Bias et al v. Wells Fargo & Company et al

Filing 274

FINAL APPROVAL ORDER AND JUDGMENT OF DISMISSAL WITH PREJUDICE. Signed by Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers on 4/13/17. (fs, COURT STAFF) (Filed on 4/13/2017)

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1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT 9 NORTHERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA — OAKLAND DIVISION 10 11 LATARA BIAS, ERIC BREAUX, and TROY LYNNE MORRISON, individually, and on 12 behalf of other members of the general public similarly situated, 13 Plaintiffs, 14 vs. 15 WELLS FARGO & COMPANY, a Delaware 16 corporation, and WELLS FARGO BANK, N.A., a national association, 17 Defendants. 18 Case No. 4:12-cv-00664-YGR [PROPOSED] FINAL APPROVAL ORDER AND JUDGMENT OF DISMISSAL WITH PREJUDICE 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 4:12-cv-00664-YGR FINAL APPROVAL ORDER WHEREAS, the Court is advised that the Parties,1 through their counsel, have agreed, 1 2 subject to Court approval following notice to the Class and a hearing, to settle this Action (the 3 “Action”) upon the terms and conditions set forth in the Settlement Agreement (the 4 “Settlement”) which was filed with the Court, and all capitalized terms used herein having the 5 meanings defined in the Settlement; and 6 WHEREAS, the Court entered its Order Preliminarily Approving Settlement and 7 Providing for Notice, setting forth the previously certified Class for settlement purposes only 8 and preliminarily approved Notice of Settlement to the Class (including notice of the proposed 9 Settlement and of a fairness hearing thereon), and said notice has been made, along with notice 10 pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1715 provided to the appropriate regulators, and the fairness hearing has 11 been held; 12 NOW, THEREFORE, based upon the Settlement and all of the filings, records, and 13 proceedings herein, and it appearing to the Court upon examination that the Settlement is fair, 14 reasonable, and adequate, and upon a Settlement Fairness Hearing having been held after Notice 15 to the Class of the proposed Settlement to determine if the terms of the Settlement are fair, 16 reasonable, and adequate and whether a Final Judgment of Dismissal with Prejudice (“Final 17 Judgment”) should be entered in this Action based upon the Settlement; 18 THE COURT HEREBY FINDS AND CONCLUDES THAT: 19 A. The provisions of the Settlement, including definitions of the terms used therein, 20 are hereby incorporated by reference as though fully set forth herein. 21 B. This Court has jurisdiction over the subject matter of this Action and all of the 22 Parties and all Class Members. 23 C. On December 17, 2015, the Court granted-in-part and denied-in-part Plaintiffs’ 24 motion for class certification. The Court amended the class definition on March 7, 2016. 25 1 As used herein, the term “Parties” means Plaintiffs Latara Bias, Eric Breaux and Troy Lynne Morrison (collectively, “Plaintiffs”) on behalf of themselves and the Class (defined below), 27 and Defendants Wells Fargo & Co. and Wells Fargo Bank, N.A. (collectively, “Wells Fargo” or “Defendants”). 28 26 1 4:12-cv-00664-YGR FINAL APPROVAL ORDER 1 D. Pursuant to Rule 23 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, and for the purposes 2 of the Settlement only, the Court hereby adopts and reaffirms the Class set forth in its March 7, 3 2016 Order as the Settlement Class in this Action, as follows: “All residents of the United States 4 of America who had a residential mortgage serviced by Wells Fargo Bank, N.A., or its 5 subsidiaries or divisions, and who paid for one or more Broker’s Price Opinions charged by Wells 6 Fargo (through PAS), for an amount greater than the amount Wells Fargo (through PAS) paid a 7 third party vendor for the corresponding [BPO], from May 6, 2005 through July 1, 2010.” 