United States District Court, E.D. California
ERIC FELIX, an individual, on behalf of himself and others similarly situated, Plaintiff,
WM. BOLTHOUSE FARMS, INC., Defendant.
ORDER AFTER NOTICE OF CLASS SETTLEMENT
JENNIFER L. THURSTON UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
September 10, 2019, the parties filed a “Joint Notice
of Settlement.” (Doc. 23) The parties informed the
Court that they were “in the process of negotiating a
long-form settlement agreement, ” and “Plaintiff
anticipates filing a motion for preliminary approval of class
action settlement within 30 to 60 days.” (Id.
for preliminary and final approval of the class settlement
must include information for the court to “determine
whether the proposed settlement is fundamentally fair,
adequate, and reasonable.” See Staton v. Boeing
Co., 327 F.3d 938, 952 (9th Cir. 2003); see
also Fed. R. Civ. P. 23(e)(2). The Ninth Circuit
identified several factors to determine whether a proposed
settlement agreement meets these standards, including:
the strength of plaintiff's 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
Staton, 327 F.3d at 959 (citation omitted). The
parties are informed that each of these factors will be
considered by the Court in reviewing the proposed settlement
terms. Failure to address these factors may delay resolution
of the action or result in the denial approval being denied.
Litigation and Settlement Class Definitions
initial matter, parties seeking preliminary approval should
address whether the Court certified a litigation class. If a
litigation class was certified, the
parties should address identify any differences between the
class defined by the Court and the proposed settlement class.
class was not certified, the
parties must address whether the proposed settlement class
satisfies the requirements of Rule 23 of the Federal Rules of
Civil Procedure, including:
(1) the class is so numerous that joinder of all members is
impracticable; (2) there are questions of law or fact common
to the class; (3) the claims or defenses of the
representative parties are typical of the claims or defenses
of the class; and (4) the representative parties will fairly
and adequately protect the interests of the class.
Fed. R. Civ. P. 23(a). Further, the parties must demonstrate
the proposed class is maintainable under one or more of the
three alternatives set forth in Rule 23(b). Narouz v.
Charter Communs., LLC, 591 F.3d 1261, 1266 (9th Cir.
parties should identify the proposed settlement administrator
and the anticipated duties of the settlement administrator.
The parties should also identify the anticipated
administration cost, the reasonableness of these costs, and
who will be responsible if the claims administration costs
exceed the amount preliminarily approved. Prior to the
hearing for final approval, the settlement administrator
shall file a declaration of due diligence, setting forth its
compliance with its obligations under the settlement
agreement, and addressing the costs incurred.