United States District Court, D. Minnesota
In re: Target Corporation Customer Data Security Breach Litigation. This Document Relates to All Consumer Cases.
ORDER CERTIFYING A SETTLEMENT CLASS, PRELIMINARILY APPROVING CLASS ACTION SETTLEMENT AND DIRECTING NOTICE TO THE SETTLEMENT CLASS
PAUL A. MAGNUSON, District Judge.
This matter came before the Court on Consumer Plaintiffs' Motion for Certification of Settlement Class and Preliminary Approval of Class Action Settlement.
Consumer Plaintiffs filed their Consolidated Class Action Complaint (ECF No. 182) on August 25, 2014 and filed their First Amended Consolidated Class Action Complaint (ECF No. 258) ("Complaint") on December 1, 2014. In their Complaint, Consumer Plaintiffs allege various claims against Defendant Target Corporation ("Target") arising out of the breach of Target's computer network that Target first announced on December 19, 2013, including claims alleging violations of state consumer laws and state data breach statutes, and negligence, breach of implied and express contract, bailment, and unjust enrichment claims. On December 18, 2014, following briefing and a hearing, the Court issued a Memorandum and Order (ECF No. 281), granting in part and denying in part Target's motion to dismiss the Complaint.
Plaintiffs' Class Counsel has conducted a thorough examination, investigation, and evaluation of the relevant law, facts and allegations and has engaged in sufficient discovery to assess the merits of the claims and Target's liability and defenses in the Consumer Actions.
Consumer Plaintiffs, by Consumer Plaintiffs' Lead Counsel and additional proposed Settlement Class Counsel, and Target Corporation, by Target's Counsel, have entered into a Settlement Agreement following good faith, arm's length negotiations and mediation overseen by retired Magistrate Judge Arthur J. Boylan, in which the Parties have agreed to settle the Consumer Actions consolidated for pre-trial purposes in this MDL proceeding, pursuant to the terms of the Settlement, subject to the approval and determination of the Court as to the fairness, reasonableness and adequacy of the Settlement which, if approved, will result in dismissal of the Consumer Actions with prejudice.
The Court having reviewed the Settlement Agreement and Release, including the exhibits attached thereto (together, the "Settlement Agreement" or "Settlement"), and all prior proceedings herein, and good cause appearing based on the record,
ACCORDINGLY, IT IS HEREBY ORDERED:
1. Class Certification for Settlement Purposes Only. The Settlement Agreement provides for a Settlement Class defined as follows:
All persons in the United States whose credit or debit card information and/or whose personal information was compromised as a result of the data breach that was first disclosed by Target on December 19, 2013. Excluded from the class are the Court, the officers and directors of Target, and persons who timely and validly request exclusion from the Settlement Class.
The Consumer Actions are certified as a class action for settlement purposes only, pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P. 23(a) and (b)(3). The Court finds for settlement purposes that: (a) the Settlement Class is so numerous that joinder of all Settlement Class Members would be impracticable; (b) there are issues of law and fact that are common to the Settlement Class; (c) the claims of the Settlement Class Representatives are typical of and arise from the same operative facts and seek similar relief as the claims of the Settlement Class Members; (d) the Settlement Class Representatives and Settlement Class Counsel will fairly and adequately protect the interests of the Settlement Class as the Settlement Class Representatives have no interest antagonistic to or in conflict with the Settlement Class and have retained experienced and competent counsel to prosecute this matter on behalf of the Settlement Class; (e) questions of law or fact common to Settlement Class Members predominate over any questions affecting only individual members; and (f) a class action and class settlement is superior to other methods available for a fair and efficient resolution of this controversy.
2. Settlement Class Representatives and Settlement Class Counsel.
Consumer Plaintiffs identified in Exhibit 8 attached to the Settlement Agreement are designated as the Settlement Class Representatives. The Court finds that the Settlement Class Representatives are similarly situated to absent Class Members and therefore typical of the Class and that they will be adequate Settlement Class Representatives.
The Court finds that the following are experienced and adequate counsel and are hereby designated as Settlement Class Counsel pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P. 23(g): Consumer Plaintiffs' Lead Counsel Vincent J. Esades, Heins Mills & Olson, P.L.C.; E. Michelle Drake, Nichols Kaster, PLLP, appointed by the Court to serve as Liaison Counsel in the Consumer Actions; John A. Yanchunis, Morgan & Morgan Complex Litigation Group, PA, who serves on the Executive Committee - Coordinating Lead and Liaison Counsel; and members of the Consumer Steering Committee, Ariana J. Tadler, Milberg LLP, Norman E. Siegel, Stueve Siegel Hanson LLP and Daniel C. Girard, Girard Gibbs, LLP.
3. Preliminary Settlement Approval. Upon preliminary review, the Court finds that the Settlement is fair, reasonable and adequate to warrant providing notice of the Settlement to the Class and accordingly is preliminarily approved.
4. Jurisdiction. The Court has subject matter jurisdiction pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 332(d)(2), and personal jurisdiction over the Parties before it. Additionally, venue is proper in this District pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1391(a).
5. Final Approval Hearing. A Final Approval Hearing shall be held on Tuesday, November 10, 2015 at 10:00 a.m. in Courtroom 7D of the Warren E. Burger Federal Building and U.S. Courthouse, 316 N. Robert Street, St. Paul, MN 55101, to determine, among other things, whether: (a) this matter should be finally certified as a class action for settlement purposes pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P. 23(a) and (b)(3); (b) the Settlement should be approved as fair, reasonable and adequate, and finally approved pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P. 23(e); (c) the Consumer Actions should be dismissed with prejudice pursuant to the terms of the Settlement Agreement; (d) Settlement Class Members should be bound by the releases set forth in the Settlement Agreement; (e) the application of Settlement Class Counsel for an award of attorneys' fees and expenses (the "Fee Request") should be approved pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P. 23(h); and (f) the application of Settlement Class Representatives for Service Payments (the "Service Payments Request") should be approved.
The submissions of the Parties in support of final approval of the Settlement shall be filed with the Court no later than thirty (30) days prior to the Final Approval Hearing and may be supplemented up ...