Frequently Asked Questions

  1. What is this lawsuit about?

    The lawsuit was brought by Plaintiffs Maui Peaks Corporation, Ian Kao and NGMII LLC on behalf of owners of residential units in The Millennium Tower alleging causes of action against Mission Street Development LLC (“MSD”), Mission Street Holding (“MSH”) and Transbay Joint Powers Authority (“TJPA”) relating to allegations concerning, inter alia, the movement and tilt of The Millennium Tower.

    Plaintiffs alleged claims against MSD and MSH for failure to disclose and unfair business practices, and claims against TJPA for express indemnity, specific performance and declaratory relief. There are numerous Cross-Defendants across the consolidated and related cases. The Defendants, Cross-Defendants, and additional Settling Parties claim that other parties are responsible for the movement and tilt of The Millennium Tower and have sued those other parties. Many years of intense litigation with respect to those claims has occurred and significant discovery across the four properties has occurred. The Settling Parties have also been mediating the case in front of retired Judge Daniel Weinstein since 2018.

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  2. Why is this a class action?

    In a class action, one or more people called class representatives (in this case, Maui Peaks Corporation, Ian Kao and NGMII LLC) sue on behalf of people who have similar claims. The people included in the class action are called the Settlement Class or Settlement Class Members. One court resolves the issues for all Settlement Class Members, except for those who timely exclude themselves from the Settlement Class.

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  3. Why is there a settlement?

    The Court has not decided in favor of either the Plaintiffs, Defendants, or Cross-Defendants. Instead, both sides agreed to the Settlement. By agreeing to the Settlement, the Parties avoid the significant costs, uncertainty, and delays of a trial and appeals, and Settlement Class Members receive the benefits described in FAQ 5. The Class Representatives and Class Counsel believe the Settlement is best for everyone who is affected.

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  4. Who is included in the Settlement?

    Settlement Class Members means the proposed Class Representatives and all individuals and entities who:

    1. Own one or more condominium units in The Millennium Tower, that they purchased prior to May 10, 2016;
    2. Purchased one or more condominium units in The Millennium Tower prior to May 10, 2016 and sold such unit or units after May 10, 2016; or
    3. As of May 15, 2020, own one or more condominium units in The Millennium Tower, that they purchased after May 10, 2016, who have not filed an individual action against one or more of the Defendants regarding The Millennium Tower, and who do not exclude themselves from the Settlement Class in the manner and time prescribed by the Court FAQ 8.

    You may contact the Class Action Settlement Administrator at info@MillenniumTowerLitigationSettlement.com, or by calling 1-833-991-1519 (Toll-Free) if you have any questions as to whether you are a Settlement Class Member.

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  5. What does the Settlement provide?

    Should the Court approve the Settlement, a Settlement Fund of $29,844,000 will be established from which Settlement Class Members will receive payments. The Settlement Fund will also pay all attorneys’ fees and expenses of $3,625,000 ($3 million attorneys’ fee and $625,000 expenses), awarded to Class Counsel (which includes all Class Action Settlement Administrator’s fees and expenses, which will not exceed $95,000), and Class Representative Service Awards of $7,500 per each of the three Class Representatives (which are intended to compensate Class Representatives for work done on behalf of the Class in this lawsuit). The exact amount cannot be determined until the notice process is complete and the Court makes a final decision on the amount of attorneys’ fees, costs and expenses awarded to Class Counsel. The estimated Net Settlement Amount to be distributed to Class Members is approximately $26,200,000.

    Each of the Class Members who purchased a unit after May 10, 2016 and who submits a valid claim will receive $10,000. After payment to those Class Members and payment of attorneys’ fees, costs and expenses awarded to Class Counsel, Class Representative Service Awards, and Class Action Settlement Administrator’s fees and expenses, the rest of the Settlement Fund will be divided among the other Class Members proportionally based on the price they paid for their units.

    For all Settlement Class Members who do not file a valid claim and/or file a request for exclusion, the amount that would have been paid from the Settlement Fund for their unit(s) will be divided among the other Settlement Class Members who submit a valid claim. If any Settlement Class Member requests exclusion, the amount that would have been paid from the Settlement Fund for their unit(s) will be deducted from the Settlement Fund and will not be divided among the other Settlement Class Members.