8 Excluded from the Settlement Class are Defendants, any entity in which a Defendant has a 9 controlling interest or is a parent or subsidiary of, or any entity that is controlled by a Defendant, 10 and any of Defendants’ officers, directors, employees, affiliates, legal representatives, heirs, 11 predecessors, successors, and assigns. Also excluded from the Settlement Class are Class 12 Members who provided valid and timely notice to exclude themselves or Opt-Out of this Action 13 by the deadline. 14 E. For all of the reasons set forth in this Court’s Orders dated December 17, 2015 and 15 March 7, 2016, and solely for purposes of effectuating the Settlement, the Court finds that (i) the 16 members of the Settlement Class are so numerous that joinder of all Settlement Class Members in 17 the Action would be impracticable; (ii) there are questions of law and fact common to the 18 Settlement Class that predominate over individual questions; (iii) the claims of Plaintiffs are 19 typical of the claims of the Settlement Class; (iv) Plaintiffs and Class Counsel can fairly and 20 adequately represent and protect the interests of Settlement Class Members; and ( v) a class action 21 is superior to other available methods for the fair and efficient adjudication of the controversy, 22 considering the interests of the Settlement Class Members in individually controlling the 23 prosecution of separate actions, the extent and nature of any litigation concerning the controversy 24 already commenced by Settlement Class Members, the desirability or undesirability of continuing 25 the litigation of these claims in this particular forum, and the difficulties likely to be encountered 26 in the management of a class action. 27 F. Pursuant to Rule 23 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, the Court hereby 28 certifies, solely for purposes of effectuating the Settlement and for no other purpose, Plaintiffs 2 4:12-cv-00664-YGR FINAL APPROVAL ORDER 1 Latara Bias, Eric Breaux and Troy Lynne Morrison as Class Representatives, and appoints the law 2 firms of Baron & Budd, P.C.; Cossich, Sumich, Parsiola and Taylor; and Kingsmill Riess, LLC as 3 Class Counsel. 4 G. The form, content, and method of dissemination of Notice of Settlement given to 5 the Settlement Class was adequate and reasonable and constituted the best notice practicable 6 under the circumstances, including both individual notice to all Settlement Class Members who 7 could be identified through reasonable effort and publication notice. 8 H. Notice of Settlement, as given, complied with the requirements of Rule 23 of the 9 Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, satisfied the requirements of due process, and constituted due 10 and sufficient notice of the matters set forth herein. 11 I. Notice of the Settlement was provided to the appropriate regulators pursuant to 12 the Class Action Fairness Act, 28 U.S.C. § 1715(c)(1). 13 J. The Settlement is fair, reasonable, and adequate and in the best interests of the 14 Settlement Class. 15 i. The Settlement was negotiated vigorously and at arm’s-length by 16 Plaintiffs and their experienced counsel on behalf of the Settlement Class. 17 The case settled only after: (a) several failed attempts at resolution and 18 with the assistance of a retired U.S. District Court Judge; (b) extensive 19 briefing on multiple motions, including Wells Fargo’s motions to dismiss 20 filed June 15, 2012 and August 7, 2012, Plaintiffs’ motion for class 21 certification filed June 9, 2015, and Wells Fargo’s motion for summary 22 judgment, filed April 5, 2016, which was fully briefed, argued, submitted 23 and pending as of the Settlement was reached; (c) the Parties engaged in 24 extensive discovery, including production by Wells Fargo of electronically 25 stored information, additional voluminous data, and over 124,000 pages of 26 documents; (d) the Parties exchanged reports from six expert witness, and 27 took depositions of the six expert witnesses and over twenty fact witnesses. 