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Ellis v. General Motors, LLC

United States District Court, E.D. Michigan

November 6, 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

          ORDER GRANTING FINAL APPROVAL OF CLASS ACTION SETTLEMENT, CERTIFYING CLASS, AWARDING ATTORNEYS' FEES AND SERVICE AWARDS, AND FINAL JUDGMENT

          George Caram Steeh United States District Judge

         On the 6th day of November, a fairness hearing was held before this Court to determine: (a) whether the proposed Settlement should be granted final approval as fair, reasonable, and adequate; (b) whether the proposed Class should be certified for settlement purposes; (c) whether Class Counsel's application for attorneys' fees and expenses and service awards for the Plaintiffs should be granted; and (d) whether a final judgment granting approval of the Settlement and dismissing the Action with prejudice should be entered.

         Having duly considered all papers filed and arguments presented, IT IS HEREBY ORDERED and ADJUDGED as follows:

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

         2. This Court has jurisdiction over the subject matter of this Action and over all Parties to the Action, including Settlement Class Members.

         3. The Court preliminarily approved the Settlement Agreement and entered the Preliminary Approval Order on July 19, 2017.

         Notice

         4. Notice was published under the terms of the Preliminary Approval Order.

         5. The Court has determined that the Notice given to the Settlement Class, in accordance with the Notice Plan in the Settlement Agreement and the Preliminary Approval Order, fully and accurately informed members of the Settlement Class of all material elements of the Settlement and constituted the best notice practicable under the circumstances, and fully satisfied the requirements of due process, Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 23, and all applicable law. The Court further finds that the Notice given to the Settlement Class was adequate and reasonable.

         6. The Settlement Class Members received notice of: (a) the pendency of the Action; (b) the terms of the proposed Settlement, including the Release; (c) their rights under the proposed Settlement; (d) their right to exclude themselves from the Settlement Class and the proposed Settlement; (e) their right to object to any aspect of the proposed Settlement; (f) their right to appear at the Final Approval Hearing; (g) Class Counsel's request for attorneys' fees and expenses and an incentive award to the Class Representatives; and (h) the binding effect of this Final Judgment and Order Approving Settlement on all Persons who did not timely exclude themselves from the Settlement Class.

         7. The Court also finds that the appropriate state and federal officials were timely notified of the Settlement Agreement under the Class Action Fairness Act of 2005 (CAFA), 28 U.S.C. § 1715, and that ninety (90) days have passed without comment or objection from any governmental entity.

         Approval of the Settlement

         8. The Court grants final approval to the proposed Settlement.

         9. Factors supporting the grant of final approval to this Settlement include:

a. The Settlement was the product of arm's-length negotiations conducted in good faith among experienced counsel, with no evidence of collusion. The Settlement was reached after extensive negotiations including a mediation session.
b. If the case did not settle, continued litigation would be time consuming, complicated and expensive. Settlement at this stage avoids the expenditure of the Parties' and the Court's resources.
c. The reaction of the Class has been extremely favorable. Only 2 Class members out of approximately 7, 622 have opted out of the Settlement and there have been 0 objections.
d. The Court finds that each side had sufficient information to assess the strengths and weaknesses of their claims and defenses.
e. If the case had not settled, Plaintiffs faced considerable risks in maintaining certification of a litigation class and establishing damages. The Settlement guarantees a result for the Class and eliminates these risks.
f. The amount of the Settlement is reasonable, adequate, and fair given the strengths and weaknesses of the case.

         10. The Court held a hearing on November 6, 2017, at which time the Parties and Settlement Class Members were afforded the opportunity to be heard in support of or in opposition to the Settlement.

         11. The terms and provisions of the Agreement have been entered in good faith and are hereby fully and finally approved as fair, reasonable, and adequate as to, and in the best interests ...


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