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Some Walmart shoppers could get up to $500 in cash from a class-action settlement

Walmart reached a $45 million settlement in a class-action lawsuit accusing it of overcharging for certain grocery items. Eligible customers have until early June to file claims for cash payments.
Robyn Beck
/
AFP via Getty Images
Walmart reached a $45 million settlement in a class-action lawsuit accusing it of overcharging for certain grocery items. Eligible customers have until early June to file claims for cash payments.

Some Walmart shoppers nationwide could soon get money back from the retailer, as part of a $45 million settlement it's paying to resolve a class-action lawsuit alleging deceptive business practices.

Customers who purchased certain "weighted goods" — including meat, poultry, pork and seafood products — and bagged citrus in person at Walmart locations across the U.S. and Puerto Rico between Oct. 19, 2018 and Jan. 19, 2024 may be eligible for cash payments, according to the settlement administrator's website.

It's the result of a 2022 class-action lawsuit that accused Walmart of overcharging for certain products "to deceivingly, misleadingly, and unjustly pilfer, to Walmart's financial benefit, its customers' hard-earned grocery dollars."

The lawsuit alleges that Walmart falsely inflated the weight of certain grocery items, mislabeled the weight of bagged produce — including oranges, grapefruit and tangerines — and overcharged for sold-by-weight clearance products, thereby forcing customers to pay more for them than their lowest advertised price.

Walmart has consistently denied those allegations and all wrongdoing but agreed to the $45 million settlement in November to avoid continued litigation.

"We still deny the allegations, however we believe a settlement is in the best interest of both parties," a Walmart spokesperson told NPR over email.

How much money can shoppers get?

The amount of money each person receives will depend on how many others apply, how many eligible products they purchased and whether they held onto their receipts.

Customers who provide proof of purchase can receive 2% of the total cost of the weighted goods and bagged citrus they purchased, capped at $500 per person.

Those who don't have their receipts anymore can still get between $10 and $25, depending on the number of products they purchased during that period.

What happens next?

Eligible customers have until May 22 to exclude themselves from, object to or comment on the settlement, and until June 5 to submit a claim online or by mail.

The U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida in Tampa is scheduled to hold a final settlement approval hearing on the morning of June 12.

If there are no appeals, the settlement payments will be processed after that hearing.

Payments will be delivered electronically, either through Venmo, Zelle, an ACH or a virtual prepaid Mastercard, or claimants can request paper checks. The settlement administrator warns that the money may not hit customers' accounts right away.

"Please be patient," the website says. "It may take several months before the Settlement becomes final and for Claims to be processed."

Copyright 2024 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Rachel Treisman (she/her) is a writer and editor for the Morning Edition live blog, which she helped launch in early 2021.
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