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Woods v. Standard Insurance Co.

United States District Court, D. New Mexico

May 9, 2017

BRETT F. WOODS AND KATHLEEN VALDES, FOR THEMSELVES AND ALL OTHERS SIMILARLY SITUATION, Plaintiffs,
v.
STANDARD INSURANCE COMPANY, AN OREGON INSURANCE COMPANY, MARTHA QUINTANA, A NEW MEXICO RESIDENT, AND THE STATE OF NEW MEXICO GENERAL SERVICES DEPARTMENT RISK MANAGEMENT DIVISION, Defendants. v.

          PEIFER, HANSON & MULLLINS, P.A. ROBERT E. HANSON MATTHEW E. JACKSON ATTORNEYS FOR PLAINTIFFS AND THE CLASS

          CARPENTER LAW OFFICE LTD WILLIAM H. CARPENTER, TIMOTHY A. DANIELS, RYAN K. MCCOMBER FIGARI & DAVENPORT, LLP ATTORNEY FOR STATE OF NEW MEXICO GENERAL SERVICES DEPARTMENT RISK MANAGEMENT DIVISION

          LISA E. PULLEN CIVEROLO, GRALOW & HILL P.A. ATTORNEY FOR STATE OF NEW MEXICO GENERAL SERVICES DEPARTMENT RISK MANAGEMENT DIVISION

          ORDER GRANTING PLAINTIFFS' UNOPPOSED MOTION FOR PRELIMINARY APPROVAL OF SETTLEMENT, CERTIFYING A SETTLEMENT CLASS, APPOINTING CLASS COUNSEL, DIRECTING THE ISSUANCE OF CLASS NOTICE, AND SCHEDULING FINAL FAIRNESS HEARING

         This matter having come before the Court on May 5, 2017, and having considered the proposed terms and heard the presentation of the parties, the Court finds that Plaintiffs' Unopposed Motion for Preliminary Approval of Settlement, Certifying a Settlement Class, Appointing Class Counsel, Directing the Issuance of Class Notice, and Scheduling a Final Fairness Hearing (Doc. No. 92) is well taken and is hereby granted as follows:

         The Court hereby FINDS:

         1. This action (the “Action”) was originally filed on November 20, 2012, in the First Judicial District Court, County of Santa Fe, State of New Mexico against Defendants Standard Insurance Company (“Standard”), Martha Quintana (“Quintana”), and the State of New Mexico General Services Department, Risk Management Division (“GSD”), alleging on behalf of Plaintiffs and the proposed Class that Defendants had accepted premiums without providing coverage in return for the premiums paid;

         2. Defendant Standard Insurance (“Standard”) removed the case to this Court on December 28, 2012;

         3. This Court has jurisdiction over the parties and subject matter herein;

         4. The parties have vigorously litigated the case, including fully briefing dispositive motions, a motion to remand, and an interlocutory appeal of the Court's order remanding the case to state court;

         5. After extensive arms-length settlement negotiations and multiple mediations, the parties agreed to material settlement terms by agreeing to a Memorandum of Settlement on August 12, 2016, and, then, a formal Settlement Agreement, subject to Court approval which the parties have recommended to the Court for preliminary approval;

         6. The parties have agreed to a proposed Full Notice of Class Action and Summary Notice of Class Action for the purpose of providing direct and individualized notice to the proposed Class;

         7. The Court has carefully and rigorously considered the settlement terms, the Settlement Agreement, and all of the other pleadings, papers, testimony, exhibits, discovery, and oral arguments herein, and the presentations of counsel for the parties regarding preliminary approval of the proposed Settlement;

         8. The Court preliminarily finds that the settlement terms are fair, reasonable and adequate and in the best interests of the Class, considering possible benefits to the proposed Class that could be achieved by further litigation, the length of time this action has been pending, the expenses of further litigation, the risks and costs of further delay, the complexity of this litigation, and the risk to the proposed Class of achieving a less favorable outcome, and the Court has determined that it would be in the best interests of the parties and the ends of justice for this Court to conduct a final approval hearing regarding the proposed settlement;

         9. For purposes of the settlement of this action (and only for such purposes, and without an adjudication of the merits), the Court preliminarily finds that the requirements of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, the United States ...


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