United States District Court, N.D. California, San Jose Division
ORDER GRANTING FINAL APPROVAL OF CLASS ACTION
SETTLEMENT RE: DKT. NO. 195
H. KOH, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
matter came before the Court on May 11, 2017 for a hearing on
the Motion for Final Approval of Class Action Settlement. At
the hearing, the parties requested that the Court delay its
ruling on the motion until July 24, 2017 in order to allow
time to fulfill the notice requirements of the Class Action
Fairness Act (CAFA), 28 U.S.C. § 1715. The parties
served supplemental CAFA notice on April 25, 2017, and 28
U.S.C. § 1715(d) requires that “[a]n order giving
final approval of a proposed settlement may not be issued
earlier than 90 days after the later of the dates on which
the appropriate Federal official and the appropriate State
official are served with the notice required . . . .”
ECF No. 199.
adequate notice having been given to Class Members as
required by the Court's January 24, 2017 Preliminary
Approval Order, and the Court having considered all papers
filed and proceedings herein, and determining that the
settlement is fair, adequate, and reasonable, and otherwise
being fully informed and good cause appearing therefore it is
ADJUDGED, AND DECREED AS FOLLOWS:
the reasons set forth in the Preliminary Approval Order and
in the transcript of the proceedings of the Preliminary
Approval hearing, which are adopted and incorporated herein
by reference, this Court finds that the settlement class
meets the requirements of Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 23.
Order hereby adopts and incorporates by reference the terms
and conditions of the Amended Joint Stipulation of Class
Action Settlement (“Settlement Agreement”),
including amendments ordered by this Court, together with the
definitions and terms used and contained therein.
Court finds that it has jurisdiction over the subject matter
of the action and over all parties to the action, including
all members of the Settlement Class.
Class Notice fully and accurately informed Class Members of
all material elements of the proposed settlement and of their
opportunity to opt out, object, or comment thereon; was the
best notice practicable under the circumstances; was valid,
due, and sufficient notice to all Class Members; and complied
fully with the laws of the State of California, the United
States Constitution, and due process. The Class Notice fairly
and adequately described the settlement and provided Class
Members adequate instructions and a variety of means to
obtain additional information.
Class Members were given a full opportunity to participate in
the Final Approval hearing, and all Class Members and other
persons wishing to be heard have been heard. Accordingly, the
Court determines that all Class Members who did not timely
and properly opt out are bound by this Order.
Court has considered all relevant factors for determining the
fairness of the settlement and has concluded that all such
factors weigh in favor of granting final approval. In
particular, the Court finds that the settlement was reached
following meaningful discovery and investigation conducted by
Plaintiffs' counsel; that the settlement is the result of
serious, informed, adversarial, and arm's length
negotiations between the parties; and that the terms of the
settlement are in all respects fair, adequate, and
so finding, the Court has considered all evidence presented,
including evidence regarding the strength of the
Plaintiffs' case; the risk, expense, and complexity of
the claims presented; the likely duration of further
litigation; the amount offered in settlement; the extent of
investigation and discovery completed; and the experience and
views of Plaintiffs' counsel.
Court finds that Class Counsel has given sufficient notice
pursuant to the Class Action Fairness Act of the proposed
settlement to the attorney general of each state in which any
class member resides. 28 U.S.C. § 1715. Each attorney
general has had 90 days to consider and comment on the
proposed settlement, and no attorney general has submitted a
comment. 28 U.S.C. § 1715(d).
the May 11, 2017 hearing, the Court noted that ten objection
forms did not clearly state whether the Class Member intended
to object to the settlement or to opt out of the settlement.
Therefore, the Court ordered Class Counsel to attempt to
contact the following ten Class Members to determine whether
these Class Members intended to object to the settlement or
to opt out: Dyane Tori, Derrick Bailey, Kathy King, Phat Hong
Le, Cynthia Pelston, Celia Haro, Ruby Martinez, Jessica
Lavenant, Jimmy Juarez, and Bruce Andrews. ECF No. 203. In
response to requests for clarification, Tori, Bailey,
Pelston, Martinez, and Andrews indicated that they wished to
opt out of the settlement. Id. ¶¶ 12-18.
Therefore, these individuals are not Class Members and do not
have standing to object to the settlement. See,
e.g., San Francisco NAACP v. San Francisco Unified
School Dist., 59 F.Supp.2d 1021, 1032 (N.D.Cal.1999)
(“[N]onclass members have no standing to object to the
settlement of a class action”). Haro indicated that she
intended to submit only an objection and did not wish to opt
out of the class. Id. ¶ 10. King, Le, Lavenant,
and Juarez did not respond to these inquiries. Id.
¶ 10. The Court will therefore construe the comments of
King, Le, Lavenant, and Juarez as objections rather than
requests to opt out of the settlement.
total, the Court received 274 objection forms. After
reviewing the objection forms, the Court concludes that only
6 of the 274 objection forms contain objections. The
remaining 268 objection forms contained no objection to the
settlement. Specifically, (1) 127 of the objection forms
contained no text at all other than a signature; (2) 20 of
the objection forms either confirmed that the signatory class
member desired to participate in the settlement or expressed
the signatory's satisfaction with settlement; (3) 5 of
the objection ...