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.
ORDER GRANTING FINAL APPROVAL OF CLASS ACTION
SETTLEMENT AND DISMISSING ACTION WITH PREJUDICE AND FINAL
JUDGMENT [CLERK’S ACTION REQUIRED]
S. Lasnik United States District Judge.
Robert S. Lasnik This matter comes before the Court on
Plaintiffs’ Motion for Final Approval of a Class Action
Settlement. The Court has considered all papers submitted by
the parties in connection with the proposed settlement,
including the instant motion, the supporting declaration of
Rita Mennen, the parties’ Stipulated Motion (Dkt.
#119), the declaration of Settlement Class Counsel (Dkt.
#120) and exhibits attached thereto. In addition to the
parties’ materials, the Court held a hearing on
September 19, 2019. The Court, having heard all persons
properly appearing and requesting to be heard, having
considered the papers submitted in support of the proposed
Settlement and the oral presentations of counsel, having
considered all applicable law, and having considered any
objections made properly to the proposed Settlement, hereby
GRANTS Plaintiffs’ Motion for Final Approval of a Class
Action Settlement and ORDERS as follows:
Court’s prior order of June 3, 2019 granting
preliminary approval of the class action settlement (Dkt.
#122) (“June 3 Order”) and the parties’
Settlement Agreement, including the terms defined therein and
all exhibits thereto, are incorporated herein by reference.
Court finds it has jurisdiction over the subject matter of
this action and the parties, including all members of the
Settlement Class who have not opted out of the matter.
Court approves the Settlement, finding that it is fair,
reasonable, and adequate to members of the Settlement Class,
and consistent and in compliance with all requirements of
Washington and federal law, for the reasons set forth in the
parties’ Stipulated Motion (Dkt. #119) and in the
Plaintiffs’ Motion for Final Approval.
Court finds that the Notices mailed to members of the
Settlement Class at their last known addresses provides the
best notice practicable under the circumstances and that the
Notice was mailed in accordance with the Court’s June 3
Order. The Notices given to the Settlement Class Members
fully complied with Rule 23, were the best notices
practicable, were reasonably calculated under the
circumstances to apprise members of the Settlement Class of
the pendency of the litigation and their rights with respect
to the settlement, and satisfied all applicable requirements
of constitutional due process and any other applicable
requirements under Washington and federal law.
objections to the terms of the Settlement have been
communicated to Defendant, Settlement Class Counsel, or filed
with the Court.
one individual has opted out of the Settlement Class.
Court finds that Plaintiffs Christine David and Rodney Clure
and Settlement Class Counsel adequately represented the
Settlement Class for purposes of entering into and
implementing the Settlement.
Court finds that Settlement Class Counsel’s request for
an award of attorneys’ fees and costs is fair and
reasonable, and hereby approves the request for an
attorneys’ fee and cost award of $370, 000. After costs
($64, 609), the remainder for attorneys’ fees
represents 30.5% of the Maximum Settlement Payment. Such
figure is within the range of reasonable percentage awards in
common fund cases. Counsel’s declaration (Dkt. #120)
and the detailed billings attached to it demonstrate the time
expended on the matter and a break-down of costs incurred.
Such records show that Settlement Class Counsel has devoted
substantial time and effort toward pursuing settlement class
members’ claims, even after decertification, moving to
certify a narrower class and, failing that, positioning
Plaintiffs’ individual claims for trial and, if
necessary, subsequent appeal. The result achieved under the
circumstances supports the award. See In re Omnivision
Techs., Inc., 559 F.Supp.2d 1036, 1046 (N.D. Cal. 2008)
(“The overall result and benefit to the class from the
litigation is the most critical factor in granting a fee
award.”). Counsel has done so on a contingent-fee
basis, meaning they will not have been paid for over eight
years of litigation. Such risk in pursuing a wage and hour
case supports a percentage rate of 30.5%. Cf. Schilling
v. Radio Holdings, Inc., 136 Wn.2d 152, 157 (1998). A
lodestar cross-check further supports the attorney fee award
as reasonable given that counsel’s lodestar is markedly
higher than the fees requested. See Vizcaino v. Microsoft
Corp., 290 F.3d 1043, 1051, n.6 (9th Cir. 2002)
(approving common fund percentage fee that was 3.65 times
lodestar, and finding most cases fell between one and four
times lodestar). Finally, the Court finds the hourly rates of
Settlement Class Counsel and staff as described in the
Stipulated Motion for the lodestar cross-check are reasonable
and within usual market rates.
Court approves payment in the amount of $10, 000 to each of
the named Plaintiffs as Settlement Class Representative
Awards for their service on behalf of the Settlement Class.
parties are hereby directed to proceed with the settlement
payment procedures specified under the terms of the
Settlement Agreement is binding on all Participating
Settlement Class Members, as defined in the parties’
Settlement Agreement. Plaintiffs Christine David and Rodney
Clure and Participating Settlement Class Members are bound by
the Release of Claims set forth in Paragraph 2 of the
Settlement Agreement, and are enjoined from maintaining,
prosecuting, commencing, or pursuing any claim released under
the Settlement Agreement, and are deemed to have released and
discharged the Defendant and Released Parties from any such
Court reserves jurisdiction over the parties as to all
matters relating to the administration, enforcement, and
interpretation of the Settlement ...