    For all Settlement Class Members who are issued a check for settlement benefits, and the check is not cashed after (90) calendar days of the mailing of that check, the check will be deemed stale, the Settlement Class Member’s claim will be deemed abandoned and the check amounts (any resulting residue) will be paid in a second distribution to the other Settlement Class Members. If after ninety (90) calendar days of the mailing of any redistributed checks, all uncashed redistributed checks will be deemed stale, and the check amounts (any resulting residue) will be paid to the Millennium Tower Association, as the cy pres recipient, for its use in furtherance of the Millennium Tower. No money will be returned to the Defendants.

    The global settlement also includes an Upgrade Plan to upgrade the foundation of the Millennium Tower, with such plan being under the control and direction of the Millennium Tower Association (“MTA”). The MTA submitted three building permit applications (Permit Nos. 201812047402, 201812077819, and 201812077828) for the Upgrade to DBI on December 4, 2018 and December 7, 2018. The Upgrade may commence after the Court approves the Settlement. This Settlement is in no way contingent on the effectiveness of the Upgrade Plan or the Upgrade in remedying, halting or correcting any movement or tilt of the Millennium Tower, and if approved, the Settlement will remain effective regardless of the effectiveness of the Upgrade, the Upgrade Plan, non-upgrade repairs, or the decisions made by the MTA regarding the Upgrade, the Upgrade Plan, or non-upgrade repairs.

    The Settlement is also subject to certain conditions having to be satisfied. Those conditions are described in paragraph 6.2 of the Settlement Agreement. If you want more information about the settlement benefits, please review the Settlement Agreement.

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  6. How do I receive a payment?

    If you are a Settlement Class Member and entitled to receive a cash benefit pursuant to the terms of the Class Action Settlement Agreement, you must submit a Claim Form by July 14, 2020. If (a) the Court approves the Settlement, and (b) it becomes final and effective with you remaining in the Settlement Class, and (c) you submit a claim which is validated by the Settlement Administrator against The Millennium Tower records confirming you are within the Settlement Class, you will receive a payment. In order to validate your claim, the Settlement Administrator will check and verify the information you submit and may ask you for additional information or documents.

    The Settlement Administrator will notify Settlement Class Members in writing within (fifteen) 15 calendar days of receipt of a Claim Form, if a Claim Form is rejected (in whole or part). Settlement Class Members will have 30 days (a postmark deadline) to provide additional information and/or contest the determination of their Claim Form status as rejected (in whole or part) or dispute either the specific award determination or the distribution method applied to their claim. To contest, a Settlement Class Member must mail a notice and statement of reasons to the Class Action Settlement Administrator indicating the reason or reasons for contesting the determination along with any supporting documentation. The Settlement Administrator will review the information provided and respond to the Settlement Class Member within fifteen (15) calendar days of receipt of such a notice.

    If a dispute concerning a Claim Form cannot be resolved, Class Counsel will present the request for review to the Court before distribution of checks to other Settlement Class Members and after written notice to the Settlement Class Member of submission of the dispute to the Court and the date and time of the hearing set by the Court, if any.

    Please submit your Claim Form as early as possible.

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  7. What am I giving up to stay in the Settlement Class?

    Unless you exclude yourself from the Settlement Class, you cannot sue or be part of any other lawsuit against the parties released by the Settlement Agreement (“the Released Parties”). You should review the Settlement Agreement in order to understand who will be released. They include persons and entities involved in the development and sale of units in The Millennium Tower as well as all persons and entities who were involved in the development of the Transbay Transit Center, the Salesforce Tower, and the building at 350 Mission Street.

    Remaining in the Settlement Class also means that all of the decisions by the Court will bind you.

    If you do not want benefits from the Settlement, and you want to keep the right to sue the Released Parties, then you must take steps to get out of the Settlement. This is called excluding yourself — or it is sometimes referred to as “opting-out” of the Settlement Class. (See FAQ 8)

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  8. How do I get out of the Settlement?

    The deadline to exclude yourself from the Settlement has passed.

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  9. If I do not exclude myself, can I sue for the same thing later?

    No. Unless you exclude yourself, you give up the right to sue the Released Parties for the matters Released. You must exclude yourself from the Settlement Class in order to try to pursue your own lawsuit.

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  10. If I exclude myself from the Settlement, can I still receive a payment?

    No. You will not receive a payment if you exclude yourself from the Settlement.

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  11. Do I have a lawyer in the case?

