Barrett et al., vs. Pioneer Natural Resources USA, Inc.

Civil Action No.: 1:17-cv-01579-WJM-NYW

In The United States District Court for The District of Colorado

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. What are the terms of the Settlement?

    To avoid the time and expense of a lawsuit, Plaintiffs and Defendants have agreed to a settlement that involves monetary payments to Plan participants. These and other terms of the Settlement are set forth in the Settlement Agreement and Release dated December 10, 2018 (“Settlement Agreement”) described below.

    • The Scope of the Class Covered by the Settlement. The Settlement Agreement proposes a class action settlement that would cover and be binding on the following class of individuals (“Settlement Class” or “Settlement Class Members”): all Current Participants and Former Participants and Beneficiaries of the Plan from June 28, 2011 through December 10, 2018 who maintained a balance of any amount in the Plan at any point during the Class Period, excluding Defendants. Whether a person meets these definitions or not will be based on the Plan’s records. You have received this Notice because, based upon those records, you are believed to be a member of the Settlement Class.
    • The Payment and Allocation of a Settlement Fund. As part of the Settlement, Pioneer has agreed to make a payment of five hundred thousand dollars ($500,000) (the “Settlement Fund”) for the benefit of the Settlement Class. This sum, after the withdrawal of Class Counsel’s Expenses approved by the Court, Administration Costs (including an estimated provision for the costs of the distribution to Settlement Class Members and other post-distribution related Administration Costs, as proposed by the Settlement Administrator and approved by Class Counsel and Defendants’ Counsel as reasonable), Service Awards, and Taxes and Tax-Related Costs, will be distributed to Settlement Class Members on a pro rata basis, based on their average year-ending Plan account balances over the Class Period, starting with December 31, 2011 and ending with December 31, 2018, except that no distribution will be smaller than $10 and any Settlement Class Member with a pro rata amount of less than $10 shall receive a distribution of $10. The Plan of Allocation is attached to this Notice as Appendix A. Settlement Class Members who have a positive account balance in their Plan account at the time of the distribution will receive settlement proceeds into their Plan account. Settlement Class Members who no longer have a positive balance in their Plan account as of the date of distribution will receive a check from the Settlement Administrator.
    • The Classwide Release of Claims and Covenant Not to Sue. In exchange for payment of the Settlement Fund by Pioneer, all Settlement Class Members will release any claims they have related to this lawsuit and be prohibited from bringing or pursuing any other lawsuits or other actions based on such claims. The Settlement Class Members further covenant not to sue Defendants on any claims based on conduct that the Settlement Agreement requires Defendants to undertake (the “Covenant Not to Sue”). The Releases and the Covenant Not to Sue are set forth in full in the Settlement Agreement, which can be viewed online at, or requested from Class Counsel.
  2. Do I need to submit a Claim Form to receive benefits from the Settlement?

    Settlement Class Members who are Former Participants and no longer have an active Plan account must complete a basic claim form confirming their address in order to receive payment. If you are a Former Participant, a Former Participant Claim Form was enclosed with the Notice you should have received in the mail, along with a pre-paid envelope. This form must be completed, signed and mailed with a postmark on or before July 10, 2019 to the Settlement Administrator at the following address:

    Pioneer Natural Resources USA, Inc. 401(k) and Matching Plan Settlement Administrator
    1650 Arch Street, Suite 2210
    Philadelphia, PA 19103

    If you did not receive a Notice and Claim Form in the mail, please contact the Settlement Administrator at Former Participants who do not complete and timely return the Former Participant Claim Form will not receive any Settlement payment. Even if you plan to object (see FAQ # 4 below), you must submit this form if you are a Former Participant. A Former Participant who objects but does not timely submit a Former Participant Claim Form will not receive any Settlement payment, assuming the Court approves the Settlement.

  3. What is the Settlement approval process?

    On February 21, 2019, the Court granted preliminary approval of the proposed Settlement, finding that it is sufficiently within the range of reasonableness to warrant such preliminary approval. No Settlement Class Member objected to the Settlement. The Court held a Final Approval Hearing on August 7, 2019 in the United States District Court for the District of Colorado. After addressing the Parties and giving them an opportunity to comment on the reasonableness of the proposed settlement, the Court approved the Class Settlement, attorneys’ fees and expenses, and service awards on August 7, 2019. The Final Approval Order may be found by clicking here, and also may be found on the Important Documents page on this website. If no appeal is filed, the Settlement will become final on September 6, 2019.

