Frequently Asked Questions

Basic Information

  1. What are these lawsuits about?

    The lawsuits allege that Watts:

    • Designed, manufactured, marketed and/or sold Water Heater and FloodSafe Connectors that were defective;
    • Knew of the defective condition of these connectors; and
    • Failed to provide warnings to prevent failure of the connectors.

    The lawsuits allege that Watts’ actions led to the failure of the Water Heater and FloodSafe Connectors. The lawsuits ask for replacement connectors to be provided to those who purchased Water Heater and FloodSafe Connectors and for money to be paid to those who paid to repair property damage as a result of the failure of the connectors.

    Watts denies all the claims and allegations in the lawsuits. Watts maintains that its Water Heater and FloodSafe Connectors are not defective in any respect and that any failures are the result of other factors (such as improper installation, misuse, or products being at the end of their lifespan).

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  2. What is this a Class Action?

    In a class action, one or more people called “Class Representatives” sue on behalf of all people who have similar claims. All of these people are the “Class” or “Settlement Class Members.” A single court resolves the issues for all Settlement Class Members, except for those who exclude themselves from the Settlements (see FAQ 15).

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  3. Why are there Settlements?

    The Court did not decide in favor of Plaintiffs or Watts. Instead, both sides agreed to settle these cases to avoid the cost and risk of further litigation and trial. The Settlements do not mean that any law was broken or that Watts did anything wrong. Watts denies all legal claims and allegations in this case. The Class Representatives and their lawyers think the Settlements are best for all Settlement Class Members.

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Who Are In The Settlements
To see if you will be affected by the Settlements or if you can get a payment from it, you need to decide if you are a Settlement Class Member.

  1. Am I part of a Settlement?

    The Settlements include anyone who owns or owned (or leases or leased) a residence or other structure located in the United States containing a Watts Water Heater or FloodSafe Connector after November 4, 2008. This includes any person or entity that suffered property damage and/or paid to repair property damage caused by the failure of a Watts Water Heater or a FloodSafe Connector.

    The Settlement Class, as approved by the Court, is formally defined as follows:

    “All individuals and entities that own or owned, or lease or leased a residence or other structure located in the United States containing a Water Heater or a FloodSafe Connector after November 4, 2008.”


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  2. How do I know if I have a Watts Water Heater or FloodSafe Connector?

    The following can help you identify whether you may have a Water Heater or a FloodSafe Connector covered by these Settlements:

    • A FloodSafe Connector must have a FloodSafe automatic water shutoff device or a 'W' on the ferrule of the connector.
    • A Water Heater connector must have a red disc between the crimp and fitting at each end of the connector.

    A label attached to either a FloodSafe or Water Heater connector that identifies Watts, Watts Regulator, Anderson Barrows, Savard, Everbilt, Ace Hardware, Wolverine Brass, Do-It-Best, Grainger, CalFlex, MainLine, Aqua-Flo, Belanger, Danco Diamond Back, Lincoln, Mabe, PlumbMaster, PlumBest, PurePro, Electrolux or Kenmore may qualify if the connector has the above physical features.

    You can view images of Watts Water Heaters or FloodSafe connectors covered by the settlement in the Detailed Notice or here.

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  3. Are there exceptions to being included in the Settlements?

    Yes. The following are not included in the Settlements:

    • Anyone who resolved their Watts Water Heater or FloodSafe Connector claims through settlement or final judgment
    • Watts and their affiliates
    • Anyone who sold or distributed a Watts connector, unless they actually installed a Water Heater or a FloodSafe Connector in its premises
    • The presiding judge and his immediate family
    • Anyone who timely requests to be excluded from the Class (see FAQ 15)
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  4. What if I am not sure whether I am included in the Settlements?

    If you are not sure whether you are in the Settlement Class, or have any other questions about the Settlement, call 1-877-845-3575, or you may write to Watts Claims Administrator, P.O. Box 4259, Portland, OR 97208-4259.

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  5. Who can file a claim under the Settlements?

    To be eligible to file a claim for a payment under the Settlements, a Settlement Class Member must own a Water Heater or a FloodSafe Connector. Any person or entity who has or had property damage and/or paid to repair property damage as a result of a failed Watts Water Heater or FloodSafe Connector may also file a claim.

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  6. What are the benefits of the Settlements?

    Money will be added to the settlement fund in installments. Under these Settlements, Watts will pay $14 million ($10 million into a settlement fund for Water Heater connectors and $4 million into a settlement fund for FloodSafe Connectors). After the cost of all notice, administration, litigation expenses, and attorneys’ fees are paid out of this fund, the rest will be distributed to Settlement Class Members who file claims in the form of Replacement of Connectors and/or Payment of Property Damages Due to Failure.

