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Sheean v. Convergent Outsourcing, Inc.

United States District Court, E.D. Michigan

November 14, 2019

Michael Sheean, on behalf of himself and others similarly situated, Plaintiff,
v.
Convergent Outsourcing, Inc., Defendant.

          R. Steven Whalen Mag. Judge

          FINAL ORDER AND JUDGMENT

          GEORGE CARAM STEEH UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         On May 15, 2018, Michael Sheean (“Plaintiff” or “Class Representative”) filed a class action complaint (the “Lawsuit”) against Convergent Outsourcing, Inc. (“Defendant”) in the United States District Court, Eastern District of Michigan, Case No. 2:18-cv-11532-GCS-RSW, asserting class claims under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (“TCPA”), 47 U.S.C. § 227, and the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (“FDCPA”), 15 U.S.C. § 1692 et seq. Defendant has denied any and all liability alleged in the Lawsuit.

         On or around June 26, 2019, after extensive arms-length negotiations, Plaintiff and Defendant (the “Parties”) entered into a written class action settlement agreement (the “Agreement”), see ECF No. 57 at 20-38, which is subject to review under Fed.R.Civ.P. 23.

         On June 27, 2019, the Parties filed the Agreement, [1] along with Plaintiff's unopposed motion for preliminary approval of class action settlement (the “Preliminary Approval Motion”). ECF No. 56.

         In compliance with the Class Action Fairness Act of 2005, 28 U.S.C. §§ 1332(D), 1453, and 1711-1715, Defendant, through the settlement administrator, served written notice of the proposed class settlement as directed.

         On July 8, 2019, upon consideration of Plaintiff's Preliminary Approval Motion and the record, this Court entered an order of preliminary approval of class action settlement (“Preliminary Approval Order”). Pursuant to the Preliminary Approval Order, this Court, among other things, (i) conditionally approved the proposed settlement and (ii) set the date and time of the final approval hearing. ECF No. 59.

         On August 23, 2019, Plaintiff filed his unopposed motion for attorneys' fees, costs, expenses, and an incentive award. ECF No. 60.

         On October 11, 2019, Plaintiff filed his unopposed motion for final approval of class action settlement (the “Final Approval Motion”).

         On November 14, 2019, a final approval hearing was held pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P. 23 to determine whether the claims asserted in the Lawsuit satisfy the applicable prerequisites for class action treatment and whether the proposed settlement is fundamentally fair, reasonable, adequate, and in the best interest of the settlement class members and should be approved by this Court.

         The Parties now request final certification of the settlement classes under Fed.R.Civ.P. 23 (b)(3) and final approval of the proposed class action settlement.

         This Court has read and considered the Agreement, Motion for Final Approval, and the record of these proceedings.

         NOW, THEREFORE, IT IS HEREBY ORDERED:

         The Court has jurisdiction over the subject matter of the Lawsuit and over all settling parties.

         Pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P. 23(b)(3), the Lawsuit is finally certified, for settlement purposes only, as a class action on behalf of the following settlement class members with respect to the claims asserted in the Lawsuit:

TCPA Class: All persons throughout the United States (1) to whom Convergent Outsourcing, Inc. placed, or caused to be placed, a call, (2) by using an automatic telephone dialing system or an artificial or prerecorded voice, (3) from November 11, 2016 through February 25, 2019, (4) either (i) directed to a number assigned to a cellular telephone service, but not assigned to the intended recipient of Convergent Outsourcing, Inc.'s calls, or (ii) directed to a number assigned to a cellular telephone service, to which Convergent Outsourcing, Inc. was previously instructed to stop placing calls or informed that the number was a wrong number.
FDCPA Class: All persons throughout the United States (1) to whom Convergent Outsourcing, Inc. placed, or caused to be placed, a call, (2) from May 15, 2017 through February 25, 2019, (3) and in connection with the collection of a consumer debt, (4) after Convergent Outsourcing, Inc. was instructed to stop placing calls to his or her telephone number or informed that the number was a wrong number.

         Pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P. 23, this Court finally certifies Michael Sheean as the class representative and Aaron D. Radbil, Michael L. Greenwald, and James L. Davidson of Greenwald Davidson Radbil PLLC, as class counsel.

         Pursuant to this Court's Preliminary Approval Order, the approved class action notices were mailed. The form and method for notifying the settlement class members of the settlement and its terms and conditions was in conformity with this Court's Preliminary Approval Order and satisfied the requirements of Fed.R.Civ.P. 23(c)(2)(B) and due process, and constituted the best notice practicable under the circumstances. This Court finds that the notice was clearly designed to advise settlement class members of their rights.

         This Court finds that the settlement classes satisfy the applicable prerequisites for class action treatment under Fed.R.Civ.P. 23, namely:

A. The settlement class members are so numerous that joinder of all of them in the Lawsuit is impracticable;
B. There are questions of law and fact common to the settlement class members, which predominate over any ...

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