage resulting from the failure of the Coupling Nuts on the DuraPro Toilet Connectors. The lawsuit asks for money to be paid to people and entities that possess DuraPro Toilet Connectors with plastic Coupling Nuts but need to replace them due to their alleged defects, and to people and entities that suffered and/or paid to repair property damage as a result of the failure of a Coupling Nut on a DuraPro Toilet Connector.

    Interline denies all the claims and allegations in the lawsuit. Interline maintains that the plastic Coupling Nuts on its DuraPro Toilet Connectors are not defective in any respect and any failures are the result of other factors (such as improper installation, misuse, or product lifespan).

    Back To Top
  3. Why is this a class action?

    In a class action, one or more people called “Class Representatives” (in this case Jacquelyn D. Ajose, Kathy Smith, Sharon Kurtz, Patricia Evett, and James L. Boyland) sue on behalf of all people who have similar claims. All of these people are the “Settlement Class” or “Settlement Class Members.” One court resolves the issues for all Settlement Class Members, except for those who exclude themselves from the Settlement (see FAQ 14, FAQ 15 and FAQ 16).

    Back To Top
  4. Why is there a settlement?

    The Court did not decide in favor of Plaintiffs or Interline. Instead, both sides agreed to settle this case to avoid the cost, risk and uncertainty of a trial. The Settlement does not mean that any law was broken or that Interline did anything wrong. Interline denies all legal claims and allegations in this case. The Class Representatives and their lawyers think the Settlement is best for all Settlement Class Members.

    Back To Top
  5. Am I part of the Settlement?

    To determine if you will be affected by the Settlement, or if you may be eligible to receive a payment from it, you need to decide if you are a Settlement Class Member.

    The Settlement includes anyone who owns or owned, or leases or leased, a residence or other structure in the United States containing an eligible DuraPro Toilet Connector with a plastic Coupling Nut. This also includes any person or entity that suffers or has suffered Property Damage caused by the failure of a plastic Coupling Nut on a DuraPro Toilet Connector.

    The Settlement Class, as approved by the Court, is formally defined as follows:

    All Persons who own or owned, or lease or leased, a residence or other structure located in the United States containing a Toilet Connector, or who otherwise suffer or have suffered Property Damage from the failure of a Coupling Nut on a Toilet Connector.
    Back To Top
  6. How do I know if I have a DuraPro Toilet Connector with a Plastic Coupling Nut?

    The following can help you identify whether you may have a Toilet Connector covered by this Settlement:

    • A label on the Toilet Connector identifying it as a DuraPro Toilet Connector with a plastic Coupling Nut;
    • The plastic Coupling Nut is white and has six ribs on its exterior, and the words “Hand Tight Only” and “Hand Tighten Only” are not printed on the bottom of the Coupling Nut; or
    • The plastic Coupling Nut is white and has two wings, and the words “Hand Tight Only” or “Hand Tighten Only” are not printed on the bottom of the Coupling Nut, but the letters “EL” and “NSF61-9” along with a UPC shield are included on the ferrule of the Toilet Connector, which markings are depicted in the following photograph:

    Back To Top
  7. Are there exceptions to being included in the Settlement?

    Yes. The following are not included in the Settlement:

    • Any Person who previously resolved or waived their DuraPro Toilet Connector claims through settlement or final judgment;
    • Interline and its parent, subsidiaries and affiliates;
    • Anyone who sold or distributed a DuraPro™ Toilet Connector, including customers, retailers, resellers, wholesalers, manufacturers, suppliers and distributors of Interline, unless they: (i) are pursuing a claim for replacement of a DuraPro™ Toilet Connector that is or was installed in a residence or other structure located in the United States that the person or entity owns or owned or leases or leased; or (ii) are pursuing a Damage Claim arising out of or resulting from the failure of a Coupling Nut on a Toilet Connector.
    • The presiding Magistrate and District Judges and their immediate families; and
    • Anyone who timely requests to be excluded from the Settlement Class (see FAQ 14, FAQ 15 and FAQ 16).
    Back To Top
  8. What if I am not sure whether I am included in the Settlement?

    If you are not sure whether you are in the Settlement Class, or have any other questions about the Settlement, call 1-855-349-6393 or you may write to the Claims Administrator at the following address:

    Ajose v. Interline
    Claims Administrator
    P.O. Box 2876
    Portland, OR 97208-2876

    Back To Top
  9. Who can file a claim under the Settlement?

