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United Steel, Paper & Forestry, Rubber, Manufacturing, Energy v. Conocophillips Company and Does 1 Through 10

May 6, 2013

UNITED STEEL, PAPER & FORESTRY, RUBBER, MANUFACTURING, ENERGY, ALLIED INDUSTRIAL & SERVICE WORKERS INTERNATIONAL UNION, AFL-CIO, CLC, ON BEHALF OF ITS MEMBERS EMPLOYED BY DEFENDANTS, AND RAUDEL COVARRUBIAS, DAVID SIMMONS AND STEPHEN S. SWADER, SR., INDIVIDUALLY AND ON BEHALF OF ALL SIMILARLY SITUATED CURRENT AND FORMER EMPLOYEES, PLAINTIFFS,
v.
CONOCOPHILLIPS COMPANY AND DOES 1 THROUGH 10, INCLUSIVE,
DEFENDANTS.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Philip S. Gutierrez United States District Judge

[PROPOSED] FINAL JUDGMENT AND ORDER GRANTING FINAL APPROVAL OF JOINT STIPULATION OF SETTLEMENT AND RELEASE DATE: May 6, 2013 TIME: 1:30 p.m. LOCATION: Courtroom 880 Judge: Hon. Philip S. Gutierrez

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"), having read and considered all of the papers and argument of the parties and their counsel, having granted preliminary approval on December 12, 2102, 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 Raudel Covarrubias, David Simmons, and Stephen S. Swader, Sr., and Plaintiff United Steel, Paper & Forestry, Rubber, Manufacturing, Energy, Allied Industrial & Service Workers International Union, AFL-CIO, CLC ("USW") ("Plaintiffs"), and over Class Members and Defendants.

3. The Court hereby makes final the conditional class certification the Court granted on December 12, 2012, and thus makes final for purposes of the Settlement only, the certification of the two subclasses:

All former, current, and future non-exempt hourly employees of Conoco who, at any time since February 15, 2004, worked as an operator on a shift schedule at a Conoco petroleum refinery located in Los Angeles, Santa Maria, or Rodeo California; and

All former and current non-exempt hourly employees of Conoco who, at any time from February 15, 2004 through June 8, 2009, worked in the laboratory on a shift schedule at a Conoco petroleum refinery located in Los Angeles, Santa Maria, or Rodeo, California.

4. This certification for settlement purposes shall not be construed to be an admission by the Defendant 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.

5. The Court hereby finds that the Notice of Settlement, as mailed to all Class Members on February 11 and February 26, 2013, 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.

6. 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.

7. The Court hereby finds that the Settlement, including the Maximum 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 no Class Members have opted out of the Settlement. All of the Class Members will receive their share of the Settlement. 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).

8. 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 ...


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