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Busch v. Bluestem Brands, Inc.

United States District Court, D. Minnesota

May 3, 2019

Elizabeth Busch, on behalf of herself and all others similarly situated, Plaintiff,
v.
Bluestem Brands, Inc., d/b/a Fingerhut, Defendant.

          ORDER PRELIMINARILY APPROVING CLASS ACTION SETTLEMENT AND DIRECTING NOTICE

          Wilhelmina M. Wright United States District Judge.

         On April 30, 2019, this Court heard Plaintiff's motion for preliminary approval of a class action settlement of the above-captioned matter (the Action) between Plaintiff Elizabeth Busch and Defendant Bluestem Brands, Inc. (collectively, the Parties). (Dkt. 85.) Plaintiff moves, pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 23, for the Court to preliminarily approve the terms and conditions set forth in the proposed Class Action Settlement Agreement (Settlement Agreement). The Court has reviewed and considered all papers filed in connection with the motion, including the Settlement Agreement and all exhibits referenced therein. For the reasons addressed below, the Court grants the motion.

         FINDINGS OF FACT, CONCLUSIONS OF LAW, AND ORDER

         1. Plaintiff Elizabeth Busch's unopposed motion for preliminary approval of a class action settlement, (Dkt. 85), is GRANTED as addressed herein.

         2. Unless defined herein, all terms in this Order shall have the respective meanings ascribed to them in the Settlement Agreement.

         3. The Court has conducted a preliminary evaluation of the Parties' proposed class action settlement (the Settlement) set forth in the Settlement Agreement for fairness, adequacy, and reasonableness. See Fed. R. Civ. P. 23(e)(2). Based on this preliminary evaluation, the Court finds that the Settlement Agreement meets all applicable requirements of Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 23 for settlement purposes only, including that the Settlement Class is sufficiently numerous, that there are questions of law and fact common to members of the Settlement Class that predominate over any individual issues, that the claims of Plaintiff are typical of the claims of the Settlement Class, that Plaintiff and her counsel adequately represent the interests of the Settlement Class, and that a class action is a superior method of adjudicating this action. The Court further finds that: (i) there is good cause to believe that the Settlement is fair, reasonable, and adequate; (ii) the Settlement has been negotiated at arm's length between experienced attorneys familiar with the legal and factual issues of this case and was reached with the assistance of the Honorable Arthur Boylan (Ret.); and (iii) the Settlement warrants Notice of its material terms to the Settlement Class for their consideration and reaction.

         4. Pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 23(b)(3), and for settlement purposes only, the Court certifies the proposed Settlement Class, consisting of: All persons in the United States who were sent a text message to a cellular telephone from or on behalf of Bluestem and where the number was coded by Bluestem as a “wrong party” on an outbound call, during the Class Period (i.e., March 14, 2012, through October 15, 2018). Excluded from the Settlement Class are Bluestem, its parent companies, affiliates or subsidiaries, or any entities in which such companies have a controlling interest; any employees thereof; the judge or magistrate judge to whom this Action is assigned and any member of those judges' staffs and immediate families; and any persons who timely and validly request exclusion from the Settlement Class.

         5. For settlement purposes only, the Court hereby approves the appointment of Plaintiff Elizabeth Busch as Class Representative.

         6. For settlement purposes only, the Court hereby approves the appointment of the following attorneys as Class Counsel and finds that they are competent and capable of exercising the responsibilities of Class Counsel:

Ronald A. Marron Alexis M. Wood Kas L. Gallucci Law Offices of Ronald A. Marron 651 Arroyo Drive San Diego, CA 92103 Tel: 619.696.9006 ron@consumersadvocates.com alexis@consumersadvocates.com kas@consumersadvocates.com
Thomas J. Lyons, Jr. (#0249646) tommy@consumerjusticecenter.com Consumer Justice Center, P.A. 367 Commerce Court Vadnais Heights, Minnesota 55127 Telephone: (651) 770-9707 Facsimile: (651) 704-0907

         7. On Tuesday, October 8, 2019, at 2:00 p.m., this Court will a hold a Final Approval Hearing on the fairness, adequacy, and reasonableness of the Settlement Agreement and to determine whether: (i) final approval of the Settlement should be granted and (ii) Class Counsel's application for attorney's fees and expenses, and an incentive award to the Class Representative, should be granted. No. later than fourteen days before the Opt-Out or Objection Deadline, Plaintiff must file her papers in support of Class Counsel's application for attorneys' fees and expenses. And no later than fourteen days before the Final Approval Hearing, Plaintiff must file her papers in support of final approval of the Settlement.

         8. Pursuant to the Settlement Agreement, Angeion Group is hereby appointed as Claims Administrator and shall be required to perform all the duties of the Claims Administrator as set forth in the Settlement Agreement and this Order.

         9. To aid in the efficient submission of claims, the Settlement Agreement allows claimants to submit Claim Forms online without the need for a manual signature. Claimants who submit an electronic Claim Form shall be bound to the same extent as if they had used a manual signature and the Claim Form will contain a statement to that effect. All Claim Forms must be submitted online to ...


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