    To be eligible to file a claim for a payment under the Settlement, a Settlement Class Member must: (i) own or lease a residence or other structure with at least one DuraPro Toilet Connector with a plastic Coupling Nut; or (ii) have suffered Property Damage as a result of a failure of a plastic Coupling Nut on a DuraPro Toilet Connector.

    Back To Top
  10. What are the benefits of the Settlement?

    Under this Settlement, Interline will pay $16.5 million into a Settlement fund. After the cost of all Notice, Administration, litigation expenses, and attorneys’ fees are paid out of this fund, the rest will be distributed to Settlement Class Members to satisfy valid claims as described below:

    Cause of Claim: Claims Period: Payment Amount: Proof Required:
    Replacement of DuraPro Toilet Connector Two years after final approval of the Settlement $4 for each eligible Toilet Connector (up to five per residence or structure). Maximum of $20. Yes
    Property damages due to failure of the plastic Coupling Nut on a DuraPro Toilet Connector Four years after final approval of the Settlement Up to 30% of the Property Damage caused by and related to the failure of a Coupling Nut. Minimum of $4. Yes

    Replacement of DuraPro Toilet Connectors

    For eligible claims submitted within two years of final approval of the Settlement, Settlement Class Members can receive a cash payment of $4 for each DuraPro Toilet Connector (up to 5 Toilet Connectors per residence or other structure) that they replace. The maximum cash payment for replacement of Toilet Connectors is $20.

    To receive a payment, you must establish that you currently have possession of, or replaced without compensation or reimbursement from Interline or a third party, an installed DuraPro™ Toilet Connector in a residence or other structure that you own or lease. To establish this, you will need to provide evidence that the residence or other structure contained a Toilet Connector, such as (i) the Toilet Connector itself; (ii) a photograph of the Toilet Connector; or (iii) other form of proof satisfactory to the Claims Administrator in consultation with Class Counsel Chair and counsel for Interline. There is no restriction on what brand toilet connector you purchase to replace your DuraPro Toilet Connector with a plastic Coupling Nut.


    Payment of Property Damages Due to Failure

    For eligible claims, Settlement Class Members can recover up to 30% of documented costs of repairs for Property Damage caused by the failure of a plastic Coupling Nut on a DuraPro Toilet Connector, with a minimum recovery of $4.

    The Claims Administrator will review claims to determine whether they are eligible and timely, and pay up to 30% of the amount of the claims. Claims for Property Damage caused by the failure of a plastic Coupling Nut on a DuraPro™ Toilet Connector must be submitted within four years after final approval of the Settlement.

    If 30% of the total amount of approved claims is greater than the amount of money available in the Settlement fund, the Claims Administrator will reduce the total payments made to Settlement Class Members to an amount less than 30% of their approved Claim to ensure that all eligible Settlement Class Members receive a pro rata payment. Depending on the volume and amount of claims received during a particular year of the Damages Claims Period, partial payments of less than 30% might be paid by the Claims Administrator throughout the Damages Claim Period. If money is left in the fund at the end of the Damages Claims Period, the Claims Administrator may provide a “catch up” payment to Settlement Class Members whose payments had been reduced in prior years to proportionally increase their total payment amounts. These payments will not exceed 30% of the approved Damage Claims of the Settlement Class unless approved by the Court at the conclusion of the Damage Claims Period.

    To support your Damage Claim, you must submit to the Claims Administrator sufficient documentation to validate the amount of Property Damage allegedly caused by a failed Coupling Nut on a DuraPro Toilet Connector:

    • A completed Claim Form.
    • All available evidence to prove that you had a DuraPro™ Toilet Connector with a plastic Coupling Nut that failed, including to the extent available the Toilet Connector and Coupling Nut that failed; any photographs of the Toilet Connector and Coupling Nut; labels, packaging, and purchase receipts; and reports that describe the cause of the loss.
    • Claimants shall submit all available evidence substantiating the Property Damage caused by a failed plastic Coupling Nut on a DuraPro™ Toilet Connector. Claimants must make every reasonable effort to submit information regarding the amount of any Damage Claim to permit the Claims Administrator to evaluate the reasonably proven Property Damage and tender payment of up to 30% of that Property Damage.
    • The types of documentation Claimants may submit include receipts, invoices, estimates for damages not covered by insurance, explanation of benefits letters, proof of payment for all expenses not covered by an insurance carrier, and the amount of any deductible paid by Claimant.
    • An insurance company Claimant that is pursuing a subrogation claim shall also make every reasonable effort to submit information regarding proof of actual payment(s) tendered to its insured for Property Damage allegedly caused by a failure of a Coupling Nut on a Toilet Connector.

