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Ellis v. General Motors, LLC

United States District Court, E.D. Michigan

July 19, 2017

TIFFANY ELLIS, STEPHEN TYSON, GAIL BRALEY, DAVID LYALL, LINDA KEMP, SYLVESTER TIBBITS, LUCAS CRANOR, MARY CRAWFORD, IRENE STAGER, NATASHA FORD, and GARRY WILLET, on behalf of themselves and all others similarly situated, Plaintiffs,
v.
General Motors, LLC, Defendant

          Magistrate Judge, Anthony P. Patti

          PRELIMINARY APPROVAL ORDER OF THE PROPOSED CLASS ACTION SETTLMENT

          HON. GEORGE CARAM STEEH, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         WHEREAS, this Court has read and considered the Agreement of Compromise and Settlement (“Agreement”) entered into by and among Defendant General Motors, LLC (“Defendant”), and Plaintiffs Tiffany Ellis, Stephen Tyson, Gail Braley, David Lyall, Linda Kemp, Sylvester Tibbits, Lucas Cranor, Mary Crawford, Irene Stager, Natasha Ford, and Garry Willet and (collectively, “Plaintiffs”)” (collectively the “Parties” in the above referenced “Action”), together with all exhibits thereto, the record in this case, and the arguments of counsel;

         WHEREAS, this Court preliminarily finds that the class alleged in the Action meets, for the purposes of settlement, all the prerequisites of Rule 23 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure for class certification, including numerosity, commonality, typicality, predominance, superiority, and adequacy;

         IT IS HEREBY ORDERED AS FOLLOWS:

         1. All terms and definitions used herein have the same meanings as set forth in the Agreement.

         2. The proposed Settlement set forth in the Agreement is hereby preliminarily approved as being fair, reasonable and adequate such that notice thereof should be given to members of the Settlement Class (as defined in the following paragraph).

         Class Certification

         3. The Action is provisionally certified as a class action, for the purposes of settlement only, pursuant to Rule 23(b)(3), which class, set forth in Exhibit A to the Settlement Agreement, is defined as follows:

ALL PERSONS WITHIN THE UNITED STATES WHO PURCHASED OR LEASED A RETAIL NEW MODEL YEAR 2016 CHEVROLET TRAVERSE, BUICK ENCLAVE OR GMC ACADIA WITH A “WINDOW STICKER” DISPLAYING INCORRECT EPA-ESTIMATED FUEL ECONOMY AND FIVE-YEAR FUEL COSTS FROM AN AUTHORIZED GM DEALER AND WHO HAVE NOT EXECUTED A RELEASE OF ANY AND ALL CLAIMS SET FORTH IN THE ACTION IN FAVOR OF GM IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE ‘COMPENSATION PROGRAM DESCRIBED BELOW AND WHO HAVE NOT OTHERWISE RELEASED THEIR CLAIMS AGAINST GM SET FORTH IN THE ACTION, AND WHO DO NOT SUBMIT TIMELY REQUESTS FOR EXCLUSION.

         4. Class Representatives are hereby found to be and are therefore appointed as adequate representatives of the Settlement Class: Plaintiffs Tiffany Ellis, Stephen Tyson, Gail Braley, David Lyall, Linda Kemp, Sylvester Tibbits, Lucas Cranor, Mary Crawford, Irene Stager, Natasha Ford, and Garry Willet are appointed as representatives of the proposed Settlement Class. The Miller Law Firm, P.C. located at 950 West University Drive, Rochester, MI 48307 and McCune Wright Arevalo LLP, located at 555 Lancaster Avenue, Berwyn, PA 19312 are appointed as Class Counsel pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P. 23(g) to represent the interests of the proposed Settlement Class.

         5. The Court finds that, for purposes of settlement only, the requirements of Fed.R.Civ.P. 23 are met by the Settlement Class. Joinder of all Settlement Class Members in a single proceeding would be impracticable, if not impossible, because of their numbers and dispersion. Common issues exist among Settlement Class Members' claims regarding whether the Defendant is liable for the misstated EPA estimated mpg on the Class Vehicles. The Class Representatives claims are typical of those of the Settlement class, in that: (i) the interest of the Plaintiffs' claims are typical of those of the Settlement Class; (ii) there are no apparent conflicts between or among the named Plaintiffs and the members of the Settlement Class; (iii) the Plaintiffs have been and are capable of continuing to be active participants both in the prosecution of, and the negotiations to settle, the Action; and (iv) the Plaintiffs and the Settlement Class are represented by qualified, reputable counsel who are experienced in preparing and prosecuting class actions, including those involving defective products. In accordance with the Supreme Court's holding in Amchem Prods v. Windsor, 521 U.S. 591, 620 (1997), the Court need not address whether this case, if tried, would present issues of manageability under Rule 23(b)(3)(D). Finally, a class action settlement is superior to other available methods for a fair resolution of the controversy.

         6. Certification of the Settlement Class shall be solely for settlement purposes and without prejudice to the parties in the event that the Agreement is not finally approved by this Court or otherwise does not take effect. Certification of the Settlement Class shall be vacated and shall have no effect in the event that the Agreement is not finally approved by this Court or otherwise does not take effect.

         Notice to Potential ...


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