Dei Rossi, et al v. Whirlpool Corporation, et al

Filing 188

ORDER GRANTING 180 Motion for Final Approval of Class Action Settlement and Amended Motion for Award of Attorneys' Fees 184 signed by District Judge Troy L. Nunley on 5/23/17. CASE CLOSED. (Kaminski, H)

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1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT 9 EASTERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA 10 11 12 KYLE DEI ROSSI and MARK LINTHICUM, on behalf of themselves and those similarly situated, 13 14 15 16 17 18 Plaintiffs, v. WHIRLPOOL CORPORATION, Defendant. No. 2:12-cv-00125-TLN-CKD ORDER 1) GRANTING MOTION FOR FINAL APPROVAL OF CLASS ACTION SETTLEMENT; (2) GRANTING UNOPPOSED AMENDED MOTION FOR AWARD OF CLASS REPRESENTATIVE SERVICE PAYMENTS, SETTLEMENT ADMINISTRATION EXPENSES, AND ATTORNEYS’ FEES, EXPENSES, AND COSTS; AND (3) ENTERING JUDGMENT OF DISMISSAL 19 20 On May 18, 2017, the Court conducted a hearing regarding final approval of the 21 settlement and release of claims in this matter, Plaintiffs’ motion for attorneys’ fees and costs, 22 class representative payments, and settlement administration expenses. (See ECF Nos. 180 & 23 184.) The Court having considered the Settlement Agreement and Release (“Agreement”), as 24 well as both motions, and all exhibits and declarations, all papers and proceedings, all oral and 25 written comments regarding the proposed Agreement, and having reviewed the record, and for 26 good cause appearing, GRANTS Plaintiffs’ Motion for Final Approval of Class Action 27 Settlement (ECF No. 180) and GRANTS Plaintiffs’ Amended Motion for Award of Attorneys’ 28 Fees, Costs, and Expenses, and Class Representative Service Awards (ECF No. 184), as follows. 1 1 IT IS HEREBY ORDERED, ADJUDGED AND DECREED THAT: 2 1. 3 meanings set forth therein. 4 5 To the extent defined in the Agreement, the terms in this Order shall have the 2. The Court has jurisdiction over the subject matter of this litigation and over all parties to this litigation, including the Class Representatives, the Class Members, and Defendant. 6 3. The Court hereby GRANTS the Plaintiffs’ Motion for Final Approval of the Class 7 Action Settlement, approves the terms of the settlement as outlined in the Agreement as, in all 8 respects, fair, adequate, reasonable, in the best interest of the Class and each Class Member, 9 based on the following factors: 10 a. 11 The estimated loss for each Class Member in relation to the amount offered in settlement; 12 b. The risk, expense, complexity, and likely duration of continued litigation; 13 c. The risk of maintaining class action status; 14 d. The extent of discovery completed and the stage of the proceedings; 15 e. The extensive motions practice by the parties; 16 f. The experience and views of counsel; 17 g. The lack of opposition or opt outs by Class Members to the proposed 18 settlement; and 19 h. 20 The fact that the settlement was reached after serious, extensive, noncollusive, arm’s-length negotiations by experienced counsel. 21 4. As the Court previously found in the Court’s Order Granting Preliminary 22 Approval, the Class, for settlement purposes only, satisfies the requirements for a Rule 23 23 settlement class, and is defined as follows: 24 All residents of the State of California who (a) bought a new Class Refrigerator, (b) acquired a Class Refrigerator as part of the purchase or remodel of a home, or (c) received as a gift, from a donor meeting the requirements of either subsection(a) or subsection (b), a new Class Refrigerator not used by the donor or by anyone else after the donor bought or acquired the Class Refrigerator and before the donor gave the Class Refrigerator to the California resident. 25 26 27 //// 28 //// 2 1 5. The Court finds that distribution of the Notice to Class Members in the manner 2 and form required has been completed in accordance with this Court’s Order Granting 3 Preliminary Approval and the terms of the Agreement, constituted the best notice practicable 4 under the circumstances, provided due and adequate notice of the proceedings and the matters 5 herein, including the proposed settlement, to all persons entitled to such notice, and the Notice 6 fully satisfied the requirements of due process, the Constitution of the United States of America, 7 and Rules 23(d) and (e) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. 8 9 6. No Class Members objected to the Agreement or opted out of it, as of the last reporting by the Settlement Administrator on March 3, 2017. 10 7. In compliance with the requirements of 28 U.S.C. § 1715(b), Defendant provided 11 notice of the settlement to (a) the Attorney General of the United States of America and (b) to the 12 appropriate state office in California (as that term is defined in 28 U.S.C. § 1715(a)(2)). As 13 further required under 28 U.S.C. § 1715(d), more than 90 days have elapsed since the service of 14 such notices. Neither the Attorney General of the United States nor any appropriate California 15 state official has served written objection to the settlement or appeared at the Final Approval and 16 Fairness hearing to object to the settlement. 17 8. Due to adequate notice of the proceedings having been provided to Class 18 Members, and a full opportunity having been offered to participate in the Final Approval and 19 Fairness Hearing, it is hereby determined that they are bound by this Order of Final Approval of 20 Class Action Settlement, including without limitation, the Released Claims. 21 9. Upon entry of this Order of Final Approval and Judgment of Dismissal, and by 22 operation of this Order of Final Approval and Judgment of Dismissal, the Released Claims, as set 23 forth in the Agreement, of each Class Member against Defendant, are fully, finally and forever 24 released, relinquished and discharged pursuant to the terms of the Agreement, and all Class 25 Members shall be barred and permanently enjoined from participating in any other lawsuit against 26 Defendant, concerning the claims settled and released in this suit. 27 //// 28 //// 3 1 10. The plan of distribution set forth in the Agreement providing for distribution of 2 monetary relief to the Class Members is approved as being fair, reasonable and adequate pursuant 3 to Rule 23 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. 4 5 6 11. The Court hereby awards Class Counsel reasonable attorneys’ fees, expenses, and costs in the amount of $735,000, to be paid in addition to the monetary relief for Class Members. 12. The Court hereby awards service payments in the amount of $4,000 each to Class 7 Representatives, Kyle Dei Rossi and Mark Linthicum, to be paid in addition to the monetary 8 relief for Class Members. 9 10 11 12 13 13. The Court hereby approves the payment of fees and costs to the Settlement Administrator, to be paid in addition to the monetary relief for Class Members. 14. The Court hereby directs the parties to effectuate the settlement according to the terms set forth in the Agreement and this Order. 15. The Court hereby enters judgment approving the terms of the Agreement and 14 dismissing this suit on the merits with prejudice in accordance with the Agreement. The Second 15 Amended Complaint is dismissed on the merits with prejudice on a class-wide basis. This 16 document shall constitute a final judgment for purposes of Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 58. 17 18 19 16. Without further order of this Court, the parties may jointly agree to reasonable extensions of time to carry out any provisions of the Agreement. 17. If the settlement does not become final and effective in accordance with the terms 20 set forth in the Agreement, then this Order Granting Final Approval and Judgment of Dismissal 21 and all orders entered in connection herewith shall be rendered null and void and shall be vacated. 22 18. Without affecting the finality of this Order and Judgment of Dismissal, the Court 23 hereby retains continuing jurisdiction over the settlement fund, the settling parties, the Class 24 Members and distribution of the monetary relief, and any other matters involving the 25 implementation of the terms in the Agreement. 26 Dated: May 23, 2017 27 28 4 Troy L. Nunley United States District Judge

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