United States District Court, N.D. California
ORDER GRANTING MOTION FOR ORDER FINALLY APPROVING CLASS ACTION SETTLEMENT; JUDGMENT Re: ECF No. 74.
JON S. TIGAR, District Judge.
Plaintiff Tasha Keirsey ("Plaintiff"), on behalf of herself and all those similarly situated, and Defendant eBay Inc., have jointly moved pursuant to Rule 23(e) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure for an order finally approving the settlement of this action. ECF No. 74. The Court held a final fairness hearing on the settlement on February 13, 2014.
A. Factual Background and Procedural History
In a previous order issued on October 23, 2013, the Court granted preliminary approval to the proposed settlement and conditionally certified the Class. Order Granting Motion for Order Conditionally Certifying a Settlement Class and Preliminarily Approving Proposed Settlement ("Preliminary Order"), ECF No. 67. As described more fully in the Preliminary Order, the action arises out of Plaintiff's claims that Defendant charged her excessive fees for listing items for sale using the eBay Mobile Application ("eBay App"). The Court incorporates by reference its description of the parties and claims from the Preliminary Order.
This Court has subject matter jurisdiction pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1332(d)(2). This action was filed a class action, Plaintiff asserted in the complaint that the aggregate amount in controversy exceeds the sum of $5 million, and Plaintiff asserts, and Defendant does not deny, that a substantial number of class members reside in states other than California and Delaware, of which Defendant eBay is a citizen.
C. Legal Standard
"The claims, issues, or defenses of a certified class may be settled, voluntarily dismissed, or compromised only with the court's approval." Fed. R. Civ. Pro. 23(e). "Adequate notice is critical to court approval of a class settlement under Rule 23(e)." Hanlon v. Chrysler Corp. , 150 F.3d 1011, 1025 (9th Cir. 1998). In addition, Rule 23(e) "requires the district court to determine whether a proposed settlement is fundamentally fair, adequate, and reasonable." Id. at 1026. "Assessing a settlement proposal requires the district court to balance a number of factors: the strength of the plaintiffs' case; the risk, expense, complexity, and likely duration of further litigation; the risk of maintaining class action status throughout the trial; the amount offered in settlement; the extent of discovery completed and the stage of the proceedings; the experience and views of counsel; the presence of a governmental participant; and the reaction of the class members to the proposed settlement." Id.
A. Class Notice
The Court already preliminarily approved the form of class notice, primarily through email, in the Preliminary Order. Since then, it appears that only a small fraction of emails were not delivered, and the Class Administrator sent postcard notice to those persons whose emails were undeliverable and whose addresses were available. Declaration of Jeffrey D. Dahl ("Dahl Decl.") ¶¶10-14, ECF No. 74-1. Moroever, information about the case has been available ...