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Burrows v. Combined Insurance Co. of America

UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT EASTERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA-SACRAMENTO DIVISION


August 12, 2010

KIMBERLY BURROWS, KURT BRUNNER, AND SUZANNE TOWNSEND, INDIVIDUALLY, AND ON [ASSIGNED FOR ALL PURPOSES TO BEHALF OF OTHER MEMBERS OF THE GENERAL THE HON. JOHN A. MENDEZ] PUBLIC SIMILARLY SITUATED, PLAINTIFFS,
v.
COMBINED INSURANCE COMPANY OF AMERICA, AN ILLINOIS CORPORATION; AON SERVICE 6 CORPORATION, AN ILLINOIS CORPORATION, DEFENDANTS.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Hon. John A. Mendez United States District Judge

Date: August 11, 2010 Time: 9:30 a.m. Place: Courtroom Complaint Filed: July 29, 2008

REVISED ORDER GRANTING MOTION FOR PRELIMINARY APPROVAL OF CLASS ACTION SETTLEMENT

ORDER

On August 11, 2010, this Court conducted a hearing on Plaintiffs' Motion for Preliminary Approval of Class Action Settlement.

IT IS HEREBY ORDERED THAT:

1. The Class shall include all individuals currently and formerly employed by Defendant Combined Insurance Company of America in the State of California in position(s) generally described as commissioned insurance agents, e.g., "sales agents," "sales managers," and "territory directors" at any time from July 29, 2004 through May 2, 2010;

2. The class action settlement set forth in the Joint Stipulation of Class Action Settlement and Release ("Settlement" or "Settlement Agreement"), entered into among the parties and their counsel, is preliminarily approved as it appears to be proper, to fall within the range of reasonableness, to be the product of arm's-length and informed negotiations, to treat all Class Members fairly, and to be presumptively valid, subject only to any objections that may be raised at the final approval hearing;

3. The Court approves, as to form and content, the proposed Notice of Pendency of Class Action Settlement, Claim Form, and Request for Exclusion Form (collectively, the "Notice Packet");

4. The Court directs the mailing, by First-Class U.S. mail, of the Notice Packet to the Class Members in accordance with the schedule set forth below. The Court finds that the method selected for communicating the class action Settlement to Class Members is the best notice practicable under the circumstances, constitutes due and sufficient notice to all persons entitled to notice, and thereby satisfies due process;

5. The Court preliminarily appoints named Plaintiffs Kimberly Burrows, Kurt Brunner, and Susanne Townsend as the Class Representatives;

6. The Court preliminarily appoints Initiative Legal Group APC as Class Counsel;

7. The Court grants preliminary approval of attorneys' fees and costs of $2,000,000 and $100,000 payable to Initiative Legal Group APC;

8. The Court grants preliminary approval of Class Representative Enhancement Payments of $10,000 each payable to Plaintiffs Kimberly Burrows, Kurt Brunner and Susanne Townsend;

9. The Court grants preliminary approval of claims administration costs;

10. The Court grants preliminary approval of the allocation of $60,000, pursuant to California Labor Code sections 2698, et seq., the California Labor Code Private Attorneys General Act of 2004 ("PAGA") for the Release of Class Members' PAGA claims. Forty-five thousand dollars (75%) shall be paid to the California Labor and Workforce Development Agency ("LWDA"); and

11. The following dates shall govern for the purposes of this Settlement:

Timing Event

August 25, 2010 (14 calendar days Last day for Defendants provide to the after preliminary approval of Claims Administrator a spreadsheet Settlement) containing the Class Members' full names, most recent known mailing addresses and telephone numbers, Social Security Numbers, dates of employment, and the respective number of days worked by each Class Member during the Class Period ("Class List").

September 4, 2010 (10 calendar days Last day for Claims Administrator to after the Claims Administrator mail Notice Packet to Class Members.

Timing Event

receives Class List)

October 4, 2010 (No more than 30 Last Day for Claims Administrator to days, nor fewer than 20 days, after the send one reminder postcard to all Class initial mailing of the Notice Packet) Members who have not returned Claim Forms or requested exclusion from the Settlement.

November 3, 2010 (no more than 60 Last Day for Class Members' deadline calendar days after Claims to sign and postmark Claim Forms, Administrator mails the Notice Request for Exclusion Forms, or file Packet) and serve objections to the Settlement.

November 17, 2010 Plaintiffs file Motion for Final

Approval of Class Action Settlement and Motion for an Award of Attorneys' Fees And Costs.

December 15, 2010 at 9:30 a.m. Final Approval Hearing.

IT IS SO ORDERED.

20100812

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