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A Notice was sent to individuals who, according to Gospel for Asia records, are Class Members and may be able to receive payment under this class action settlement. This Notice explains the basic terms of the Settlement and the options and rights as a potential Class Member. The Settlement Agreement and other documents have more details about the Settlement.
This is a class action (“Action”) titled Murphy v. Gospel for Asia, Inc., et al., Case Number 5:17-cv-05035-ELW (W.D. Ark.). Garland D. Murphy, III, MD, and Phyllis Murphy, on behalf of themselves and all Settlement Class Members (“Plaintiffs”), allege that Gospel for Asia (“GFA”) misdirected funds designated for specific charitable projects that donors selected. GFA denies any wrongdoing.
The Court has made no determination of liability. Both sides believe that the Settlement is a better result than continuing to litigate, and that it will provide substantial benefit to the Class. By settling, GFA does not admit any wrongdoing.
Because the parties decided to settle, the Court will not decide this Action. Instead, the Court has determined on a preliminary basis that certification of a class action is appropriate for purposes of settlement, and that the Settlement is sufficient to warrant a notice to the Class. The Court must still make a final determination, subject to any objections from the Class Members, whether the Settlement is fair, reasonable, and adequate.
The Court has appointed Marc R. Stanley and Martin Woodward of Stanley Law Group, Woodson W. Bassett III and James Graves of Basset Law Firm LLP, and Tom Mills of Mills and Williams, LLP to be the attorneys representing the Class. They are called “Class Counsel.” You will not be charged for these lawyers. If you want to be represented by your own lawyer in this case, you may hire one at your expense.
The Settlement Class is defined as:
If you are not sure if you are a Class Member, you can call the Settlement Administrator at (844) 367-8894.
First, you must decide whether you wish to remain in the Class or exclude yourself from the Class. If you exclude yourself from the Class, you will not be eligible to receive compensation under the Settlement, or object to the Settlement, but you will retain the right to sue GFA for the claims alleged in the Action. If you wish to exclude yourself from the Class, you must submit an Exclusion Form. For instructions, see FAQ #15 below.
Second, if you wish to remain in the Class and receive a cash payment, you must submit a Claim Form. The benefits of the Settlement are explained in Paragraph 8 below. If you disagree with the Settlement, you may also object to the Settlement. You can submit a Claim Form even if you object to the Settlement. Instructions for submitting a Claim Form are found in FAQ #9 below, and instructions for objecting are in FAQ #17 below.
If you are a Class Member and do nothing, you will stay in the Class. You will give up certain rights as indicated in FAQ #6 above, but you will not get any payment from the Settlement. You must complete and timely submit a Claim Form to receive any payment under the Settlement. Instructions for submitting a Claim Form are found in FAQ #9 below.
The Settlement will provide a fund of $37,000,000 that, subject to Court approval, will be used to pay: (i) valid and approved Claims submitted by Class Members; (ii) the costs and expenses associated with this Notice and claims administration; (iii) Class Counsel’s attorneys’ fees and expenses. The pro rata amount that you receive (which will not exceed 100% of your eligible donations) will depend on the number of Claims submitted, the amount that you donated to qualifying projects, and the amount of attorneys’ fees and expenses awarded by the Court.
Changes to Business Practices:
In addition to the monetary compensation described above, GFA will make changes to the structure and membership of its board of directors. Additionally, all board members will undergo training for individuals serving on a non-profit board.
GFA will publish annual reports of all work accomplished with donated funds, and it will ensure that solicitations to donors disclose that moneys are raised for ministry purposes regardless of any particular designation. GFA will also create a board sub-committee to monitor GFA’s compliance with the terms of the Settlement and to produce a confidential annual report to the board, the Presiding Judge in this Action, and Counsel for Plaintiffs and Defendants.
To receive a payment under the Settlement, you must send in a Claim Form. Please read the instructions and certification carefully, and fill out the form completely and accurately. Claim Forms can be submitted electronically by July 11, 2019 by 11:59 pm CT on this website or by mail to: Murphy v Gospel for Asia, c/o Settlement Administrator, PO Box 58638, Philadelphia, PA 19102-8638 postmarked no later than July 11, 2019.
The Settlement Administrator will review each Claim Form. If you submit a valid Claim, you will receive payment in the form of a check.
The Court must give final approval to the Settlement before any payments can be made. The hearing to decide whether to finally approve the Settlement is set for June 13, 2019 at 10:00 a.m. (the “Hearing”). The payment of valid Claims will begin after the Settlement is approved and the judgment is final including any relevant appeals. Resolving appeals, if any are filed, takes time, sometimes more than a year. Finally, there remains a possibility that this Settlement may be terminated for other reasons, as explained in the Settlement Agreement. The Settlement Agreement can be found in the Documents section on this website.
