United States District Court, E.D. Michigan
Joseph Anger, et al., Plaintiffs, on behalf of all others similarly situated,
Accretive Health, Inc. d/b/a Medical Financial Solutions, Defendant.
K. Majzoub Magistrate Judge.
FINAL ORDER AND JUDGMENT
Victoria A. Roberts United States District Judge.
matter is before the Court on the Motion for Final Approval
of Class Action Settlement and Plan of Allocation of
Settlement Proceeds (“Final Approval Motion”) of
plaintiffs Joseph Anger, Delione Galbraith, Johnnie Mae
Jones, Rochelle Jones, Terri Meyerhoff, John Bernard Weisend,
Jr., and John Weisend III (“Plaintiffs”).
22, 2014, Plaintiff Joseph Anger filed a class action
complaint (hereinafter referred to as the
“Lawsuit”) against Accretive Health Inc., which
has since changed its name to R1 RCM, Inc.
(“R1”), in the United States District Court for
the Eastern District of Michigan, Case No.
4:13-CV-10017-TGB-RSW, asserting class claims under the Fair
Debt Collection Practices Act (hereinafter referred to as the
“FDCPA”), 15 U.S.C. § 1692, et seq. and the
Michigan Occupational Code (the “MOC”), MCL
§ 339.916(2). R1 has denied any and all liability
alleged in the Lawsuit.
February 23, 2017, after extensive arms-length negotiations,
Plaintiffs and Defendant (hereinafter jointly referred to as
the “Parties”) entered into a Class Action
Settlement Agreement (hereinafter referred to as the
“Settlement Agreement”), which is subject to
review under Fed.R.Civ.P. 23.
10, 2017, the Plaintiffs filed the Settlement Agreement,
along with Plaintiffs' Motion for Preliminary Approval of
Class Action Settlement Agreement, Attorneys Fees and Costs,
Class Notice, and Other Relief. On May 19, 2017, Defendant
submitted a Response to Plaintiffs' Motion, concurring in
the relief sought.
compliance with the Class Action Fairness Act of 2005, 28
U.S.C. §§ 1332(D), 1453, and 1711-1715, Defendant
caused to be served written notice of the proposed class
settlement on the United States Attorney General and the
Attorney General of Michigan.
13, 2017, upon consideration of Plaintiff's Unopposed
Preliminary Approval Motion, Defendant's Response, and
the record, the Court entered an Order of Preliminary
Approval of Class Action Settlement (hereinafter referred to
as the “Preliminary Approval Order”). Pursuant to
the Preliminary Approval Order, the Court, among other
things, (i) preliminarily certified a class of plaintiffs
(hereinafter referred to as the “Class Members”)
with respect to the claims asserted in the Lawsuit; (ii)
preliminarily approved the proposed settlement; (iii)
appointed plaintiffs Joseph Anger, Delione Galbraith, Johnnie
Mae Jones, Rochelle Jones, Terri Meyerhoff, John Bernard
Weisend, Jr., and John Weisend III as Class Representatives;
(iv) appointed Dave Honigman, Gerard V. Mantese, Krista M.
Hosmer, and Jordan B. Segal of Mantese Honigman, P.C. and
James C. Warr of James C. Warr & Associates, P.L.C., as
Class Counsel; (v) approved the Notice Plan as set forth in
the Settlement Agreement; (vi) approved the opt out and
exclusion terms as set forth in the Settlement Agreement; and
(vi) set the date and time of the Final Approval Hearing.
September 20, 2017 the Plaintiff filed his Unopposed Motion
for Final Approval of Class Action Settlement (the
“Final Approval Motion”), and Defendant filed its
response concurring in the relief sought.
October 4, 2017, a Final Approval Hearing was held pursuant
to Fed.R.Civ.P. 23 to determine whether the Lawsuit satisfies
the applicable prerequisites for class action treatment and
whether the proposed settlement is fundamentally fair,
reasonable, adequate, and in the best interests of the Class
Members and should be approved by the Court.
Parties now request final certification of the settlement
class under Fed.R.Civ.P. 23(b)(3) and final approval of the
proposed class action settlement.
Court has read and considered the Settlement Agreement,
Motion for Final Approval, Defendant's Response thereto,
and the record. All capitalized terms used herein have the
meanings defined herein and/or in the Agreement.
THEREFORE, IT IS HEREBY ORDERED:
Court has jurisdiction over the subject matter of the Lawsuit
and over all settling parties hereto.
terms of the Settlement Agreement are approved as fair,
reasonable, and adequate. The Settlement Agreement is in the
best interests of the Class Members, especially in light of
the benefits to the Class Members; the complexity, expense,
and probable duration of further litigation; the risk and
delay inherent in possible appeals; and, the limited amount
of any potential total recovery for the class under the
FDCPA. See UAW v. Gen. Motors Corp., 497 F.3d 615,
631 (6th Cir. 2007) (setting forth factors that govern the
inquiry of whether a class action settlement is fair,
reasonable, and and adequate). Indeed, the settlement
provides monetary relief to class members in excess of more
than double the limits imposed by the FDCPA. In light of
R1's public market valuation, the FDCPA limits statutory
damages to a maximum of $500, 000.00. See 15 U.S.C.
§ 1692k(A)(2)(B). By paying settlement funds to the
Cy Pres Recipient, RIP Medical Debt, the Settlement
Agreement will benefit Michigan consumers more than they
would be able to recover under the federal statutory maximum
should Plaintiffs succeed at trial and on appeal and more
than if the settlement funds are simply distributed directly
to class members.
Court finds that the prerequisites for certification of a
settlement class under Federal Rules of Civil Procedure 23(a)
and 23(b)(3) - including numerosity, commonality, typicality,
adequacy, predominance, and superiority - have been
(a) The Class Members (621, 408) are so numerous that joinder
of all of them in the Lawsuit is impracticable;
(b) The claims of the Named Plaintiffs are typical of the
claims of the Class Members. In particular, class members
share the same claims that the form letters the Defendant
sent them were ...