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Viesse v. Tacoma Screw Products, Inc.

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

December 27, 2017

ALBERT VIESSE, Plaintiff,
v.
TACOMA SCREW PRODUCTS, INC., et al., Defendants.

          ORDER

          JOHN C. COUGHENOUR, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         This matter comes before the Court on Plaintiff's unopposed motion for class certification, the appointment of a class representative and its attorney, the appointment of a settlement administrator, the approval of the notice of settlement, the preliminary approval of the settlement agreement, and the establishment of related deadlines (Dkt. No. 44). After reviewing the documents filed in support of Plaintiff's motion, the Court hereby ORDERS the following:

         1. The Court GRANTS preliminary approval of the proposed settlement upon the terms and conditions set forth in the Stipulated Settlement Agreement and Release (Dkt. No. 45 at 15-25) and the Addendum to Stipulated Settlement Agreement and Release (Id. at 27-29) (collectively “Agreement”). The Court preliminarily finds that the terms of the Agreement are fair, adequate and reasonable and comply with Federal Rule of Civil Procedure ("FRCP") 23.

         2. The Court orders that the following Settlement Class[1] ("Settlement Class") is preliminarily certified for settlement purposes only: All consumers, as defined by the Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act (“FACTA”), 15 U.S.C. § 1681 et seq., to whom Tacoma Screw Products, Inc. (“TSP”) provided, at any time during the period from July 1, 2014 to July 14, 2016, an electronically printed receipt at the point of a sale or a transaction at any TSP store, on which receipt was printed the expiration date of the consumer's credit card or debit card.

         3. The Court finds that, for purposes of the Agreement, the above-defined Settlement Class meets all of the requirements for class certification. The Court further finds that, for purposes of the Agreement, the requirements of FRCP 23 are satisfied and that (a) the Settlement Class is ascertainable, (b) the members of the Settlement Class are so numerous that joinder is impracticable, (c) there are questions of law and fact common to the Settlement Class members which predominate over any individual questions, (d) the representative Plaintiff's claims are typical of the claims of the Settlement Class members, (e) the Class Representative and Class Counsel have fairly, adequately, reasonably, and competently represented and protected the interests of the Settlement Class, and (f) a class action is superior to other available methods for the fair and efficient adjudication of the controversy.

         4. The Court appoints Plaintiff Albert Viesse as the Class Representative for the Settlement Class.

         5. The Court appoints attorneys Chant Yedalian of Chant & Company, a Professional Law Corporation, and James A. Sturdevant as Class Counsel for the Settlement Class.

         6. The Court appoints Atticus Administration, LLC as the Settlement Administrator.

         7. The Court preliminarily finds that the Agreement is the product of serious, informed, non-collusive negotiations conducted at arm's-length by the parties. In making these preliminary findings, the Court considered, among other factors, the potential statutory damages claimed in the lawsuit on behalf of Plaintiff and members of the Settlement Class, Defendant's potential liability, the risks of continued litigation including trial outcome, delay and potential appeals, the substantial benefits available to the Settlement Class as a result of the Agreement, and the fact that the proposed settlement represents a compromise of the Parties' respective positions rather than the result of a finding of liability at trial. The Court further preliminarily finds that the terms of the Agreement have no obvious deficiencies and do not improperly grant preferential treatment to any individual member of the Settlement Class.

         8. The Court approves the proposed manner of the notice of settlement set forth in the Agreement. The Court also approves the Claim Form, Short-Form Notice, and Full Notice attached to the Addendum to the Agreement as Exhibits A, B, and C, respectively.

         9. The Court finds that the proposed manner of the notice of settlement set forth in the Agreement and Addendum, and the Claim Form, Short-Form Notice, and Full Notice the Court approves of, as set forth in paragraph 8, constitutes the best notice practicable under the circumstances and is in full compliance with the United States Constitution, FRCP Rule 23, and the requirements of due process. The Court further finds that the notice fully and accurately informs Settlement Class members of all material elements of the lawsuit and the Agreement, of each member's right to be excluded from the Agreement, and each member's right and opportunity to object to the Agreement and to be heard at the fairness (final approval) hearing.

         10. Settlement Class members will have until 60 calendar days after the date Short-Form Notice is first posted by TSP to exclude themselves from the Agreement (the "Opt-Out Deadline"). Settlement Class members may opt out by timely sending a written request to the Settlement Administrator postmarked no later than the Opt-Out Deadline. The Settlement Administrator shall promptly provide a copy of any opt-out request to counsel for each of the Parties. Settlement Class members who timely opt out of the Agreement: (a) will not be a part of the Agreement; (b) will have no right to receive any benefits under the Agreement; (c) will not be bound by the terms of the Agreement; and (d) will not have any right to object to the terms of the Agreement or to be heard at the fairness hearing.

         11. Any Settlement Class member, on his or her own, or through an attorney hired at his or her own expense, may object to the terms of the Agreement. Any such objection must be filed with the Court and also served on Class Counsel and counsel for TSP. To be effective, any such objection must be in writing and include the contents described in paragraph 13 below, and must be filed and served no later than sixty (60) calendar days after the date Short-Form Notice is first posted by TSP. Any objections not raised properly and timely will be waived.

         12. Any Settlement Class member, on his or her own, or through an attorney hired at his or her own expense, may object to Class Counsel's motion for an award of attorney fees and costs and/or the Class Representative's motion for service (or incentive) award. Such motion will be posted on the Settlement Website no later than thirty (30) calendar days before the final fairness hearing scheduled by the Court. Any objection must be filed with the Court and also served on Class Counsel and counsel for TSP. To be effective, any such objection must be in writing and include the contents described in paragraph 13 ...


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