Walmart has agreed to pay customers up to $500 in compensation as part of a $45 million settlement to a class-action lawsuit alleging that the retailer deceived customers into paying more for certain goods.

The settlement, if given final approval by a Florida court after a hearing in June, will apply to anyone who purchased some meat and seafood products known as “weighted goods,” as well as bagged citrus, at Walmarts in the United States or Puerto Rico from Oct. 19, 2018, to Jan. 19, 2024.

Those eligible must file a claim by June 5, and even those who do not file claims will be affected by the settlement.

Here’s what to know about the settlement and whether you may qualify.

What is the Walmart settlement about?

Walmart agreed to the settlement to resolve a class-action complaint filed by Vassilios Kukorinis, a Walmart customer who lives in Tampa. The lawsuit alleges that Walmart uses “unfair and deceptive business practices,” such as inflating the weight of certain products, mislabeling them and overcharging for clearance products, “to deceivingly, misleadingly, and unjustly pilfer, to Walmart’s financial benefit, its customers’ hard-earned grocery dollars.”

The lawsuit alleged that Walmart’s business practices resulted in customers “paying more than a product’s lowest advertised per pound/ounce price.” It argued that those practices were not in line with Walmart’s mission to help “people around the world save money and live better,” including “[b]y leading on price.”

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Walmart has denied any wrongdoing. It has agreed to settle the case “to avoid the risk, uncertain outcome, and expense of continued litigation,” according to the settlement website. A spokesperson for Walmart told The Washington Post via email, “We still deny the allegations, however we believe a settlement is in the best interest of both parties.”

Who is eligible for cash payments from the Walmart settlement?

Eligible customers who bought bagged citrus (specifically oranges, grapefruit and tangerines sold in bulk in mesh or plastic bags) and weighted goods (including meat and seafood products sold by weight, such as chicken breasts) in any Walmart store, Supercenter or neighborhood market in the United States or Puerto Rico during the settlement period. The list of bagged citrus products is here, and the list of weighted goods can be found here.

The maximum compensation amount for a single customer is $500, but that amount may change once all claims have been filed and reviewed, because the total settlement amount is subject to a “potential pro rata increase or decrease and to a supplemental distribution.”

Customers can object to the settlement by sending a letter to the court no later than May 22. Anyone who is eligible for the settlement but who might wish to retain their right to sue Walmart for a similar issue on their own must also opt out of the settlement by May 22.

How do you apply for a Walmart settlement payment?

People who believe they may be eligible for compensation payments must submit a claim by June 5 — via an electronic claim form or by mailing a claim form postmarked by June 5.

To submit your Claim Form, you may submit an electronic Claim Form or mail a physical Claim Form to the Claims Administrator. Failure to provide complete and accurate information could result in a denial of your Claim.

Your Claim must be postmarked or submitted online by June 5, 2024.

Customers have to provide “receipts, proof of purchase, or other documentation that substantiates” what they purchased and how much they paid. They will then “be entitled to receive 2% of the total cost” of those products, capped at $500. But approved customers can still be eligible for a compensation payment even if they did not keep the receipts: For example, if they attest that they purchased up to 50 weighted goods and/or bagged citrus in person at Walmart during the settlement period, they are entitled to $10.

Members of the same household can apply for the settlement, but they must prove that they made the purchases separately.

What are the next steps for the Walmart settlement?

After eligible customers submit their claims, objections or requests to opt out, a claims administrator will process them to decide who is eligible and how much should be paid out from the settlement fund.

Then, the settlement must be finalized. Although the parties to the class-action lawsuit have agreed to the settlement, it is not final until the court holds a final approval hearing to decide whether the settlement is “is fair, reasonable, and adequate,” and consider any objections. The hearing in this case is scheduled for June 12 at the Sam M. Gibbons United States Courthouse in Tampa. The settlement website states: “We do not know how long it will take for the Court to make its decision.”

If the court approves the settlement, payments could still be delayed while any appeals are resolved. But if there is no appeal, the payments “will be processed promptly,” according to the settlement website, and customers will receive the money in their bank account or by check.

The website warns customers, “Please be patient—it may take several months before the Settlement becomes final and for Claims to be processed.”



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