28 Accordingly, both the Plaintiffs and Defendants were well positioned to 3 4:12-cv-00664-YGR FINAL APPROVAL ORDER 1 evaluate the settlement value of this Action. The Settlement has been 2 entered into in good faith and is not collusive. 3 ii. If the Settlement had not been achieved, both Plaintiffs and Defendants 4 faced the expense, risk, and uncertainty of extended litigation. The Court 5 takes no position on the merits of either Plaintiffs’ or Defendants’ 6 arguments, but notes these arguments as evidence in support of the 7 reasonableness of the Settlement. 8 K. Plaintiffs, all Settlement Class Members, and Defendants are hereby bound by the 9 terms of the Settlement. 10 IT IS HEREBY ORDERED THAT: 11 1. The Settlement is approved as final, fair, reasonable and adequate. The 12 Settlement shall be consummated in accordance with its terms and provisions. 13 2. The Action and all claims that are or have ever been contained therein, as well as 14 all of the Released Claims, are dismissed with prejudice as to the Plaintiffs, the Settlement Class 15 Members, and all other Releasing Parties. The Parties are to bear their own costs, except as 16 otherwise provided in the Settlement. 17 3. Wells Fargo and all Released Parties as defined in the Settlement are released in 18 accordance with, and as defined in, the Settlement. 19 4. Upon the Effective Date of this Settlement, Plaintiffs and all Settlement Class 20 Members, on behalf of themselves and each of the Releasing Parties shall be deemed to have, and 21 by operation of this Final Judgment shall have, fully, finally, and forever waived, released, 22 relinquished, and discharged all Released Claims against Wells Fargo and the Released Parties, 23 regardless of whether such Settlement Class Member cashes a settlement check. 24 5. All Settlement Class Members who have not made their objections to the 25 Settlement in the manner provided in the Notice of Settlement are deemed to have waived any 26 objections by appeal, collateral attack, or otherwise. 27 6. All Settlement Class Members who failed to properly file requests to be excluded 28 from the Class, or Opt-Out, by the Opt-Out Deadline are bound by the terms and conditions of 4 4:12-cv-00664-YGR FINAL APPROVAL ORDER 1 the Settlement and this Final Judgment and release and forever discharge the Released Parties 2 from all Released Claims as provided in the Settlement and herein. A list of the 78 Persons who 3 validly and timely filed a request for exclusion or Opt-Out is attached hereto as Exhibit 1. 4 7. Class Counsel are hereby awarded attorneys’ fees of $12.5 million ($12,500,000) 5 out of the Settlement Fund, which sum the Court finds to be fair and reasonable, and $1.5 million 6 ($1,500,000) in reimbursement of expenses out of the Settlement Fund. The aforementioned 7 attorneys’ fees shall be allocated by Class Counsel in a manner which in their good faith judgment 8 reflects each counsel’s contribution to the institution, prosecution, and resolution of the Action. 9 8. In making this award of attorneys’ fees and reimbursement of expenses to be paid 10 from the Settlement Fund, the Court has considered and found that: 11 (a) The Settlement has resulted in the payment of $50,000,000 in cash, on which 12 interest has accrued, and that Settlement Class Members will benefit from the Settlement; 13 (b) Over 288,000 copies of the Notice of Settlement were disseminated to Settlement 14 Class Members indicating that Class Counsel were moving for attorneys’ fees in the amount of up 15 to $12,500,000 out of the Settlement Fund, and for Service Awards of up to $10,000 along with 16 reimbursement of expenses in an amount of up to $1,500,000 out of the Settlement Fund, and no 17 objections were filed against the terms of the proposed Settlement or the ceiling on