The opinion of the court was delivered by: Hon. Larry Alan Burns United States District Judge
ORDER: (1) GRANTING CONDITIONAL SERVICE CERTIFICATION OF SETTLEMENT CLASS AND PRELIMINARY APPROVAL OF SETTLEMENT; (2) APPROVING CLASS NOTICE AND RELATED MATERIALS; ADMINISTRATOR; AND (3) APPOINTING SETTLEMENT HEARING (4) SCHEDULING FINAL APPROVAL
The parties have submitted a joint motion for conditional certification of a class settlement in this action, preliminary approval of the parties' proposed settlement, approval of the notice to be sent to the class about the settlement and the forms of class member settlement information and election not to participate in the settlement, approval of the claim form, and the setting of a date for the hearing on final approval of the settlement.
The Court finds the following:
1. The Court has jurisdiction over this action and the parties' proposed settlement pursuant to 28 U.S.C. sections 1132(a) and 1332(d).
2. The proposed class satisfies the requirements of a settlement class because the class members are readily ascertainable and a well-defined community of interest exists in the questions of law and fact affecting the parties.
3. The parties' Settlement Agreement (the "Settlement") (Declaration of Norman B. Blumenthal ["Blumenthal Decl."], Ex. 1) is granted preliminary approval as it meets the criteria for preliminary settlement approval. The Settlement falls within the range of possible approval as fair, adequate and reasonable, and appears to be the product of arm's-length and informed negotiations and to treat all Class Members fairly.
4. Under Rule 23(e), the Court may approve a class settlement only upon finding that it is "fair, reasonable, and adequate." Fed. R. Civ. P. 23(e)(2). To determine whether a proposed settlement meets these standards, the Court must evaluate a number of factors, including:
(1) the strength of the plaintiffs' case;
(2) the risk, expense, complexity, and likely duration of further litigation;
(3) the risk of maintaining class action status throughout the trial;
(4) the amount offered in settlement;
(5) the extent of discovery completed and the stage of the proceedings;
(6) the experience and views of counsel;
(7) the presence of a governmental ...