Torres, et al. v. SGE Management LLC Settlement, Civil Cause No. 4:09-cv-2056
You have been identified as an individual who may have joined Ignite, called “Ignite Powered by Stream Energy,” as an Independent Associate (“IA”) and paid Ignite more than you have received through the Ignite Services Program. If so, and you meet the class definition in FAQ 4, you are a member of the Settlement Class and entitled to benefit from the Settlement, provided that you did not exclude yourself from the Class.
The Court in charge of this class action is the United States District Court for the Southern District of Texas, Judge Kenneth M. Hoyt presiding, in Torres, et al., plaintiffs v. SGE Management LLC, et al., defendants, Civil Cause No. 4:09-CV-2056. This Court has ordered the Notice of Class Action Settlement to be delivered to you.
Click here to review a copy of the Notice.Back To Top
The Plaintiffs sued the Defendants claiming that they lost money because Defendants, listed below, allegedly violated the federal Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO). The Defendants vigorously denied these allegations and contended that they have no merit because Stream serves hundreds of thousands of energy customers and compensates IAs only in relation to actual energy sales. The Court expresses no opinion on the merits of the Parties’ respective positions, and neither this website nor the fact of the agreed Settlement should be understood to reflect on the merits of the Parties’ respective positions.
The Defendants include SGE Management, LLC; Stream Gas & Electric, Ltd.; Stream SPE GP, LLC; Stream SPE, Ltd.; Ignite Holdings, Ltd; Chris Domhoff; Rob Snyder; Pierre Koshakji; Douglas Witt; Steve Flores; Michael Tacker; Donny Anderson; Trey Dyer; Steve Fisher; Randy Hedge; Brian Lucia; Logan Stout; Presley Swagerty; SGE Energy Management, Ltd.; SGE IP Holdco, LLC; SGE Georgia Holdco, LLC; SGE Serviceco, LLC; SGE Consultants, LLC; Stream Georgia Gas SPE, LLC; Stream Texas Serviceco, LLC; SGE Ignite GP Holdco, LLC; SGE Texas Holdco, LLC; SGE North America Serviceco, LLC; PointHigh Partners, LP; PointHigh Management Company, LLC; Darryl Smith; Susan Anderson; Mark Dean; La Dohn Dean; A.E. “Trey” Dyer, III; Sally Kay Dyer; Dyer Energy, Inc.; Diane Fisher; Kingdom Brokerage, Inc.; Fisher Energy, LLC; Susan Fisher; Mark Florez; The Randy Hedge Companies Inc.; Murlle, LLC; Robert L. Ledbetter; Sue Ledbetter; Beth Lucia; Greg McCord; Heather McCord; Rose Energy Group, Inc.; Timothy W. Rose; Shannon Rose; LHS, Inc.; Haley Stout; Property Line Management, LLC; Property Line LP; Swagerty Management, LLC; Swagerty Energy, Ltd; Swagerty Enterprises, LP; Swagerty Enterprises, Inc.; Swagerty, Inc.; Swagerty Power, Ltd.; Jeannie E. Swagerty; Sache, Inc.; Terry Yancy; and Shelba Yancy.
All deny any liability to the Settlement Class.Back To Top
In a class action, one or more individuals are the class representatives who sue on behalf of a class. Here the class action was first filed by Juan Torres but the Settlement Class is now represented by Christopher Robison (as executor of the Estate of Eugene Robison) and Lucas Thomas. Each of these persons (or estate) has been deposed, required to answer discovery, and consult with Class Counsel. They have each spent many hours that were not required of other Class Members. Given their effort for the Settlement Class, the Plaintiffs propose that Christopher Robison (as executor of the Estate of Eugene Robison) will receive $15,000, and Lucas Thomas and Juan Torres will each receive $5,000 for their service to the Settlement Class, subject to the Court’s approval. Class representatives sue for themselves and on behalf of other individuals who may have similar claims against the defendants. These other individuals are called "class members". Once a court resolves the issues for the class representatives or approves the settlement for the class, it resolves the matter for all class members, except for those who request exclusion by opting out.Back To Top
On June 28, 2018, the Court specifically defined the Settlement Class as these persons:
All Independent Associates [IAs] who joined Ignite on or after January 1, 2005, through April 2, 2011, and paid more for the Ignite (a) membership, (b) monthly fees for an Ignite Home site, and/or (c) other marketing materials than Ignite has paid the IA.