    Replacement of Connectors:
    For eligible claims submitted within one year of final approval of the Settlements, Settlement Class Members can receive a cash payment of $10 for each Water Heater and FloodSafe Connector (up to two water heater connectors and two FloodSafe Connectors per residence or other structure) that they replace. The maximum cash payment for replacement of connectors is $40.

    To receive a payment, you must provide proof that you own or possess a Watts Water Heater or FloodSafe Connector by providing: (1) a label for the connector or a photo of the connector’s label or the connector itself and (2) a receipt from purchasing the replacement connector. There is no restriction on what brand of connector you purchase to replace your Watts Water Heater or FloodSafe Connector.

    Payment of Property Damages:
    For eligible claims, Settlement Class Members can recover up to 25% of documented costs of repairs for property damage caused by the failure of a Watts Water Heater or FloodSafe Connector, with a minimum recovery of $25.

    The Claims Administrator will review claims to determine whether they are eligible and timely, and pay the amount of the claims. Claims for damage that occurred from November 4, 2008 to November 4, 2014 must be postmarked on or before one year after final approval order after all appeals are exhausted of the Settlements. Claims for damage that occurred after November 4, 2014, must be filed within four years after final approval order after all appeals are exhausted. Valid claims will be paid once a year throughout the four-year claims period.

    If the amount of approved claims is greater than the amount of money available in the settlement fund, the Claims Administrator will reduce the initial payments made to Settlement Class Members to an amount less than 25% of their approved Claim to make sure that all eligible Settlement Class Members receive a payment. If money is left in the fund at the end of the annual payment process, the Claims Administrator may provide a “catch up” payment to Settlement Class Members whose payments had been reduced to proportionally increase their total payment amounts. These payments will not exceed 25% of the property damage for each Claim.

    To support your claim, you must submit the following documentation:

    • A completed Claim Form
    • All proofs of payment for repair of property damage caused by a failed Water Heater or FloodSafe Connector
    • The Watts Water Heater or FloodSafe Connector; all available labels, packaging; photographs of the connector and the characteristics that qualify it as a Watts product; and any purchase receipts for the Water Heater or FloodSafe Connector

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Settlement Benefits - What you get if you qualify

  1. What do I need to do to participate in the Settlements?

    Follow the instructions on the Claim Form to receive a payment under these Settlements. All Claim Forms must be submitted along with any necessary supporting documentation or information. Claims may be submitted online or mailed by First-Class United States Mail, postage prepaid, to the Claims Administrator:

    Watts Claims Administrator P.O. Box 4259 Portland, OR 97208-4259

    You cannot submit your Claim Form and accompanying materials by telephone or online. If you change your address and want to receive a Claim Form or any payment owed to you at your new address, you should notify the Claims Administrator of your new address by sending written notice of your change of address to the Claims Administrator at the address above.

    Claim Forms are available here or by calling 1-877-845-3575. You may request one by writing to Watts Claims Administrator, P.O. Box 4259, Portland, OR 97208-4259.

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  2. How will the claims process work?

    Validation of Claims for Benefits. The Claims Administrator will begin reviewing all timely Claim Forms after the final approval of the Settlements. The Claims Administrator will evaluate your claim based on all the information and documentation you provided and within written guidelines available here.

    Denial of Claims for Benefit. If your Claim Form and accompanying materials do not meet all of the requirements of the Settlements, the Claims Administrator will deny your claim as “invalid,” you will not receive any payment, and you will be informed in writing of that decision. A Special Master will be available for a Settlement Class Member filing a claim for property damage to appeal a denial by the Claims Administrator. Instructions for appealing a decision of the Claims Administrator for a property damage claim will be provided with all denied claims.

    Payment of Validated Claims for Benefits. If you submit a Claim Form and the Claims Administrator determines that your Claim Form and the accompanying materials are valid, the Claims Administrator will send you a payment. Payments will be made annually, but may be broken into an initial payment and a second “catch up” payment as explained in FAQ 9.

    No Payment Until After Appeals Are Resolved. The Claims Administrator will not make any payments to Settlement Class Members until the Court grants final approval of the Settlements and until any appeals are resolved. During the appeals process, the Claims Administrator will continue to accept claims.

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  3. What am I giving up to get a payment?

    If the Settlements become final, Settlement Class Members who submit a claim or do nothing will be “releasing” Watts from all of the Released Claims as described in paragraphs 86-93 of the Settlement Agreements. This means you will no longer be able to sue Watts regarding any of the claims described in the Settlement Agreements.

    The Settlement Agreements are available here. The Settlement Agreements provide more detail regarding the release and describe the released claims with specific descriptions in necessary, accurate, legal terminology—so read it carefully. You can talk to the law firms representing the Settlement Classes listed in the section “The Lawyers Representing You” for free or you can, at your own expense, talk to another lawyer if you have any questions about the Released Claims or what they mean.

