United States District Court, E.D. Arkansas, Jonesboro Division
YOLANDA GOODMAN, on behalf of herself and all similarly situated persons PLAINTIFF
CRITTENDEN HOSPITAL ASSOCIATION, INC.; EUGENE K. CASHMAN, III; W. BRAD McCORMICK; CIGNA HEALTH AND LIFE INSURANCE CO.; JAMIE R. CARTER, JR.; DAVID G. BAYTOS; DAVID RAINES, JR.; JASON W. COLLARD; HERSCHEL F. OWENS; ANDREW LUTTRELL; KEITH M. INGRAM; RANDALL CATT; WILLIAM JOHNSON; LANNIE L. LANCASTER; JULIO P. RUIZ; SHERRY L. LONDON; NESS S. SECHREST; RANDY R. SULLIVAN; and LEVEN WILLIAMS DEFENDANTS
Marshall Jr. United States District Judge.
Court thanks all counsel for their hard work in this case.
The arguments made, briefs filed, and exhibits submitted were
helpful and appreciated.
Court finds that all required steps have been taken. No
162. Proper notice was given. CAFA was complied with.
And the final report of claims was diligently compiled by the
the reasons stated on the record, the Court approves the
proposed settlement with modifications on attorney's
fees. The settlement as modified is fair, reasonable, and
adequate, as required by Rule 23(e). In reaching this
conclusion, the Court considered the strength of the
plaintiffs' case, the defendants' financial
condition, the complexity of further litigation, and the
amount of opposition to the settlement. Van Horn v.
Trickey, 840 F.2d 604, 607 (8th Cir. 1988).
settlement, although imperfect, puts money back in the
pockets of those who lost it. It used a vigorous claims
procedure to ensure that it does so. It prevents further
wasting of coverage and mitigates the risks inherent in
dealing with a bankrupt defendant. There has also been little
opposition to it. Given these circumstances, as well as
case's unique complexity, this settlement is the best bet
to make the plaintiff class whole. Keil v. Lopez,
862 F.3d 685, 693-98 (8th Cir. 2017). The $1, 150, 000
settlement is therefore approved.
Court orders that $153, 853.03 be set aside for payment of
expenses. Any additional expenses will be subtracted from the
attorney's fees on a pro rata basis.
Court creates a settlement fund of $496, 146.97 for the
benefit of the class. It is allocated as follows:
• $334, 380.07 to pay all approved claims. Any money for
approved claims that is not disbursed will revert to the
• $5000 to pay Yolanda Goodman for her services as class
• The balance, including any money from undisbursable
claims, to pay all class members on a per capita
Court notes that there was some ambiguity in the proposed
settlement about whether the settlement fund balance should
flow to the claimants or to all class members. But the
parties commendably clarified the meaning at the fairness
hearing. The Court agrees. With the consent of all parties,
the Court adopts per capita distribution to all
class members as the better reading of the proposed
Court modifies the requested attorney's fees, No. 163
& No 164, to make them reasonable. Lead class
counsel's lodestar proposal was too high and objecting
class counsel's one-third of the fund proposal was too
low. The Court therefore sustains the objections in part and
overrules them in part. No. 173 & No. 176. All
material things considered, a reasonable attorney's fee
in this case is $500, 000. That number is a bit high when
viewed as a percentage of the common fund, while a bit low
when viewed as a lodestar. But it ensures a reasonable
overall fee for all the lawyers, reflecting both the common
fund achieved, as well as an efficient amount of time at
northeast Arkansas rates for the results obtained.
Hensley v. Eckerhart, 461 U.S. 424, 433-37
Petrovic v. Amoco Oil Co., 200 F.3d 1140, 1157 (8th
fee award should be split amongst class counsel, with
eighty-five percent going to lead class counsel and fifteen
percent going to objecting class counsel. Each group must
apportion their share among themselves.
Court retains jurisdiction to oversee the settlement and
resolve any ...