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Creppel v. Gee

United States District Court, M.D. Louisiana

January 10, 2020

DONNELL CREPPEL, ET AL.
v.
REBEKAH GEE, ET AL.

          ORDER OF PRELIMINARY APPROVAL OF CLASS ACTION SETTLEMENT

          BRIAN A. JACKSON, JUDGE

         Before the Court is a Joint Motion for Preliminary Approval of Class Settlement and to Set Fairness Hearing (Doc. 24). The parties advise the Court that they have agreed to settle the above-captioned lawsuit. The terms and conditions of the settlement are set forth in a proposed Settlement Agreement dated October 18, 2019 (Doc. 24-2). Capitalized terms not otherwise defined in this Order shall have the same meaning as ascribed to them in the Settlement Agreement.

         Upon reviewing the Settlement Agreement, it is ORDERED that the Joint Motion (Doc. 24) is GRANTED.

         IT IS FURTHER ORDERED, ADJUDGED AND DECREED:

Jurisdiction. The Court has jurisdiction over the subject matter of this Action and over all Parties to this Action.
Class Findings. The Court preliminarily finds, for the sole purpose of settlement, that the requirements of Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 23 have been met as to the Settlement Class, in that:

         The Class Members are so numerous that joinder of all of them in the lawsuit is impracticable. See Mullen v. Treasure Chest Casino, LLC, 186 F.3d 620, 624 (5th Cir. 1999) ("100 to 150 members ... is within the range that generally satisfies the numerosity requirement.").

         There are questions of law and fact common to the Class Members. See McWilliams v. Advanced Recovery Sys., Inc., 310 F.R.D. 337, 340 (S.D.Miss. 2015); Walker v. Greenspoon Marder, P.A., No. 13-CV-14487, 2015 WL 233472, at *3 (S.D. Fla. Jan. 5, 2015) ("By definition, the class contains only individuals who share a common question of law, i.e., whether the 'Notice[s] identical to that attached to Plaintiffs1 Complaint' violate the FDCPA. Each class member's claim will rise or fall with the resolution of that common contention.") (alteration in original and internal record citation omitted).

         The claims of Named Plaintiffs are typical of the claims of the Class Members. See Castro v. Collecto, Inc., 256 F.R.D. 534, 542 (W.D. Tex. 2009) ("Plaintiff has sufficiently narrowed the class definition by limiting the class to include individuals to whom Defendants mailed the letter Plaintiff received.").

         Named Plaintiffs and Class Counsel have fairly and adequately represented and protected the interests of all of the Class Members. See McWilliams, 310 F.R.D. at 340 ("Ms. McWilliams's attorneys-Greenwald Davidson Radbil PLLC-have been appointed as class counsel in more than a dozen consumer protection class actions in the past two years."). Continue to represent fairly and adequately the interests of the Settlement Class. Accordingly, pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 23(g)(2), the Court preliminarily designates Amitai Heller and Jane Perkins as Class Counsel with respect to the Settlement Class in this action.

         The Court having determined preliminarily that this action may proceed as a non-opt-out class action under Federal Rules of Civil Procedure 23(a) and 23(b)(1), members of the Settlement Class shall be bound by any judgment concerning the Settlement in this action, subject to the Court's final determination as to whether this action may proceed as a non-opt-out class action.

         Preliminary Approval of Settlement.

         The Court preliminarily finds that the settlement of the lawsuit, on the terms and conditions set forth in the Settlement Agreement, is in all respects fundamentally fair, reasonable, adequate, and in the best interest of the Class Members, especially in light of (i) the parties' arm's-length settlement negotiations; (ii) the lack of evidence that the settlement was obtained by fraud or collusion; (hi) the complexity, expense, and likely duration of the litigation; (iv) the stage of the proceedings and discovery completed to support the proposed settlement; and (v) the opinion of competent counsel supporting the settlement.

         Fairness ...


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