Kukorinis v. Walmart, Inc.

Declaration of Vassilios Kukorinis Plaintiff's Representative In Support of Plaintiff's Objection of the Settlement, and reasons for denning the service award 'price" by Vassilios Kukorinis.

Southern District of Florida, flsd-1:2019-cv-20592

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., 5 FILED BY Fr; D.C. SEP 25 2020 Page 1 of 13 ANGELA E. NOBLE 09/22/2020 CLERK U.S. DIST. CT. VASSILIOS KUKORINIS V WALMART, INC. S. 0. Of FLA.· MIAMI CASE 1: 19-cv-20592-JEM -MARTINEZ/OTAZO- DECLARATION OF VASSILIOS KUKORINIS PLAINTIFF'S REPRESENTATIVE IN SUPPORT OF PLAINTIFF'S OBJECTION OF THE SETTLEMENT, and reasons for denning the service award "price". Your Honors Up to this moment I have no personal knowledge of the matters stated in the motion for preliminary approval of the settlement, and the Plaintiffs' attorneys have not discussed, explained, or asked my opinion or approval. According to RETAINER AGREEMENT when I employed the law firm of Morgan & Morgan, my Duties as Client and a Class Representative, among others, were to be generally knowledgeable with respect to the subject matter and progress of the lawsuit, and represent the interests of all members of the class, as I would consider my own interests. Also # 8 Scope of Services Morgan & Morgan's Duties, were to Keep Client reasonably informed of the status of this matter. Unfortunately the Plaintiffs attorneys fail to keep this promise, and as a result I learned recently about the "successful" PRELIMINARY APPROVAL OF CLASS ACTION SETTLEMENT - and everything else happened that last 8 months in this case carrying my name - from online search, when I googled "Kukorinis V. Walmart". The last contact -by e-mail- I had with plaintiff's attorney Mr. John A. Yanchunis (Bar No. 324681), was Jan 2P1 2020, complaining about Wahn.art's delay to provide the National sales data, as agreed at Nov 19th mediation meeting. Today-eight months later- after purchasing and downloading the PDFs of the Case No. 1: 19- CV-20592-MARTINEZ/OTAZO-REYES, surprisingly I discovered that all the developments took place after January 2020, happened without the Class Action Representative being informed, participated or updated, especially for the decision and the terms of the settlement. Therefor I thank the parties, but I am refusing to accept the agreed Service Award money, because I don't want to participate to this fiasco/cover up and betrayal to all class action members, orchestrated without my knowledge. This letter/declaration is not reviewed, polished or corrected by an attorney, and since English it's not my first language, please excuse the plethora of grammatical and syntax errors, while I am trying to explain and express my thoughts. I am furious and disappointed because this attempt to stop the lasting Defendant's deceptive and unfair acts or practices, not only failed, additionally the victims/class members feel that is an insult to our intelligence and common sense. 5 Page 2 of 13 When MORGAN & MORGAN drafted the initial complaint, I protested to the attorneys by e- mail, pointing out that looks extremely "poor" and not mentioning -besides the low-fake price/unit scheme for the reduced products- the many other different ways WALMART misleading, deceiving and overcharging customers by manipulating prices, promote fake "specials", false advertised tags, and scanning gimmicks. I asked them to get advantage of the countless digital and printed material/evidences I provided. I requested an in-person meeting (and turned down) in order to explain to them, how all these deceptions work, without the fraud been suspected or noticed by the customers, or the city's, state's, and government watch dogs. Mr Yanchunis replied that "didn't want to risk for a judge to view it as sensationalism" (whatever that means), and "the complaint is not intended to capture all the evidences, that is the purpose of the trial". And that was the plan when he responds to defendant's Motion to Dismiss. "Plaintiff hereby demands trial by jury of all claims in this Class Action Complaint". But today I found out that Jury Trial, will never take place. I believe it's important to mention that 3 years ago, when I started this quest at West Palm Beach, I was referred to another big shot Class Action Attorney, who considered the Law suit, as a Monster case, and he was going to quit his Big Law firm in, order to exclusively work on Walmart's class action. After collecting from me for 8 months the evidences I gathered, and stalling to file the complaint, I (suspected he was sleeping with the enemy) have to let him go and move to West Coast in search for a better lawyer. That was the reason I postponed my retirement, and I moved to Tampa to keep an eye to the new Law Firm (I was referred) and the progress of the case. Unfortunately, no better luck, since I have been again ignored, misled and denied even to a "Client to La er live meetin " before Covid 19 andemic. For first time I met the attorneys on November 18th• 2018 in California to be present to pt attempted mediation. I was impressed how all participants (with the exception of mediator) declared that were bad in mathematics, and I was wondering how they are going to interpret analyze the sales data prepared by an expert, develop damages models, and determine statistically the amount potentially at issue overcharged, in this Litigation. The mediator Mis Yoshida suggested, instead of limiting the scope of that information to Florida sales, Walmart 5 Page 3 of 13 could provide nationwide sales data for the class period, and we should try to settle the whole "package". While I was waiting for months for Wal.mart to responds with the numbers, suddenly, I am reading on Internet, that I "vigorously prosecuted this case for the benefit of all class Members by filing Litigation, reviewing, pleading, conferring with my Counsel, and providing input at mediation and crafting AND APPROVING the SETTLEMENT!!! For the record, I do understand one thing or two about math. I traveled around the world since 80s as Ocean Going Ships Marine Captain, and then (no GPS) we relied to advance