Bass Pro Class Action Lawsuit     
 Home
 Resources
 FAQs
 
Frequently Asked Questions

Basic Information
1.Why did I get notice of this lawsuit?
2.What is this lawsuit about?
3.What is a class action and who is involved?
4.Why is this lawsuit a class action?
 
The Claims In The Lawsuit
5.What does the lawsuit complain about?
6.How does Bass Pro/TMBC answer?
7.Has the Court decided who is right?
8.What are the Plaintiffs asking for?
9.Is there any money available now?
 
Who Is In The Class
 
 You need to decide whether you are affected by this lawsuit.
 
10.Am I part of this Class?
11.I'm still not sure if I am included
12.What happens if I do nothing at all?
13.Why would I ask not to be included?
14.How do I ask the Court to exclude me from the Class?
 
The Lawyers Representing You
15.Do I have a lawyer in this case?
16.Should I get my own lawyer?
17.How will the lawyers be paid?
 
Motions For Summary Judgment And/Or The Trial
 
 Plaintiffs have filed a motion asking the Court to decide, as a matter of law, that plaintiffs are right, and that Bass Pro and TMBC owe all class members money. The Defendants oppose the motion and have filed written arguments explaining why the Court should deny it. The Plaintiffs' motion is currently pending before the Court, and the Court has not ruled on it. You can see the parties' briefing (i.e. the court papers and arguments) on this issue at www.bassproclassaction.com. There may be additional motions for summary judgment filed. If the Court does not decide the case on a summary judgment motion, or the Court only rules on some of the issues, there will be a trial. The Court has scheduled a trial to decide who is right in this case for June 15, 2015.
 
18.How and when will the Court decide who is right?
19. Do I have to come to the trial?
20.Will I get money after the trial?
 
Getting More Information
21.Are more details available?
 
Top 1. Why did I get notice of this lawsuit?

Bass Pro/TMBC's records show that you paid document fees to Bass Pro or TMBC when you purchased a boat, boating accessory, boat trailer, or recreational vehicle at Bass Pro or TMBC. This notice explains that the Court has allowed or "certified" a class action lawsuit that may affect you. You have legal rights and options that you may exercise before the Court holds a trial. The trial is to decide whether the claims being made against Bass Pro/TMBC on your behalf are correct. Judge Gary Fenner of the United States District Court for Western District of Missouri—Southern Division is overseeing this class action. The lawsuit is known as McKeage, et al v. Bass Pro Shops, et al. Civil Action No, 6:12-CV3157.


Top 2. What is this lawsuit about?

This lawsuit is about whether Bass Pro/TMBC charged its customers document fees on their customers' purchases of boats, boat trailers, boating accessories, or recreational vehicles, and whether doing so violates Missouri law. Plaintiffs claim Bass Pro's and TMBC's conduct constitutes the unauthorized practice of law in violation of Missouri law. Bass Pro and TMBC deny these claims.


Top 3. What is a class action and who is involved?

In a class action lawsuit, one or more people called "Class Representatives" (in this case Robert and Janet McKeage) sue on behalf of other people who have similar claims. The people together are a "Class" or "Class Members." The McKeages — and all the Class Members like them — are called the Plaintiffs. The company they sue (in this case, Bass Pro and TMBC) are called the Defendants. One court resolves the issues for everyone in the Class—except for those people who choose to exclude themselves from the Class.


Top 4. Why is this lawsuit a class action?

The Court decided that this lawsuit can be a class action and move towards a trial because it meets the requirements of Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 23, which governs class actions in federal courts. Specifically, the Court found that:

  • There are more than 100,000 people who own or purchased a boat, boat trailer, boating accessory, or recreational vehicle at Bass Pro and/or TMBC, who were charged a document fee stemming either from (1(a) an in-store purchase in Missouri or (1(b)) from a contract containing a Missouri choice-of-law provision, and (2(a)) who are subject to certain legal terms and conditions or (2(b)(i)) if Bass Pro/TMBC filled out a state-required boat title or (2(b)(ii)) Bass Pro/TMBC filled out a Power of Attorney governed by Missouri law.

  • There are legal questions and facts that are common to each of them;

  • Robert and Janet McKeage's claims are typical of the claims of the rest of the Class;

  • Robert and Janet McKeage, and the lawyers representing the Class, will fairly and adequately represent the Class's interests;

  • The common legal questions and facts predominate over questions that affect only individuals; and

  • This class action will be more efficient than having many individual lawsuits.

