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Groupon offers settlement for gift-card lawsuits

Updated: May 23, 2012 11:42AM

Daily deals site Groupon has offered a settlement to customers who filed lawsuits claiming that their Groupons had unlawful and undisclosed expiration dates or restrictions on when the deals could be redeemed.

The 17 lawsuits were consolidated and certified as a class action by a California judge last year. The judge is expected to rule in July whether to accept Groupon’s proposed settlement.

The suit’s lead plaintiffs — the 17 Groupon subscribers who filed the first lawsuits — would receive a proposed $500 each. The remaining money would be divided among Groupon members who file a claim. Groupon members who bought a Groupon or received one as a gift from Nov. 1, 2008 through Dec. 1, 2011 are eligible to make a claim until July 6.

An estimated $6.3 million is expected to be divided among potentially millions of customers, since Groupon had 34 million subscribers during the claim period.

Groupon also will offer claimants a voucher that can be redeemed for up to the original purchase price with the merchant involved, and if that voucher isn’t honored, the ability to submit a second claim and receive a refund check.

The Chicago-based company also said it will sell no more than 10 percent of its deals with expiration dates of less than 30 days and make its language about deal lengths more understandable.

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