United States District Court, D. Minnesota
MICHAEL L. WODASZEWSKI, DARRELL LOUTSCH, JESSE A. MONTEZ, JR., CHARLES NIPPOLDT, and RICKY CARL HAMBLIN, on behalf of themselves and all others similarly situated; and UNITED STEEL, PAPER AND FORESTRY, RUBBER, MANUFACTURING, ENERGY, ALLIED INDUSTRIAL AND SERVICE WORKERS INTERNATIONAL UNION, AFL-CIO/CLC, Plaintiffs,
GERDAU AMERISTEEL U.S. INC., and GERDAU AMERISTEEL U.S. RETIREE MEDICAL PLAN, Defendants.
for Jury Trial
JUDGMENT GRANTING FINAL APPROVAL OF CLASS ACTION
S. Doty United States District Court
Parties entered into a Settlement Agreement dated December
21, 2017. [Doc. No. 27-1] This Court entered a Preliminary
Approval Order on March 1, 2018 [Doc. No. 29] in which the
Court, among other things, preliminarily approved the
settlement contained in the Settlement Agreement, approved
the form of notice to Class Members and directed that notice
of the settlement be provided to Class Members, and set a
hearing date for final approval of the settlement. Notice to
Class Members and notice required by 28 U.S.C. §1715
having been provided, the Court conducted the Final Fairness
Hearing on June 14, 2018 to determine whether the settlement
set forth in the Settlement Agreement was fair, reasonable,
adequate, and in the best interests of the Class, and to
consider Plaintiffs' Fee Motion (which has been resolved
by separate Order). This hearing took place more than the
required number of days after notice to the class, and as
required by 28 U.S.C. §1715.
reviewed and considered the submissions presented with
respect to the settlement set forth in the Settlement
Agreement and the record in these proceedings, having heard
and considered the evidence presented by the Parties and the
arguments of counsel, having determined that the settlement
set forth in the Settlement Agreement is fair, reasonable,
adequate, and in the best interests of the Class, and good
cause otherwise appearing, therefore, IT IS HEREBY ORDERED,
ADJUDGED, AND DECREED:
Court herein incorporates by reference the definitions set
forth in the Settlement Agreement.
Court has subject matter jurisdiction of this matter and all
claims asserted against Defendants.
form, content, and method of dissemination of the notice
given to the Class were adequate and reasonable, and
constituted the best notice practicable under the
circumstances. The notice, as given, provided valid, due, and
sufficient notice of the proposed settlement, the terms and
conditions set forth in the Settlement Agreement, and these
proceedings to all Persons entitled to such notice, and said
notice fully satisfied the requirements of Rule 23 of the
Federal Rules of Civil Procedure and due process.
Pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P. 23 and this Court's Order
granting Plaintiffs' motion for class certification, the
following persons are members of the Class:
i. Subclass A. All former USW-represented
employees who (i) were hired on or before October 1, 2000;
(ii) retired from the St. Paul Mill; (iii) met the
Eligibility Criteria to participate in the Gerdau Ameristeel
Retiree Medical Plan for St. Paul Union Retirees (the
“Plan”) at the time of their retirement; and (iv)
for employees who retired on or before June 1, 2016,
continued to meet the Eligibility Criteria for participating
in the Plan as of August 7, 2017, as well as the Eligible
Dependents of all such former USW-represented employees.
ii. Subclass B. All USW-represented
employees of the St. Paul Mill who were hired on or before
October 1, 2000, and who meet the Eligibility Criteria to
participate in the Gerdau Ameristeel Retiree Medical Plan for
St. Paul Union Retirees upon their retirement.
Under Fed.R.Civ.P. 23(e)(2), a court may approve a settlement
in a class action litigation only if it finds the settlement
is “fair, reasonable and adequate.” Courts in
this circuit consider the following factors: (1) the merits
of the plaintiffs' case, weighed against the settlement
terms; (2) the defendant's financial condition; (3) the
complexity and expense of further litigation; and (4) the
amount of opposition to the settlement. Van Horn v.
Trickey, 840 F.2d 604, 607 (8th Cir. 1988). The Court
concludes that these factors favor approval of the settlement
and also finds that there are substantial risks, expense and
delay likely in the event this matter is not settled.
Plaintiffs and their counsel fairly and adequately
represented the interests of the Class Members in connection
with the settlement set forth in the Settlement Agreement.
There have been no objections to the settlement.
Court finds the settlement set forth in the Settlement
Agreement to be, in all respects, fair, adequate, reasonable,
proper, and in the best interests ...