United States District Court, W.D. Washington, Seattle
CHRISTINE DAVID and RODNEY CLURE, individually and on behalf of all others similarly situated, Plaintiffs,
BANKERS LIFE AND CASUALTY COMPANY, a foreign corporation, Defendant.
SCHROETER GOLDMARK & BENDER Lindsay L. Halm, WSBA #37141
Attorneys for Plaintiffs
LITTLER MENDELSON, P.C. Ryan P. Hammond, WSBA #38888
Attorneys for Defendant
ORDER GRANTING PRELIMINARY APPROVAL OF CLASS ACTION
S. LASNIK, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
matter comes before the Court on the parties' stipulated
Motion for Preliminary Approval of a Class Action Settlement.
The Court has considered the motion together with the
supporting declaration and exhibits and the record on file
with the Court. For the reasons set forth below, the Court
GRANTS the motion and preliminarily approves of the
parties' class-wide settlement.
Standard of Review
seeking to certify a settlement class must establish that the
requirements of Fed.R.Civ.P. 23 (“Rule 23”) are
met. Amchem Prods., Inc. v. Windsor, 521 U.S. 591,
617 (1997). A court must engage in a “rigorous
analysis” to determine whether the requirements of
Fed.R.Civ.P. 23 are satisfied. Gen. Tel. Co. of the
Southwest v. Falcon, 457 U.S. 147, 161 (1982). However,
the evidentiary showing need not be extensive. Blackie v.
Barrack, 524 F.2d 891, 901 (9th Cir. 1975).
addition, the Court must satisfy itself that the proposed
class-wide settlement is fair, adequate, and reasonable to
the class. Fed.R.Civ.P. 23(e); see also Hanlon v.
Chrysler Corp., 150 F.3d 1011, 1026 (9th Cir.
1998). In conducting such analysis, federal courts consider
the following factors:
[T]he strength of the plaintiffs' case; the risk,
expense, complexity, and likely duration of further
litigation; the risk of maintaining class action status
throughout the trial; the amount offered in settlement; the
extent of discovery completed and the stage of the
proceedings; the experience and views of counsel; the
presence of a governmental participant; and the reaction of
the class members to the proposed settlement.
Hanlon, 150 F.3d at 1026 (citing Torrisi v.
Tucson Elec. Power Co., 8 F.3d 1370, 1375 (9th Cir.
The Proposed Settlement Class Satisfies Fed.R.Civ.P.
certified under Rule 23, Plaintiffs and the proposed
Settlement Class must satisfy all the requirements of Rule
23(a): (1) the class is so numerous that joinder of all
members is impracticable (“numerosity”), (2)
there are questions of law or fact common to the class
(“commonality”), (3) the claims or defenses of
the representative parties are typical of the claims or
defenses of the class (“typicality”), and (4) the
representative parties will fairly and adequately protect the
interests of the class (“adequacy”). In addition,
the proposed Settlement Class must satisfy the requirements
of superiority and predominance under Rule 23(b)(3).
Predominance is similar to the inquiry on commonality, but
focuses on whether the proposed class is “sufficiently
cohesive to warrant adjudication by representation.”
Amchem Products, Inc. v. Windsor, 521 U.S.
591, 623 (1997). Superiority requires that a class action be
superior to other available methods for adjudication.
reasons set forth below, the Court certifies the following
Agents assigned to the Bellevue Branch or one of its
satellite offices during the period June 22, 2008 to July 30,
2011 who had twelve or fewer months' tenure during that