United States District Court, W.D. Washington
LINDA GRIFFITH and JEANETTE WENZL, on behalf of themselves, individually, and on behalf of the Providence Health & Services Cash Balance Retirement Plan, Plaintiffs,
PROVIDENCE HEALTH & SERVICES; RETIREMENT PLANS COMMITTEE; ELLEN WOLF; JOHN and JANE DOES 1-20, inclusive, MEMBERS OF THE RETIREMENT PLANS COMMITTEE; JOHN or JANE DOE 21, PLAN DIRECTOR; HUMAN RESOURCES COMMITTEE OF THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS; JOHN and JANE DOES 22-40, inclusive, MEMBERS OF THE HUMAN RESOURCES COMMITTEE OF THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS; ROD HOCHMAN; BOARD OF DIRECTORS OF PROVIDENCE HEALTH & SERVICES; MICHAEL HOLCOMB; CHAUNCEY BOYLE; ISIAAH CRAWFORD; MARTHA DIAZ ASZKENAZY; PHYLLIS HUGHES; SALLYE LINER; KIRBY McDONALD; DAVE OLSEN; AL PARRISH; CAROLINA REYES; PETER J. SNOW; MICHAEL A. STEIN; CHARLES WATTS; BOB WILSON; JOHN and JANE DOES 41-50, inclusive, Defendants.
ORDER FINALLY APPROVING CLASS SETTLEMENT
C. COUGHENOUR UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
litigation involves the claims for alleged violations of the
Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974, as amended
(ERISA), 29 U.S.C. §§ 1001, et seq., set
forth in Plaintiffs' class action complaint dated
November 7, 2014, with respect to the Providence Health &
Services Cash Balance Retirement Plan (the
Plan). The parties entered into a class action
settlement agreement dated October 20, 2016 (the Settlement).
December 6, 2016, the Court entered an order preliminarily
approving the class action settlement agreement,
preliminarily certifying the putative class in this action
for settlement purposes, ordering a class notice to be mailed
and published on the internet, scheduling a fairness hearing
(the Hearing) for March 21, 2017 at 9:00 a.m., and providing
those persons with an opportunity to object to the
Settlement. (See Dkt. No. 52.)
Court held the Hearing on March 21, 2017 at 9:00 a.m. to
determine whether to give final approval to the Settlement.
Due and adequate notice having been given to the settlement
class (the Class) as required, and the Court having
considered the Settlement, all objections thereto, all papers
filed and proceedings held, and good cause appearing
therefore, hereby ORDERS and FINDS as follows:
1. The Court has jurisdiction over the subject matter of this
action and all parties to the action, including all members
of the Class.
2. The Class preliminarily certified by this Court consists
of: All Persons who are or were participants, whether vested
or non-vested, in the Plan on or after January 1, 2008, and
3. The Class meets all requirements of Federal Rule of Civil
Procedure 23(a) for certification of the class claims alleged
in the complaint, including: (a) numerosity; (b) commonality;
(c) typicality; and (d) adequacy of the class representatives
and class counsel.
prerequisites of Rule 23(b)(1) have been satisfied, because
the prosecution of separate actions by individual members of
the Class would create a risk of (i) inconsistent or varying
adjudication that would establish incompatible standards of
conduct for Defendants and (ii) adjudications with respect to
individual Class members, which would, as a practical matter,
be dispositive of the interests of the other members not
parties to the adjudications or would substantially impair or
impede their ability to protect their interests.
prerequisites of Rule 23(b)(2) have been satisfied, because
Defendants have acted or refused to act on grounds generally
applicable to the Class, thereby making appropriate final
injunctive relief or corresponding declaratory relief with
respect to the Class as a whole.
Class is finally certified for settlement purposes under Rule
23(b)(1) and (b)(2).
Pursuant to Rule 23(a), Plaintiffs Linda Griffith and
Jeanette Wenzl are members of the Class, their claims are
typical of those of the Class, and they fairly and adequately
protected the interests of the Class throughout these
proceedings. Accordingly, Griffith and Wenzl are appointed as
Pursuant to Rule 23(g)(1), counsel have fairly and adequately
represented the Class for purposes of entering into and
implementing the Settlement. Thus, Keller Rohrback L.L.P. and
Cohen Milstein Sellers & Toll, PLLC are appointed as
Class Counsel to represent the members of the Class.
appointment of Class Counsel and the appointment of Griffith
and Wenzl as Class Representatives are fully and finally
Class Counsel is hereby awarded attorney fees pursuant to
Rule 23(h), in the fair and reasonable amount of $6, 425,
877.27, as well as $54, 122.73 in reimbursement of Class
Counsel's reasonable expenses incurred in prosecuting
this action. The attorney fees and expenses so awarded shall
be paid from the $6, 500, 000.00 fund for Class Counsel
pursuant to the terms of the Settlement. All fees ...