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In re Chinese-Manufactured Drywall Products Liability Litigation

United States District Court, E.D. Louisiana

January 13, 2020

IN RE CHINESE-MANUFACTURED DRYWALL PRODUCTS LIABILITY LITIGATION
v.
Knauf Gips KG, et al., THIS DOCUMENT RELATES TO ALL ACTIONS except The Mitchell Co., Inc. Civil Action No. 09-4115 (E.D. La.)

          WILKINSON MAG. JUDGE

          JUDGMENT PURSUANT TO FED. R. CIV. P. 54(B) GRANTING FINAL APPROVAL TO THE CLASS SETTLEMENT WITH TAISHAN, CERTIFYING THE SETTLEMENT CLASS, AND ESTABLISHING THE AMOUNT OF ATTORNEY FEES

          ELDON E. FALLON United States District Court Judge

         On January 10, 2019, the Court issued an Order & Reasons granting Settlement Class Counsel's Motion for Entry of an Order and Judgment (1) Granting Final Approval of the Class Settlement with Taishan Gypsum Company Ltd. f/k/a/ Shandong Taihe Dongxin Co., Ltd. and Taian Taishan Plasterboard Co. Ltd. (collectively, “Taishan”) and (2) Certifying the Settlement Class (the “Motion”), and granting in part Settlement Class Counsel's Motion for an Award of Attorney Fees and Cost Reimbursements for Common Benefit Counsel and Individually Retained Attorneys. R. Doc. 22460. Consistent with that order, IT IS ORDERED that:

         1. Capitalized terms used in the Order & Reasons and this Judgment shall have the same meaning as those defined in the Class Settlement Agreement with Taishan (the “Settlement Agreement”), which has been filed of record in this case. R. Doc. 22305-2.

         2. The Court finds that the Settlement is fair, reasonable, and adequate, that the Settlement was negotiated and entered into in good faith and without collusion, and that the Settlement is approved pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P. 23(e) because:

(A) the Class Representatives and Settlement Class Counsel have adequately represented the Class;
(B) the Settlement Agreement was negotiated at arm's length;
(C) the relief provided for the Class is adequate, taking into account: (i) the costs, risks, and delay of trials and appeals; (ii) the effectiveness of the proposed method of distributing Allocation Amounts to Eligible Class Members, including the method of processing Class Member claims; (iii) the terms of the proposed award of attorneys' fees, including timing of payment; and

         (iv) the absence of any agreement required to be identified under Rule 23(e)(3); and the Settlement and the Allocation Model developed by the Allocation Neutral approved by the Court treat Class Members equitably relative to each other.

         3. The Settlement Class consists of: (1) all Class Members in the Amorin Class certified by Judge Fallon in MDL No. 2047 in In re Chinese-Manufactured Prod. Liab. Litig., 2014 WL 4809520 (E.D. La. Sept. 26, 2014) (“Amorin Plaintiffs”); (2) all Plaintiffs who are named on one or more of the Brooke Complaints[1] (“Brooke Plaintiffs”); and (3) all other property owners with Chinese Drywall alleged to be attributed to Taishan and/or the Additional Released Parties[2] (“absent Class Members”). Amorin Plaintiffs and Brooke Plaintiffs are collectively referred to as “known Class Members.” EXCLUDED from the Class are: (1) Plaintiffs listed on Exhibit 1 to the Settlement Agreement (except for Mary Escudie and Michael Guerriero, whose status with respect to the Settlement the Court will address at a later date); (2) the named Plaintiff and putative class members in The Mitchell Co. Inc. v. Knauf Gips KG, et al., Civil Action No. 09-4115 (E.D. La.); and (3) Plaintiffs who asserted Claims against Taishan and/or the Additional Released Parties, but whose Claims were dismissed for failure to complete a Supplemental Plaintiff Profile Form or by motion for voluntary dismissal.

         4. The Settlement Class is certified pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P. 23(a), (b)(3) & (e).

         5. The Court finds that Notice was disseminated to the Class pursuant to this Court's Preliminary Approval Order dated August 29, 2019, R. Doc. 22314, satisfying Fed.R.Civ.P. 23 and Due Process. All Class Members who did not request to be excluded from the Settlement pursuant to Section 9 of the Settlement Agreement shall be bound by this Judgment.

         6. Putative Class Members identified on the List of Opt-Out Plaintiffs, attached as Exhibit “2” to the Memorandum of Law accompanying the Motion, are deemed to have opted out of the Settlement and are referred to as “Opt-Out ...


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