No amount of the Settlement Fund shall revert to Defendants. If, after payments to Claimants have been made and the deadline for cashing Claimants’ checks has passed, funds remain in the Settlement Fund sufficient to make it feasible to make a second payment to Claimants (e.g., payment of $1.00 or more, after administrative expenses for issuing and mailing that check), a second distribution shall be made. Any unclaimed funds after the second distribution will be disbursed to an appropriate Christian charitable organization. Defendants agree not to object to the suggestion that the Court distribute unclaimed funds evenly to: (i) Samaritan’s Purse; (ii) Friends of Israel; (iii) Global Training Network; (iv) Heaven’s Family; and (v) Christ for All Peoples, all of which must be certified by the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability as of the date of each distribution.
The Court appointed Class Counsel to represent Class Members for purposes of the Settlement. Class Counsel is authorized to act on behalf of the Class Members with respect to the Settlement.
Class Counsel will file a motion for attorneys’ fees and expenses not to exceed $12,210,000 and expenses of $750,000. Any attorneys’ fees and expenses and Enhancement Payments approved by the Court will be paid from the Settlement Fund. You have the right to review the motion before you decide whether to exclude yourself from the Class or object to the Settlement.
A copy of Class Counsel’s motion for a Fee Award and Class Representative Enhancement Payments will be made available on this Website.
If you don’t want a payment from this Settlement, or you want to keep your right to sue or continue to sue GFA on your own about the legal claims in this Action, you must exclude yourself from the Class. If you exclude yourself, you will not be able to object to the Settlement.
If you want to be excluded from the Class, you must submit a Request for Exclusion in writing to the Settlement Administrator. A Request for Exclusion can be submitted electronically on this website by May 28, 2019 or by mail to: Murphy v Gospel for Asia, c/o Settlement Administrator, PO Box 58638, Philadelphia, PA 19102-8638, postmarked no later than May 28, 2019. If your Request for Exclusion is late or deficient, it will not be effective to exclude you.
If you exclude yourself, you can sue GFA for any claims you may have against it. If you do not exclude yourself, your right to sue GFA later will be limited. Upon final approval of the Settlement, you will give up the Released Claims, which, in summary, are all claims asserted in this Action and any claim based on donations to GFA for Project Codes 1000-4900 from January 1, 2009 – March 22, 2019.
If you exclude yourself, you have no right to object to the Settlement.
If you do not exclude yourself, and you are dissatisfied with the Settlement or any part of it, you have the right to object. Objecting is a way of telling the Court that you don’t like something about the Settlement. Even if you object, you will still receive compensation under the Settlement if you submitted a valid Claim. (In other words, you can object to the Settlement and submit a Claim Form, but you will be bound by the orders and judgment in this Action and you will give up the Released Claims as summarized in FAQ #16 above).
If you file a written objection, it must state: (1) your name, address, and telephone number; (2) the name, address, and telephone number of your lawyer, if you have one; (3) the basis for the objection; and (4) a statement of whether you intend to appear at the Final Approval Hearing, either with or without your lawyer. You must reference Murphy v. Gospel for Asia, Inc., et al., Case No. 5:17-cv-05035-ELW.
On June 13, 2019 at 10:00 a.m., the Court will hold a Hearing at the United States District Court for the Western District of Arkansas, before the Honorable Erin L. Wiedemann, in Courtroom 210, John Paul Hammerschmidt Federal Building, 35 East Mountain Street, Fayetteville, Arkansas 72701. At the Hearing, the Court will consider all necessary matters concerning the Settlement, including whether to grant final certification to this Action as a class action for settlement purposes, whether to approve the proposed Settlement as fair, reasonable, and adequate, and whether to grant Class Counsel’s motion for attorneys’ fees and expenses.
You do not have to come to the Hearing. Class Counsel will appear on behalf of all Class Members to answer any questions the Court may have at the Hearing. But you are welcome to attend in person or through your own attorney at your own expense. Please note that the Court may change the date and/or time of the Hearing and/or the matter may be submitted on the briefs without further notice. If you are planning to attend, you should confirm the date and time before going to the Court.
If you are a member of the Class, and you (or your attorney) want to appear and speak at the Hearing about your objection, you (or your attorney) must file a valid Notice of Intent to Appear with the Clerk of the Court at the address listed in FAQ #17 above, no later than May 28, 2019, that includes your name, address, and telephone number, and copies of any papers, exhibits, or other evidence that you will present to the Court in connection with the Final Approval Hearing.
The Notice summarizes the proposed Settlement and does not cover all of its terms. The Settlement Agreement and all documents filed in this Action are available for review by visiting the office of the Clerk of Court for the United States District Court for the Western District of Arkansas at John Paul Hammerschmidt Federal Building, 35 East Mountain Street, Room 510 Fayetteville, Arkansas 72701-5354 during normal business hours, Monday through Friday, 7:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. CST, or accessing the files through the Court’s Public Access to Court Electronic Records (PACER) system at https://pacer.login.uscourts.gov/csologin/login.jsf. You can also get copies of the Settlement Agreement and other case documents in the Important Documents section on this website, or you may contact the Settlement Administrator at (844) 367-8894, at info@GFACLassAction.us, or write to Murphy v Gospel for Asia, c/o Settlement Administrator, PO Box 58638, Philadelphia PA 19102-8638.
PLEASE DO NOT CALL THE COURT OR THE CLERK OF THE COURT