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Raden v. Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, Inc.

United States District Court, E.D. Michigan

August 2, 2019

ALICE RADEN and BOBBIE MOORE, individually and on behalf of the settlement classes, Plaintiffs,
v.
MARTHA STEWART LIVING OMNIMEDIA, INC., a Delaware corporation, and MEREDITH CORPORATION, an Iowa corporation. Defendants.

          FINAL JUDGMENT AND ORDER OF DISMISSAL WITH PREJUDICE

          LINDA V. PARKER U.S. DISTRICT JUDGE

         This matter comes before the Court on Plaintiffs' Motion for Attorneys' Fees, Expenses, and Incentive Awards (ECF No. 50) and Plaintiffs' Motion for Final Approval of Class Action Settlement (ECF No. 52) between Plaintiffs Alice Raden and Bobbie Moore (“Plaintiffs”), individually and as Class Representatives, and Defendants Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, Inc. (“MSLO”) and Meredith Corporation (“Meredith”) (together, “Defendants”) (collectively, the “Parties”). The Court having duly considered the arguments and authorities presented by the Parties and their counsel at the Final Approval Hearing held on July 31, 2019, and the record in the Action, and good cause appearing, it is hereby ORDERED, ADJUDGED, and DECREED THAT:

1. Terms and phrases in this Final Judgment shall have the same meaning as ascribed to them in the Parties' Class Action Settlement Agreement (“Settlement Agreement”). (ECF No. 46-2.)
2. This Court has personal jurisdiction over the Parties and all Direct Purchaser Settlement Class Members and Indirect Purchaser Settlement Class Members, and subject matter jurisdiction to approve the Settlement Agreement, including all exhibits thereto.
3. The Court confirms certification, for purposes of settlement only, of the Direct Purchaser Settlement Class and Indirect Purchaser Settlement Class (the “Settlement Classes”) pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 23(b)(3), defined as follows:

         Direct Purchaser Settlement Class: All persons with Michigan Street addresses who were subscribers to Martha Stewart Living magazine or Martha Stewart Weddings magazine between July 31, 2010 and July 31, 2016 and who purchased their subscriptions directly from Martha Stewart or Meredith.

         Indirect Purchaser Settlement Class: All persons with Michigan Street addresses who were subscribers to Martha Stewart Living magazine or Martha Stewart Weddings magazine between July 31, 2010 and July 31, 2016 and who purchased their subscriptions from a third party. (See ECF No. 48 at 2-3.)

4. The notice provided to the Settlement Classes pursuant to the Settlement Agreement (see ECF Nos. 46-2, 52-4) and order granting Preliminary Approval (ECF No. 48)--including direct notice to the Settlement Classes via email and U.S. mail, based on the comprehensive Settlement Class List provided by Meredith, and the creation of the Settlement Website (www.MSLmagazinesettlement.com)--constituted the best practicable notice under the circumstances; was reasonably calculated to apprise the Settlement Classes of the pendency of the Action, their right to object to or exclude themselves from the Settlement Agreement, and their right to appear at the Final Approval Hearing; constituted due, adequate, and sufficient notice to all persons entitled to receive notice; and fully complied with all applicable requirements of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, the Due Process Clause of the United States Constitution, and the rules of the Court.
5. No Direct Purchaser Settlement Class Member or Indirect Purchaser Settlement Class Member has objected to any of the terms of the Settlement Agreement and only eight individuals-Jacqueline Conry, Debora Hoeve, Amela Nukic, Aditi Ram Prasad, Giovanna Roncone, Susan Savage, Theresa Stone, and Joann Van Every-submitted timely requests for exclusion.
  1. Rule 23(e) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure set forth the procedures for the settlement of class actions. Pursuant to the rule, the court's role is to determine whether the proposed settlement is “fair, reasonable, and adequate.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 23(e)(2). In making this determination, the court considers whether the interests of the class as a whole are better served if the litigation is settled rather than pursued.” In re Cardizem CD Antitrust Litig., 218 F.R.D. 508, 522 (E.D. Mich. 2003). As one judge in this District has observed:

    “In assessing the settlement, the Court must determine ‘whether it falls within the range of reasonableness, not whether it is the most favorable possible result in the litigation.”' In re Domestic Air Transp. Antitrust Litig., 148 F.R.D. 297, 319 (N.D.Ga. 1993) (quoting Fisher Bros. v. Cambridge-Lee Indus., 630 F.Supp. 482, 489 (E.D. Pa. 1985)). An appropriate range of reasonableness “recognizes the uncertainties of law and fact in any particular case and the concomitant risks and costs necessarily inherent in taking any litigation to completion.” Frank v. Eastman Kodak Co., 228 F.R.D. 174, 186 (W.D.N.Y. 2005) (quoting Newman v. Stein, 464 F.2d 689, 693 (2d Cir. 1972)). Under this standard, “[a] just result is often no more than an arbitrary point between competing notions of reasonableness.” In re Corrugated Container Antitrust Litig. (II), 659 F.2d 1322, 1325 (5th Cir. 1981).

         Intl. Union v. Ford Motor Co., No. 05-74730, 2006 WL 1984363, at *21 (E.D. Mich. July 13, 2006), aff'd sub nom. UAW v. Gen. Motors Corp., 497 F.3d 615 (6th Cir. 2007).

         Courts in the Sixth Circuit find eight factors relevant in considering whether a class action settlement is fair, adequate, and reasonable:

“(1) the risk of fraud or collusion; (2) the complexity, expense and likely duration of the litigation; (3) the amount of discovery engaged in by the parties; (4) the likelihood of success on the merits; (5) the opinions of class counsel and class representatives; (6) the reaction of absent class members; and (7) the public interest.”

         Moulton v. U.S. Steel Corp., 581 F.3d 344, 349 (6th Cir. 2009) (quoting UAW v. Gen. Motors Corp., 497 F.3d at 631). “The district court enjoys wide discretion in assessing the weight and applicability of these factors.” Granada Investments, Inc. v. DWG Corp., 962 F.2d 1203, 1205-06 (6th Cir. 1992); see also Ford Motor Co., 2006 WL 891151, at *14 (“The court may choose to consider only those factors that ...


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