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Slack v. Swift Transportation Co. of Arizona, LLC

United States District Court, W.D. Washington, Tacoma

October 10, 2017

TROY SLACK, JACOB GRISMER, RICHARD ERICKSON, SCOTT PRAYE, GARY H. ROBERTS, ROBERT P. ULLRICH, HENRY LEDESMA, TIMOTHY HELMICK, DENNIS STUBER, ERIC DUBLINSKI, SEAN P. FORNEY, individually and as Class Representatives, Plaintiffs,
v.
SWIFT TRANSPORTATION CO. OF ARIZONA, LLC, Defendant.

          HAGENS BERMAN SOBOL SHAPIRO LLP, Steve W. Berman, WSBA #12536 Thomas E. Loeser, WSBA# 38701 Jeniphr Breckenridge, WSBA #21410 1918 Eighth Avenue, Suite, Attorneys for Plaintiffs

          ORDER GRANTING PRELIMINARY APPROVAL OF CLASS ACTION SETTLEMENT

          BENJAMIN H. SETTLE, United States District Judge

         This matter comes before the Court on Plaintiffs' Motion for Preliminary Approval of Class Action Settlement, filed September 20, 2017 ("Preliminary Approval Motion"). Plaintiff Class Representatives[1] and Defendant Swift Transportation Company of Arizona, LLC, entered into a Class Action Settlement Agreement and Release, dated September 20, 2017 ("Settlement Agreement" or "Settlement") to settle the above-captioned lawsuit. The Settlement Agreement sets forth the terms and conditions for a proposed Settlement and dismissal with prejudice of Swift.

         The Court has considered the Preliminary Approval Motion, and the associated Declarations, the Settlement Agreement, the proposed Settlement Notice, the arguments of counsel, and the record in this case. The Court hereby gives its preliminary approval to the Settlement, finds that the Settlement is sufficiently fair, reasonable, and adequate to allow dissemination of notice of the Settlement to the Class and to hold a Fairness Hearing; orders that Settlement Notice be sent to the Class in accordance with the Settlement Agreement and this Order, and schedules a Fairness Hearing to determine whether the proposed Settlement is fair, reasonable, and adequate.

         IT IS HEREBY ORDERED AND ADJUDGED:

         1. The Settlement Agreement is hereby incorporated by reference in this Order, and all terms and phrases used in this Order shall have the same meaning as in the Settlement Agreement.

         2. This Court has subject matter jurisdiction to approve the Settlement Agreement.

         3. The Court preliminarily approves the Settlement Agreement and finds that the proposed Settlement is sufficiently fair, reasonable, and adequate to warrant providing notice to the Class.

         4. The Court appoints Kurtzman Carson Consultants (KCC) as the Settlement Administrator. KCC shall administer the Settlement in accordance with the terms and conditions of this Order, and the Settlement Agreement.

         5. Settlement Notice.

         The Court approves the proposed notice plan. The Settlement Administrator, using data supplied by Swift as provided in the Settlement Agreement, will attempt in good faith to identify Class Members' last known mailing addresses. Class Counsel, by and through the Settlement Administrator, will provide notice of the settlement to Class Members by: (i) First-Class Mail in a form substantially similar to the form attached as Exhibit 1 to the Declaration of Alan Vasquez Regarding Class Action Notice Qualifications and Administration Experience ("Settlement Notice"); and (ii) a content-neutral website that will contain the mailed Settlement Notice, as well as further information about the Settlement, including access to the Agreement itself, as well as certain pleadings ("Settlement Website").

         6. Class Counsel and the Settlement Administrator shall use their best efforts to complete the Class Notice process by the Mailed Notice Date listed in Paragraph 19 of this Order.

         7. The Court finds that the procedures outlined in the Settlement Agreement and in the Vasquez Declaration for identifying potential Class Members and providing notice to them constitute reasonable notice and the best practicable notice under the circumstances and an appropriate and sufficient effort to locate current addresses for potential Class Members such that no additional efforts to do so shall be required.

         8. The Court finds that the Settlement Notice plan, including the form, content, and method of dissemination of the Settlement Notice to Class Members as described in the Settlement Agreement and in the Vasquez Declaration, (i) is the best practicable notice; (ii) is reasonably calculated, under the circumstances, to apprise Class Members of the pendency of the Lawsuit and of their right to object to and/or exclude themselves from the proposed Settlement; (iii) is reasonable and constitutes due, adequate, and sufficient notice ...


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