the fees and 18 expenses requested by Class Counsel contained in the Notice of Settlement; 19 (c) The Action involves complex factual and legal issues, was actively prosecuted and, 20 in the absence of a settlement, would involve further lengthy proceedings with uncertain resolution 21 of the complex factual and legal issues; 22 (d) Had Class Counsel not achieved the Settlement, there would remain a significant 23 risk that Plaintiffs and the Settlement Class may have recovered less or nothing from the 24 Defendants; and 25 (e) The amount of attorneys’ fees awarded and expenses reimbursed from the 26 Settlement Fund are consistent with awards in similar cases. 27 10. The Court finds that an award to Plaintiffs for their time and efforts in representing 28 the Class in the prosecution of this Action is fair and reasonable, and thus awards each of the 5 4:12-cv-00664-YGR FINAL APPROVAL ORDER 1 Plaintiffs $10 thousand ($10,000) out of the Settlement Fund. Each of the Plaintiffs was deposed, 2 responded to written discovery, produced documents, and oversaw the prosecution of this Action 3 by their counsel. 4 11. All other provisions of the Settlement are incorporated into this Final Judgment as 5 if fully rewritten herein. To the extent that the terms of this Final Judgment conflict with the terms 6 of the Settlement, the Settlement shall control. 7 12. Plaintiffs, all Class Members, and all other Releasing Parties are hereby BARRED 8 AND PERMANENTLY ENJOINED from instituting, commencing, maintaining, or prosecuting 9 in any court or tribunal any of the Released Claims against Wells Fargo or any of the Released 10 Parties. 11 13. The Court hereby decrees that neither the Settlement nor this Final Judgment nor 12 the fact of the Settlement is an admission or concession by Wells Fargo or the Released Parties, or 13 any of them, of any liability or wrongdoing. This Final Judgment is not a finding of the validity or 14 invalidity of any of the claims asserted or defenses raised in the Action. Neither the Settlement 15 nor this Final Judgment nor the fact of Settlement nor the settlement proceedings nor the 16 settlement negotiations nor any related documents shall be offered or received in evidence as an 17 admission, concession, presumption, or inference against Wells Fargo or any of the Released 18 Parties in any proceeding, other than such proceedings as may be necessary to consummate or 19 enforce the Settlement, or in an action or proceeding to determine the availability, scope, or extent 20 of insurance coverage (or reinsurance related to such coverage) for the sums expended for the 21 Settlement and defense of this Action. 22 14. The Action is dismissed with prejudice; subject, however, to this Court retaining 23 jurisdiction over compliance with the Settlement and this Final Judgment. 24 15. The Court hereby bars all future claims for contribution arising out of the Action or 25 the Released Claims by any Person against the Released Parties. 26 16. Nothing in this Final Judgment constitutes or reflects a waiver, release or discharge 27 of any rights or claims of Wells Fargo or the Released Parties against their insurers, or their 28 insurers’ subsidiaries, predecessors, successors, assigns, affiliates, or representatives. Nothing in 6 4:12-cv-00664-YGR FINAL APPROVAL ORDER 1 this Final Judgment constitutes or reflects a waiver or release of any rights or claims relating to 2 indemnification, advancement, or any undertakings by an indemnified party to repay amounts 3 advanced or paid by way of indemnification or otherwise. 4 17. In the event that the Settlement is terminated in accordance with its terms, (i) this 5 Final Judgment shall be rendered null and void and shall be vacated nunc pro tunc, and (ii) this 6 Action shall proceed as provided in the Settlement. 7 18. There is no just reason for delay, and this is a final, appealable order as of when it 8 is stamped as received for filing. 