UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT CENTRAL DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA WESTERN DIVISION
March 22, 2012
IN RE AFTERMARKET AUTOMOTIVE LIGHTING PRODUCTS ANTITRUST LITIGATION
The opinion of the court was delivered by: George H. Wu, U.S. District Judge
AMENDED RULE 54(b) FINAL JUDGMENT ORDER AS TO: (1) DEPO AUTO PARTS INDUSTRIAL CO. LTD. AND MAXZONE VEHICLE LIGHTING CORP.; AND (2) SABRY LEE (U.S.A.) INC. AND SABRY LEE LIMITED [ALLOCATED EXPENSES]
FINAL JUDGMENT AND ORDER AS TO DEPO/MAXZONE AND SABRY LEE SETTLEMENTS
On November 8, 2011, the Court entered an Order Granting Preliminary Approval of Proposed Settlements With Defendants (1) Depo Auto Parts Industrial Co. Ltd., and Maxzone Vehicle Lighting Corp. and (2) Sabry Lee (U.S.A.) Inc. and Sabry Lee Limited*fn1 [Dkt. 391] ("Preliminary Approval Order"). That Preliminary Approval Order specified the manner inwhich Garden City Group (the "Claims Administrator") was to provide Class Notice to the Settlement Class.
Within ten (10) days of the filing of the Preliminary Approval Motion, the Settling Defendants complied with the requirements of 28 U.S.C. § 1715(b) by serving the appropriate documents and other information on the appropriate State and Federal officials.
Following the dissemination of Class Notice and Election Form, Class Members were given an opportunity to (a) request exclusion from the Class, or (b) comment or object to the Settlement Agreement and/or to Class Counsel's request for fees and expenses and the Class Representatives' application for an incentive award.
A Fairness Hearing was held on February 23, 2012, at which time all interested persons were given a full opportunity to state any objections to the Settlement Agreement. The Fairness Hearing was held 97 days after the Settling Defendants provided notice as required by 28 U.S.C. § 1715(d) and 93 days after the Class was provided Notice pursuant to paragraphs 6-7 of the Preliminary Approval Order.
Having read and fully considered the terms of the Settlement Agreements with the Settling Defendants (attached as Exhibits A and B to Dkt. No. 315-2)*fn2 , and all submissions made in connection with them, and the Motion for Attorney Fees, Reimbursement of Costs and Service Awards [Dkt. 396], the Court finds that, pursuant to Rule 54(b) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, that there is no just reason for delay, and therefore expressly directs the entry of Final Judgment as to the Settling Defendants. The Settlement Agreements should be finally approved and the Settling Defendants only dismissed with prejudice as to all Class Members who have not excluded themselves from the Class, and without prejudice as to all persons who timely and validly excluded themselves from the Class.
IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that: 1. The Court hereby approves the terms of the Settlement Agreements as fair, reasonable, and adequate as it applies to the Class, and directs consummation of all its terms and provisions.
2. The Settlement Agreements shall be binding on the Settling Defendants and all Plaintiffs, including all members of the Class who have not been excluded pursuant to the Settlement Agreement.
3. The Court dismisses on the merits and with prejudice the Amended Consolidated Class Action Complaint as to the Settling Defendants only. Upon the Effective Date, Settling Plaintiffs (the "Releasors") shall be deemed to have, and by operation of the Final Order and Judgment shall have, released, acquitted and forever discharged from any and all claims, demands, actions, suits, causes of action, whether class, individual, or otherwise in nature (whether or not any Settling Plaintiff has objected to the Settlement or makes a claim or participates in the Settlement Fund), whether directly, representatively, derivatively or in any other capacity that Releasors, or each of them, ever had, now has, or hereafter can, shall, or may have on account of, related to, or in any way arising out of or relating in any way to Releasees (or any of them) concerning the pricing, production, development, or sale of Aftermarket Automotive Lighting Products during the period from July 29, 2001 to February 10, 2009, as alleged in the Amended Consolidated Class Action Complaint. All members of the Class who did not duly request exclusion from the Class in the time and manner provided in the Class Notice are hereby barred, permanently enjoined, and restrained from commencing or prosecuting any action, suit, proceeding, claim, or cause of action in any jurisdiction or court against the Settling Defendants or any of the other entities or persons who are to be discharged as noticed above, based upon, relating to, or arising out of, any of the matters which are discharged and released pursuant to the Settlement Agreements.