“Ignite” means Ignite Holdings LTD; Stream Gas & Electric LTD; Stream Georgia Gas SPE, LLC; Stream SPE GP LLC; Stream SPE LTD; Stream Texas Serviceco, LLC; SGE Consultants, LLC; SGE Energy Management, Ltd.; SGE Georgia Holdco, LLC; SGE IP Holdco, LLC; SGE Ignite GP Holdco, LLC; SGE Management LLC; SGE North America Serviceco, LLC; SGE Serviceco, LLC; and SGE Texas Holdco, LLC.
The Court has excluded any individual who profited from Ignite (that is, received more money from Ignite than the individual paid to Ignite).
If you received the Notice, then based on Ignite's records, you have been identified as a Class Member. If you did not receive a Notice but believe you are a Class Member, please contact the Settlement Administrator.
Unless you excluded yourself, you will be part of the Settlement Class, and you will be bound by the release of claims in the Settlement. This means that when the Settlement was approved, you can no longer sue, continue to sue, or be party of any lawsuit against Ignite, the Defendants, or the other Released Persons asserting a “Released Claim,” as defined below. It also means that the Court’s Order approving the Settlement and the judgment in this case will apply to you and legally bind you.
The “Released Claims” that you will not be able to assert include any manner of actions, causes of action, suits, accounts, claims, demands, controversies, judgments, obligations, injuries, damages and liabilities of any nature, whenever or however incurred, including claims for costs, fees, expenses, penalties, and attorneys' fees, whether class or individual, known or unknown, suspected or claimed, that Plaintiffs, the Class Members, or any Class Member ever had, now has, or hereafter can, shall, or may have, directly, representatively, derivatively, or in any other capacity against any of the Released Persons, whether in law or equity or otherwise, arising out of or relating to any conduct, act, or omission of any of the Released Persons related to the conduct or similar conduct alleged or that could have been alleged in this litigation, including, but not limited to, any actions for fraud, securities fraud, misrepresentations, violations of 18 U.S.C. § 1962(c) and (d), negligence, breach of contract, or other conduct or omissions relating to the IA program or payments related thereto or Plaintiffs’ and Class Members’ transactions and interactions with Defendants regarding their status as an Independent Associate of Ignite.Back To Top
Yes, if you remained in the Settlement Class. The Court has appointed these attorneys to represent the Settlement Class:
|Scott M. Clearman
The Clearman Law Firm, PLLC
P.O. Box 541999
Houston, TX 77254
Sommers Schwartz, P.C.
1 Towne Square
Southfield, MI 48076
Prebeg, Faucett & Abbott PLLC
8441 Gulf Freeway
Houston, TX 77017
These three attorneys are “Class Counsel.” More information about these attorneys and their firms is available on their websites. Class Counsel first started by researching the facts and law leading to Juan Torres’s initial complaint of over eighty pages filed on June 30, 2009. Since then, the case has twice been presented to the United States Court of Appeal. It involved many depositions and the production and review of hundreds of thousands of documents. As part of the Settlement, the Defendants have agreed not to oppose Class Counsel’s application for fees and costs up to $10,275,000, which is subject to approval by the Court. In other words, you will not be otherwise charged for the services of these lawyers. You need not hire your own lawyer because Class Counsel is working on your behalf. But, if you want your own lawyer, you may hire one at your own expense.Back To Top
After the Court certified the case as a class action, the Parties agreed to the Settlement. Although both the Plaintiffs and the Defendants continue to believe in the merits of their respective cases, they agreed that compromising the claims under the terms of the Settlement would be in everyone’s best interests. The Settlement provides that every Settlement Class Member that remained part of the Class will receive certain benefits, including an opportunity to make more money by selling Stream energy to new customers. Alternatively, Class Members may elect to terminate their relationship with Ignite and receive a cash payment.
