Contours of $1M Sephora Class Settlement Approved

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By Perry Cooper

Cosmetic retailer Sephora USA Inc. will pay $950,000 to resolve class claims that it discriminated against Chinese customers, under a deal approved May 30 ( Ye v. Sephora USA, Inc. , 2017 BL 180723, N.D. Cal., No. 14-cv-5237, final settlement approval 5/30/17 ).

Ruiqi Ye and Yolin Han filed a class action alleging Sephora deactivated the accounts of customers who had email addresses associated with Chinese domains. Sephora argued it was just trying to deactivate accounts of resellers and bots.

The U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California certified a settlement class and granted final approval to the deal. It will net an average award of $185 to class members who made claims.

But Judge Edward Chen found that class counsel’s fee request of $419,000—44 percent of the gross settlement fund—is excessive. “That is far above the 25% benchmark approved by the Ninth Circuit,” he said.

Instead the court awarded $317,000, or one-third of the fund, “well above the 25% benchmark still,” it said.

The court also awarded $90,000 in costs and $3,000 to each of the named plaintiffs.

Wigdor LLP represented the class.

Orrick Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP and Barack Ferrazzano Kirschbaum Nagelberg LLP represented Sephora.

To contact the reporter on this story: Perry Cooper in Washington at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Steven Patrick at

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