4. Class Counsel shall file with the Clerk of the Court a record of Class Members who have properly and timely excluded themselves from the Settlement, and shall provide a copy of the record to Settling Defendants.
5. The Court dismisses without prejudice the claims of Class Members who have properly and timely excluded themselves in full accordance with the procedures set forth in the Settlement Agreements.
6. If the Settlement Agreements becomes null and void pursuant to the terms of the Settlement Agreements, this Final Orderand Judgment shall be deemed vacated and shall have no force or effect whatsoever.
7. Having reviewed the unopposed Motion for Attorney Fees, Reimbursement of Expenses and Service Awards and all documents filed in relation thereto, to which no entity objected, and having issued its Tentative Ruling and Minute Order granting in full the motion for final approval of the class action settlements with Defendants Depo and Sabry Lee [Dkt. 444] and having reviewed with Defendants Depo and Sabry Lee [Dkt. 444] and having reviewed Plaintiffs' supplemental papers in further support of their application for reimbursement of expenses [Dkt 446, 446-1] and Plaintiffs' further supplemental papers submitted to the Court in camera on March 16, 2012 in support of their application for reimbursement of expenses, the Court concludes that an amount equal to 25% of the Settlement Fund, $6,362,500 shall be awarded to Class Counsel for fees related to the prosecution of this Action and $756,792.62 shall be awarded as reimbursement for actual expenses incurred by Class Counsel through October 31, 2011. The Court finds that Class Counsel have expended substantial and skilled time and efforts in an efficient manner to bring this action to conclusion. These efforts included, but were not limited to, engaging in lengthy and independent, factual investigation and informal discovery, lengthy formal discovery of both parties and non parties, interviewing witnesses, preparing for and conducting depositions both domestically and abroad, briefing numerous motions, obtaining class certification and engaging in numerous arms-length settlement discussions and meetings with the Settling Defendants, and posturing the case for an efficient and substantial recovery for the Class. Additionally, the Court finds that this award is commensurate with the level of skill displayed by Class Counsel throughout the prosecution of this Action. And finally, the Court finds this award appropriate in the light of the contingent nature of Class Counsel's fees and reimbursement of their expenses and the risk associated with these types of cases. Given all these factors, and after a review of the complete record, the Court finds the amount awarded to be reasonable and fair. Within ten (10) business days of this Order, the escrow officer is directed to wire transfer this amount to a bank account identified by Class Counsel.
8. The Court finds that each Class Representative should be awarded $15,000 as an Incentive Award for their efforts and expenses and the risks undertaken for their service as Class Representatives. The Court concludes that this amount is just and reasonable under Ninth Circuit precedent and in accordance with California law. Within ten (10) business days of this Order, the escrow officer is directed to mail checks to Class Counsel for each Class Representative in the amount specified in this paragraph. Class Counsel is directed to deliver these checks to each Class Representative by mail or other means.
9. Without affecting the finality of the Final Order and Judgment in any way, the Court reserves continuing and exclusive jurisdiction over the parties, including all Class Members as defined above, and the execution, consummation, administration, and enforcement of the terms of the Settlement Agreement.
10. The Plan of Administration and Distribution, annexed as Exhibit C to the Declaration of Jason S. Hartley in Support of Plaintiffs' Motion for Preliminary Approval of the Proposed Settlements, which was previously filed with the Court [Dkt. No. 315-2, pp. 54-58], is hereby approved.
The Clerk is directed to enter this Final Order and Judgment forthwith.
IT IS SO ORDERED.