Mata et al v. Manpower Inc. / California Peninsula et al

Filing 205

Order by Hon. Lucy H. Koh Granting 192 Motion for Attorney Fees.(lhklc2S, COURT STAFF) (Filed on 7/24/2017)

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1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT 9 NORTHERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA 10 SAN JOSE DIVISION United States District Court Northern District of California 11 12 JUVENTINA MATA, et al., Plaintiffs, 13 16 ORDER GRANTING MOTION FOR ATTORNEY’S FEES v. 14 15 Case No. 14-CV-03787-LHK Re: Dkt. No. 192 MANPOWER INC. / CALIFORNIA PENINSULA, et al., Defendants. 17 18 Plaintiffs Claudia Padilla and Lesli Guido’s Motion for Attorneys’ Fees came on for 19 hearing in Courtroom 8 of this Court, the Honorable Lucy H. Koh presiding. Attorneys Charles 20 Swanston and Patrick Toole appeared on behalf of Plaintiffs, and attorney Spencer C. Skeen 21 appeared on behalf of Defendants Manpower, Inc./California Peninsula, ManpowerGroup, Inc., 22 Manpower Inc., and ManpowerGroup US Inc. (collectively “Defendants” and/or “Manpower”). 23 The Court, having reviewed Plaintiffs’ motion, the Declarations of Patrick D. Toole and 24 Charles Swanston, along with the files and records of this case, and oral argument made at the 25 hearing, hereby FINDS, CONCLUDES, and ORDERS as follows: 26 27 28 1. Class Counsel’s request for an award of attorneys’ fees in the amount of $725,000.00 (25% of the Gross Settlement Amount) to be paid from the Settlement Fund pursuant 1 Case No. 14-CV-03787-LHK ORDER GRANTING MOTION FOR ATTORNEY’S FEES 1 to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure Rule 23(h) is reasonable in light of the relevant factors and as 2 compared to the lodestar multiplier based upon the hours spent in prosecuting this case. The 3 request for an award of 25% of the Gross Settlement Amount is GRANTED. 2. 4 The Ninth Circuit has “established 25 percent of the fund as the ‘benchmark’ award 5 that should be given in common fund cases.” Six Mexican Workers v. Ariz. Citrus Growers, 904 6 F.2d 1301, 1311 (9th Cir. 1990); see also In re Bluetooth Headset Products Liab. Litig., 654 F.3d 7 8 9 10 United States District Court Northern District of California 11 12 935, 942 (9th Cir. 2011) (“[C]ourts typically calculate 25% of the fund as the ‘benchmark’ for a reasonable fee award, providing adequate explanation in the record of any ‘special circumstances’ justifying a departure.”). To guard against an unreasonable result, the Ninth Circuit has encouraged district courts to “cross-check[] their calculations against a second method.” Id. at 944; The Ninth Circuit has approved the lodestar method as an appropriate cross-check. See Vizcaino v. Microsoft Corp., 290 F.3d 1043, 1050–51 (9th Cir. 2002) (applying a lodestar method 13 cross-check to ensure the percentage-of-recovery method yielded a reasonable result). “The 14 lodestar figure is calculated by multiplying the number of hours the prevailing party reasonably 15 16 17 18 19 expended on the litigation (as supported by adequate documentation) by a reasonable hourly rate for the region and for the experience of the lawyer.” In re Bluetooth, 654 F.3d at 941. In the instant case, Class Counsel’s reported lodestar was $1,329,971.50. Therefore, Class Counsel’s request for $750,000 represents a multiplier of 0.55. In other words, Class Counsel will receive only slightly more than half of the reported lodestar. The Ninth Circuit has approved 20 multipliers significantly higher than 0.55. See, e.g., Vizcaino, 290 F.3d at 1052–54 (approving a 21 multiplier of 3.65). Thus, checking against the reported lodestar indicates that Class Counsel’s 22 request for $750,000 is reasonable. 23 3. Class Counsel’s request for an award of litigation cost reimbursement in the 24 amount of $78,640.74 to be paid from the Settlement Fund pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil 25 Procedure Rule 23(h) is reasonable and the funds were necessarily incurred in the prosecution of 26 the case. The request for an award of litigation cost reimbursement in the amount of $78,640.74 is 27 GRANTED. 28 2 Case No. 14-CV-03787-LHK ORDER GRANTING MOTION FOR ATTORNEY’S FEES 1 4. In granting attorney’s fees and costs, the Court has considered all objections of 2 Class Members. Of the 254 objection forms received by the Class Administrator, only 1 form 3 contained an objection to the award of attorney’s fees. Specifically, Bruce Therman Andrews, Sr. 4 objected to the attorney’s fees motion and stated, “I AM NOT being represented properly so I 5 object to the[ir] 25% they did nothing.” However, in response to an inquiry by the Class 6 Administrator, Andrews indicated that he intended to opt out of the settlement rather than object. 7 8 9 10 United States District Court Northern District of California 11 12 13 ECF No. 203 ¶ 17. Andrews later submitted a letter confirming his desire to opt out. Id. ¶ 18. Therefore, Andrews lacks standing to object to the settlement, including the award of attorney’s fees. See, e.g., San Francisco NAACP v. San Francisco Unified School Dist., 59 F. Supp. 2d 1021, 1032 (N.D.Cal.1999) (“[N]onclass members have no standing to object to the settlement of a class action”). However, even if the Court considers Andrews’s statement as an objection, the Court finds that Andrews has failed to take into account that Class Counsel performed substantial work on behalf of the Class and obtained a significant benefit for the Class. Therefore, Andrews’s objection to the award of attorney’s fees is overruled. 14 IT IS SO ORDERED. 15 16 Dated: July 24, 2017 17 18 19 ______________________________________ LUCY H. KOH United States District Judge 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 3 Case No. 14-CV-03787-LHK ORDER GRANTING MOTION FOR ATTORNEY’S FEES

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