Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Why did I receive a notice?

    A court authorized the Notice because you have a right to know about a proposed class action settlement and about all of 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.

    To view a copy of the Notice, click here.

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  2. What is this lawsuit about?

    Judge Larry A. Burns of the United States District Court for the Southern District of California, is overseeing this lawsuit. The Settlement resolves the litigation known as Trujillo v. Ametek, Inc., Case No. 15-cv-01394 (S.D. Ca.) (the “Trujillo Action”) .

    The persons who sued are called “Plaintiffs,” and the company being sued, Ametek, Inc., Thomas Deeney, and Senior Operations LLC are called the “Defendants.”

    Plaintiffs allege that between 1963 and 1983, manufacturing process materials were placed in an in-ground tank at the aerospace manufacturing facility (the “Former Ametek Facility”) located at 790 Greenfield Avenue, El Cajon, California 92021 (the “Site”). Ametek owned and operated the Former Ametek Facility at the Site from 1968 through 1988. Deeney has been a corporate officer with Ametek since approximately 1996, and has dealt with issues concerning the Former Ametek Facility and the Site on Ametek’s behalf at several times, including since approximately 2006. The Site is now owned and operated by Senior.

    Plaintiffs claim that past use of the in-ground tank, which was removed decades ago, has and continues to result in contamination of groundwater resulting in a subsurface “plume” of certain chemicals that may be detectable in soil vapor and indoor air at and below Magnolia Elementary School, located adjacent to the Site at 650 Greenfield Dr., El Cajon, CA 92021, (“MES”). As a result, Plaintiffs claim they have been exposed to toxic contamination and have suffered damages. Plaintiffs brought the Trujillo Action on behalf of themselves and other teachers and students who attended or worked at MES who are similarly situated.

    Defendants deny any and all alleged liability, wrongdoing, violations, and/or damages any of them allegedly caused with respect to any and all claims asserted or that could have been asserted in the Trujillo Action.

    The Court has not decided who is right, but both the Plaintiffs and Defendants have agreed to a settlement to end the lawsuit and avoid further related costs and burdens.

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  3. Why is there a settlement?

    The Court did not decide in favor of Plaintiffs or the Defendants. Instead, both sides agreed to settle this case to avoid the cost and risk of litigation. The Settlement does not mean that any law was broken or that the Defendant did anything wrong. Each of the Defendants deny all legal claims in this case. Plaintiffs and their lawyers think the Settlement is best for the Settlement Class.

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  4. Why is the Settlement a proposed class action settlement?

    Proposed class action settlements typically get reviewed by a court twice: once for preliminary approval and once for final approval. As part of approving a class action settlement, courts certify a settlement class. That class is a Settlement Class (a.k.a, a class certified only for settlement). The Court has given the proposed Settlement preliminary approval, and has certified a Settlement Class. However, the Court cannot decide whether to finally approve the proposed Settlement until the Final Fairness Hearing (described in FAQ 23), when it will resolve any issues for Class Members, except for those Members who exclude themselves from the Settlement through the process described in FAQ 17.

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  5. How do I know if I am part of the Settlement?

    The Settlement includes every person who: (1) attended Magnolia Elementary School as a student for one or more school years between January 1, 1963 through April 14, 2020; or (2) worked as staff at Magnolia Elementary School for one or more school years between January 1, 1963 through April 14, 2020.

    You may contact the Claims Administrator at info@elcajoncasesettlement.com if you have any questions as to whether you are in the Settlement Class.

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  6. Are there other lawsuits relating to alleged groundwater contamination?

    Yes. In addition to the Trujillo Action, Ametek and Senior are also defendants in three other cases relating to the alleged groundwater contamination. The other cases are:

    • Greenfield MHP Associates, L.P., et al. v. Ametek, Inc., et al., No. 3:15-cv-01525-GPC-AGS (the “Greenfield Action”);
    • Cox, et al. v. Ametek, Inc., et al., No. 3:17-cv-00597-GPC-AGS (the “Cox I Action”); and
    • Cox, et al. v. Ametek, Inc., et al., No. 3:17-cv-01211-GPC-AGS (the “Cox II Action”).

    These four related cases are collectively called the “Groundwater Actions”. The Settlement for the Trujillo Action must receive Final Approval from the Court, and is part of the resolution of all of the Groundwater Actions.

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  7. Is anyone excluded from the Settlement?

