The opinion of the court was delivered by: Hon. Philip S. Gutierrez United States District Judge
[PROPOSED] FINAL JUDGMENT AND ORDER GRANTING FINAL APPROVAL OF JOINT STIPULATION OF SETTLEMENT AND RELEASE AND DISMISSING ACTION
DATE: August 1, 2011 TIME: 1:30 p.m.
CTRM: 880 Date Action Filed: March 29, 2010 Trial Date: NONE
The Court, having considered whether to order final approval of the settlement of the above-captioned action pursuant to the Joint Stipulation of Settlement ("Settlement") filed on or about January 31, 2011, having read and considered all of the papers and argument of the parties and their counsel, having granted preliminary approval on May 30, 2011, having received Plaintiffs Motion for Attorneys' Fees and Costs and the Confidential Memoranda of both Parties and having directed that notice be given to all Class Members of preliminary approval of the Settlement and the final approval hearing and the right to be excluded from the Settlement, and having received no objections and good cause appearing, IT IS HEREBY ORDERED AS FOLLOWS:
1. Terms used in this Judgment and Order of Final Approval have the meanings assigned to them in the Settlement.
2. This Court has jurisdiction over the claims asserted in the Action by Plaintiffs Stephan L. Ballard and Patrick D. Quiroz ("Plaintiffs"), and over Class Members and Defendants.
3. The Court hereby makes final the conditional class certification the Court granted on May 30, 2011, and thus makes final for purposes of the Settlement only, the certification of a Class whose members consist of: all persons who were employed by Mistras Group, Inc. and/or its predecessor Conam Inspection and Engineering Services, Inc. formerly known as "Mistras Holdings Co.," in any position within the state of California, at any time between September 4, 2008 and August 29, 2010, as identified by Mistras using its employment records This certification for settlement purposes shall not be construed to be an admission by Defendants or a determination as to the certifiability of any class if the merits of class certification had been litigated in the Action, or in any other action.
4. The Court hereby finds that the Notice of Settlement, as mailed to all Class Members by April 19, 2011 fairly and adequately described the proposed Settlement, the manner in which Class Members could object to or participate in the Settlement, and the manner in which Class Members could opt out of the Settlement Class; was the best notice practicable under the circumstances; was valid, due and sufficient notice to all Class Members; and complied fully with the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, due process, and all other applicable laws. The Court further finds that a full and fair opportunity has been afforded to Class Members to participate in the proceedings convened to determine whether the proposed Settlement should be given final approval. Accordingly, the Court hereby determines that all Class Members who did not file a timely and proper request to be excluded from the Settlement are bound by this Judgment and Order of Final Approval.
5. The Court hereby finds that the Settlement, including the Gross Settlement Amount, is fair, reasonable, and adequate as to the Class, Plaintiffs and Defendants, and is the product of good faith, arms-length negotiations between the Parties, and further, that the Settlement is consistent with public policy, and fully complies with all applicable provisions of law. The Court makes this finding based on a weighing of the strength of Plaintiffs' claims and Defendants' defenses with the risk, expense, complexity, and duration of further litigation. The Court also finds that the Settlement is the result of non-collusive arms-length negotiations between experienced counsel representing the interests of the Class and Defendants, after thorough factual and legal investigation. In granting final approval of the Settlement, the Court considered the nature of the claims, the amounts paid in settlement, the allocation of settlement proceeds among the Class Members, and the fact that the Settlement represents a compromise of the Parties' respective positions rather than the result of a finding of liability at trial. Additionally, the Court finds that the terms of the Settlement have no obvious deficiencies and do not improperly grant preferential treatment to any individual Class Member. The Court further finds that the response of the Class to the Settlement supports final approval of the Settlement. Specifically, no Class Member objects to the Settlement, and only nine (9) Class Members (i.e., less than 2% of the Class) have opted out of the Settlement. A large percentage of Class Members have submitted claims.
Accordingly, pursuant to Rule 23(e), the Court finds that the terms of the Settlement are fair, reasonable, and adequate to the Class and to each Class Member. Staton v. Boeing, 327 F.3d 938, 960 (9th Cir. 2003). The Court also hereby finds that Plaintiffs have satisfied the standards and applicable requirements for final approval of this class action settlement under Rule 23, for the reasons stated in the Motion for Final Approval. Accordingly, the Court hereby finally and unconditionally approves the Settlement and authorizes Defendants to pay the individual Settlement Payments in accordance with the terms of the Settlement.
6. The persons identified on Exhibit B to the Declaration of Bernie Lenhart, filed August 2, 2011, have timely and validly requested exclusion from the Class and, therefore, are excluded. Such persons are not included in or bound by this Judgment and Order of Final Approval, and they are not entitled to any recovery from the settlement proceeds obtained through the Settlement. Those persons are: Diego Centeno, Douglas Crowder, Jason Degula, Alberto Goint, Enda John Halpin, Fernando Llamas, Michael William Price, Sean D. Tahirali and Jon E. Ward.
7. The Court orders the Parties to implement, and comply with, the terms of the Settlement.
8. The Court approves the settlement of the Released Claims as defined in the Settlement. As of the Effective Date of the Settlement, as defined in the Settlement, all of the Released Claims of each Class Member who did not timely opt out, as well as the Class Representatives' Released Claims, are and shall be deemed to be conclusively released as against the Released Parties (as defined by the Settlement). As of the date of this Judgment and Order of Final Approval, all Class Members who did not timely opt out are bound by the instant Judgment and Order of Final Approval, and the Settlement. Except as to such rights or claims that may be created by the Settlement, all Class Members as of the date of this Judgment and Order of Final Approval who did not timely opt out are hereby forever barred and enjoined from commencing or prosecuting any of the Released Claims, either directly, representatively or in any other capacity, against any of the Released Parties.
9. HADSELL STORMER KEENY RICHARDSON & RENICK, LLP and BONINI LAW GROUP are designated as Class Counsel. Class Counsel HADSELL STORMER KEENY RICHARDSON & RENICK, LLP and BONONI LAW GROUP shall continue to serve as Lead Counsel and shall oversee and perform the duties necessary to ...