    Back To Top
  11. What do I need to do to participate in the Settlement?

    Follow the instructions on the Claim Form to receive a payment under this Settlement. All Claim Forms must be submitted along with any necessary supporting documentation or information. Claims may be submitted via email at info@DuraProToiletConnectorSettlement.com or mailed by first-class United States Mail, postage prepaid, to the Claims Administrator at the following address:

    Ajose v. Interline
    Claims Administrator
    P.O. Box 2876
    Portland, OR 97208-2876

    You cannot submit your Claim Form and accompanying materials by telephone. Even if you submit your Claim Form via email, you must mail the evidence available to substantiate your claim (see FAQ 10) to the Claims Administrator. If you change your address and want to receive a Claim Form or any payment owed to you at your new address, you must notify the Claims Administrator of your new address by sending written notice of your change of address to the Claims Administrator at the address above.

    Claim Forms are available for download here, by calling 1-855-349-6393 or requesting one by writing to the Claims Administrator at the address above.

    Back To Top
  12. How will the claims process work?

    Validation of Claims for Benefits. The Claims Administrator will begin reviewing all timely Claim Forms after the final approval of the Settlement. The Claims Administrator will evaluate your claim based on all the information and documentation you provided and within written guidelines (see FAQ 10 and FAQ 11).

    Denial of Claims for Benefit. If your Claim Form and accompanying materials do not meet all of the requirements of the Settlement, the Claims Administrator will deny your claim as “invalid,” you will not receive any payment, and you will be informed in writing of that decision. A Special Master will be available for a Settlement Class Member filing a claim for property damage to appeal a denial by the Claims Administrator. Instructions for appealing a decision of the Claims Administrator for a property damage claim will be provided with all denied claims.

    Payment of Validated Claims for Benefits. If you submit a Claim Form and the Claims Administrator determines that your Claim Form and the accompanying materials are valid, the Claims Administrator will send you a payment. Payments will be made annually, but you may be eligible to receive a second “catch up” payment as explained in FAQ 10.

    No Payment Until After Appeals Are Resolved. The Claims Administrator will not make any payments to Settlement Class Members until the Court grants final approval of the Settlement and until any appeals are resolved. During the appeals process, the Claims Administrator will continue to accept claims.

    Back To Top
  13. What am I giving up to get a payment?

    If the Settlement becomes final, Settlement Class Members who submit a claim (or do nothing at all) will be “releasing” Interline and other Released Parties from all of the Released Claims as described in paragraphs 96 through 103 of the Settlement Agreement. This means you will no longer be able to sue Interline and the other Released Parties regarding any of the Released Claims described in the Settlement Agreement.

    The Settlement Agreement is available here. The Settlement Agreement provides more detail regarding the release and describes the Released Claims with specific descriptions in necessary, accurate, legal terminology, so read it carefully. You can talk to the law firms representing the Settlement Class listed in FAQ 17 for free, or you can, at your own expense, talk to your own lawyer if you have any questions about the Released Claims or what they mean.

    Back To Top
  14. If I exclude myself, can I get anything from this Settlement?

    No. If you exclude yourself, you may not apply for any benefits under the Settlement and you cannot object to the proposed Settlement. If you ask to be excluded, you may retain rights (if any) to sue or be part of a different lawsuit against Interline in the future. You will not be bound by this class action Settlement, its release or be eligible to receive any of its benefits.

    Back To Top
  15. If I do not exclude myself, can I sue later?

    No. Unless you exclude yourself, you give up the right to sue Interline for all of the claims resolved by this Settlement. You must exclude yourself from this Settlement Class to start or continue your own lawsuit relating to the claims in this case.

    Back To Top
  16. How do I exclude myself from the Settlement?

    If you do not want a payment from the proposed Settlement and you want to keep the right to sue Interline about the legal issues in this case, then you must take steps to get out of the Settlement. This is called asking to be “excluded from,” or sometimes called “opting out” of, the Settlement Class.