mathematics to calculate the cargos and determine the ships position using astronomical navigation. I also served as reserved officer in the NAVY as commander. Later, back to old country, I worked as (top) TV investigating reporter, and guess what was one of the most successful stories I investigated and exposed. A French multinational supermarket company (like Wal.mart), "invaded" the country and very soon controlled 85 % of the retail industry, erasing all the antagonism. Their secret? Bribing officials, aggressive advertising, so the media never bother them, and massive price manipulations and customer deception. Rarely somebody suspected how magically the prices changes from the shelve to cash register, and always UP. That is the (only) way to become a leader (so fast) in a so competitive market. When you overcharge from 20 - 300%, on top of the Gross margin profit, you can afford to pay for aggressive marketing/advertising, bribing consumers watch dogs, and raise 4 times up the amount of annual salary to Wal.mart's store managers in order to make them accomplishes (since they get commission of the extra profits). With a little Google research, everybody will discover the hundreds of million "invested" from Walmart in bribes to officials in countries like Mexico, India etc. As for the practices of price manipulation schemes, and inferior product baptized "premium" in Costa Rica, England, even to China also are well publicized. The differences with the USA are, that at the above countries' authorities, "Caught them many times red handed". Except for N.Y and California, where the AG. Offices investigated, convicted and fined them with multimillion dollar slaps, the majority of the states prefer not to poke the bear, all thought sometimes, Weights and Measures inspect retail locations with automated point-of-sale systems to verify if prices charged to consumers are the same as those posted, advertised, or quoted price (as the Law require). For unknown reasons I don't believe that happening to Wal.mart's stores, at the State of Florida. How do I Know that (you may ask)? Due to personal serious brain injury 4 years ago, and until I recover (partially) I started keeping electronically notes, photos and video to all the places I visited for shopping. Surprise surprise, soon I discovered by comparing my notes that Walmart raped me financially every time. At the beginning I thought was just the specific store. So, I captured with the cellphone all the crazy/unbelievable rip offs, created a Blog and send it as a complain to Arkansas Home office Customer Service, and e-mailed a link to every executive board member, as a wake-up call. Classically they ignored me, so I decided to investigate how much the cancer have spread. 5 4 of13 Three years past, and I visited hundreds ofWalmart stores, multi times all over Florida. I never been in any store more than 10 minutes, without to register hundreds (to each store), well documented evidences of various schemes/practices, which targeted middle and low class customers wallet, that don't have the luxury of time in order to spend an extra hour, to protest at long Customer Service Desk lines, for been lied, insulted, and cheated by overpaying. The attorneys call it OVERCHARGING, but the Thesaurus has dozens of synonyms like extortion, defraud, stiff, soak, surcharge, Gaz ump, fleece, plume, pluck, rob, hook, gouge, rip off, etc. Verb= Make or seek to make an excessive or unfair profit, especially illegally. Profiteer, racketeer, abuse, exploit, scalp, and simply put it "make someone pay through the nose". Ok all that are theory, let's talk evidences. At the "Amended Class Action Complaint" one of the overcharges, described as follow. _On April 19, 2018, Plaintiffpurchased a spiral ham at a Walmart store in Delray Beach, Florida. The yellow sales label stated a ham weighed 11.61 pounds at a unit price o/$0.64 per pound, but the total price on the yellow label stated $16.45. As alleged, Walmart received an extra $9.02 -the difference between $16.45 and $7.43- on the sale because the unit price re ected that the ham should have on! cost $7.43 ---- This is accurate description but it's not the whole story. When the cashier scanned the yellow - reduced-tag at the register, the monitor (and the "system") charge me magically the initial /Full Price. More than $25. I pointed out the "phenomenon", and the cashier voided and re- scanned it. This time the monitor shows $16.45 Of course, still is not adds up since, 11 pounds X $ 0.64/LB should be about $7 not$ 16 (120% more). I requested to cancel it, and cashier called the manager. I explained the situation and he very rudely, respond "you are not going to get this ham for $7''. He used his phone calculator to persuade me that I was wrong, but the result proved him wrong. Finally, he admits that something is not adding up, and blame "The Computer (from Arkansas Home Office) does it, and the store just scan the product and print the yellow tag. But he assured me (sarcastically), he will put the Ham in the 5 Page 5 of 13 refrigerator at his office, and when "Tim" (assumed the Regional manager) come in the afternoon, he will show it to him, and get an explanation. Gentlemen & Ladies, 2 days later, I visited again the Store and the same exactly Ham, same tag, was again at the store shelves, along with another hundreds similar products overcharged up to 200%. (and it was just a neighborhood Store). I bought it again and (recorder the procedure). Unfortunately, the photos of all overcharged products (like this) added to the amended complaint, never entered as evidences in the docket, so everybody could understand, that the $1.67 that the attorneys agreed as Averaee Overchaa:;e, it's a convenient myth. Not reality. Let's do 1st grade math. The max.settlement amount is $ 9.5 million. If Walmart in US. runs 5000+ stores, and multiply by 5 (year's class action period), times 365 days = 9.5 million. So if we divide this number by $1.67 - the celling settlement amount, (minus 3 million for attorney+ expenses) covers less than a half overcharged item per dav, per each store. Are they se