NEW YORK, NY (August 6, 2008) – Legal Notice: If You Were Scheduled To Fly on or After December 28, 2003 Between the United States and Lagos, Nigeria on World Airways, and World Airways Did Not Fly You as Scheduled, Your Rights May Be Affected By the Settlement of A Class Action. The settlement resolves a class action lawsuit concerning whether Ritetime Aviation and Travel Services, Inc. and World Airways, Inc. wrongfully failed to transport passengers between Nigeria and the United States on or after December 28, 2003. World Airways, Inc. (“World Airways”), Ritetime Aviation and Travel Services, Inc. (“Ritetime”), Dr. O. Peter Obafemi (“Obafemi”) and Capitol Indemnity Corporation (“Capitol Indemnity”) are the Defendants in this lawsuit.
This case was brought as a class action. The Plaintiffs allege that World Airways and Ritetime wrongfully failed to fly the Plaintiffs between Nigeria and the United States. The Plaintiffs have brought claims of breach of contract, negligence, fraud and claims under international conventions regarding air travel. World Airways denies Plaintiffs’ allegations, and claims that it is not liable for passenger claims arising out of the cancellation of the flights.
WHO IS AFFECTED
You may be entitled to receive compensation under this Settlement if all of the following five things are true:
(1) Before January 31, 2004, you (or someone on your behalf) purchased but did not use all or part of a ticket for a flight between the United States and Nigeria in either direction on World Airways for travel on or after December 28, 2003 as part of the flight program run by Ritetime; and
(2) You did not receive reimbursement from World Airways or Ritetime or any of their employees or agents for the unused portion(s) of your ticket; and
(3) You did not receive a replacement flight paid for by World Airways or Ritetime or any of their employees and/or agents; and
(4) You have not already entered into a binding settlement agreement with Ritetime or World Airways; and
(5) Your claim against Obafemi, Ritetime, Capitol Indemnity or World Airways has not been previously decided in another proceeding.
YOUR OPTIONS WITH REGARD TO THE SETTLEMENT
If you do nothing, you will not receive any compensation from this Settlement and you will be unable to sue or continue suing World Airways and Capitol Indemnity.
FILE A CLAIM: If you meet the requirements described in this Notice and file the documents described in this Notice on time, you may be entitled to receive compensation as described in this Notice.
OBJECT: Write to the Court if you do not like this Settlement.
GO TO A HEARING: Ask to speak in Court about the fairness of the Settlement.
BE EXCLUDED OR “OPT OUT”: You may opt out of this Settlement. If the Court approves the Settlement and money payments are awarded, you will not get any benefits but will keep your rights to sue World Airways and Capitol Indemnity. But, as explained at the website http://www.waclassaction.com/, you may not be able to recover from Capitol Indemnity once funds contributed by it for the Settlement are exhausted.
— These rights and options — and the deadlines to exercise them — are explained in this Notice.
— The Court will have final decision whether to approve the settlement.
SUMMARY OF THE SETTLEMENT
To settle the lawsuit, World Airways and Capitol Indemnity have agreed to create a fund of $5,700,000 (the “Fund”) that will be used as a lump sum settlement amount to pay qualifying Class Members, attorneys’ fees and expenses. Of this amount, Capitol Indemnity has contributed $200,000, which represents the full penal sum limit of the Public Charter Operator’s Bond that it issued on behalf of Ritetime.
The Settlement provides for a maximum total payment of $3,485,000 to be paid to passengers meeting requirements described in this Notice. If 2,050 or fewer meet the requirements and file valid claims as described in this Notice, each qualifying passenger will receive $1,700 and any unpaid funds will revert to World Airways. If more than 2,050 people meet the requirements and file valid claims, the $3,485,000 will be split equally among qualifying passengers. For example, if 2,500 people meet the requirements and file valid claims, the $3,485,000 will be divided equally among the 2,500 people, and each person will receive $1,394. You will not pay attorneys’ fees from this distribution.
The Settlement also provides for payment of certain administrative costs of the class action, the reimbursement of the litigation expenses paid by Plaintiffs’ Counsel and for payment of Plaintiffs’ Counsel’s attorneys’ fees. Plaintiffs’ Counsel intend to apply to the Court for attorneys’ fees and costs of $2,065,000, approximately one third (1/3) of the Fund.
The Settlement also covers the claims that Plaintiffs have asserted against Ritetime and Obafemi. The Court has entered a default judgment against these two defendants. As part of the settlement process, the Settlement Class Members will assign their claims against Ritetime and Obafemi to the Settling Defendants.
FINAL SETTLEMENT APPROVAL HEARING
The Court will hold a hearing to decide whether to approve the Settlement. The Court will hold the fairness hearing at 12:00 p.m. on September 11, 2008 at the United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York, 225 Cadman Plaza East, Brooklyn, New York, 11201. At this hearing the Court will consider whether the Settlement is fair, reasonable and adequate. If there are objections, the Court will consider them. The Court will listen to people who have asked to speak at the hearing. The Court may decide these issues at the hearing or take them under consideration. We do not know how long the Court’s decision will take. The Court has the right to adjourn or continue the fairness hearing without further notice to you.
If you are a Settlement Class Member, you can object to the settlement if you do not like any part of it. You can give reasons why you think the Court should not approve it. Plaintiffs’ Counsel will answer any questions the Court may have, but you are welcome to come to the hearing at your own expense. If you send an objection, you do not have to come to Court to talk about it. As long as you submitted your written objection on time, the Court will consider it. You may also apply for your own lawyer to attend, but it is not necessary.
TO COMMENT, OBJECT OR OBTAIN MORE INFORMATION
To obtain documents containing all information about the proposed Settlement and the long form Notice of this Settlement, please visit the class action website at http://www.waclassaction.com/ or: call Ike Echeruo at (212) 295-2189 or write to Ike Echeruo, ECHERUO, COUNSEL, ATTORNEYS AT LAW, LLP, 432 Park Avenue South, Fourth Floor, New York, NY 10016. To object, you must send a letter stating that you object to the settlement in Anyoku et al. v. World Airways, Inc. et al., case number 04-CV-0304 (RJD/MDG). Be sure to include (1) your name, (2) address, (3) telephone number, (4) your signature and (5) the time and date of your scheduled World Airways flight. Mail the objection to each of the following places, such that it is postmarked no later than August 26, 2008: Clerk of the Court, United States District Court For The Eastern District of New York, 225 Cadman Plaza East, Brooklyn, New York 11201; Thacher Proffitt & Wood LLP, Two World Financial Center, New York, New York 10281, Attn: Jackie Novikov, Fax: (212)912-7751; Ike O. Echeruo, Echeruo, Counsel, Attorneys at Law, LLP, 432 Park Avenue South, 4th Floor, New York, NY 10016, Fax: (212)295-2121; David M. Goldhaber, Esq., Sedgwick, Detert, Moran & Arnold LLP, One North Wacker Drive, Suite 4200, Chicago, Illinois 60606, Fax: (312)641-9530; Malcolm L. Benge, Esq., Zuckert Scoutt & Rasenberger LLP, 888 Seventeenth Street N.W., Washington, D.C. 20006, Fax: (202)342-0683.