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In re AudioEye, Inc. Securities Litigation

United States District Court, D. Arizona

May 8, 2017




         On the 8th day of May, 2017, a hearing having been held before this Court to determine: (1) whether the terms and conditions of the Stipulation of Settlement dated December 13, 2016 (the “Stipulation”) are fair, reasonable and adequate for the settlement of all claims asserted by (i) Plaintiffs against (ii) Defendants AudioEye, Inc. (“AudioEye”), Nathaniel Bradley and Edward O'Donnell (collectively, “Defendants”), and (2) whether to approve the proposed Plan of Allocation as a fair and reasonable method to allocate the Net Settlement Fund among Settlement Class Members; and, The Court having considered all matters submitted to it at the hearing and otherwise; and, It appearing that the Notice substantially in the form approved by the Court in the Court's Order Preliminarily Approving Settlement and Providing For Notice (“Preliminary Approval Order”) was mailed to all reasonably identifiable Settlement Class Members and otherwise made available on the Claims Administrator's website; and, It appearing that the Summary Notice substantially in the form approved by the Court in the Preliminary Approval Order was published in accordance with that Order and the specifications of the Court;


         1. Capitalized terms used herein have the meanings defined in the Stipulation.

         2. The Court has jurisdiction over the subject matter of the Litigation, Lead Plaintiffs, all Settlement Class Members and the Settling Defendants.

         3. For purposes of this Settlement, this is a class action on behalf of all persons who purchased or otherwise acquired any common stock of AudioEye during the period from May 14, 2014 through and including April 1, 2015, and who were allegedly damaged thereby (the “Settlement Class”). Excluded from the Settlement Class are Defendants, the officers and directors of AudioEye during the Class Period, members of their immediate families and their legal representatives, heirs, successors, or assigns, any entity in which Defendants have or had a controlling interest, and any persons who separately file an action against one or more of Defendants, based in whole or in part on any claim arising out of or relating to any of the alleged acts, omissions, misrepresentations, facts, events, matters, transactions, or occurrences referred to in the Litigation or otherwise alleged, asserted, or contended in the Litigation. Also excluded from the Settlement Class are those persons who filed valid and timely requests for exclusion in accordance with the Preliminary Approval Order.

         4. With respect to the Class, and for purposes of this Settlement only, the Court finds and concludes that the requirements of Federal Rules of Civil Procedure 23(a) and 23(b)(3) are satisfied as: (a) the Members of the Class are so numerous that joinder of all Class Members in the Litigation is impracticable; (b) there are questions of law and fact common to the Class that predominate over any individual questions; (c) the claims of the Lead Plaintiffs are typical of the claims of the Class; (d) the Lead Plaintiffs and Lead Plaintiffs' Counsel have fairly and adequately represented and protected the interests of all the Class Members; and (e) a class action is superior to other available methods for the fair and efficient adjudication of the controversy, considering: (i) the interests of the Members of the Class in individually controlling the prosecution of the separate actions, (ii) the extent and nature of any litigation concerning the controversy already commenced by Members of the Class, (iii) the desirability or undesirability of continuing the litigation of these claims in this particular forum, and (iv) the difficulties likely to be encountered in the management of the Litigation. Accordingly, for settlement purposes only, the Class is certified, Lead Plaintiffs are appointed Class Representatives, and Lead Plaintiffs' Counsel are appointed Class Counsel

         5. The Court hereby finds that the forms and methods of notifying the Settlement Class of the Settlement and its terms and conditions met the requirements of due process and Rule 23 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, Section 21D(a)(7) of the Exchange Act, 15 U.S.C. § 78u-4(a)(7), as amended by the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995; the Constitution of the United States (including the Due Process Clause); and any other applicable law, constituted the best notice practicable under the circumstances; and constituted due and sufficient notice to all persons and entities entitled thereto of these proceedings and the matters set forth herein, including the Settlement and Plan of Allocation, to all persons entitled to such notice. No Settlement Class Member is relieved from the terms of the Settlement, including the releases provided for therein, based upon the contention or proof that such Settlement Class Member failed to receive actual or adequate notice. A full opportunity has been offered to the Settlement Class Members to object to the proposed Settlement and to participate in the hearing thereon. The Court further finds that the notice provisions of the Class Action Fairness Act, 28 U.S.C. § 1715, were fully discharged. Thus, it is hereby determined that all members of the Settlement Class are bound by this Order and Final Judgment [except those persons listed on Exhibit A to this Order and Final Judgment].

         6. The Settlement is approved as fair, reasonable and adequate, and in the best interests of the Plaintiffs. Lead Plaintiffs and Settling Defendants are directed to consummate the Settlement in accordance with the terms and provisions of the Stipulation.

         7. The Litigation and the operative Consolidated Amended Complaint are hereby dismissed in their entirety, with prejudice, and without costs.

         8. Upon the Effective Date, and as provided in the Stipulation, Lead Plaintiffs and each of the Settlement Class Members, on behalf of themselves, and each of their current, past and future trusts, estates, beneficiaries, heirs, joint tenants, tenants in common, executors, administrators, trustees, predecessors, successors, partners, spouses, parents, subsidiaries, affiliates, attorneys, consultants, experts, brokers, creditors, insurers, agents, representatives, and assigns, and any Person that any of them represents, shall and by operation of this Order and Final Judgment are hereby deemed to have fully, finally, and forever released, relinquished and discharged, and are forever enjoined from prosecuting, any and all of the Settled Claims and all claims arising out of, relating to, or in connection with the Settlement, the Litigation, and/or the resolution of the Litigation against the Released Parties, whether or not such Settlement Class Member executes and delivers the Proof of Claim and Release form or shares in the Net Settlement Fund.

         9. Upon the Effective Date, Defendants shall release and forever discharge each and every one of the Defendants' Claims, and by operation of this Order and Final Judgment shall be forever enjoined from prosecuting Defendants' Claims as against any of the Lead Plaintiffs, Settlement Class Members, or their attorneys, including but not limited to claims for malicious prosecution or sanctions.

         10. The Plan of Allocation is approved as fair and reasonable, and Lead Plaintiffs' Counsel and the Claims Administrator are directed to administer the Stipulation and Plan of Allocation in accordance with its terms and provisions. Any modification or change in the Plan of Allocation that may hereafter be approved shall in no way disturb, affect or delay the finality of this Order and Final Judgment or the Releases provided thereunder, shall not disturb, affect or delay the Effective Date of the Settlement, and shall be considered separate from this Order and Final Judgment.

         11. In accordance with 15 U.S.C. § 78u-4(f)(7) and all other applicable laws and regulations, any and all claims by any Person against any of the Settling Defendants and/or other Released Persons for contribution or indemnification arising out of or relating in any way to any Settled Claim, or where the alleged damage to the claimant is measured by reference to the claimant's liability to any ...

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