Seielstad v. Aegis Senior Communities LLC et al

Filing 98

ORDER GRANTING FINAL APPROVAL OF CLASS- AND COLLECTIVE-ACTION SETTLEMENT. Signed by Judge Maxine M. Chesney on January 17, 2012. (mmclc1, COURT STAFF) (Filed on 1/17/2012)

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1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Alan Harris (SBN 146079) David Zelenski (SBN 231768) HARRIS & RUBLE 6424 Santa Monica Boulevard Los Angeles, California 90038 Telephone: 323.962.3777 Facsimile: 323.962.3004 David S. Harris (SBN 215224) NORTH BAY LAW GROUP 116 East Blithedale Avenue, Suite 2 Mill Valley, California 94941 Telephone: 415.388.8788 Facsimile: 415.388.8770 Attorneys for Plaintiffs 11 UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT 12 NORTHERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA 13 14 15 16 17 18 TAMARAH R. SEIELSTAD, individually Case No. 09-01797 MMC and on behalf of all others similarly situated, PROPOSED] ORDER GRANTING FINAL APPROVAL OF CLASS- AND Plaintiff, COLLECTIVE-ACTION SETTLEMENT v. Assigned to Hon. Maxine M. Chesney AEGIS SENIOR COMMUNITIES, LLC, Defendant. 19 20 KENNYON MORRIS, et al., 21 22 23 24 25 Case No. 10-2060 MMC Assigned to Hon. Maxine M. Chesney Plaintiffs, v. AEGIS SENIOR COMMUNITIES, LLC, Defendant. Date: September 30, 2011 Time: 9:00 a.m. Place: Courtroom 7, 450 Golden Gate Avenue, San Francisco, California 94102 26 27 28 1 [PROPOSED] ORDER GRANTING FINAL APPROVAL 1 This matter came before the Court for hearing on September 30, 2011, pursuant to 2 the April 15, 2011, Order Preliminarily Approving Class- and Collective-Action 3 Settlement, Conditionally Certifying Settlement Class, Approving Form of Notice, and 4 Scheduling a Fairness Hearing (“Preliminary Approval Order”). Due and adequate notice 5 having been given to the Classes as defined in and required by the Preliminary Approval 6 Order, the Court having considered all papers filed and otherwise being fully informed, 7 and good cause appearing therefor, IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that: 8 9 10 11 1. All capitalized terms used herein (unless otherwise indicated) shall have the same meaning as defined in the Joint Stipulation and Settlement Agreement and Release of Claims (“Settlement” or “Settlement Agreement”). 2. The two Settlement Classes conditionally certified in the Preliminary 12 Approval Order are confirmed pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 23 and to 29 13 U.S.C. § 216(b). Specifically, Settlement Class A consists of all current and former non- 14 exempt, hourly paid California employees of Defendant performing care-manager duties 15 in the position of lead care manager, care manager, medical care manager, and medical 16 technician from April 24, 2005, to and including April 15, 2011; Settlement Class B 17 consists of all former California employees of Defendant who were terminated from 18 Defendant’s employment between the time period April 24, 2005, to and including April 19 15, 2011. 20 3. This Court has jurisdiction over the subject matter of each of the claims 21 asserted in the operative Complaints in the above-captioned actions, as well as personal 22 jurisdiction over the parties to those actions, including the Settlement Class Members. 23 4. Notice to the Settlement Class, including both (a) the mailing of the Class 24 Notice and Claim Form as set forth in the Settlement and (b) the establishment of a 25 website by the Claims Administrator, has been completed in conformity with the 26 Preliminary Approval Order. The Court finds that this notice was the best notice 27 practicable under the circumstances, that it provided due and adequate notice of the 28 proceedings and of the matters set forth therein, and that it fully satisfies the requirements 2 [PROPOSED] ORDER GRANTING FINAL APPROVAL 1 of law and due process. The Court bases this finding, in part, on the Claims 2 Administrator’s extensive efforts not only in initially mailing Class Notice and Claim 3 Forms to Class Members, but in re-mailing undelivered Class Notices and Claim Forms 4 to Class Members, utilizing a third-party locator service to update Class Members’ 5 addresses, receiving and responding to telephone calls from inquiring Class Members, 6 and maintaining the website containing information about the case. 7 5. The Court hereby approves the Settlement, including the Individual 8 Settlement Payments to be made to Settlement Class Members who filed claims and the 9 release specified in the Settlement. The Court finds that the Settlement is, in all respects, 10 fair, reasonable, and adequate to the Settling Parties, including the Representative 11 Plaintiffs and the Settlement Class. The Court also finds that the Settlement Class is 12 properly certified as a class for purposes of this Settlement and that relief with respect to 13 the Settlement Class as a whole is appropriate. 14 6. In making the determination that the Settlement is fair, reasonable, and 15 adequate, the Court has considered (a) the strengths and weaknesses in Plaintiffs’ case, 16 including the presence of substantial issues in dispute; (b) the risks, expense, complexity, 17 and likely duration of further litigation; (c) the risks to Plaintiffs of establishing and 18 maintaining class-action status; (d) the monetary amount of the Settlement, including the 19 amounts of the Individual Settlement Payments; (e) the extent of both formal and 20 informal discovery that has been conducted by the parties; and (f) the views of the 21 Settling Parties’ respective counsel, both of whom are experienced in complex class- 22 action litigation of this nature. Furthermore, this Court notes that not a single objection 23 was filed to the Settlement and that only six individuals elected to exclude themselves. 