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Hart v. Cf Arcis VII LLC

United States District Court, W.D. Washington

September 9, 2019

LAWRENCE HART, CLYDE STEPHEN LEWIS, JAMES PRESTI, and MICHAEL RALLS, individually and on behalf of all others similarly situated, Plaintiffs,
v.
CF ARCIS VII LLC d/b/a THE CLUB AT SNOQUALMIE RIDGE, d/b/a TPC AT SNOQUALMIE RIDGE, and d/b/a SNOQUALMIE RIDGE GOLF CLUB, CF ARCIS IV HOLDINGS, LLC, ARCIS EQUITY PARTNERS, LLC, BLAKE S. WALKER, individually and on behalf of the marital community of BLAKE S. WALKER and JANE DOE WALKER, and BRIGHTSTAR GOLF SNOQUALMIE, LLC, Defendants.

          ORDER GRANTING PRELIMINARY APPROVAL OF CLASS SETTLEMENT, CONDITIONALLY CERTIFYING SETTLEMENT CLASS, AND APPROVING FORM AND MANNER OF NOTICE

          RICARDO S. MARTINEZ CHIEF UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         Plaintiffs' unopposed Motion for Preliminary Approval of Proposed Class Action Settlement comes before this Court and shall be GRANTED. Dkt. #39. The Court determines and orders as follows:

A. Counsel have advised the Court that the parties have agreed, subject to approval of this Court following notice to the Class (as described in Paragraph 2, below) and a hearing, to settle this action on the terms and conditions set forth in the Settlement Agreement (the “Settlement Agreement”), which has been filed with the Court.
B. The Court has reviewed the Settlement Agreement, as well as the files, records, and proceedings to date in this matter. The terms of the Settlement Agreement are hereby incorporated as though fully set forth in this Order, and capitalized terms in this Order shall have the meanings attributed to them in the Settlement Agreement.
C. The Court preliminarily approves the Settlement Agreement as being fair, reasonable, and adequate, and for purposes of settlement, certifies this case as a class action, and authorizes notice to be transmitted to the Settlement Class. A final fairness hearing, for purposes of determining whether the Settlement should be finally approved, shall be held before this Court on Friday, February 7, 2020, in the courtroom of the Honorable Ricardo S. Martinez at the United States District Court for the Western District of Washington, 700 Stewart Street, Suite 2310, Seattle, Washington 98101.

         Based on the foregoing, IT IS HEREBY ORDERED:

         1. Preliminary Approval of Proposed Settlement. The Settlement Agreement, including all exhibits thereto, is preliminarily approved as fair, reasonable and adequate. The Court finds that the Settlement Agreement resulted from extensive arm's-length negotiations between experienced attorneys who are familiar with class action litigation in general and with the legal and factual issues of this case in particular, including a lengthy in-person mediation session and additional settlement negotiations under the auspices of James A. Smith Jr., of Smith & Hennessy PLLC, an experienced mediator.

         2. Class Certification for Settlement Purposes. Pursuant to Rule 23(b)(3) and for the reasons stated in Plaintiffs' Motion for Preliminary Approval, the Court, for settlement purposes, conditionally certifies the following class (the “Class”):

All persons who, prior to entry of this Order, purchased refundable Individual Golf Memberships with the Club, as that membership is defined in the June 30, 2008 Membership and Operating Policies, but who have not yet received a refund.
(a) The Class is sufficiently numerous to meet the requirements of Rule 23(a)(1). The Class includes in excess of 250 people, and joinder of all such persons would be impracticable. See Fed. R. Civ. P. 23(a)(1).
(b) The case presents common issues of law and fact for the Class. See Fed. R. Civ. P. 23(a)(2). The commonality requirement is satisfied because there are questions of law and fact common to the Class that center on whether Arcis breached a uniform membership and operating policy, whether the Class is entitled to damages and injunctive relief as a result. Further, the question of the fairness and reasonableness of the Settlement Agreement presents an issue common to the class.
(c) Rule 23(a)(3) is satisfied because the claims of the named Plaintiffs are typical of the claims of the other Class Members, which are being resolved through the Settlement Agreement.
(d) Rule 23(a)(4) is satisfied because Plaintiffs are capable of fairly and adequately protecting the interests of the members of the Class, and because Plaintiffs are represented by qualified and competent counsel who have extensive experience and expertise in prosecuting class actions.
(e) In addition, the Court finds that “questions of law or fact common to class members predominate over any questions affecting only individual members, and that a class action is superior to other available methods for fairly and efficiently adjudicating the controversy.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 23(b)(3). The predominance requirement is satisfied for purposes of settlement because the common and overarching question in this case is whether Arcis breached its contract with the Class, entitling Class Members to damages and injunctive relief. In addition, the resolution of hundreds of claims through ...

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