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Valdez v. Harte-Hanks Direct Marketing/Fullerton Inc.

United States District Court, C.D. California, Southern Division

September 23, 2019

SILVIA VALDEZ, individually and on behalf of all others similarly situated, Plaintiff,
HARTE-HANKS DIRECT MARKETING/FULLERTON, INC., a California Corporation; HARTE-HANKS DIRECT, INC., a New York Corporation, and DOES 1-10, inclusive, Defendants.


          Honorable David O. Carter U.S. District Court Judge.

         The Parties reached a settlement subject to Court approval as represented in the Joint Stipulation of Class Action Settlement and Release (the “Stipulation”) that was filed previously with this Court. On September 23, 2019 this Court conducted a Final Approval Hearing pursuant to this Court’s previous Order Granting Plaintiff’s Motion for Preliminary Approval of Class Action Settlement (the “Preliminary Approval Order”) entered herein on January 25, 2019. Due and adequate notice having been given to the Class, defined as all persons who are or were employed or otherwise worked at Harte-Hanks Fullerton’s facility in Fullerton, California as production workers from March 23, 2013, through January 25, 2019, as required in said Preliminary Approval Order, and the Court having considered all papers filed and proceedings had herein and otherwise being fully informed in the matter, and good cause appearing therefore:


         1. For the reasons set forth in the Preliminary Approval Order, which are adopted and incorporated herein by reference, this Court finds that the applicable requirements of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, Rule 23 have been satisfied with respect to the Class and the proposed Settlement. The Court hereby makes final its earlier provisional certification of the Class, as set forth in the Preliminary Approval Order.

         2. This Order and Judgment Granting Final Approval of Class Action Settlement hereby adopts and incorporates by reference the terms and conditions of the parties’ Stipulation, together with the definitions of terms used and contained therein.

         3. The Court finds that it has jurisdiction over the subject matter of the Class Action and over all parties to the Class Action, including all Class Members.

         4. The (“Class Notice”) given to the Class Members fully and accurately informed the Class Members of all material elements of the proposed Settlement and of their opportunity to object to 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, due process, and other applicable law. The Class Notice fairly and adequately described the Settlement and provided Class Members adequate instructions and a variety of means to obtain additional information. A full opportunity has been afforded to the Class Members 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 execute a Request for Exclusion are bound by this Order and Judgment.

         5. The 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 Class 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 reasonable. In so finding, the Court has considered all of the evidence presented, including evidence regarding the strength of the Plaintiff’s 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 Class Counsel. Accordingly, the Court hereby approves the Settlement as set forth in the Stipulation and expressly finds that said Settlement is, in all respects, fair, reasonable, adequate, and in the best interests of the Class and hereby directs implementation of all remaining terms, conditions, and provisions of the Stipulation.

         6. The Court hereby approves attorney’s fees to Class Counsel in the amount of $180, 000.00 and costs in the amount of $7, 318.24 as compensation for all attorney time spent on this matter from inception through and including the Final Approval Hearing and all other work related to this case and all costs, as these requests are fair and reasonable. Costs to the Settlement Administrator in the amount of $15, 000 are hereby approved as fair and reasonable. No. other costs or fees relief shall be awarded, either against Defendant or any other of the Released Parties, as defined in the Stipulation.

         7. The Court hereby approves a Service Award to Plaintiff Silvia Valdez (“Plaintiff”) in the amount of Five Thousand Dollars ($5, 000). Plaintiff’s Service Award is approved as a service award to the class representative and in consideration and exchange for Plaintiff’s Complete and General Release of all claims as explained in the Stipulation. Based on his contribution to the Class, risks incurred, stigma, change of policies, execution of a general release and all other factors presented to the Court, the Court finds this request fair and reasonable.

         8. The Court hereby approves a PAGA Award of $5, 000, with $3, 750 payable to the Labor Workforce Development Agency (“LWDA”), as this request is fair and reasonable.

         9. Entry of this Final Judgment shall constitute a full and complete bar against the Class as to all Released Claims and shall constitute res judicata and collateral estoppel with respect to the Released Claims, except to those who properly opted out of the Settlement pursuant to the terms of the Stipulation.

         10. The Court further confirms and finds that nothing contained in the Stipulation, the Preliminary Approval Order, this Final Order and Judgment, or any other Order entered in this action shall in any way or manner constitute an admission or determination of liability by or against Defendant, or any other Released Parties with respect to any of the claims and causes of action asserted by the Class or any member thereof, and shall not be offered in evidence in any action or proceeding against Defendant, or any other Released Parties in any court, administrative agency, or other tribunal for any purpose whatsoever, other than to the extent necessary to enforce the provisions of the Stipulation or this Order. This paragraph shall not, however, diminish or otherwise affect the obligation, responsibilities, or duties of Defendant under the Stipulation and this Final Order and Judgment.

         11. By operation of the entry of this Final Order and Judgment, as of the Effective Date, the Parties and Class Members, except those who excluded themselves from the Settlement, are ordered to perform ...

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