The opinion of the court was delivered by: David C. Norton Chief United States District Judge
On March 1, 2011, this Court held a hearing on (i) whether the terms and conditions of the Settlement Agreement entered into as of October 21, 2010, between Plaintiffs and Defendants American Moving & Storage Association, Inc., Atlas Van Lines, Inc., Mayflower Transit, LLC, United Van Lines, LLC, and Wheaton Van Lines, Inc. ("Settling Defendants"), are fair, reasonable and adequate for the settlement of all claims released by Plaintiffs against Settling Defendants in the above-captioned actions (the "Actions" or "Class Actions"); (ii) whether judgment should be entered dismissing Settling Defendants from the Actions with prejudice; (iii) whether to approve the Plan of Distribution of settlement funds as a fair and reasonable method to allocate the settlement proceeds among the members of the Settlement Class; and (iv) whether and in what amount to award incentive payments to some or all of the putative settlement class representatives.
The Court, having considered all matters submitted to it at the hearing and otherwise; and having provisionally certified the Settlement Class pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 23, composed of all individuals or entities who purchased Household Goods Moving Services for interstate shipment(s) from March 19, 2003, through December 31, 2007, under Tariff 400N or contracts referencing or incorporating Item 16 of Tariff 400N, and who paid a fuel surcharge directly to any Household Goods Motor Carrier for such shipment, excluding the Settling Defendants; present and former stockholders, officers, directors, employees, or agents of any Settling Defendant; all Household Goods Motor Carriers providing transportation for Household Goods Moving Services under Tariff 400N or contracts referencing or incorporating Tariff 400N; legal representatives and present and former direct and indirect parents, subsidiaries, divisions, affiliates or associates of any of the above entities; predecessors, heirs, executors, administrators, successors and assigns of any of the above persons or entities; and governmental entities, HEREBY FINDS, with all terms used herein having the meanings as set forth and defined in the Settlement Agreement, that:
a. The Court has personal jurisdiction over the Settling Parties, and has subject matter jurisdiction to approve the Settlement Agreement, including all exhibits thereto;
b. The Court has held a hearing to consider the fairness, reasonableness and adequacy of the Settlement;
c. The Court has been advised of all objections, if any, to the Settlement and has given consideration thereto;
d. The Settlement is the result of arm's length negotiations, taken in good faith, between counsel for Settling Plaintiffs and Settling Defendants; and
e. The Settlement, including the terms of the Settlement Agreement and all exhibits thereto, is in all respects fair, reasonable and adequate -- in light of the risks of the litigation with respect to issues including immunity, liability, class certification and damages and also the benefits to the Settlement Class from receiving compensation without the delays of further litigation -- and in the best interests of the Settlement Class.
ACCORDINGLY, the Settlement is hereby fully and finally APPROVED pursuant to Rule 23(e) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. In accordance with the Settlement Agreement, the terms of which are hereby incorporated by reference, it is hereby ORDERED, ADJUDGED, and DECREED that:
1. The Settlement Agreement and the settlement terms contained therein are finally approved by the Court as fair, reasonable and adequate and in the best interest of the Settlement Class and made in good faith within the meaning of California Code of Civil Procedure section 877.6 or comparable statute or common law of other jurisdictions.
2. Notice to the Settlement Class required by Rule 23(e) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, including, but not limited to, the forms of notice and methods of identifying and notifying members of the Settlement Class, has been given in an adequate and sufficient manner, constituting the best notice practicable, satisfying and complying in all respects with such Rule, due process, and any other applicable law.
3. The Settling Defendants have complied with the requirements of 28 U.S.C. § 1715.
4. The Plan of Distribution is a fair and reasonable method to allocate the settlement proceeds among the members of the Settlement Class, and all disbursements from the Settlement Fund will be in accordance with the Plan of Distribution.
5. The DJK Plan of Distribution is a fair and reasonable method to allocate the settlement proceeds among the members of the settlement class ...