A class-action lawsuit might result in a refund for Groupon customers who purchased deals from the company between Nov. 1, 2008, and Dec. 1, 2011.
Chicago-based Groupon notified customers Friday of a proposed $8.5 million settlement after more than a dozen lawsuits in several courts claimed, for instance, that Groupon vouchers had illegal and undisclosed expiration dates and restrictions.
Among the claims is that some of the wording under question in Groupon's fine print was alleged to have violated a federal gift-card law that prohibits selling gift cards that expire in less than five years.
Website customers who would like to participate must submit a claim form to receive a settlement voucher. The amount to be refunded has yet to be determined.
A judge must approve the proposed settlement during a final approval hearing July 20. Groupon, which established the $8.5 million settlement fund to issue refunds, less plaintiffs' attorneys' fees and costs, has not admitted fault by agreeing to the proposed settlement.
Assuming there are no appeals, claim forms will be due 60 days after the court approves the settlement.
Customers who object to the settlement, including the requested attorney's fees, and decide to opt out of the settlement must file with the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California by July 6. That would permit them to pursue their own legal action against Groupon.
Julie Mossler, a spokeswoman for Groupon, said the company does not comment on litigation.