United States District Court, D. Arizona
HONORABLE DIANE J. HUMETEWA, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
before the Court is the parties' Joint Motion for Class
Certification and Final Approval of Class Action Settlement
September 24, 2018, after arms-length negotiations, Plaintiff
and Defendant entered into a Class Action Settlement
Agreement (“Agreement”), which is subject to
review under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 23. On October
2, 2018,  the parties filed the Agreement, together
with their Joint Motion for Conditional Certification and
Preliminary Approval of Class Action Agreement
(“Preliminary Approval Motion”). (Doc. 26).
Within ten days of filing the proposed settlement with the
Court, Defendant complied with the requirements of 28 U.S.C.
§ 1715, and notified the appropriate state and federal
officials. (Doc. 32-3). On October 23, 2018, upon
consideration of the Preliminary Approval Motion and the
record, the Court entered an Order conditionally granting
class certification and preliminary approval of the
settlement (“Preliminary Approval Order”). (Doc.
27). Pursuant to the Preliminary Approval Order, the Court
preliminarily approved the proposed settlement agreement,
approved the form of the notice to class members, and set the
date and time of the Fairness Hearing.
March 14, 2019, the parties filed their Joint Motion for
Class Certification and Final Approval of Class Action
Settlement (“Final Approval Motion”) (Doc. 32).
The Final Fairness Hearing was held on March 14, 2019,
pursuant to Rule 23 to determine whether the proposed
settlement is fundamentally fair, reasonable, adequate, and
in the best interest of the Class Members and should be fully
and finally approved by the Court. (Doc. 33). Pursuant to the
Court's direction at the Fairness Hearing, on March 28,
2019, the parties submitted a Stipulation and Addendum to the
Class Action Settlement Agreement (“Addendum”).
Court has read and considered the Agreement, Final Approval
Motion, Addendum, and the record as a whole and makes the
approval of a class action settlement requires, as a
threshold matter, an assessment of whether the class
satisfies the requirements of Federal Rule of Civil Procedure
23(a) and (b). Hanlon v. Chrysler Corp., 150 F.3d
1011, 1019-1022 (9th Cir. 1998). Because no facts that would
affect these requirements have changed since the Court
preliminarily approved the class on October 23, 2018, this
Order incorporates by reference its prior analysis under
Rules 23(a) and (b) as set forth in the order granting
preliminary approval. (Doc. 27). Accordingly, class
certification is granted.
Court finds that adequate notice was sent to the settlement
class members as required in Preliminary Approval Motion
(Doc. 27) and no members objected or requested to be excluded
from the class. (Doc. 31 at 2). The Court further finds that
the settlement of this matter, on the terms and conditions
set forth in the Agreement, is in all respects fundamentally
fair, reasonable, adequate, and in the best interest of the
Class Members, especially in light of the benefits to the
Class Members; the strength of the Plaintiff's alleged
claims; the strength of Defendant's alleged defenses; the
complexity, expense, and probable duration of further
litigation; the risk and delay inherent in possible appeals;
the risk of collecting any judgment obtained on behalf of the
Class; and the limited amount of any potential total recovery
for the Class.
Fairness Hearing, the Court expressed hesitation regarding
the scope of Plaintiff's release of claims; however,
based on the Addendum and the record as a whole, the Court is
satisfied that Plaintiff understands the scope her released
claims, which includes her claims against Defendant and
against Ford Motor Credit. (Docs. 32-2, 34 at 2). Thus, the
Court finds the settlement is fair, reasonable, adequate, and
in the best interests of the settlement class.
IT IS ORDERED
Jurisdiction: The Court has jurisdiction over the
subject matter of the Lawsuit and ...