    To exclude yourself from the settlement and the Settlement Class, you must send the Claims Administrator a written request that contains the following:

    1. Your full name, current address, telephone number, and email address;
    2. A specific request to opt out of the Settlement;
    3. Proof of membership in the Settlement Class (photographs of the Toilet Connector with a plastic Coupling Nut and any labels affixed thereto, contemporaneous installation records, etc.);
    4. The date of purchase and installation of any failed Toilet Connector and the date of failure;
    5. An estimate of the amount of damages sustained as a result of the failed Toilet Connector;
    6. The identity of the lawsuit or other proceeding filed by you relating to the failed Toilet Connector, if any (by case name, case number and jurisdiction); and
    7. Your signature (and your attorney’s signature if represented by an attorney) and the date on which you signed it.

    You must mail your completed request for exclusion, postmarked by August 20, 2018, to the Claims Administrator, along with a courtesy copy of your completed request for exclusion to Class Counsel Chair and Counsel for Interline at the following addresses:

    Claims Administrator Class Counsel Chair Counsel for Interline
    Ajose v. Interline
    Claims Administrator
    P.O. Box 2876
    Portland, OR 97208-2876
    Simon B. Paris, Esq.
    Patrick Howard, Esq.
    Saltz, Mongeluzzi, Barrett & Bendesky, P.C.
    120 Gibraltar Road
    Suite 218
    Horsham, PA 19044
    Mark A. Salky, Esq.
    Timothy A. Kolaya, Esq.
    Greenberg Traurig, P.A.
    333 S.E. 2nd Avenue
    Suite 4400
    Miami, FL 33131

    If you do not file your request on time and include the information listed above, you will remain a Settlement Class Member. That means you will lose any opportunity to exclude yourself from the Settlement, and your rights will be determined in this lawsuit by the Settlement Agreement, if it receives final judicial approval.

    You cannot ask to be excluded on the phone, by email, or on this website.

    Back To Top
  17. Do I have a lawyer in this case?

    The Court has appointed Simon Paris and Patrick Howard from the law firm of Saltz, Mongeluzzi, Barrett, & Bendesky, P.C. as Class Counsel Chair and Joseph G. Sauder of Sauder Schelkopf LLC and Glen Abramson of Berger & Montague as Co-Lead Counsel. The Court also appointed other attorneys to protect your interests in this Settlement. You will not be charged for these lawyers. If you want to be represented by your own lawyer in this case, you may hire one at your own expense.

    If you hire your own attorney, your attorney must file an appearance no later than August 20, 2018, with the Clerk of Court in the Middle District of Tennessee, and must send a copy, by first-class United States Mail, to Class Counsel and Counsel for Interline at the addresses in FAQ 16, postmarked no later than August 20, 2018. If you do not exclude yourself from the Settlement, you will continue to be a Settlement Class Member, even if you are represented by your own attorney. You will be responsible for any fees and costs charged by your own attorney.

    The full list of Class Counsel is as follows:

    Simon B. Paris, Esq. (Class Counsel Chair)
    Patrick Howard, Esq.
    Saltz, Mongeluzzi, Barrett & Bendesky, P.C.
    120 Gibraltar Road
    Suite 218
    Horsham, PA 19044
    Shanon J. Carson, Esq.
    Glen L. Abramson, Esq.
    Berger & Montague, P.C.
    1622 Locust Street
    Philadelphia, PA 19103
    Joseph G. Sauder
    Sauder Schelkopf LLC
    555 Lancaster Avenue
    Berwyn, PA 19312
    Back To Top
  18. How will the administrative costs and attorneys’ fees be paid?

    Interline agreed to pay the costs of class notice and claims administration, including the costs of mailing this notice and of distributing any payments owed to Settlement Class Members under the Settlement as part of the $16.5 million Settlement amount. If the Settlement is approved by the Court, Class Counsel will ask the Court for reasonable attorneys’ fees of up to one-third of the $16.5 million settlement and reimbursement of litigation costs of up to $500,000. Also, Class Counsel will ask the Court for a Service Award of $5,000 to each Class Representative (a total of $25,000) for their effort, service, time, and expenses in responding to interrogatories, producing documents, sitting for deposition, and other work on this case. This request shall be filed with the Court by July 20, 2018, and will be available for review on the Important Documents page.

    Back To Top
  19. How do I tell the Court if I do not like the Settlement?

    If you do not exclude yourself from the Settlement Class, you may object to the certification of the Settlement Class, to the terms of the proposed Settlement, or to Class Counsel’s request for attorneys’ fees, expenses or the request for Service Awards.