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Excluding Yourself From The Settlements
If you do not want a payment from the proposed Settlements and you want to keep the right to sue Watts about the legal issues in these cases, then you must take steps to get out of the Settlements. This is called asking to be excluded from, or sometimes called “opting out,” of the Settlement Class.

  1. If I exclude myself, can I get anything from this Settlement?

    No. If you exclude yourself, you may not apply for any benefits under the Settlements and you cannot object to the proposed Settlements. If you are excluded, you may sue or bring a different lawsuit against Watts in the future. You will not be bound by these Class Action Settlements.

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  2. If I do not exclude myself, can I sue later?

    No. Unless you exclude yourself, you give up the right to sue Watts for all of the claims resolved by these Settlements. You must exclude yourself from the Settlement Classes to start or continue your own lawsuit relating to the claims in these cases.

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  3. How do I exclude myself from the Settlements?

    To exclude yourself from the Settlements and the Settlement Classes, you must send the Claims Administrator a written request that contains the following:

    1. Your full name, current address, telephone number, and email address;
    2. A specific request to opt out of one or both of the Settlements;
    3. Whether it was a Watts Water Heater or a FloodSafe connector that failed, causing Property Damage;
    4. Proof of:
      1. Number of Watts Water Heater and/or FloodSafe Connectors that you have (and proof that they are Watts connectors);
      2. Date of purchase or installation of any failed Water Heater or FloodSafe connector; and
      3. Date of failure and an estimate of the amount of damages;
    5. Your signature (even if represented by an attorney) and the date on which you signed it;
    6. If you are an insurer:
      1. The written consent of your insured; or
      2. A sworn statement that you (the insurer) are the legal owner of the claim with the right to control the claim; and
      3. Proof of payment by you (the insurer).
    7. Your attorney’s signature, if you are represented by counsel.

    You must mail your completed request for exclusion by March 7, 2017 to:

    Watts Claims Administrator P.O. Box 4259 Portland, OR 97208-4259

    You cannot ask to be excluded on the phone, by email, or on this website.

    If you do not file your request on time and include the information above, you will remain a Settlement Class Member. That means you will lose any opportunity to exclude yourself from the Settlement(s), and your rights will be determined in this lawsuit by the Settlement Agreement(s), if it receives final judicial approval.

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The Lawyers Representing You

  1. Do I have a lawyer in this case?

    The Court named Shanon J. Carson of Berger & Montague, P.C., Bryan L. Clobes of Cafferty Clobes Meriwether & Sprengel LLP and Joseph G. Sauder of McCuneWright, LLP as Lead 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 own expense.

    If you hire your own attorney, your attorney must file an appearance no later than March 7, 2017, with the Clerk of Court, and must send a copy by First-Class United States Mail to Class Counsel and Watts’ counsel at the addresses in FAQ 18, postmarked no later than March 7, 2017. If you do not exclude yourself from the Settlements, you will continue to be a Settlement Class Member, even if you are represented by your own attorney. You will be responsible for any fees and costs charged by your own attorney.

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  2. How will the administrative costs and attorneys’ fees be paid?

    Watts agreed to pay the costs of class notice and claims administration, including the costs of distributing any payments owed to Settlement Class Members under the Settlements. If the Settlements are approved by the Court Class Counsel will ask the Court for reasonable attorneys' fees and reimbursement of litigation costs not to exceed 30% of the total award. Also, Class Counsel will ask the Court for a service award of $5,000 to each Class Representative.

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Objecting To The Settlements

  1. How do I tell the Court if I do not like the Settlements?

    If you do not exclude yourself from the Settlement Classes, you may object to the certification of the Settlement Classes, to the terms of the proposed Settlements, or to Class Counsel’s request for attorneys’ fees, expenses or the request for service awards.

    To do so, you (or your own attorney) must provide your objection in writing by First-Class mail to Lead Class Counsel and Watts’ counsel no later than March 7, 2017 with the following information:

    1. The name of the lawsuit(s) affected by your objection, either or both Ponzo v. Watts Regulator Co., Case No. 1:14-cv-14080-ADB (Water Heater connectors), and/or Klug v. Watts Regulator Co., Case No. 8:15-cv-00061-JFB-TDT (FloodSafe Connectors).
    2. Your full name, current address, and telephone number.
    3. Whether, on the date of your written objection, you own, owned, lease, or leased a residence or other structure in the United States containing a Watts Water Heater or FloodSafe Connector.
    4. The address of the property(ies) that contain or have contained the Watts Water Heater or FloodSafe Connector.
    5. Proof that your residence or structure contains a Watts Water Heater or a FloodSafe Connector (in the form of photographs, installation records, receipts, etc.).
    6. The exact nature of your objection, the facts underlying the objection, and whether or not you intend to appear at the Final Fairness Hearing.
    7. All evidence and supporting papers (including, but not limited to, all briefs, written evidence, and declarations) that you want the Court to consider in support of your objection.
    8. Whether you (or your attorney, if you are represented) have objected to a class action settlement more than two times before. If so, identify those cases by case name, court, and case number.
    9. Your signature (even if represented by an attorney) and the date on which you signed it.
    10. Your attorney’s signature (if you are represented by counsel).