  4. How do I object to the Settlement?

    Prior to the Final Approval Hearing, Settlement Class Members will have the opportunity to object to approval of the Settlement. Settlement Class Members can object to the Settlement and give reasons why they think the Court should not approve it. This settlement proposes a mandatory class, which means that the Settlement Class Members will not be able to opt out of the Settlement Class.

    To object, you must mail your objection to the Court at the following address:

    Clerk of Court
    ATTN: Proposed Settlement in 17-CV-1579-WJM-NYW
    901 19th Street
    Denver, CO 80294

    Objections must be postmarked no later than July 10, 2019. Objections postmarked after that date will not be considered. Any Settlement Class Member failing to submit a timely objection will be deemed to have waived any objection they might have, and any untimely objection will be barred absent an order from the Court.

    Objections must include: (1) the case name and number; (2) your full name, current address, telephone number and signature; (3) a statement that you are a Settlement Class Member and an explanation of the basis upon which you claim to be a Settlement Class Member; (4) all grounds for the objection; and (5) a statement as to whether you or your counsel intends to personally appear at the Final Approval Hearing.

    If you submit a timely written objection in accordance with the instructions above, you will also receive an opportunity to speak at the Final Approval Hearing, if desired, either personally or through a qualified attorney retained at your own expense.

    Settlement Class Members who do not comply with these procedures, or who miss the deadline to file an objection, lose the opportunity to have their objection considered by the Court or to appeal from any order or judgment entered by the Court regarding the Settlement.

    The Court will consider timely Settlement Class Member objections whether or not the objector attends the Final Approval Hearing. And even if you do not file an objection, you may attend the Final Approval Hearing solely as an observer. But you do not need to attend the Final Approval Hearing—if the Court approves the Settlement, you will receive your Settlement payment whether or not you attend the hearing.

  5. Can I Opt Out of the Settlement?

    No. This settlement proposes a mandatory class, which means that the Settlement Class Members will not be able to opt out of the Settlement Class. Instead, Settlement Class Members can object to the Settlement and give reasons why they think the Court should not approve it. For information on how to object to the Settlement, see FAQ # 4, above.

  6. Who represents the Settlement Class?

    In granting preliminary approval of the proposed Settlement, the Court appointed the Plaintiffs’ lawyers to serve as “Class Counsel” for the Settlement Class. The attorneys for the Settlement Class are as follows:

    Paul Wood Keith Scranton

    Franklin D. Azar & Associates P.C.

    14426 East Evans Avenue

    Aurora, CO 80014

    Telephone: (303) 757-3300


    Franklin D. Azar & Associates P.C.

    14426 East Evans Avenue

    Aurora, CO 80014

    Telephone: (303) 757-3300


    Class Counsel will file a motion with the Court seeking approval of payment from the Settlement Fund of the expenses they incurred in prosecuting the case (“Expenses”), and Service Awards not to exceed $4,000 for Plaintiff William M. Barrett, and $1,500 each for Plaintiffs Denice E. Batla, Heather L. Coberly, Leland W. Gulley, and Blake A. Umsted (the “Case Contribution Awards”).

    Class Counsel intend to submit an application for Attorney’s Fees and Expenses not to exceed $200,000. The motion and supporting papers will be filed on or before July 24, 2019. After that date you may review the motion and supporting papers at Any Expenses and Case Contribution Awards approved by the Court, in addition to the expenses incurred by the Settlement Administrator in sending this Notice and administering the Settlement, will be paid from the Settlement Fund.

  7. How do I get more information?

    The full Settlement Agreement, the Court’s order granting Preliminary Approval of the Settlement, the Notice, and other relevant pleadings and documents are available to view on the Important Documents page on this website. If you cannot find the information you need on this website, you may also contact Class Counsel for more information or email the Settlement Administrator at

  8. Do not contact the Court or Pioneer to get additional information.