EBNER v. MERCHANTS & MEDICAL CREDIT CORPORATION et al
ORDER THAT THIS COURT HAS JURISDICTION OVER THE SUBJECT MATTER OF THIS LAWSUIT, PLAINTIFF, SETTLEMENT CLASS MEMBERS, AND MMCC. ETC. SIGNED BY HONORABLE GERALD J. PAPPERT ON 3/22/17. 3/22/17 ENTERED AND COPIES E-MAILED. (va, )
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE EASTERN DISTRICT OF PENNSYLVANIA
SUSAN EBNER, individually and on
behalf of all others similarly situated,
MERCHANTS & MEDICAL CREDIT
CORP., et al.,
AND NOW, this 22nd day of March, 2017, upon consideration of the Parties’
request for final approval of the Settlement Agreement (“Agreement”) between Plaintiff
Susan Ebner (“Plaintiff”), individually, and as representative of the class of persons
defined below (“Settlement Class”), and Defendant Merchants & Medical Credit Corp.
(“MMCC”), the Court orders and finds as follows:
1. This Court has jurisdiction over the subject matter of this lawsuit, Plaintiff,
Settlement Class Members, and MMCC.
2. The following Settlement Class is certified pursuant to Fed. R. Civ. P. 23(b)(3):
All persons located in (i) the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, (ii) the State of
New Jersey, or (iii) the State of Delaware, according to their last known address
in MMCC’s records, from December 4, 2013 through August 1, 2015 (the “Class
Period”), who received one or more letters from Defendant seeking to collect a
consumer debt for which the MMCC account number was visible through the
glassine window of the envelope.
3. Based on the Parties’ stipulations: (A) the Settlement Class as defined is
sufficiently numerous such that joinder is impracticable; (B) common questions
of law and fact predominate over any questions affecting only individual
Settlement Class members; (C) the Plaintiff’s claims are typical of the
Settlement Class members’ claims; (D) Plaintiff is an appropriate and adequate
representative for the Class and her attorneys, Arkady “Eric” Rayz, of the law
firm, Kalikhman & Rayz, LLC, 1051 County Line Road, Suite “ A,” Huntingdon
Valley, PA 19006 and Gerald D. Wells, III, of the law firm, Connolly Wells &
Gray, LLP, 2200 Renaissance Blvd., Suite 308, King of Prussia, PA 19406, are
hereby appointed as Settlement Class Counsel; and (E) a class action is the
superior method for the fair and efficient adjudication of the claims of the
Settlement Class Members.
4. The Court approved a form of notice for mailing to the Settlement Class. The
Court is informed that actual notice was sent by first class mail to approximately
4,802 Settlement Class Members by First Class, Inc., the third-party settlement
administrator. A total of 392 envelopes were returned by the United States
Postal Service, none of which were returned with forwarding addresses and remailed. No Settlement Class members requested exclusion, and no objections
were filed or received.
5. On January 12, 2017, the Court held a fairness hearing to which Settlement
Class Members, including any with objections, were invited. No one attended
6. The Court finds that provisions for notice to the class satisfy the requirements of
due process pursuant to the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, including Rule 23,
the United States Constitution and any other applicable law.
7. The Court finds that the settlement is fair, reasonable, and adequate and hereby
finally approves the Agreement submitted by the Parties, including the Release
and payments by MMCC. Upon the Effective Date, as that term is defined in the
Agreement, MMCC, or its insurer, shall make the following payments:
a) $29,000.00 (“Settlement Fund”) to be deposited with a settlement
administrator to distribute pro rata among Settlement Class Members who
did not exclude themselves and who returned a timely, valid claim form
(“Participating Settlement Class Members”). Participating Settlement Class
Members will receive a pro rata share of the Settlement Fund by check.
Checks issued to the Participating Settlement Class Members will be void
sixty (60) days from the date of issuance. If any portion of the Settlement
Fund remains after the void date on the Participating Settlement Class
Members’ checks, these remaining funds will be distributed as set forth in the
b) $1,000 to Plaintiff as her individual statutory damage award.
c) $42,500 to be paid to Class Counsel for attorneys’ fees and costs. Class
Counsel will not request additional fees or costs from MMCC.
d) Of the amount awarded to Class Counsel, $2,500 shall be payable to Plaintiff
as a Case Contribution Award in recognition of her efforts in prosecuting
these claims on behalf of the class. No other amounts, other than those
either awarded by this Court or otherwise set forth in the Agreement shall be
payable to Plaintiff.
e) All costs incurred by the Settlement Administrator arising from or related to
8. This Court approves the individual and class releases set forth in the Parties’
Agreement, and the released claims are consequently compromised, settled,
released, discharged, and dismissed with prejudice by virtue of these proceedings
and this Order.
9. The Court finds the Agreement is fair and made in good faith.
10. Within thirty (30) days following the last void date of the Settlement Class
members’ checks, any uncashed checks or undistributed funds will be addressed
by motion to the Court after distribution and after the administrator prepares an
accounting of payments and checks cashed.
11. The terms of the Agreement are incorporated into this order. This Order shall
operate as a final judgment and dismissal without prejudice of the claims in this
12. The Court finds, in accordance with Fed. R. Civ. P. 54(b), that there is no just
reason for delay of enforcement of, or appeal from, this Order.
13. The Court retains continuing and exclusive jurisdiction over the Parties and all
matters relating to this matter, including the administration, interpretation,
construction, effectuation, enforcement, and consummation of the Settlement
and this Order.
14. The Parties are hereby ordered to comply with the terms of the Agreement and
BY THE COURT:
/s/ Gerald J. Pappert
GERALD J. PAPPERT, J.
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