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Veridian Credit Union v. Eddie Bauer LLC

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

June 12, 2019

VERIDIAN CREDIT UNION, on behalf of itself and a class of similarly situated financial institutions, Plaintiff,


          JAMES L. ROBART, United States District Judge.

         Honorable James L. Robart This matter is before the Court on Plaintiff's Unopposed Motion for Preliminary Approval of the Settlement (the “Motion”) between Plaintiff Verdian Credit Union (“Plaintiff” or “Veridian”), for itself and on behalf of the Settlement Class, and Eddie Bauer, LLC (“Eddie Bauer” or “Defendant”) for consideration of whether the Settlement reached by the Parties should be preliminarily approved, the proposed Settlement Class preliminarily certified, and the proposed plan for notifying the Settlement Class approved.[1] Having reviewed the proposed Settlement, together with its exhibits, and based upon the relevant papers and all prior proceedings in this matter, the Court has determined that the proposed Settlement satisfies the criteria for preliminary approval, the proposed Settlement Class is preliminarily certified, and the proposed Notice Program is approved. Accordingly, good cause appearing in the record, Plaintiff's Motion is GRANTED, and IT IS HEREBY ORDERED THAT:

         Provisional Certification of the Settlement Class

         1. The Court provisionally certifies the following Settlement Class:

All banks, credit unions, financial institutions, and other entities in the United States (including its Territories and the District of Columbia) that issued Alerted on Payment Cards. Excluded from the Settlement Class is the judge presiding over this matter and any members of his judicial staff, Eddie Bauer, and persons who timely and validly request exclusion from the Settlement Class.

         This Settlement Class is provisionally certified for purposes of settlement only.

         2. The Court determines that for settlement purposes, the proposed Settlement Class meets all the requirements of Rules 23(a) and (b)(3) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, namely that the class is so numerous that joinder of all members is impractical; there are common issues of law and fact; the claims of the Plaintiff are typical of absent class members; Plaintiff will fairly and adequately protect the interests of the class, as it has no interests antagonistic to or in conflict with the class, and has retained Class Counsel who are experienced and competent counsel to prosecute this matter; common issues predominate over any individual issues; and a class action is the superior means of adjudicating the controversy.

         3. Plaintiff is designated and appointed as the Settlement Class Representative.

         4. The following lawyers, who were previously appointed by the Court as interim Co-Lead Counsel, are designated as Class Counsel pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P. 23(g): Joseph P. Guglielmo of Scott䧊 Attorneys at Law LLP; and Gary F. Lynch of Carlson Lynch LLP. The Court finds that these lawyers are experienced and will adequately protect the interests of the Settlement Class.

         Preliminary Approval of the Proposed Settlement

         5. Upon preliminary review, the Court finds the proposed Settlement is fair, reasonable, and adequate, satisfies Fed.R.Civ.P. 23 (“Rule 23”), otherwise meets the criteria for approval, and warrants issuance of notice to the Settlement Class. Accordingly, the proposed Settlement is preliminarily approved.

         Final Approval Hearing

         6. A Final Approval Hearing shall take place before the Court on October 25, 2019, at 9:00 a.m., in Courtroom Suite 14106, before Judge James L. Robart of the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington, United States Courthouse, 700 Stewart Street, Seattle, Washington 98101, to determine, among other things, whether: (a) the proposed Settlement Class should be finally certified for settlement purposes, pursuant to Rule 23; (b) the Settlement should be finally approved as fair, reasonable, and adequate and, in accordance with the Settlement's terms, all claims in the Complaint and Litigation should be dismissed with prejudice; (c) Settlement Class Members should be bound by the releases set forth in the Settlement; (d) the proposed Final Approval Order and Judgment should be entered; (e) the application of Class Counsel for an award of attorneys' fees, costs, and expenses should be approved; and (f) the application for a Service Award to Plaintiff should be approved. Any other matters the Court deems necessary and appropriate will also be addressed at the hearing.

         7. Class Counsel shall submit their application for fees, costs, and expenses and the application for a Service Award 100 days after entry of this Order. The deadline to file an objection and any response to Class Counsel's motions is no later than 114 days after entry of this Order. By no later than 128 days after entry of this Order, responses shall be filed, if any, to any filings by objectors, and any replies in support of final approval of the Settlement and/or Class Counsel's application for attorneys' fees, costs, and expenses and for a Service Award shall be filed.

         8. Any Settlement Class Member that has not timely and properly excluded itself from the Settlement Class in the manner described below may appear at the Final Approval Hearing in person or by counsel and be heard, to the extent allowed by the Court, regarding the proposed Settlement; provided, however, that no Settlement Class Member that has elected to exclude itself from the Settlement Class shall be entitled to object or otherwise appear and, further provided, that no Settlement Class Member shall be heard in opposition to the Settlement unless the Settlement Class Member complies with the requirements of this Order pertaining to objections, which are described below.


         9. Analytics Consulting, LLC (“Analytics”) is appointed as the Settlement Administrator, with responsibility for Claims Administration, the Notice Program, and all other obligations of the Claims Administrator, as set forth in the Settlement. The Settlement Administrator's fees, as well as all other costs and expenses associated with notice and administration, will be paid by Eddie Bauer, as provided in the Settlement.

         Notice to the Class

         10. The Notice Program set forth in the Settlement, including the forms of Notice and Claim Form attached as exhibits to the Settlement, satisfy the requirements of Rule 23 and due process and thus are approved. Non-material modifications to the exhibits may be made without further order of the Court. The Settlement Administrator is directed to carry out the Notice Program in conformance with the Settlement and to perform all other tasks that the Settlement requires.

         11. The Court finds that the form, content, and method of giving notice to the Settlement Class, as described in the Settlement and exhibits: (a) constitute the best practicable notice to the Settlement Class; (b) are reasonably calculated, under the circumstances, to apprise Settlement Class Members of the pendency of the action, the terms of the proposed Settlement, and their rights under the proposed Settlement; (c) are reasonable and constitute due, adequate, and sufficient notice to those persons entitled to receive notice; and (d) satisfy the requirements of Rule 23, the constitutional requirement of due process, and any other legal ...

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