Barwari et al v. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. et al

Filing 25

ORDER Granting 22 Unopposed Amended Motion to Confirm Minor's Compromise. Signed by Judge Michael M. Anello on 5/10/2017. (ag)

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1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT 9 SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA 10 11 12 VEENA BARWARI, a minor, by and through her guardian ad litem, Michelle Leffew, 13 14 15 Case No.: 16cv3041-MMA (BGS) ORDER GRANTING UNOPPOSED AMENDED MOTION TO CONFIRM MINOR’S COMPROMISE Plaintiff, v. WAL-MART STORES, INC., et al., 16 [Doc. No. 22] Defendants. 17 18 19 On April 26, 2017, Petitioner Michelle Leffew, as guardian ad litem of Minor 20 Plaintiff Veena Barwari, filed a motion to confirm the proposed settlement of this action. 21 Defendants Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., and World and Main (Cranbury), LLC, do not oppose 22 the motion. See Doc. No. 24. For the reasons set forth below, the Court GRANTS the 23 motion. 24 25 DISCUSSION “District courts have a special duty, derived from Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 26 17(c), to safeguard the interests of litigants who are minors.” Robidoux v. Rosengren, 27 638 F.3d 1177, 1181 (9th Cir. 2011). As such, the Court must “independently investigate 28 and evaluate any compromise or settlement of a minor’s claims to assure itself that the 1 16cv3041-MMA (BGS) 1 minor’s interests are protected . . . even if the settlement has been recommended or 2 negotiated by the minor’s parent or guardian ad litem.” Salmeron v. United States, 724 3 F.2d 1357, 1363 (9th Cir. 1983). Courts must consider “whether the net amount 4 distributed to each minor plaintiff in the settlement is fair and reasonable, in light of the 5 facts of the case, the minor’s specific claim, and recovery in similar cases.” Robidoux, 6 638 F.3d at 1182. 7 The proposed gross settlement amount is $60,000.00. The proposed attorney fee 8 percentage is 25% for a total of $15,000.00. The balance of $45,000 will be paid to the 9 minor, minus a $2,000.00 medical lien and $4,216.38 in costs, resulting in a net recovery 10 of $38,783.62. Upon consideration of the minor’s claims, the terms of the settlement, 11 and recoveries in similar cases, the Court finds the settlement in this case to be fair and 12 reasonable. 13 CONCLUSION AND ORDER 14 Based on the foregoing, the Court APPROVES the proposed settlement of this 15 action, GRANTS Petitioner’s motion, and CONFIRMS the compromise of the minor’s 16 claims. Accordingly, IT IS HEREBY ORDERED: 17 1. Plaintiff Veena Barwari (“the Minor Plaintiff”), will receive $60,000.00 by way 18 of settlement (“the settlement amount”), in the form of a check payable to 19 “Gilliland & Gilliland Client-Trust Fund and Michelle Leffew, Esq. as 20 Guardian ad litem to VEENA BARWARI.” 21 2. 22 From the settlement amount, $15,000.00 will be paid to plaintiff’s counsel as attorney’s fees. 23 3. The balance of the settlement amount, $45,000.00, minus the $2,000.00 medical 24 lien and $4,216.38 in costs, must be deposited in a federally-insured, interest 25 bearing blocked account. No withdrawals of principal or interest may be made 26 from the blocked account without a written order of this Court, until the Minor 27 Plaintiff attains the age of 18 years. 28 /// 2 16cv3041-MMA (BGS) 1 2 3 4 5 4. The parties must file a joint motion to dismiss this action on or before June 2, 2017. IT IS SO ORDERED. DATE: May 10, 2017 _______________________________________ HON. MICHAEL M. ANELLO United States District Judge 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 3 16cv3041-MMA (BGS)

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