    To do so, you (or your own attorney) must file your objection with the United States District Court for the Middle District of Tennessee and provide your objection in writing by first class mail to Class Counsel Chair and Counsel for Interline and postmarked no later than August 20, 2018, with the following information:

    1. The name of this lawsuit, Jacquelyn D. Ajose, et al. v. Interline Brands, Inc., Case No. 14-cv-01707;
    2. Your full name, current address, telephone number and email address;
    3. A statement as to whether, as of the date of the written objection, you own or rent, or formerly owned or rented, a residence or other structure containing a DuraPro™ Toilet Connector or otherwise suffered damages as a result of the failure of a Toilet Connector;
    4. The address of the property that may contain or contained a Toilet Connector and, if different, the address where you suffered the damages from the failure of a Toilet Connector;
    5. Proof that your residence or structure contains a Toilet Connector or otherwise suffered damages caused by the failure of a Toilet Connector (photographs, contemporaneous installation records, etc.);
    6. The exact nature of your objection, the facts underlying and legal authority supporting the objection, and whether or not you intend to appear at the Final Fairness Hearing;
    7. All evidence and supporting papers (including, but not limited to, all briefs, written evidence, and declarations) that you want the Court to consider in support of your objection;
    8. Whether you (or your attorney if you are represented) have objected to a class action settlement on any prior occasions. If so, identify those cases by case name, court, and case number;
    9. Your signature (even if represented by an attorney) and the date on which you signed it; and
    10. Your attorney’s signature (if you are represented by your own attorney).

    If you object to the Settlement, both sides may want to inspect your failed Toilet Connector and the residence or other structure where you suffered damages, as well as take your deposition, and you must make yourself available within a reasonable time frame for these purposes.

    If you want to appear at the Fairness Hearing, on your own behalf (or through your own attorney) and speak in court, you need to file a Notice of Intent to Appear with the Court and the Claims Administrator. This Notice needs to list (in detail) the subjects you wish to talk about. You need to mail copies of the Notice of Intent to Appear to Class Counsel Chair and Counsel for Interline at the addresses provided in the response to FAQ 16.

    If you do not file your objection on time and include the information above, you will lose the opportunity to have your objection considered at the Fairness Hearing. You will also not be able to object to approval of the Settlement or appeal any of the Court’s decisions in connection with the Settlement.

    Back To Top
  20. What is the difference between objecting and asking to be excluded?

    Objecting is simply telling the Court that you do not like something about the Settlement. You can object only if you remain as a member of the Settlement Class. Excluding yourself is telling the Court that you do not want to be part of the Settlement Class. If you exclude yourself, you cannot object to the Settlement and you will not be eligible to apply for any benefits under the Settlement because the case no longer affects you.

    Back To Top
  21. When and where will the Court decide whether to approve the Settlement?

    On October 19, 2018, at 1:00 p.m., the Court will hold a public hearing in Courtroom A826 of the United States District Court for the Middle District of Tennessee, located at the Estes Kefauver Federal Building & Courthouse, 801 Broadway, Nashville, TN 37203. The Court will decide whether the Settlement Class was properly certified and whether the Settlement is fair, adequate, and reasonable, and should be finally approved. The Court will also consider Class Counsel’s request for attorneys’ fees and expense reimbursement and any objections. This hearing may be delayed or rescheduled by the Court without further notice to the Settlement Class, so please check this website for updates. Settlement Class Members who object to the Settlement are not required to attend the Fairness Hearing. If you want to speak in Court to object to the Settlement, either personally or through your own attorney, you must notify the Court of your intention to appear at the Fairness Hearing (see FAQ 19).

    Back To Top
  22. Do I have to attend the Fairness Hearing?

    No. Class Counsel will answer any questions the Court may have regarding the Settlement. However, you are welcome to attend the hearing at your own expense. If you send in a written objection, you do not have to attend the Fairness Hearing to discuss your objection. If you mailed your written objection on time, the Court will consider it. Your own lawyer may attend the Fairness Hearing at your expense, but their attendance is not necessary.

    Back To Top
  23. How do I get more information?

    This website summarizes the proposed Settlement. More details are contained in the Settlement Agreement. You can view a copy of the Settlement Agreement here. You may also write with questions to Ajose v. Interline Claims Administrator, P.O. Box 2876, Portland, OR 97208-2876. You can download a Claim Form here, or have a Claim Form mailed to you by calling 1-855-349-6393. If you have questions for Class Counsel, you may contact them at the address listed above in FAQ 17. You may also seek advice and guidance from your own private attorney at your own expense.

    Please do not write or telephone the Court, Interline, or any Interline sales representative or agent for information about the Class Settlement or this lawsuit.

    Back To Top