United States District Court, E.D. Michigan, Southern Division
FAYE TEDFORD, Plaintiff, and a class of similarly situated individuals,
FOSTER, SWIFT, COLLINS & SMITH, P.C., Defendant.
PRELIMINARY APPROVAL ORDER
MATTHEW F. LEITMAN, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
Court, having considered Plaintiff's Motion for
Preliminary Approval of Class Settlement, hereby
preliminarily approves the Class Settlement Agreement (the
"Agreement") between Plaintiff FAYE TEDFORD
("Plaintiff"), individually and as representative
of the Class, and Defendant FOSTER, SWIFT, COLLINS &
SMITH, P.C. ("Defendant") and finds as follows:
Court has jurisdiction over the subject matter of the
Litigation and, for purposes of the Agreement only, has
personal jurisdiction over Plaintiff, Defendant, and the
proposed Class Action Settlement Agreement has been
negotiated in good faith at arm's length, and is
preliminarily determined to be fair, reasonable, adequate and
in the best interests of the Class (defined below).
terms of the Agreement are reasonable, adequate, fair, and
are hereby approved by the Court, subject to the final
approval hearing described below.
following class (the "Class") is hereby certified
for settlement purposes only by the Court and are subject to
the terms of the Agreement:
Class: All individuals with
Michigan addresses to whom Defendant sent a letter containing
language similar to the form represented by Exhibit A to the
Complaint [ECF No. 1] at any time between February 8, 2018
and March 6, 2019.
Court makes a preliminary finding that this action satisfies
the applicable prerequisites for class action treatment under
Fed.R.Civ.P. 23(a) and (b). The Class as defined in the
Settlement Agreement is so numerous that joinder of all
members is not practicable, there are questions of law and
fact common to the Class Members, the claims of the Class
Representative are typical of the claims of the Class; and
the Class Representative and Class Counsel will fairly and
adequately protect the interests of the Class. Questions of
law and fact common to the members of the Class predominate
over any questions affecting only individual members, and a
class action is superior to other available methods for the
fair and efficient adjudication of the controversy.
settlement purposes only, and in accordance with Fed.R.Civ.P.
23, the Court preliminarily appoints the named-Plaintiff,
Faye Tedford, as the Class Representative, and finds that she
meets the requirements of Fed.R.Civ.P. 23. The Court also
preliminarily appoints counsel for Plaintiff, Edelman, Combs,
Latturner & Goodwin, LLC, and Adam G. Taub &
Associates Consumer Law Group, PLC as Class Counsel. This
Court preliminarily finds that Class Counsel have, and will
continue to, fairly and adequately represent the interests of
the Class Members. Plaintiff and Class Counsel, on behalf of
the Class Members, are authorized to take all appropriate
action required or permitted to be taken by the Agreement to
effectuate its terms.
settlement purposes only, the Court preliminarily finds that
settlement of the Litigation on the terms and conditions set
forth in the Agreement, preliminarily appears in all respects
fair, reasonable, adequate and in the best interest of the
Class Members and within the range of possible approval,
especially in light of 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. This finding is subject to
further consideration at the Final Approval Hearing.
Court approves the parties' proposed class notice and
directs it be mailed to the last known address of the Class
Members reflected in Defendant's records on or before
December 30, 2019. The settlement administrator shall
distribute the notice and claim form by letter via First
Class U.S. Mail. Each notice shall be sent with a request for
forwarding addresses. Before mailing the notice required by
this paragraph, the settlement administrator will obtain
updated addresses for the Class Members through the National
Change of Address ("NCOA") database. In the event
that a notice is returned as undeliverable and a forwarding
address is provided, the settlement administrator shall cause
to be forwarded any such returned notice to the address
provided within four days of receipt. In the event that a
notice is returned as undeliverable and a forwarding address
is not provided, the settlement administrator will undertake
to ascertain the Class Member's current address using
skip-tracing. If the settlement administrator finds through
skip-tracing that the Class Member has a different address,
the settlement administrator will send the notice to that
Court finds that mailing of class notice is the only notice
required and that such notice satisfies the requirements of
due process and Fed.R.Civ.P. 23(c)(2)(B).
Defendant shall provide a list of the names and last known
address of each member of the class within 14 days of entry
of this order.
Class Members have until February 24, 2020 to submit a claim,
request to be excluded or object to the Agreement. A request
for exclusion must be in writing and state "I hereby
wish to exclude myself from the settlement in TEDFORD v.
FOSTER, SWIFT, COLLINS & SMITH, P.C.., No. 19-10433
(E.D. MICH)” The request must also include the name,
address, phone number and signature of the person(s) or
entity seeking exclusion. The request must be mailed to the
settlement administrator at the address provided in the class
notice. A request for exclusion that does not include all of
the foregoing information, that is sent to an address other
than the one designated in the class notice, or that is not
postmarked by the time specified shall be invalid and the
person(s) serving such request shall remain a class member
and shall be bound as a class member by the ...