United States District Court, N.D. California, San Francisco Division
For Charlene Gallion, on behalf of herself and all others similarly situated, Plaintiff: Jeffrey Louis Fazio, LEAD ATTORNEY, Fazio | Micheletti LLP, San Ramon, CA; Dina Elizabeth Micheletti, Fazio & Micheletti LLP, San Ramon, CA; Earl Lawrence Bohachek, San Rafael, CA; Kimberly Ann Kralowec, The Kralowec Law Group, San Francisco, CA.
For Daniel Calix, Plaintiff: John P. Wolff , III, LEAD ATTORNEY, Christopher K. Jones, Keogh, Cox & Wilson, Ltd., Baton Rouge, LA; Scott E. Brady, LEAD ATTORNEY, Bohrer Law Firm, Baton Rouge, LA.
For Christopher Corsi, Plaintiff: Timothy Newlyn Mathews, LEAD ATTORNEY, Steven Alan Schwartz, Chimicles and Tikellis, LLP, Haverford, PA.
For Apple, Inc, a California corporation, Defendant: Penelope Athene Preovolos, LEAD ATTORNEY, George C. Harris, Penelope Athene Preovolos, Samuel James Boone Lunier, Morrison & Foerster LLP, San Francisco, CA.
For Sean Pennington, Movant: Anthony Fata, Cafferty Clobes Meriwether & Sprengel LLP, Chicago, IL; Mark Andrew Chavez, Chavez & Gertler LLP, Mill Valley, CA.
ORDER SETTING AMOUNT OF ATTORNEY FEES, COSTS, AND INCENTIVE AWARDS
RICHARD SEEBORG, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
Plaintiffs' attorneys seek to recover $15.9 million in compensation for their efforts in bringing this case and obtaining a favorable settlement that includes a fund of $53 million in cash. The requested amount, intended to cover both fees and costs, represents 30% of the settlement fund. Plaintiffs' claim in this action is that Apple wrongfully denied warranty repairs on iPhone and iPad products by relying on " immersion indicators" that were prone to providing false readings implying the devices had been submerged in liquid. Under the settlement, approximately 132,000 class members will automatically receive cash payments of about $211 per device, even if the full amount of and costs requested is awarded. Another approximately 43,000 class members will receive such payments upon verification of their claims. The projected payments slightly exceed the average full replacement cost of the devices.
While Apple apparently was already modifying its practices before this action commenced, and even though the settlement was reached without substantial motion practice or other litigation going to the merits, the results here are markedly favorable to the class. While settlements are, by definition, the product of compromise, in this instance most class members will receive the full replacement cost of the device they owned, or more. Under these circumstances, and as explained more fully below, it is appropriate for class counsel to receive a substantial percentage of the settlement fund, even though the resulting award is large. Fees and costs will therefore be awarded according to the Ninth Circuit " benchmark" of 25%, to be applied in this case to the net settlement fund after deduction of administrative expenses.
A. Apple's standing to object
Although Apple's liability under the settlement agreement is fixed at $53 million regardless of the size of the attorney fee award, it has vigorously opposed the fee application, arguing the fee recovery should not exceed $8.78 ...