United States District Court, N.D. New York
GORDON CASEY and DUANE SKINNER, individually and on behalf of all others similarly situated, Plaintiffs,
CITIBANK, N.A.; CITIMORTGAGE, INC.; MIDFIRST BANK, N.A., doing business as Midland Mortgage; and FIRSTINSURE, INC., Defendants. CELESTE COONAN, individually and on behalf of all others similarly situated, Plaintiff,
CITIBANK, N.A.; CITIMORTGAGE, INC.; ASSURANT, INC.; AMERICAN SECURITY INSURANCE COMPANY; and STANDARD GUARANTY INSURANCE COMPANY, Defendants.
E. MICHELLE DRAKE, ESQ., JOSEPH C. HASHMALL, ESQ., KAI H. RICHTER, ESQ., NICHOLS KASTER, PLLP, Minneapolis, MN, MATTHEW C. HELLAND, ESQ., San Francisco, CA, Attorneys for Plaintiffs Casey, Skinner, and Coonan.
PATRICK F. MADDEN, ESQ., SARAH R. SCHALMAN-BERGEN, ESQ., SHANON J. CARSON, ESQ., BERGER & MONTAGUE, P.C., Philadelphia, PA, Attorneys for Plaintiffs Casey, Skinner, and Coonan.
BRETT H. CEBULASH, ESQ., KEVIN LANDAU, ESQ., TAUS, CEBULASH & LANDAU, LLP, New York, NY, Attorneys for Plaintiffs Casey, Skinner, and Coonan.
KENNETH G. GILMAN, ESQ., GILMAN LAW, LLP, Bonita Springs, FL, Attorneys for Plaintiff Coonan.
CHRISTOPHER J. WILLIS, ESQ., SARAH T. REISE, ESQ., STEFANIE H. JACKMAN, ESQ., BALLARD SPAHR, LLP, Atlanta, GA, Attorneys for Defendants Citibank, N.A. and CitiMortgage, Inc.
MITCHELL J. KATZ, ESQ., TERESA M. BENNETT, ESQ., MENTER, RUDIN & TRIVELPIECE, P.C., Syracuse, NY, Attorneys for Defendants Citibank, N.A.; and CitiMortgage, Inc.
FRANK G. BURT, ESQ., BRIAN P. PERRYMAN, ESQ., W. GLENN MERTEN, ESQ., CARLTON FIELDS JORDEN BURT, P.A., Washington, DC, Attorneys for Defendants Assurant, Inc., American Security Insurance Company, and Standard Guaranty Insurance Company
DAVID N. HURD, District Judge.
On August 1, 2014, a final approval hearing was conducted in Utica, New York. Counsel for the settling parties and several objectors appeared and were heard regarding the motion for final approval of the class action settlement, which is unopposed by defendants Citibank, N.A.; CitiMortgage, Inc.; and Citigroup, Inc. ("the Citi defendants"); and Assurant, Inc.; American Security Insurance Company; and Standard Guaranty Insurance Company ("Assurant"). Decision was reserved.
The Court has reviewed and considered the parties' submissions in support of the motion for final approval, the proposed Settlement Agreement that was preliminarily approved on April 2, 2014, the submissions filed on behalf of thirteen (13) objecting class members, the arguments of counsel, the response of the Settlement Classes to the Settlement Notice, and all files, records, and proceedings in the above-captioned actions ("the Actions"). Finding good cause to grant the motion for final approval, and otherwise being fully informed as to the facts and the law, it is
1. All defined terms contained herein shall have the same meaning as set forth in the Settlement Agreement executed by the parties and filed with the Court;
2. The Settlement Agreement and terms set forth therein is approved;
3. The notice of proposed settlement was given to the Settlement Classes by the best means practicable under the circumstances, including mailing the Settlement Notice to Settlement Class members by U.S. Mail, publishing notice of the settlement in a newspaper with national distribution, and publishing the Settlement Notice, Settlement Agreement, and other relevant documents on the settlement website. The Settlement Notice: (1) provided an overview of the nature of the action and the status of the litigation; (2) described plaintiffs' claims; (3) defined the Settlement Classes certified by the Court; (4) summarized the terms of the settlement; (5) set forth the language of the release; (6) provided sufficient notice of compensation that Class Counsel and the Class Representatives would be seeking; (7) expressly state that Settlement Class members had until July 1, 2014, to opt-out or object to the settlement, and explained how to opt-out or object; (8) notified Settlement Class members of their right to appear at the final approval hearing, and explained the procedure for appearing at the final approval hearing in-person or through an attorney; and (9) advised Settlement Class members of the binding effect of a class judgment on participating Settlement Class members if the settlement was ...