    Yes. The Settlement Class does not include any individual who has independently settled or resolved any claims related to exposure to contaminants emanating from the Former Ametek Facility with any Defendant in the Trujillo Action, and specifically excluding any person who has settled or resolved claims directly with Ametek, Inc., Senior Operations LLC, or any of Defendants’ present, former, and future parents, subsidiaries, divisions, affiliates, stockholders, benefit plans, officers, directors, employees, joint ventures, members, domestic and foreign corporations, attorneys, insurers, agents and any of their legal representatives, and the predecessors, heirs, executors, administrators, successors, and assigns of the same.

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  8. What if I am not sure whether I am included in the Settlement?

    If you are not sure whether you are a member of the Settlement Class, or have any other questions about the Settlement, you may call the toll-free number, 1-844-814-8803, write with questions to El Cajon Claims Administrator, P.O. Box 3266, Portland, OR 97208-3266, or send an email to info@elcajoncasesettlement.com.

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  9. How much money is available for Settlement benefits under the proposed Settlement?

    If approved by the Court and not subject to a successful appeal, a Settlement Fund of $1,000,000.00 will be established as the Medical Consultation Fund to pay for medical consultation for Plaintiffs and Class Members, as well as fees and costs consistent with the Settlement Agreement. A separate $500,000.00 payment will be made to help establish the Remediation/Mitigation Fund for sampling/mitigation/remediation of the plume, consistent with the Settlement Agreement.

    For more information about the Settlement Funds, review the Settlement Agreement

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  10. What are the benefits of the Settlement?

    Once a Class Member submits a valid Claim Form and the Class Member’s status has been verified, the verified Class Member will be eligible to receive the class benefit of medical consultation as follows:

    1. Each verified Class Member shall be eligible for one (1) medical consultation with a doctor selected by Class Counsel to receive any or all of the following procedures, pursuant to the advice of the selected physician and based on the verified Class Member’s own discretion for the same, intended to screen for medical conditions including those potentially associated with exposure to Trichloroethylene (“TCE”) in very high concentrations (far exceeding any of the indoor air concentrations of TCE ever detected at Magnolia Elementary School), including kidney cancer, liver cancer, and hematolymphatic cancer:
      • History and physical examination by board-certified physician;
      • Blood chemistry, blood count, and microscopy urinalysis;
      • CT scan of kidney (in a follow-up appointment, if determined necessary); and/or
      • Liver ultrasound or MRI (in a follow-up appointment, if determined necessary).
    2. The costs of the diagnostic medical consultation outlined above will be billed by the physician to the Claims Administrator, and will be paid by the Claims Administrator from the Medical Consultation Fund portion of the Settlement Fund.
    3. Any medical consultation available to verified Class Members shall be completed on or before the date which falls four (4) years after the date of Final Approval. Medical consultation visits shall be available to verified Class Members during the four year eligibility period, or until the Medical Consultation Fund is exhausted, whichever occurs first.

    For more information about the benefits, review the Settlement Agreement

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  11. What do I need to do to get the medical consultation benefits?

    To make a claim against the Settlement Fund and to receive any medical consultation benefits from the Settlement, Class Members are required to submit a Claim Form. You must follow the instructions on the Claim Form. You should read the Claim Form instructions carefully and provide all the information that is requested.

    All Claim Forms must be mailed by First-Class United States Mail, postage prepaid, to the Claims Administrator postmarked no later than September 23, 2022:

    El Cajon Claims Administrator
    P.O. Box 3266
    Portland, OR 97208-3266

    If you change your address and want to receive a Claim Form at your new address, you should 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.

    If you did not receive a Claim Form by mail, or if you need a Claim Form, you can get one in any of the following ways: (1) by downloading a Claim Form; (2) by requesting a Claim Form be mailed to you by calling the Claims Administrator’s toll-free number at 1-844-814-8803; or (3) by requesting a Claim Form be mailed to you by writing to the Claims Administrator at the address provided above or by email to info@elcajoncasesettlement.com.

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  12. What is the deadline for submitting a Claim Form?

    Claim Forms must be postmarked no later than September 23, 2022.

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  13. How will my Claim be validated?

    Class Counsel will, in its sole discretion, confirm the validity of each Claim Form and confirm that it provides the required information.

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  14. What am I giving up to receive Settlement benefits?

    If the Settlement becomes final, Class Members who submit a claim or do nothing at all will be releasing the Defendants from all of the Released Claims described and identified in Section 30 of the Settlement Agreement. This means you will no longer be able to sue the Defendant regarding any of the claims described in the Settlement Agreement.

    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 18 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.

