The opinion of the court was delivered by: Honorable Christina A. Snyder
[PROPOSED] FINAL ORDER APPROVING CLASS ACTION SETTLEMENT AND JUDGMENT OF DISMISSAL WITH PREJUDICE THEREON
Hearing Date: February 14, 2011 Time: 10:00 a.m. Courtroom: "5"
Complaint filed: March 6, 2008
The motion of Plaintiffs John V.R. Krummell and Matthew W.T. Krummell, in their capacities as co-trustees of the Trust Estate of John D. Krummell and as representatives of the Class (collectively "Plaintiffs"), for final approval of the class action settlement reached with North American Company for Life and Health Insurance ("North American") came on for hearing before this Court on February 14, 2011. William H. Higgins appeared as attorney for North American, and Larry A. Sackey and Joseph Kronawitter appeared as attorneys for Plaintiffs. After considering the Settlement Agreement and Release ("Settlement Agreement"), the moving papers, arguments of counsel and all other matters presented to the Court, it is hereby ORDERED, ADJUDGED, AND DECREED AS FOLLOWS:
1. The Motion for Final Approval of Class Action Settlement is hereby GRANTED.
2. This Final Order Approving Class Action Settlement and Final Judgment of Dismissal With Prejudice Thereon ("Final Approval Order") incorporates and makes part hereof: (a) the Parties' Settlement Agreement and Release ("Settlement Agreement"), filed August 9th, 2010 and (b) the Court's findings and conclusions contained in its Findings and Order Preliminarily Approving Settlement, Directing Issuance of Notice to the Class, and Setting Final Approval Hearing ("Preliminary Approval Order"). All defined terms in this Final Approval Order shall have the same meanings as in the Settlement Agreement.
3. All preliminary findings and conclusions in the Court's Preliminary Approval Order are hereby made final.
4. The Court has personal jurisdiction over all Class Members. The Court has subject matter jurisdiction over the claims asserted in this Action including, without limitation, jurisdiction to approve the Settlement Agreement. Venue is proper. The Settlement Agreement is fair, reasonable and adequate, and consistent and in compliance with the applicable provisions of the United States Constitution, its Amendments, and the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, as to, and in the best interests of, the Class. The Court also finds that the Settlement resulted from protracted and vigorous arm's-length negotiations and was concluded only after Plaintiffs and North American conducted their own investigation and evaluation of the factual and legal issues raised by Plaintiffs' claims, as well as North American's defenses. No objections have been made to the Settlement by any member of the Settlement Class. Accordingly, the Settlement Agreement is hereby finally approved.
5. The Court hereby directs that the Settlement shall be effected in accordance with the terms of the Settlement Agreement (all of which terms are adopted and incorporated herein by reference).
6. The Court finds that implementation of the Revised Planned Premium Notice and the Revised Grace Notice will be beneficial to the Good Standing Subclass. The Court approves the Revised Planned Premium Notice and the Revised Grace Notice substantially in the forms of Exhibits F and G to the Settlement Agreement, combined with such additional information as is appropriate for the particular situation for each Good Standing Policy. North American shall not be prohibited from modifying the Revised Planned Premium Notice or the Revised Grace Notice in the future in order to address changes in regulatory or legal requirements, changes in policy provisions, provisions in new policy forms, or other changes in business needs, including without limitation any changes in data processing systems.
7. The Court finds that the benefits to the Lapsed Coverage Settlement Subclass of an extension to the Reinstatement Period and the implementation of a Monetary Benefits Claim Review Process are fair, reasonable and adequate. Accordingly, the Court approves the benefits to the Lapsed Coverage Settlement Subclass as described in the Settlement Agreement.
8. Pursuant to the Court's Preliminary Approval Order, the notice requirement was satisfied in that the Settlement Administrator sent the Class Notice Package by First Class U.S. mail to the last-known address of each person identified in North American's policy administration system as the owner of a Qualifying Policy at the time coverage ended. Members of the Lapsed Coverage Subclass had the opportunity to exclude themselves from the Settlement or to object to the Settlement, and they were informed of the date, time, and location ofthe Final Approval Hearing and had the opportunity to appear at the Final Approval Hearing. These procedures afforded protections to Lapsed Coverage Subclass Members and provide the basis for the Court to make an informed decision on approval of the Settlement based on the responses of Lapsed Coverage Subclass Members.
9. The form, content and manner of dissemination of the Class Notice Package and all other instruments provided to Lapsed Coverage ...