9 19. Final judgment shall be entered herein. 10 IT IS SO ORDERED. 11 12 13 April 13 Dated: ________________, 2017 __________________________________________ HONORABLE YVONNE GONZALEZ ROGERS UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT JUDGE 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 7 4:12-cv-00664-YGR FINAL APPROVAL ORDER Exhibit 1 Bias v. Wells Fargo Bank Settlement Case No.: 4:12‐cv‐00664‐YGR   Exhibit 1  Exclusion Requests  1  DAVID  2  KIMBERLY  3  BRENDA  Middle Name  1  C  A  G  4  ANNETTE        First Name 1  Last Name 1  First Name  2  LINDA        Middle Name  2  L        Last Name  2  TOURJE                    MARY     NANETTE     ERIC           PATRICIA        SHARON        H           D           L        L        GULLETT     FINN     BYRD           LIKENS        GDOVICAK     VALDERRA MA  MANISCAL CO        DISPOTO           THOMANN  SR     HOFFMAN  DALEY     C  E           C  A  M     C        J     TOURJE  HEFFNER  NICKS  GRIFFIS‐ CARTER  ANGERS  GULLETT  VEITEL  FINN  NELSON  BYRD  FREEMAN SR  ORTIZ  WILLIAMS  LIKENS  ROJAS  BRITT  GDOVICAK  SILVEIRA  19  YOHISI     VALDERRAMA JAMIE  MANUEL  20  CARLO  P  CASAGRANDE  LISA  A  21  22  23  24  25  26  JAIME  OSCAR  VICTORIA  RUBEN  PAULA  JAMES     J           A  ABREGO  LLAMAS  DISPOTO  HURTADO  RICE  SMITH        MARK                 J           27  MICHELLE  A  THOMANN  DONALD  G  28  29  30  31  M  L  I     SPAID  HOFFMAN  SATRE  NICK     VIRGINIA  BONITA        E  SATRE     5  6  7  8  9  10  11  12  13  14  15  16  17  18  MARY  JAMES  BETTY  NOEL  CLOVIS  DENISE  SIDNEY  THERESA  MARGARET  JOSEPH  RODOLFO  REESHEMA  WILLIAM  RODRIGO  DANA  GARY  RODRICK  ESTATE OF STELLA  Bias v. Wells Fargo Bank Settlement Case No.: 4:12‐cv‐00664‐YGR   Exhibit 1  Exclusion Requests     First Name 1  32  33  34  35  36  DEBRA  BARBARA  BALJIT  DAVID  MICHAEL  Middle Name  1  ANN  J  KAUR  L  M  37  NAHYOH  F  38  39  40  41  42  43  44  45  46  47  48  49  50  51  52  53  54  55  56  57  58  59  60  61  62  63  64  65  A  T  R     G  A  C  J  E  G  C     MARION  R     M     E     C  KATHLEEN  E  M  B     J  S  C  JEFFREY  MYRNA  PATRICIA  JOHNIE  ETHAN  RAMON  HARRIET  JEREMY  RICHARD  ESTATE OF ELAINE  TRENT  GLEN  RONALD  MARK  LIBIA  SHARON  BRENDAN  WILLIE  PATRICK  LESLEY  MARCIA  GRACE  JUAN  WILLIAM  ANTHONY  STEPHEN  JANET  MATHEW  Last Name 1  TAYLOR  SEPANSKI  SRAN  GUNTER  RAMOS  BASHUI‐ GOFFE  BENNETT  THOMAS  WILSON  WARD  SIDES  SANCHEZ  DANIELS  NEITZEL  MAY  PARKINSON  HARGRAVE  BARNES  BALL  MOTELL  QUILES  HEATON  DONNELLY  MCCAIN  DOHERTY  EMERY‐HALL  HOLMAN  EBEYER  SANCHEZ  STOKES  GIRDANO  LECHNIR  TILLEY  RUBY  First Name  2     ALAN  AMARJIT     RIZALINA  Middle Name  2     F  SINGH     S  Last Name  2     SEPANSKI  SRAN     RAMOS           MICHELLE  BERTRAM     ROSEMARY           CATHRYN        CAROLYN  BARBARA                 VIRGIE  TIMOTHY           NORMA  ROSEMARY  MARGARET ELISSA  JOHN  CAROLYN  L  J                 L        M                                   F     M  S  D  I  BENNETT  THOMAS     BAREFIELD           NEITZEL        HARGRAVE  BARNES                 MCCAIN  DOHERTY           SANCHEZ  STOKES  GIRDANO  LECHNIR  TILLEY  RUBY  Bias v. Wells Fargo Bank Settlement Case No.: 4:12‐cv‐00664‐YGR   Exhibit 1  Exclusion Requests     First Name 1  66  67  68  69  STEVEN  THERESA  STEFANIE  RICHARD  Middle Name  1  E     M  T  Last Name 1  WILSON  MARSHALL  TAVERNA  TUCCI  70  VICTORIA  A  OWEN  71  72  73  74  75  76  77  78  J  W  R  B     W        PIERCE  COX  MEE  JONES  CHAVERA  DOBBS  BARRAZA  MILIAN  LEROY  JIMMY  GLENN  AURORA  MARGARITO  JACOB  MARIA  JAVIER  First Name  2  LORA           JACQUELIN E  DIANNE                       Middle Name  2  A           Last Name  2  WILSON           M  OWEN                          PIERCE                      

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