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  15. 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, however, you may sue or be part of a different lawsuit against the Defendants in the future. You will not be bound by anything that happens in this class action Settlement.

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  16. If I do not exclude myself, can I sue later?

    Unless you exclude yourself, you give up the right to sue the Defendants for all of the claims that the Settlement resolves. You must exclude yourself from this Settlement Class to start or continue your own lawsuit relating to the claims in this case, except for claims for personal injury. The full release is stated in Section 26 of the Settlement Agreement.

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  17. How do I get out of the Settlement?

    To exclude yourself from the Settlement and Settlement Class, you must send a written and signed statement, entitled “Request for Exclusion.” The Request for Exclusion must:

    1. Certify in accordance with 28 U.S.C. § 1746, under penalty of perjury, that the filer has been legally authorized to exclude the Class Member from the Settlement and provide an affidavit or other proof of the Class Member’s standing;
    2. Provide the filer’s name, address, telephone and facsimile number and email address (if available);
    3. Include the Class Member’s name, address, telephone number, and email address (if available); and
    4. Be postmarked by the deadline.

    You must mail your completed Request for Exclusion, postmarked by July 25, 2020, to the following addresses:

    Court Class Counsel Claims Administrator
    Clerk of the Court
    United States District Court
    Southern District of California
    333 West Broadway
    San Diego, CA 92101
    Scott Summy
    Baron & Budd
    3102 Oak Lawn Ave.
    Suite 1100
    Dallas, TX 75219-3605
    El Cajon Claims Administrator
    P.O. Box 3266
    Portland, OR 97208-3266
    Counsel for Ametek Counsel for Senior Counsel for Mr. Deeney
    Edward C. Walton
    Sean M. Sullivan
    Procopio, Cory, Hargreaves &
    Savitch, LLP
    525 B St.
    Suite 2200
    San Diego, CA 92101
    Kimberly Arouh
    Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney LLP
    600 West Broadway
    Suite 1100
    San Diego, CA 92101
    Michael Pietrykowski
    Gordon & Rees Scully Mansukhani LLP
    1111 Broadway
    Suite 1700
    Oakland, CA 94607

    If you do not want to be a part of the Settlement but do not send in a Request for Exclusion, you will remain a Class Member and 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/opt out on the phone, by email, or on this website.

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  18. Do I have a lawyer in this case?

    The Court designated Scott Summy and the law firm of Baron & Budd as Class Counsel for the Plaintiffs and members of the Settlement Class. You will not be charged for Class Counsel. If you want to be represented by your own lawyer in this case, you may hire one at your own expense.

    Scott Summy
    Baron & Budd
    3102 Oak Lawn Ave.
    Suite 1100
    Dallas, TX 75219-3605
    elcajoncasesettlement@baronbudd.com

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  19. Why is Class Counsel recommending the Settlement?

    Class Counsel reached this Settlement after weighing the risks and benefits of this Settlement to the Settlement Class compared with those of continuing the litigation. The factors that Class Counsel considered included the uncertainty and delay associated with continued litigation, a trial and numerous appeals, and the uncertainty of particular legal issues that have been, or are yet to be, determined by the Court. Class Counsel balanced these and other substantial risks in determining that the settlement is fair, reasonable, and adequate in light of all circumstances and in the best interests of members of the Settlement Class.

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  20. How will the lawyers be paid?

    If the settlement is approved by the Court, Class Counsel will ask the Court for an award of attorneys’ fees in an amount not to exceed 25% of the gross amount awarded to the Settlement Class plus costs and expenses and incentive awards of up to $5,000.00 per Plaintiff. Any award of attorneys’ fees, expenses, costs or incentive awards, ordered by the Court will be paid from the Settlement Fund according to the terms and limitations of the Settlement Agreement.

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

    If you do not exclude yourself from the Settlement Class, you may, if you wish, object to the Settlement or an award of fees or expenses to Class Counsel.

    To do so, you or your own attorney must provide a written and signed statement, entitled “Objection." All Objections must:

    1. Certify in accordance with 28 U.S.C. § 1746, under penalty of perjury, that the filer has been legally authorized to object on behalf of the Class Member and provide an affidavit or other proof of the Class Member’s standing;
    2. Provide the name, address, telephone and facsimile number and email address (if available) of the filer and the Class Member;
    3. Provide the name, address, telephone and facsimile number and email address (if available) of any counsel representing the Class Member;
    4. State all objections asserted by the Class Member and the specific reason(s) for each Objection, and include all legal support and evidence the Class Member wishes to bring to the Court’s attention;;
    5. Indicate if the Class Member wishes to appear at the Final Fairness Hearing; and
    6. Identify all witnesses the Class Member may call to testify.

