Rust Consulting, Inc.
- Claims Administration
Rust Consulting is a claims administrator. Most of the time, Rust works as a third-party claims administrator on class action lawsuits, lawsuits that are brought on behalf of many people who fit into the same basic situation. (Some examples are people who bought a certain kind of insurance policy during certain years, or people who bought a specific kind of cell phone plan, etc.)
The two parties to these lawsuits are plaintiffs, who bring the lawsuit, and defense, who are sued. Rather than have the lawsuits decided in court (which can take years and be very expensive), the parties often settle the lawsuit. A settlement means that neither side wins and neither side loses. The defendant company is not found guilty or innocent by the court.
As a part of their settlement, the defendant generally agrees to give the class members some kind of benefits: the benefits might be money, discounts on products, a voucher that could be redeemed for some other purchase in the future, or anything else the two parties agree on. In return, the defendants receive a ?release and waiver? automatically from all class members, which means no class member can ever sue the defendant on the issues covered by the lawsuit.
In their role as a third-party claims administrator in a class action lawsuit, Rust does not take either of the parties? sides, but instead carries out the terms of whatever settlement they agreed to as a neutral party. Most of the time, Rust?s specific duties as claims administrator include:
? Notify class members of the lawsuit and settlement
o Receive from parties any data regarding who and where class members are
o Process that data to get as many mailable records as possible
o Print and mail notification packages
o Publish notification in newspapers, magazines, etc.
? Answer class members? questions about the lawsuit and settlement
o Call center
? Process mail related to the settlement to record and analyze class members? decisions
o Claim forms
o Exclusion requests
? Distribute benefits
o Sometimes this includes doing calculations; other times not
o This includes validating claims, ensuring no duplicates, etc.
o This includes tax reporting
Throughout each of these processes, Rust works according to the terms of the settlement agreement that the parties designed. It does not take individual direction from one side or the other, only joint direction or orders from the court. This way, the settlement is not swayed to either side.
Sometimes Rust does non-class action work that is similar to the tasks described above: general call center, mailing or processing work.