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Kortlever v. Whatcom County

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

July 9, 2019

GABRIEL KORTLEVER, SY EUBANKS, and ALL OTHERS SIMILARLY SITUATED, Plaintiffs,
v.
WHATCOM COUNTY. WASHINGTON; WHATCOM COUNTY SHERIFF'S OFFICE, Defendants.

          Bart Freedman, Todd Nunn, Lisa Nowlin, AMERICAN CIVIL LIBERTIES UNION OF WASHINGTON FOUNDATION Attorney for Plaintiffs Gabriel Kortlever, Sy Eubanks, and All Others Similarly Situated

          [PROPOSED] ORDER GRANTING PLAINTIFFS' MOTION FOR FINAL APPROVAL OF CLASS ACTION SETTLEMENT AND DISMISSAL

          Hon. James I.. Robart United States District Judge.

         WHEREAS, on May 23, 2019, this Court entered its Order Granting Plaintiffs' Motion for Preliminary Approval of Class Action Settlement and Directing Notice to Plaintiff Class (ECF 37) (the "Preliminary Approval Order"); and

         WHEREAS, notice complying with Fed.R.Civ.P. 23 was posted in the living quarters and in the medical unit(s) of the Jail, as well as at local community health centers including Sea Mar Community Health Center, Catholic Community Services, Cascade Medical Advantage, Pioneer Human Services, and Lummi Healing Spirit Clinic; and

         WHEREAS, a fairness hearing on final approval ("Final Approval Hearing") of the Settlement Agreement was held before the Court on July 9, 2019; and

         WHEREAS, the Court, being advised, finds that good cause exists for entry of the below Order; now therefore, IT IS HEREBY FOUND, ORDERED, ADJUDGED AND DECREED THAT:

         1. Unless otherwise provided herein, all capitalized terms in this Order shall have the same meaning as set forth in the Settlement Agreement attached as Exhibit 1 to the Declaration of Lisa Novvlin in Support of Plaintiffs' Motion for Preliminary Approval of Class Action Settlement (ECF 35-1) ("Nowlin Decl.").

         2. The Court finds it has personal and subject matter jurisdiction over all claims asserted in this litigation with respect to all members of the Settlement Class.

         3. The Court finds that Notice to the Settlement Class has been completed in conformity with the Preliminary Approval Order. The Court finds that this Notice was the best Notice practicable under the circumstances, that it provided due and adequate notice of the proceedings and of the matters set forth therein, and that it fully satisfied all applicable requirements of law and due process.

         4. For purposes of settlement only, this Court certifies this case as a class action under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 23(b)(2). For the reasons stated in Plaintiffs' Motion for Preliminary Approval of Class Action Settlement, the Class satisfies the elements of Rule 23(a) and Rule 23(b)(2) and thus a class action, for purposes of settlement only, is appropriate.

         5. Pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P. 23(b)(2), the Court certifies for settlement purposes only the following Settlement Class: "All non-pregnant individuals with disabling opioid use disorders ("OUD") who are incarcerated, or who will be incarcerated in the future, in the Whatcom County Jail."

         6. In connection with this certification, the Court makes the following findings:

a. The Settlement Class is sufficiently numerous to meet the requirement of Rule 23(a)(1). The Class includes all non-pregnant individuals with disabling OUD who are incarcerated, or who will be incarcerated in the future, in the Whatcom County Jail and joinder of all such persons would be impracticable. See Fed. R. Civ. P. 23(a)(1).
b. The commonality requirement is satisfied because there are many questions of law and fact common to the Settlement Class that center on Defendants' alleged systemic policy and practice of denying medication used to treat opioid use disorders for non-pregnant individuals ...

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