    Your Objection must be filed with the Clerk of the Court and served on Class Counsel and Defendants' counsel by First-Class United States Mail, postmarked no later than July 25, 2020. The copies to be filed with the Court and served on Class Counsel and Defendants' counsel must be mailed to the following addresses:

    Court Class Counsel Counsel for Ametek
    Clerk of the Court
    United States District Court
    Southern District of California
    333 West Broadway
    San Diego, CA 92101
    Scott Summy
    Baron & Budd
    3102 Oak Lawn Ave.
    Suite 1100
    Dallas, TX 75219-3605
    Edward C. Walton
    Sean M. Sullivan
    Procopio, Cory, Hargreaves &
    Savitch, LLP
    525 B St.
    Suite 2200
    San Diego, CA 92101
    Counsel for Senior Counsel for Mr. Deeney  
    Kimberly Arouh
    Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney LLP
    600 West Broadway
    Suite 1100
    San Diego, CA 92101
    Michael Pietrykowski
    Gordon & Rees Scully Mansukhani LLP
    1111 Broadway
    Suite 1700
    Oakland, CA 94607
     

    Class Members may object either on their own or through any attorney hired at their own expense. If a Class Member is represented by counsel, the attorney must file a “notice of appearance” with the Clerk of Court no later than July 25, 2020, and serve to all Parties in accordance with Fed. R. Civ. P. 5 within the same time period.

    Any Class Member who fully complies with the provisions of the Objection requirements listed here in FAQ 21 may, at the Court’s discretion, appear at the Final Fairness Hearing to object to the Settlement or the award of fees and costs to Class Counsel. Any Class Member who fails to comply with the provisions here in FAQ 21 will waive and forfeit any and all rights and objections the Class Member may have asserted in this action, and will be bound by all the terms of the Agreement and by all proceedings, orders, and judgments with respect to the Settlement.

    If you do not comply with these procedures and the deadline for Objections, you will lose any opportunity to have your Objection considered at the Final Fairness Hearing or otherwise to contest the approval of the Settlement or to appeal from any order or judgment entered by the Court in connection with the Settlement.

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  22. What’s 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 stay in the Settlement Class. Excluding yourself (opting out) 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.

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

    On October 5, 2020, at 1:30 p.m., the Court will hold a public hearing in the United States District Court for the Southern District of California, located at the U.S. Courthouse, 333 West Broadway, San Diego, CA 92101, to determine whether the Settlement Class was properly certified and whether the Settlement is fair, adequate, and reasonable and should be finally approved, with judgment entered accordingly. The Court also will consider Counsel’s application for an award of attorneys’ fees and expense reimbursement and any opposition thereto. This hearing may be continued or rescheduled by the Court without further notice to the Settlement Class, so you should check this website for updates. If there are Objections, the Court will consider them at that time. After the hearing, the Court will decide whether to approve the Settlement. It is unknown how long these decisions will take.

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  24. Do I have to come to the hearing?

    No. Class Counsel will answer any questions the Court has. However, you are welcome to attend the hearing at your own expense. If you send in a written Objection, you do not have to come to the Final Fairness Hearing to talk about it. If you mailed your written Objection on time, the Court will consider it. You may pay your own lawyer to attend the Final Fairness Hearing, but it is not necessary.

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  25. What happens if I do nothing at all?

    If you are a Class Member and do nothing, you will not get benefits from the Settlement, and, unless you exclude yourself, you will be bound by the judgment entered by the Court. This means you will not be able to start a lawsuit, continue with a lawsuit, or be part of any other lawsuit or proceeding against the Defendants or any of the Third-Party Defendants about the statements and claims at issue in this case.

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  26. How do I get more information?

    This website and the Detailed Notice summarize the proposed Settlement. More details can be found in the Settlement Agreement. You can obtain a copy of the Detailed Notice, Settlement Agreement, Claim Form, and other Settlement related documents on the Documents page of this website.

    You may also write with questions to El Cajon Claims Administrator, P.O. Box 3266, Portland, OR 97208-3266 or send an email to info@elcajoncasesettlement.com.

    If you wish to communicate directly with Class Counsel, you may contact them at the address listed in FAQ 18 or by email at elcajoncasesettlement@baronbudd.com. You may also seek advice and guidance from your own private attorney at your own expense.

    Do not contact the Court, Amtetek, or any of the other Defendants for additional information regarding this Settlement or website.

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