On October 11, 2018, the court approved the Settlement. Class Members will be entitled to receive the benefits provided by the Settlement, they will no longer be able to bring claims against the Defendants related to the claims in this case, and the litigation will be over.Back To Top
Under the terms of the Settlement, you may do nothing and be automatically enrolled in the Benefits Option. Under the Benefits Option, each participating Class Member will receive the following:
In addition, Benefits-Electing Class Members shall continue to receive any other compensation or benefits to which they may be entitled under their existing IA program.
No referral payments shall be paid on or after January 1, 2021, regardless whether the Benefits-Electing Class Member has received twelve (12) months of payments as of that date; provided, however, that any Accrued Referral Payments may be paid after January 1, 2021. “Accrued Referral Payment” means a monthly referral payment that (a) relates to a monthly energy bill that the customer paid before January 1, 2021; (b) the Benefits-Electing Class Member has not yet been paid; and (c) the Benefits-Electing Class Member otherwise may receive.
Benefits-Electing Class Members may activate their Homesite using a website link that will be provided via email to each Benefits-Electing Class Member.
Alternatively, Class Members who elected the Cash Option will receive a cash payment by check equal to 20% of the difference between the total amount you paid Ignite and the total amount that Ignite paid you. The cash payment will vary based on your individual circumstances. Example: If you paid $329 to Ignite in total and received $100 from Ignite, you would be entitled to receive a cash payment of $45.80 (that is, 20% of the difference between $329 and $100).
If you wished to elect the Cash Option, you must have completed and sent the required Election Form on or before September 12, 2018.Back To Top
You may find additional information about the case (including the Plaintiffs’ Complaint, the Defendants’ Answer, and the full Settlement Agreement and Release) by reviewing this website’s Important Documents. If you have questions, you should first contact the Settlement Administrator at 1-855-804-8542 or write to: Torres v. S.G.E. Management, LLC Settlement Administrator, P.O. Box 3757 Portland, OR 97208-3757. If the Settlement Administrator cannot answer your question, you may contact Class Counsel.
Please do not contact the Court or Defendants.Back To Top
If you did not want to participate in the Settlement, you must have sent a signed letter to the Settlement Administrator requesting exclusion on or before September 12, 2018. If you excluded yourself, you will not get any of the benefits of the Settlement, you will not release your claims, and you will maintain any rights you may have to bring your own proceeding if you so choose.Back To Top
Any Class Member who wished to object to the Settlement must have filed a written objection with the Court and served copies of the same on Class Counsel and counsel for the Defendants. If the Class Member wished to appear before the Court at the Fairness Hearing, he or she must have stated so in the written objection.
The last date for Class Members to object to the Settlement and file a notice of intention to appear at the Final Approval Hearing was September 17, 2018.Back To Top
Benefit Option emails were sent November 30, 2018, pursuant to the terms of the class action settlement Torres, et al., plaintiffs v. SGE Management LLC, et al., defendants, Case No. 4:09-CV-2056 to eligible Class Members who did not select the Cash Benefit Option on a timely and valid Election Form.Back To Top
Settlement Checks will be issued pursuant to the terms of the class action settlement Torres, et al., plaintiffs v. SGE Management LLC, et al., defendants, Case No. 4:09-CV-2056 to eligible claimants who submitted a timely and valid Election Form on December 10, 2018. If you received a Settlement Check, the amount of your settlement payment is equal to 20% of the difference between the total amount you paid Ignite and the total amount that Ignite paid you.
If your check was lost, damaged, or you otherwise require a replacement check, please include a signed written request asking that a replacement check be reissued and mailed to you. If you require a name or address change, please also include the information you would like updated in your request. In the case of a name change, please also include a copy of a form of identification that contains the new name.
Please mail the original check and your replacement check request to the Settlement Administrator at:
Torres v. S.G.E Management, LLC
P.O. Box 4199
Portland, OR 97208-4199