    The Court has appointed the following lawyers to represent you and others in the Settlement Class as “Class Counsel”:

    Daniel L. Rottinghaus
    Berding & Weil LLP
    2175 N. California Blvd.
    Suite 500
    Walnut Creek, CA 94596
    phoneIcon 1-925-838-2090
    Allan Steyer and D. Scott Macrae
    Steyer Lowenthal Boodrookas Alvarez & Smith LLP
    235 Pine St., 15th Floor
    San Francisco, CA 94104
    phoneIcon 1-415-421-3400

    Class Counsel will represent you and Settlement Class Members. You will not be charged for these lawyers. If you want to be represented by your own lawyer, you may hire one at your own expense. Class Counsel is available to answer any questions about the Settlement.

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  12. How will the lawyers be paid?

    Class Counsel intends to request up to $3 million, which is approximately 10% of the Class Settlement Proceeds, for attorneys' fees and up to $625,000 for both expenses in prosecuting this case and the Settlement Administrator’s fees and expenses. The fees and expenses awarded by the Court will be paid out of the Class Settlement Proceeds. The Court will determine the amount of fees and expenses to award.

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  13. How do I tell the Court that I don’t like the Settlement?

    The deadline to object to the Settlement has passed.

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  14. What’s the difference between objecting and excluding?

    Objecting is telling the Court that you do not like something about the Settlement. You can object to the Settlement only if you do not exclude yourself from the Settlement. Excluding yourself from the Settlement is telling the Court that you don’t want to be part of the Settlement. If you exclude yourself from the Settlement, you have no basis to object to the Settlement because it no longer affects you.

    The Class Settlement and all of its terms are subject to Court approval. The Court will hold a Final Approval Hearing to decide whether to approve the Settlement, and the request for attorneys’ fees, expenses and Service Award for the Class Representatives. You may attend and you may ask to speak, but you do not have to do so.

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  15. When and where will the Court decide whether to approve the Settlement?

    The Court will hold a Final Approval Hearing on August 7, 2020, at 10:00 a.m., at the Superior Court of the State of California for the County of San Francisco, Courtroom 303 at 350 McAlister Street, San Francisco, CA 94102. At this Hearing, the Court will consider whether the Settlement is fair, reasonable and adequate. The Court will also consider any request by Class Counsel for attorneys’ fees and expenses and for Service Award for the Class Representatives. If there are objections, the Court will consider them at the Hearing. After the Hearing, the Court will decide whether to approve the Settlement.

    The Hearing may be moved to a different date or time without additional notice, nor do we know when the Court will make its decision, so it is a good idea to check this website for updates.

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  16. Do I have to go to the Hearing?

    No. Class Counsel will answer any questions the Court may have. However, you may go to the Hearing at your own expense or hire a lawyer to go to the Hearing. If you send an objection, you may but do not have to go to the Hearing to talk about it. As long as you submit your written objection on time, to the proper address and it complies with the requirements set forth in FAQ 13, the Court will consider it.

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  17. May I speak at the hearing?

    Yes. If you object, as described in FAQ 13, you may speak at the Hearing.

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  18. What happens if I do nothing at all?

    If you fail to make a claim for the benefits requiring submission of a completed Claim Form, you will waive your right to receive those benefits, you will release the Released Parties from all Released Matters, and you cannot assert, file, maintain, or prosecute any of the Released Matters. You must submit a Claim Form to receive money under this Settlement. Unless you timely and properly exclude yourself, you will not be able to start a lawsuit or be part of any other lawsuit against Defendants, Cross-Defendants, or any other Released Party relating to the Released Matters.

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  19. How do I get more information?

    This website and the Notice summarize the proposed Settlement. More details can be found in the Settlement Agreement. You can obtain a copy of the Settlement Agreement and other Settlement-related documents on the Important Documents page. Class Counsel is available to answer any questions you may have. You may also contact the Settlement Administrator with questions by writing to info@MillenniumTowerLitigationSettlement.com, Millennium Tower Settlement, P.O. Box 2838, Portland, OR 97208-2838, or by calling 1-833-991-1519 (Toll-Free).

    The Settlement Agreement and court documents in this lawsuit are available free on the Court’s docket by doing the following:

    • Go to the Court website: https://www.SFSuperiorCourt.org/online-services;
    • Click “Case Query”;
    • Click the box next to “I’m not a robot” if it appears on the screen;
    • Enter the Case Number: CGC-16-553758 and click “Search”;
    • Click “Register of Actions”; and
    • Click on the document you are looking for on the Court’s docket.

    Do not contact Defendants or the Court for information.

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