24 These additional factors lead the Court to conclude that the Settlement is fair, reasonable, 25 adequate, and supported by the Class. 26 7. As of the date of final approval of the Settlement, each and every Released 27 Claim (as defined in the Settlement Agreement) of every Settlement Class Member who 28 did not timely exclude himself or herself from the Settlement is conclusively released as 3 [PROPOSED] ORDER GRANTING FINAL APPROVAL 1 to the Released Parties. Accordingly, only those six individuals identified by the Claims 2 Administrator as having requested exclusion from the Settlement shall be deemed to have 3 properly requested exclusion. The six excluded individuals are specifically identified on 4 the opt-out forms attached hereto as Exhibit A. Other than these individuals, all 5 Settlement Class Members are permanently enjoined and restrained from commencing or 6 prosecuting any released claims in any jurisdiction or court against the Released Parties. 7 8. The Settlement does not constitute an admission or concession by 8 Defendant, nor does this Order or the Judgment that accompanies it constitute a finding 9 of any kind as to the validity of any claims asserted in the operative Complaints or of any 10 wrongdoing on the part of Defendant. Furthermore, the Settlement shall not be used in 11 any way or for any purpose as an admission of any fault, omission, or wrongdoing on the 12 part of Defendant. Accordingly, neither the Settlement nor any of the negotiations or 13 proceedings related thereto shall be considered as, or deemed to be evidence of, a 14 concession or admission with regard to the denials or defenses of Defendant. Likewise, 15 neither the Settlement nor any of the negotiations or proceedings related thereto shall be 16 offered in evidence in any action or proceeding against Defendant in any court, 17 administrative agency, or other tribunal for any purpose whatsoever other than to enforce 18 the provisions of this Order, the Judgment, or the Settlement. 19 9. Alan Harris and David Zelenski of the firm of Harris & Ruble, along with 20 David Harris of North Bay Law Group, having been appointed as Class Counsel by the 21 Preliminary Approval Order, are hereby confirmed as Class Counsel. Class Counsel have 22 adequately represented the Settlement Class herein. Similarly, Tamarah Seielstad, 23 Kennyon Morris, and Karen Jiron, all of whom had been appointed as Representative 24 Plaintiffs by the Preliminary Approval Order, are confirmed as Representative Plaintiffs, 25 having adequately represented the Settlement Class herein. 26 10. In accordance with the Settlement, Class Counsel have requested that the 27 Representative Plaintiffs receive Enhancement Payments as follows: $15,000 to Plaintiff 28 Seielstad, $5,000 to Plaintiff Morris, and $5,000 to Plaintiff Jiron. The Court hereby 4 [PROPOSED] ORDER GRANTING FINAL APPROVAL 1 awards them the requested amounts based on its finding that the amounts awarded are 2 reasonable under the circumstances. 3 11. Pursuant to the Settlement, Class Counsel have requested an award of 4 attorney’s fees and costs in the amount of $312,648.55, consisting of fees in the amount 5 of $300,000.00 and costs in the amount of $12,648.55. The requested awards of fees and 6 costs are granted, based on the Court’s findings that the amounts requested are fair and 7 reasonable under the circumstances, are supported by sufficient records, and are 8 supported by the lodestar crosscheck. The Court also awards the Claims Administrator 9 its costs and fees in the requested amount of $36,435.61. 10 12. In accordance with the accompanying Judgment, the Court hereby dismisses 11 this action against Defendant on the merits and with prejudice and without costs other 12 than as provided in the Settlement. 13 13. Without affecting the finality of this Order or the Judgment in any way, the 14 Court hereby retains continuing jurisdiction over (a) the implementation of the 15 Settlement, (b) the payment of the amount of reasonable attorney’s fees and costs to be 16 awarded to Class Counsel as provided in the Settlement, and (c) all Parties hereto for the 17 purpose of enforcing and administering the Settlement. 18 IT IS SO ORDERED. 19 20 21 DATED: January 17, 2012 U.S. District Court Judge 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 5 [PROPOSED] ORDER GRANTING FINAL APPROVAL y,//d Gilardi ClaimID SLSTAD120018576 SLSTAD120019734 SLSTAD130001013 SLSTAD130019877 SLSTAD120018703 SLSTAD120000138 FirstName CYNTHIA DEBORAH FABIOLA SHANNON CECILIA CHRISTINE LastName CAMPBELL CHESTER HEINDEL MASSEY OJEDA DE POLO SCHOONVELD City PASO ROBLES INDIO PLEASANT HILL PACIFICA IRVINE SACRAMENTO Exclusions Received as of September 16, 2011 Case Name - Seielstad v. Aegis Senior Communities LLC Case Administration Statistics - CONFIDENTIAL State CA CA CA CA CA CA OptOut 8/24/2011 8/29/2011 7/18/2011 6/10/2011 6/10/2011 6/29/2011

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