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Baltazar A. Rafales, Individually and On Behalf of All Other Seafarers v. Ms Eurodam

October 31, 2011

BALTAZAR A. RAFALES, INDIVIDUALLY AND ON BEHALF OF ALL OTHER SEAFARERS SIMILARLY SITUATED, PLAINTIFFS,
v.
MS EURODAM, MS PRINSEDAM, IN REM, AND HAL ANTILLEN, N.V., IN PERSONAM, DEFENDANTS.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Hon. A. Howard Matz

JS-6

IN ADMIRALTY

Complaint filed: March 10, 2010

SETTLEMENT ORDER AND FINAL JUDGMENT

THIS MATTER came before the Court for final approval of the proposed class settlement, as last amended on September 19, 2011 (the "Settlement"). The Court has considered all papers filed and proceedings in this matter and is fully informed regarding the facts surrounding the proposed Settlement. Based upon this information, the Court has determined to approve the proposed Settlement as fair, reasonable, and adequate to the Class. The Court hereby enters this Final Judgment, which constitutes a final adjudication on the merits of all claims of the Settlement Class described below with respect to their employment on Holland America Line vessels within the Class Period.

On May 27, 2011, this Court granted preliminary approval to the proposed class action Settlement between Class Plaintiffs and Defendants Holland America Line Inc. et al. ("HAL"). The Proposed Settlement resolves all of the Class's claims against HAL in exchange for HAL's promise to compensate Class members as set forth in the Settlement Agreement. On September 1, 2011, this Court held a fairness hearing to consider whether to grant final approval to the Settlement and to consider Class Counsel's application for an award of attorneys' fees and costs. The Court heard and considered argument from the parties and all others who elected to appear to voice their support for, or objection to, the Settlement. The Court then took the motion for final approval of the Settlement under submission, pending a status report on further negotiations. On September 19, 2011, the parties, along with the Balen Objectors, filed a Status Report Concerning Settlement Improvements [Dkt. 135], reporting on enhancements to the Settlement and a resolution of the Balen Objectors' objections to the Settlement. The Court then re-set to October 31, 2011, the hearing on the motion for final approval of the Settlement, as amended.

Having read, reviewed and considered the papers filed in support of and in opposition to final approval of the Settlement, including the declarations submitted by counsel and the Class Representative, and oral arguments of counsel, along with Class Counsel's Fee and Cost Application, the Settlement Agreement, and the pleadings, it is hereby ORDERED, ADJUDGED AND DECREED that:

1. The definitions and provisions of the Settlement Agreement and the Notice of Pendency of Class Action and Proposed Settlement are hereby incorporated as though fully set forth herein.

2. This Court has jurisdiction over the subject matter of the Settlement Agreement with respect to and over all parties to the Settlement Agreement, including all members of the Settlement Class.

3. The Court approves the Settlement and finds that, as amended, the Settlement is, in all respects, fair, reasonable, and adequate to the Plaintiff Settlement Class, within the authority of the parties, and the result of extensive arm's length negotiations.

4. This Court confirms that the proposed Settlement Class satisfies the requirements of Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 23, as found in the Court's Preliminary Approval Order. Accordingly, this Court makes final its May 27, 2011, Order Conditionally Certifying Settlement Class.

5. Two (2) members of the Class have timely requested to be excluded from the Class and the Settlement. Exhibit A, attached hereto, lists the Class members who timely requested exclusion from the Class. This Order shall not bind or affect Class members listed on Exhibit A.

6. The Court hereby grants final approval to the Settlement and finds that, as amended, it is fair, reasonable and adequate, and in the best interests of the Class as a whole. The Court has considered and hereby overrules all objections brought to the Court's attention, whether properly filed or not.

7. Neither this Final Judgment nor the Settlement Agreement is an admission or concession by HAL of the validity of any claims or of any liability or wrongdoing or of any violation of law. This Final Judgment and the Settlement Agreement do not constitute a concession and shall not be used as an admission or indication of any wrongdoing, fault or omission by HAL or any other person in connection with any transaction, event or occurrence, and neither this Final Judgment nor the Settlement Agreement nor any related documents in this proceeding, nor any reports or accounts thereof, shall be offered or received in evidence in any civil, criminal, or administrative action or proceeding, other than such proceedings as may be necessary to consummate or enforce this Final Judgment, the ...


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