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Aris Jefferson, Individually, and On Behalf of All Others Similarly Situated v. H & M Hennes & Mauritz

January 7, 2013


The opinion of the court was delivered by: Judge: Honorable Christina A. Snyder


Dept.: Courtroom 5, 2nd Floor

This matter, having come before the Court on January 7, 2013, for a hearing on plaintiff Aris Jefferson's ("Plaintiff") Motion for an Order: (1) Granting Final Approval of Class Action Settlement Agreement; (2) Awarding Attorneys' Fees and Costs to Class Counsel; (3) Approving Enhancement Award to the Class Representative; and (4) Awarding Reimbursement for Claims Administration Fees and Costs, the Court having considered all papers filed and proceedings had herein and otherwise being fully informed and good cause appearing therefore, it is hereby ORDERED, ADJUDGED AND DECREED THAT:

1. All terms used herein shall have the same meaning as defined in the H&M Hennes & Mauritz, L.P. "Wage and Hour" Class Action Settlement Agreement and Release of Claims ("Settlement") submitted to the Court on October 8, 2012 (Docket No. 28-1), unless otherwise noted herein.

2. Consistent with the definitions provided in the Settlement, the term "Plaintiff Class" refers to all persons who are and/or were employed by defendant H&M Hennes & Mauritz, L.P. ("Defendant" or "H&M") as non-exempt retail employees, in one or more of H&M's California retail stores between July 29, 2007 and the date of Preliminary Approval of the Settlement and the term "Settlement Class" refers to all members of the Plaintiff Class who do not request exclusion from the Settlement.

3. This Court has jurisdiction over the subject matter of this action and over all parties to this action, including all Settlement Class members.

4. In accordance with the Settlement and this Court's Preliminary Approval Order (Docket No. 30), distribution of the Class Notice Package directed to the Plaintiff Class members has been completed, including the individual notice to all Plaintiff Class members who could be identified through reasonable effort. It is hereby determined that the notice to Plaintiff Class members, as disseminated thereto in accordance with the provisions of the Preliminary Approval Order, was the best notice practicable under the circumstances. Due and adequate notice of the pendency of this action and of this Settlement has been provided to the Plaintiff Class, and this Court hereby finds that the notice program described in the Preliminary Approval Order and completed by the Settlement Administrator complied fully with the requirements of due process, the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, and all other applicable laws.

5. The Court hereby approves the settlement terms set forth in the Settlement and finds that the Settlement is, in all respects, fair, adequate and reasonable, and further finds that Plaintiff has satisfied the standards and applicable requirements for final approval of this class action settlement under Rule 23 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. The Court also finds that the Plaintiff Class is properly certified as a class for settlement purposes only. The parties to the Settlement are hereby directed to effectuate the Settlement according to its terms.

6. All Settlement Class members are bound by this Final Approval Order and Judgment and by the Settlement embodied therein, including the releases provided for in the Settlement and this Final Approval Order and Judgment. As of the Effective Date of Settlement, by operation of the entry of this Final Approval Order and Judgment, each member of the Settlement Class, including Plaintiff, shall be deemed to have fully released, waived, relinquished and discharged, to the fullest extent permitted by law, all Released Claims that he or she may have against the Releasees.

7. "Releasees" means Defendant and Defendant's present and former parent companies, subsidiaries, and related and affiliated entities, as well as their respective shareholders, employees, officers, directors, attorneys, insurers, successors, and assigns.

8. "Released Claims" means any and all individual and class claims, debts, liabilities, demands, obligations, penalties, guarantees, costs, expenses, attorneys' fees, damages, action or causes of action of whatever kind or nature, whether known or unknown, that were alleged in the Complaint, including all wage and hour class claims which were or could have been brought based on the specific factual allegations contained in the Complaint, including, but not limited to any claims under California or Federal law for unpaid wages, unpaid commissions, unpaid overtime, record-keeping violations, paycheck violations, meal period and rest period violations, "waiting time" penalties, interest or other statutory claims, which arose between July 29, 2007 and the date of final approval, inclusive. Provided, however, that this release will not release the specific allegations set forth in the First Amended Complaint in the matter of Suzanne Tran v. H&M, Hennes and Mauritz L.P., Santa Clara Superior Court case no. 111CV215599. The Settlement Class and Plaintiff also expressly waive all rights and benefits afforded by section 1542 of the California Civil Code, and do so understanding the significance of that waiver. Section 1542 provides:

A general release does not extend to claims which the creditor does not know or suspect to exist in his or her favor at the time of executing the release, which if known by him or her must have materially affected his or her settlement with the debtor.

9. Neither this Settlement nor this Final Approval Order and Judgment is an admission of liability, fault, or wrongdoing by Defendant, or any of the Releasees, nor a finding of the validity of any claims in the Action or any violation of law. Neither this Final Approval Order and Judgment, the Settlement, nor any document referred to herein, nor any action taken to carry out the Settlement is, may be construed as, or may be used as, an admission or concession by or against Defendant, or any of the Releasees, of any fault, wrongdoing, or liability whatsoever. Neither this Final Approval Order and Judgment, any term or provision of the Settlement, nor any of the negotiations or proceedings connected with it, shall be offered or received in evidence in any pending or future civil, criminal or administrative action or proceeding, other than such proceedings that may be necessary to consummate or enforce the Settlement; however, Defendant or any Releasee may use the Settlement and/or any related document, in any action that may be brought against them in order to support a defense or counterclaim based on principles of res judicata, collateral estoppel, release, good faith settlement, judgment bar or reduction, accord and satisfaction, or any other theory of claim preclusion or issue preclusion or similar defense or counterclaim.

10. The Court hereby finds the Settlement Payments provided for under the Settlement to be fair and reasonable in light of all the circumstances. The Court, therefore, orders the calculations and the payments to be made and ...

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