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Tugas v. Hill-Rom Company, Inc.

United States District Court, E.D. California, Sacramento Division

June 6, 2017

GERMAN TUGAS on behalf of himself and a. others similarly sitjiated, Plaintiff,
v.
HILL-ROM COMPANY, INC., Defendant.

          [PrIjPOOED] ORDER GRANTING FINAL APPROVAL OF CLASS ACTION SETTLEMENT AND ENTERING JUDGMENT

         This matter came on for hearing on June 6, 2017, in Courtroom 6 of the above-captioned Court on the Motion for Order Granting Final Approval of Class Action Settlement and Entering Judgment.

         Having received and considered the Joint Stipulation of Class Action Settlement and Release ("Settlement Agreement"), the supporting papers filed by the Parties, and the evidence and argument received by the Court in conjunction with the Motion for Preliminary Approval of Class Action Settlement, and the instant Motion for Order Granting Final Approval and Entering Judgment, the Court grants final approval of the Settlement and HEREBY ORDERS AND MAKES THE FOLLOWING DETERMINATIONS:

         1. Pursuant to the Order Granting Preliminary Approval of Class Action Settlement, a Notice of Class Action Settlement ("Notice") was mailed to all members of the Class via first-class U.S. on February 7, 2017. The Court finds that distribution of the Notice in the manner set forth in this Order and the Settlement Agreement constituted the best notice practicable under the circumstances, and constituted valid, due, and sufficient notice to all members of the Class, complying fully with the requirements of Rule 23 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, the Constitution of the united States, and any other applicable laws. The Notice set forth herein and in the Settlement Agreement provides a means of notice reasonably calculated to apprise the Class Members of the pendency of the action and the proposed settlement, and thereby meets the requirements of Rule 23(c)(2) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, as well as due process under the United States Constitution and any other applicable law, and shall constitute due and sufficient notice to all Class Members entitled thereto. The Notice informed the Class of the terms of the Settlement, of their right to submit a claim and receive their proportional share of the Settlement, of their right to submit objections, if any, and to appear in person or by counsel at the final approval hearing and to be heard regarding approval of the Settlement, of their right to request exclusion from the Class and the Settlement, and of the date set for the Final Approval hearing. Adequate periods of time were provided by each of these procedures. No member(s) of the Class filed written objections to the proposed Settlement as part of this notice process or stated an intention to appear at the final approval hearing.

         2. The Court finds and determines that this notice procedure afforded adequate protections to Class Members and provides the basis for the Court to make an informed decision regarding approval bf the Settlement based on the responses of Class Members. The Court finds and determines that the Notice provided in the Action was the best notice practicable, which satisfied the requirements of law and due process." 3. Solely for the purpose of settlement in accordance with the Settlement Agreement, the Court finds that the requirements of Rule 23 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure and other laws and rules applicable to settlement approval of class actions have been satisfied, and the Court hereby certifies a Class of all persons who were employed by Defendant in the state of California as a Field Service Representative or a Field Service Technician at any time on or after August 24, 2011 to November 24, 2016.

         4. Pursuant to the Settlement Agreement, and for settlement purposes only, the Court further finds as to the Class that:

a. The Class is so numerous that joinder of all members is impracticable;
b. There are questions of law or fact common to the Class which predominate over the questions affecting only individual members;
c. The claims of the Class Representative are typical of the claim of the Class that the Class Representative seeks to certify;
d. The Class Representative, Plaintiff German Tugas, will fairly and adequately protect the interests of the Class and is, therefore, appointed as the representative of the Class; and
e. Class Counsel, The Turley & Mara Law Firm, APLC, will fairly and adequately protect the interests of the Class and is qualified to represent the Class and is, therefore, appointed as attorneys for the Class for purposes of settlement; and Certification of the Class is superior to other available methods for fair and efficient adjudication of the Controversy.

         5. The Court hereby approves the terms set forth in the Settlement Agreement and finds that the Settlement is, in all respects, fair, adequate, and reasonable, and directs the Parties to effectuate the Settlement according to its terms.

         6. The Court finds that the Settlement was reached as a result of informed and non-collusive arm's-length negotiations. The Court has considered the In re Bluetooth Products Liability Litigation ("Bluetooth ") (9th Cir. 2011) 654 F.3d 935, 946, factors. The Court finds that Class Counsel is not receiving a disproportionate distribution of the settlement and, although Defendant has agreed to not object to an attorney fee request of up to 33 1/3% of the Maximum Settlement Fund, if the amount awarded is less than the amount requested by Class Counsel, the difference will become part of the Net Settlement Amount, which will be distributed proportionately to Settlement Class Members, in accordance with the terms of the Settlement Agreement.

         7. The Court finds that the Settlement is fair when compared to the strength of Plaintiffs case, Defendant's defenses, the risks involved in further litigation and maintaining class status throughput the litigation, and the amount offered in settlement.

         8. The Court finds that the Parties conducted extensive investigation and research, and that their attorneys were able to ...


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