According to an article by Vanessa Ho in Tuesday's Seattle Post-Intelligencer, Costco - the famous big box grocer/wholesaler - has just sued the State of Washington over $3 million in unclaimed rebates. According to the article, Costco alleges that it should not have to turn over the amounts requested by the state because it has engaged 3rd party rebate fulfillment houses to manage its rebate programs and that it does not retain the amounts at issue.
As those in the unclaimed property field know, this is far from the first lawsuit between holders and states regarding unclaimed rebates. In 2006, some thirty-six states, led by Iowa, sued Young America Corporation - a rebate fulfillment house - over the failure to turn unclaimed property over to the states. That lawsuit eventually resulted in a number of settlements between the states and Young America's customers. We will continue to follow the developments in Washington.