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Glenn v. America

United States District Court, C.D. California

August 26, 2019

BILLY GLENN, et al., Plaintiffs,
v.
HYUNDAI MOTOR AMERICA, et al., Defendants.

          FINAL ORDER AND JUDGMENT [272]

          HON. DAVID O. CARTER U.S. DISTRICT COURT JUDGE

         Plaintiffs' Motion for Final Settlement Approval and Award of Attorney's Fees, Litigation Costs, and Service Awards came before the Court for hearing on August 12, 2019, pursuant to the Court's Order Granting Motion to Direct Notice of Proposed Class Action Settlement dated February 25, 2019 (“Order Directing Settlement Notice”) (Dkt. No. 267). Having considered the parties' Settlement Agreement, and all papers filed and proceedings had herein, IT IS HEREBY ORDERED, ADJUDGED, AND DECREED:

1. This Court has subject matter jurisdiction over this action.
2. Capitalized terms not otherwise defined herein shall have the same meaning as set forth in the parties' Settlement Agreement.
3. The Court finds, following a rigorous analysis and for purposes of settlement only, that the following settlement Class satisfies the requirements of Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 23:
All persons and entities who bought or leased a Class Vehicle in the United States, excluding its territories, as of the date of Preliminary Approval (February 25, 2019), and all persons who bought or leased a Class Vehicle while on active military duty in the Armed Forces of the United States as of the date of Preliminary Approval.[1]
(a) Hyundai sold and leased hundreds of thousands of new Class Vehicles. Some of those vehicles have been resold in the years since the vehicles were originally sold and leased. Thus the total number of Class members exceeds the total number of Class Vehicles originally sold. As a result, joinder of all Class Members would be impracticable.
(b) There are questions common to the Class, and those questions common to the Class predominate over questions affecting individual Class Members: All Class Members bought or leased Hyundai vehicles with panoramic sunroofs; Plaintiffs claim the sunroofs are prone to shattering and claim that Hyundai concealed that information from them. Defendants, without admitting the existence of any defect (let alone concealment of a defect), have agreed to provide relief to the Class of purchasers and lessees to address the risk of shattering. The Class is thus sufficiently cohesive. To the extent differences of state law exist, the common questions nevertheless predominate. Because the action is being settled rather than litigated, the Court need not consider manageability issues that might be presented by the trial of the issues in this case. See Amchem Prods., Inc. v. Windsor, 521 U.S. 591, 620 (1997).
(c) The claims of Plaintiffs are typical of the claims of the Class they seek to represent for purposes of settlement: Hyundai sold them a vehicle with a sunroof that is allegedly prone to shattering. This common course of conduct gives rise to the same reasonably co-extensive claims for all class members for purposes of settlement.
(d) A class action is superior to other available methods for the fair and efficient adjudication of this controversy: forcing individual vehicle owners to litigate their cases is an inferior method of adjudication given the costs of the litigation, need for expert testimony, and the benefits of concentrating claims in this forum.
(e) Plaintiffs have and will fairly and adequately protect the interests of the Class. Plaintiffs have no interests antagonistic to those of the Class, and have retained counsel experienced and competent to prosecute this matter on behalf of the Class.

         Defendants retain all rights to assert that the action may not be certified as a class action, other than for settlement purposes.

         4. The Court finds that notice has been disseminated to the Class in compliance with the Court's Order Directing Settlement Notice and that the notice given was the best notice practicable under the circumstances, fully satisfied due process, and met the requirements of Rule 23 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. The Court further finds that notice provisions of 28 U.S.C. § 1715 were complied with in this case.

         5. The Court has reviewed each of the 18 objections to the settlement, concludes that none of the objections warrant disapproval of the parties' settlement, and thus overrules the objections. More specifically:

a. The Court overrules the objections that Hyundai should recall or buy back the Class Vehicles. Although those remedies could arguably provide benefits beyond those negotiated, the extant settlement constitutes a fair compromise of Plaintiffs' and Class members' claims;
b. The Court overrules the objections that the extended warranty provided by the settlement should be of longer duration. The negotiated extension and expansion of the warranty provides meaningful benefits. The criticism that the warranty could hypothetically be longer does not justify denying settlement approval;
c. The Court overrules the objections that the settlement should include compensation in higher dollar amounts than those that were negotiated. Again, the amounts provided for by the settlement provide fair, reasonable, and adequate relief in exchange for the release of Class members' claims. The fact that some ...

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