More information about why the Court is allowing this lawsuit to be a class action are in the Court's Orders Certifying the Class, which are available on this website, www.bassproclassaction.com.


Top 5. What does the lawsuit complain about?

In the lawsuit, the Plaintiffs say that Bass Pro/TMBC has engaged in the unauthorized practice of law by charging document fees for document preparation and processing. You can read the Plaintiffs' Class Action Complaint on this website, www.bassproclassaction.com.


Top 6. How does Bass Pro/TMBC answer?

Bass Pro/TMBC denies the allegations in plaintiffs' complaint. You can read Bass Pro and TMBC's Answer to Complaint on this website, www.bassproclassaction.com.


Top 7. Has the Court decided who is right?

The Court hasn't decided whether Plaintiffs or Bass Pro/TMBC are correct. By establishing the Class and issuing Notice, the Court is not suggesting that the Plaintiffs will win or lose this case. The Plaintiffs must prove their claims, either as a matter of law on a motion for summary judgment, or at a trial starting June 15, 2015. (See "Motions for Summary Judgment and/or The Trial" below on page 7.) Plaintiffs have filed a motion for summary judgment, which is a motion asking the Court to find as a matter of law (without a trial) that the plaintiffs win on their claims against Bass Pro/TMBC. You can read plaintiffs' motion, and Bass Pro's response, at www.bassproclassaction.com. Judge Fenner will not rule on this motion until after January 9, 2015.


Top 8. What are the Plaintiffs asking for?

The Plaintiffs are asking for a return of the "document fees" that they allege were charged to the class members in violation of Missouri law. In addition, Plaintiffs are asking that those customers who were charged document fees from January 21, 2007 through October 1, 2013, be granted treble damages, meaning three times the amount the customers paid, as a penalty for Bass Pro and TMBC's conduct. Plaintiffs are asking that those customers who were charged document fees from January 21, 2004 through January 21, 2007, receive a return of the document fees that they allege were charged in violation of Missouri law, plus interest. In addition, plaintiffs are asking that the Court require Bass Pro and TMBC to pay the class members' attorneys' fees and costs, pursuant to the language found in the parties' contracts. Plaintiffs claim that the law requires this recovery for the class members.

The Defendants deny the Plaintiffs' allegations.


Top 9. Is there any money available now?

No money or benefits are available now because the Court has not yet decided whether Bass Pro/TMBC did anything wrong, and the two sides have not settled the case. There is no guarantee that money or benefits will ever be obtained. If they are, you will be notified about how to obtain your share.


Top 10. Am I part of this Class?

Judge Fenner decided that persons are members of the class if, during the time frame from January 21,2004 to October 1,2013,

(1) they were charged document fees stemming from either (a) in-store purchases in Missouri or ( b) sale, lease and/or financing contracts containing a Missouri choice-of-law provision; and

(2) either (a) they were subject to certain legal terms or (b) Bass Pro/TMBC filled out for them either (i) a state-required boat title or (ii) a Power of Attorney subject to Missouri law.


Top 11. I'm still not sure if I am included

If you are still not sure whether you are included, you can get free help at www.bassproclassaction.com or by calling or writing to the lawyers in this case, at the phone number or addresses listed below.

You need to decide whether to stay in the Class or ask to be excluded, and you have to decide this now.


Top 12. What happens if I do nothing at all?

You don't have to do anything now if you want to keep the possibility of getting money or benefits from this lawsuit. By doing nothing you are staying in the Class. If you stay in and the Plaintiffs obtain money or benefits, either as a result of the trial or a settlement, you will be notified about how to apply for a share. Keep in mind that if you do nothing now, regardless of whether the Plaintiffs win or lose, you will not be able to sue, or continue to sue, Bass Pro/TMBC — as part of any other lawsuit — about the same legal claims that are the subject of this lawsuit. You will also be legally bound by all the Orders that the Court issues and judgments the Court makes in this class action.


Top 13. Why would I ask not to be included?

If you already have your own document fee lawsuit against Bass Pro/TMBC and want to continue with it, you need to ask to be excluded from the Class. If you exclude yourself from the Class which also means to remove yourself from the Class, and is sometimes called "opting-out" of the Class — you won't get any money or benefits from this lawsuit even if the Plaintiffs obtain them as a result of the trial or from any settlement (that may or may not be reached) between Bass Pro/TMBC and the Plaintiffs. However, you may then be able to sue or continue to sue Bass Pro/TMBC for charging document fees that allegedly violate Missouri law that occurred at any time. If you exclude yourself, you will not be legally bound by the Court's judgments in this class action.

