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Carr v. United Healthcare Services, Inc.

United States District Court, W.D. Washington

June 2, 2017

ALEXANDRA CARR an individual, on her own behalf, on behalf of THE KAISER ALUMINUM FABRICATED PRODUCTS LLC MEDICAL CHOICE PLUS HOURLY ACTIVE UNION PLAN, and on behalf of similarly situated individuals, Plaintiff,
v.
UNITED HEALTHCARE SERVICES, INC., a Delaware corporation. Defendant.

         [PROPOSED] ORDER (1) FINALLY APPROVING SETTLEMENT AGREEMENT; (2) APPROVING DISBURSEMENTS PURSUANT TO SETTLEMENT AGREEMENT; (3) APPROVING PAYMENT OF COST OF CLAIMS ADMINISTRATION AND CLASS NOTICE, LITIGATION COSTS, CASE CONTRIBUTION AWARD AND ATTORNEYS' FEES; AND (4) ORDERING FINAL REPORT.

         I. BACKGROUND

         On February 10, 2017, the Court preliminarily approved a proposed Settlement Agreement between plaintiff on behalf of the class and defendant United Healthcare Services, Inc. Dkt. No. 77, In conjunction with that Order, the Court directed that the Claims Processor mail the Class Notice (Dkt. No. 73-2) to the Class Notice Recipients and provide the Court with confirmation of compliance by March 22, 2017. See Dkt. No. 78 (confirming mailing of Class Notice). Class counsel also established a settlement webpage consistent with the Preliminary Approval Order, containing the Class Notice, the Claim Form Materials and key filings in the litigation, including the Motion for Attorneys' Fees, Litigation Costs and Incentive Awards. See http://www.symslaw.com/uhcsettlement/ (last visited 4/24/17).

         The Preliminary Approval Order also provided that class members who wished to comment on or object to the proposed Agreement to do so by April 21, 2017. Class members were informed of their rights and of this deadline in the notices that were mailed to them and on class counsel's website.

          The Order further scheduled a final settlement hearing, which was held on June 2, 2017 at 9:00 a.m., to consider any objections and comments submitted by class members and to determine whether the proposed Agreement is fair, reasonable, adequate and should be approved by the Court.

         II. FINDINGS

         1. The parties have reached a Settlement Agreement that confirms plan amendment to prospectively cover medically necessary mental health services without special treatment limitations imposed only on mental health services. The Agreement also established a process for re-processing of mental health claims denied or limited due to the application of the Challenged Mental Health Treatment limitations, the exact terms of which are set out in the Agreement.

         2. The Agreement also establishes a settlement fund to pay all reprocessed claims. .Under the terms of the Agreement, this fund will be used to pay for re-processed claims only.

         3. Under the terms of the Settlement Agreement, the costs of claims administration, class notice, litigation costs, case contribution award and attorneys fees shall be paid from a payment of $110, 000 from defendant UHC to class counsel.

         4. The Court's Preliminary Approval Order required the Claim Processor to mail court-approved notice to class members by direct mail. The notices informed class members that they had an opportunity to object or submit comments to the Court regarding the proposed Agreement and that they must do so in writing by April 21, 2017.

         5. Consistent with the Order, defendant provided notices and materials required under the Class Action Fairness Act ("CAFA"), 28 U.S.C. § 1715(b).

          6. Class Notices were mailed to all identified settlement class members. No class members objected to the Settlement Agreement. No class members submitted comments.

         III. CONCLUSIONS

         7. Rule 23(e) provides that "a class action shall not be dismissed or compromised without the approval of the court...." Compromise and arbitration of complex litigation is encourage and favored by public policy. See Simula, ...


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