United States District Court, W.D. Washington, Seattle
TIMOTHY LINEHAN, on behalf of Plaintiff and a class, Plaintiff,
ALLIANCEONE RECEIVABLES MANAGEMENT, INC. Defendant.
PRELIMINARILY APPROVING CLASS ACTION SETTLEMENT,
AUTHORIZING DISTRIBUTION OF CLASS NOTICE, AND SETTING FINAL
APPROVAL HEARING DATE AS TO DEFENDANTS PHYSICIANS
&DENTISTS CREDIT BUREAU, INC. AND JASON WOEHLER
C. COUGHENOUR UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
matter comes before the Court on the motion for preliminary
approval of a Settlement Agreement (the Agreement) among
Plaintiffs Joshua Auxier, James Duncan, Dixie Duncan, and
Gennell Cordova (referred to herein as Plaintiffs) and
Defendants Physicians & Dentists Credit Bureau, Inc.
(P&D) and Jason Woehler (referred to herein as
Defendants), which, if finally approved by the Court, will
resolve the putative class action brought by Plaintiffs
against Defendants (the Action). Having fully considered the
motion and the relevant record, the Court now FINDS and
ORDERS as follows:
Preliminary certification for settlement purposes of only the
Settlement Classes defined in the Agreement is appropriate
under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 23(a) and (b)(3).
Potential class members will have the opportunity to opt out
of or object to the Settlement Classes.
Settlement appears fair, reasonable, and adequate and has
been entered into in good faith. Counsel for the settling
parties have represented to the Court that the Settlement is
the product of arms'-length, serious, informed, and
non-collusive negotiations between Plaintiffs' Counsel
and Defendants' Counsel. These negotiations took place
following lengthy contested litigation, extensive discovery
between the parties, and additional exchange of information
concerning the claims of the Settlement Classes.
Plaintiffs' Counsel and Defendants' Counsel are
knowledgeable and experienced in class action litigation and
in the subject matter involved in this case.
Neither the fact of the Settlement nor the submission of the
Agreement for court approval constitutes, or shall be
construed as, an admission by Plaintiffs that their claims
lacked merit, nor an admission of liability or responsibility
on the part of Defendants, who continue to deny all liability
and disclaim all responsibility.
hearing is appropriate to consider whether to grant final
approval of the Settlement, at which time the Court will hear
from the parties to the Agreement and any Members of the
Settlement Classes who properly object and appear, and will
evaluate the proposed Settlement and the application of
Plaintiffs' Counsel for an award of attorney fees, costs,
and expenses (the Attorney's Award), and the Class
Representatives' incentive award (the Class
Representatives' Incentive Awards). Holding the Final
Approval Hearing on Tuesday, October 24, 2017 will allow
sufficient time for Members of the Settlement Classes to
receive notice of and object to the Settlement or opt out of
the Settlement, if they so desire.
plan for notifying Members of the Classes set forth in the
Agreement and the proposed Settlement Notice (the Notice
Plan) comports with all of the requirements of Rule 23 and
federal standards of constitutional due process as the best
notice practicable under the circumstances of this case. The
Notice Plan will provide the Members of the Settlement
Classes with the information necessary to make an informed
decision regarding their participation in the Settlement. The
Notice Plan is accurate and informative regarding the
Settlement and defenses asserted in the Action and the
reasons for and the terms of the Settlement. The Notice Plan
should be approved and the Settlement Notice attached as
Exhibit B to the Settlement Agreement should be mailed to the
CAUSE APPEARING THEREFORE, IT IS HEREBY ORDERED THAT:
action is conditionally and preliminarily certified, for
settlement purposes only, as a class action pursuant to Rule
23(a) and (b)(3) with two Settlement Classes defined as:
All persons who, during the Fair Debt Collection Practices
Act (FDCPA) Class Period, were sued by P&D in a division
of the King County District Court (KCDC) where they did not
reside (the FDCPA Class);
All persons who, during the Consumer Protection Ac t (C P A)
Class Period, were sued by P&D in a division of the King
County District Court (KCDC) where they did not reside and
against whom ...