If you start your own lawsuit against Bass Pro/TMBC after you exclude yourself, you'll have to hire and pay your own lawyer for that lawsuit, and you'll have to prove your claims. If you do exclude yourself so you can start or continue your own lawsuit against Bass Pro/TMBC, you should talk to your own lawyer soon, because your claims may be subject to a statute of limitations.

Note that if you exclude yourself from this lawsuit and you are currently employed by Bass Pro/TMBC, any changes made to Bass Pro/TMBC policies about the charging of document fees that Plaintiffs allege violate Missouri law would still apply to you.


Top 14. How do I ask the Court to exclude me from the Class?

To ask to be excluded, you must send an "Exclusion Request" in the form of a letter sent by mail, stating that you want to be excluded from McKeage v. Bass Pro, et al. Be sure to include your name and address, and sign the letter. You must mail your Exclusion Request postmarked by January 9, 2015, to the lawyers for the plaintiffs and the lawyers for the defendants. Your request should say, "I want to be excluded from this class action." The lawyers to whom you must send notice are the following:

PLAINTIFFS
Chandler Gregg/Nick Smart/Steve Gamer
Strong-Garner-Bauer, P.C.
415 E. Chestnut Expressway
Springfield, MO 65802
   or     
David Baylard
Baylard, Billington, Dempsey & Jensen
30 South McKinley
Union, MO 63084
 
DEFENDANTS
Jason Smith
Spencer Fane Britt & Browne, LLP
3259 E. Ridgeview St.
Springfield, MO 65804
   or     
Zachary A. McEntyre
King & Spalding LLP
1180 Peachtree Street
Atlanta, Georgia 30309


Top 15. Do I have a lawyer in this case?

The Court decided that the law firms of Strong-Garner-Bauer, P.C., of Springfield, Missouri, and Baylard Billington Dempsey & Jensen, of Union, Missouri, are qualified to represent you and all Class Members. Together the law firms are called "Class Counsel." They are experienced in handling similar cases. More information about these law firms, their practices, and their lawyers' experience is available at www.stronglaw.com.


Top 16. Should I get my own lawyer?

You do not need to hire your own lawyer because Class Counsel is working on your behalf. But, if you want your own lawyer, you will have to pay that lawyer. For example, you can ask him or her to appear in Court for you if you want someone other than Class Counsel to speak for you.


Top 17. How will the lawyers be paid?

If Class Counsel get money or benefits for the Class, they may ask the Court for fees and expenses. You won't have to pay these fees and expenses. If the Court grants Class Counsels' request, the fees and expenses would either be deducted from any money obtained for the Class or paid separately by Bass Pro/TMBC to counsel for plaintiffs.


Top 18. How and when will the Court decide who is right?

As long as the case isn't resolved by a motion for summary judgment, or by a settlement or otherwise, Class Counsel will have to prove the Plaintiffs' claims at a trial. The trial is set to start on June 15, 2015, in the United States District Court for the Western District of the State of Missouri -- Southern Division, Springfield, Missouri. During the trial, the Judge will hear all of the evidence to help him reach a decision about whether the Plaintiffs or Defendants are right about the claims in the lawsuit. There is no guarantee that the Plaintiffs will win.


Top 19. Do I have to come to the trial?

You do not need to attend the trial unless you are called as a witness. Class Counsel will present the case for the Plaintiffs, and Bass Pro/TMBC will present the defenses. You or your lawyer are welcome to come at your own expense.


Top 20. Will I get money after the trial?

If the Plaintiffs obtain money or benefits as a result of the trial or a settlement, you will be notified about how to participate.


Top 21. Are more details available?

Visit the website www.bassproclassaction.com, where you will find the Court's Order Certifying the Class, the Complaint that the Plaintiffs submitted, the Defendants' Answer to Complaint, and the Court's Order Amending the Class Definition. You will also find the briefing on plaintiffs' motion for summary judgment. You may also contact counsel for the Class at:

Chandler Gregg/Nick Smart/Steve Gamer
Strong-Garner-Bauer, P.C.
415 E. Chestnut Expressway
Springfield, MO 65802
   or    David Baylard
Baylard, Billington, Dempsey & Jensen
30 South McKinley
Union, MO 63084


Home | Resources | FAQs