S.S. v. Oakland Unified School District et al

Filing 40

ORDER by Hon. Haywood S. Gilliam, Jr. GRANTING 37 Motion to Approve Settlement Agreement of Minor's Claim. (hsglc2S, COURT STAFF) (Filed on 11/9/2017)

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1 2 3 4 UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT 5 NORTHERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA 6 7 8 S.S. (A MINOR) BY AND THROUGH JILL AND KRIS SULKA AS GUARDIANS AD LITEM FOR S.S., Plaintiff, 9 10 United States District Court Northern District of California 11 12 v. OAKLAND UNIFIED SCHOOL DISTRICT, Case No. 16-cv-05632-HSG ORDER GRANTING MOTION TO APPROVE SETTLEMENT AGREEMENT OF MINOR’S CLAIM AND APPORTIONMENT OF SETTLEMENT PROCEEDS Re: Dkt. No. 37 Defendant. 13 14 Pending before the Court is the unopposed motion for an order to approve the settlement of 15 claims and the related distribution of settlement proceeds as entered into by Plaintiff S.S., a minor, 16 by and through her Guardians ad litem, Jill and Kriss Sulka, (collectively, “Plaintiff”) and 17 Defendant Oakland Unified School District (“Defendant”). See Dkt. No. 37. 18 Upon review of the motion and following the hearing held on November 9, 2017, the Court 19 finds that the settlement is in the best interest of S.S. Cf. Robidoux v. Rosengren, 638 F.3d 1177, 20 1181 (9th Cir. 2011) (“District courts have a special duty, derived from Federal Rule of Civil 21 Procedure 17(c), to safeguard the interests of litigants who are minors [which includes a duty to] 22 conduct its own inquiry to determine whether the settlement serves the best interest of the 23 minor.”). Under the settlement agreement, Defendant will pay $85,000 for Plaintiff’s benefit, will 24 reimburse mediation costs, and will cooperate in S.S.’s inter-district transfer. See Dkt. No. 38 at 25 3–4. The Court further finds that the parties’ proposed apportionment of the settlement proceeds 26 is fair, including the attorneys’ fees award to Leigh Law Group, P.C. given their diligence in 27 prosecuting this action to date. 28 Accordingly, the Court GRANTS the motion to approve the settlement agreement and the 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 following disbursement of settlement proceeds: 1. Defendant shall deposit $54,825.08 in settlement and $3,600 for the mediation fee into the Leigh Law Group, P.C.’s client trust account; 2. $42,225.04 shall be payable to the Leigh Law Group, P.C. for its attorneys’ fees and costs; 3. The remaining $12,600.04 shall be payable to S.S. in a blocked account at a federally insured financial institution; and 4. Defendant shall deposit $33,774.92 with Barco Assignments for a deferred annuity 9 with Liberty Life Assurance Company of Boston pursuant to California Probate 10 Code § 3611(b), which will begin payment to S.S. at age 21 for a period of five 11 United States District Court Northern District of California 8 years. 12 The parties shall have 60 days from the date of this order to complete the disbursement as directed 13 above. The clerk is directed to close the case. 14 15 16 17 IT IS SO ORDERED. Dated: 11/9/2017 ______________________________________ HAYWOOD S. GILLIAM, JR. United States District Judge 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 2

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