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Huffman v. Zwicker & Associates

September 3, 2008

BRUCE HUFFMAN, AN INDIVIDUAL; AND SYGMUND N. WILLIAMS, AN INDIVIDUAL; ON BEHALF OF THEMSELVES AND ALL OTHERS SIMILARLY SITUATED, PLAINTIFFS,
v.
ZWICKER & ASSOCIATES, P.C., A MASSACHUSETTS CORPORATION; AND JOHN AND JANE DOES 1 THROUGH 50 INCLUSIVE, DEFENDANTS.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Hon. Lawrence J. O'neill United States District Court Judge

FINAL ORDER APPROVING CLASS ACTION SETTLEMENT AND PAYMENT OF ATTORNEYS' FEES TO CLASS COUNSEL

This case has come before the Court for final approval of the Class Action Settlement Agreement and for dismissal of this action pursuant to the terms of the Class Action Settlement Agreement, due notice to the Class having been given pursuant to the Court's order of March 28, 2008 [Doc. 16]. The parties appeared through their respective attorneys of record and announced ready to proceed, and the Court conducted a final fairness hearing on the proposed class settlement as contemplated by Fed. R. Civ. P. 23.

THE COURT HEREBY FINDS THAT:

1. The parties entered into a Class Action Settlement Agreement ("Settlement Agreement") dated as of February 28, 2008 [Doc. 9-12].

2. Within ten days of filing the proposed settlement with the Clerk of the Court Defendant complied with the requirements of 28 U.S.C. § 1715.

3. By Order dated March 28, 2008 [Doc. 16], the Settlement Agreement was preliminarily approved by the Court, pursuant to Fed. R. Civ. P. 23, and this Court certified the settlement class, consisting of: all individuals in the United States, Puerto Rico, and Guam who, during the period from September 20, 2006 through March 28, 2008:

(a) received a telephone voice message from Defendant;

(b) in which Defendant did not give the notice provided for in 15 U.S.C. § 1692e(11).

4. The Complaint in this action alleges that Defendant violated the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act. Defendant denies Plaintiffs' allegations and asserts, inter alia, that its conduct was not in violation of that Act. The settlement does not constitute an admission of liability by Defendant, and the Court expressly does not make any finding of liability or wrongdoing by Defendant.

5. On March, 28, 2008, after consideration of the evidence, the papers filed in the above-referenced cause and the argument of counsel, the Court made a preliminary determination that: (i) the proposed settlement class was potentially certifiable under Fed. R. Civ. P. 23(b); and (ii) the proposed settlement of the claims of the class against Defendant appeared to be fair, adequate, and reasonable, and therefore, within the range of approval.

6. The Notice that was approved by the Court and published by Defendant gave fair, adequate, and reasonable notice to the members of the Class of the nature of this action, the potential liability of Defendant, Defendant's defenses, the terms of the settlement, the proposed compensation to the Class, the proposed compensation to the Class Representatives, the proposed payment to Class Counsel, and the method by which they could object to the Settlement.

7. Pursuant to the provisions of the Settlement Agreement and the preliminary approval order, the Class Notice was published in USA Today, a newspaper with nationwide distribution, on June 17, 2008 [Doc. 19].

8. No objections were received and no members of the Settlement Class sought leave of this Court to intervene.

9. The procedures set forth in the Settlement Agreement and the preliminary approval order for objecting are ...


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