    If you want to appear at the Fairness Hearing on your own behalf (or through your own attorney) and speak in court, you need to file a Notice of Appearance with the Court and the Claims Administrator. This Notice needs to list (in detail) the subjects you will talk about. You need to mail copies of the Notice of Appearance to Class Counsel and Watts’ counsel, postmarked no later than March 7, 2017 to the following addresses:

    Court Claims Adminstrator
    States District Court for the District of Nebraska
    located at the U.S. Courthouse
    111 South 18th Plaza
    Omaha, Nebraska 68102
    Watts Claims Administrator
    P.O. Box 4259
    Portland, OR 97208-4259
    Class Counsel Counsel for Watts
    Shanon J. Carson
    Berger & Montague, P.C.
    1622 Locust Street
    Philadelphia, PA 19103

    Bryan L. Clobes
    Cafferty Clobes Meriwether & Sprengel LLP
    1101 Market Street
    Suite 2650
    Philadelphia, PA 19107

    Joseph G. Sauder
    McCuneWright, LLP
    1055 Westlakes Drive
    Suite 300
    Berwyn, PA 19312
    David S. MacCuish
    Todd B. Benoff
    Alston & Bird LLP
    333 South Hope Street
    16th Floor
    Los Angeles, CA 90071

    Keith E. Smith
    Eckert Seamans Cherin & Mellott, LLC.
    Two Liberty Place
    50 South 16th Street
    22nd Floor
    Philadelphia, PA 19102

    If you do not file your objection on time and include the information above, you will lose the opportunity to have your objection considered at the Fairness Hearing. You will also not be able to object to approval of the Settlements or appeal any of the Court's decisions in connection with the Settlements.

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  2. What is the difference between objecting and asking to be excluded?

    Objecting is simply telling the Court that you do not like something about the Settlement. You can object only if you stay in the Settlement Classes. Excluding yourself is telling the Court that you do not want to be part of the Settlement Classes. If you exclude yourself, you cannot object to the Settlements and you will not be eligible to apply for any benefits under the Settlements because the cases no longer affect you.

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The Court's Fairness Hearing

  1. When and where will the Court decide whether to approve the Settlements?

    On April 12, 2017 at 1:30 p.m., the Court will hold a public hearing in the United States District Court for the District of Nebraska, located at the U.S. Courthouse, 111 South 18th Plaza, Omaha, Nebraska 68102. The Court will decide whether the Settlement Classes were properly certified and whether the Settlements are fair, adequate, and reasonable and should be finally approved. The Court will also consider Class Counsel’s request for attorneys’ fees, expense reimbursement, Plaintiff service awards, and any objections.

    This hearing may be delayed or rescheduled by the Court without further notice to the Settlement Classes. Please check this website for updates.

    Settlement Class Members who object to the Settlements are not required to attend the Fairness Hearing. If you want to speak in Court to object to the Settlements, either personally (or through your own attorney), you must notify the Court of your intention to appear at the Fairness Hearing (see FAQ 18).

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  2. Do I have to attend the Fairness Hearing?

    No. Class Counsel will answer any questions the Court may have regarding the Settlements. However, you are welcome to attend the hearing at your own expense. If you send in a written objection, you do not have to attend the Fairness Hearing to discuss your objection. If you mailed your written objection on time, the Court will consider it. Your own lawyer may attend the Fairness Hearing at your expense, but their attendance is not necessary.

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Getting More Information

  1. How do I get more information?

    More details are in the Settlement Agreements. You can view the Settlement Agreements, Claim Form, and other documents for the Settlements here. You may also write with questions to Watts Claims Administrator or Class Counsel. Their information can be found on the Contact Us page of this website.

    You may also get advice and guidance from your own private attorney at your own expense.

    Please do not write or telephone the Court, Watts, or any Watts sales representative or agent for information about the Settlements or these lawsuits.

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Important Dates

  • March 7, 2017
    Deadline to mail a request to be excluded from the class action settlement
  • March 7, 2017
    Deadline to mail an objection to the class action settlement
  • April 12, 2017
    Final Fairness Hearing
  • 1 year from the date of the Final Approval Order
    Postmark Deadline to File a Replacement Claim
  • 1 year from the date of the Final Approval Order
    Postmark Deadline to File a Property Damage Claim for claims between November 4, 2008 and November 4, 2014
  • 4 years from the date of the Final Approval Order
    Postmark Deadline to File a Property Damage Claim for claims that occurred after November 4, 2014