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In re Takata Airbag Products Liability Litigation

United States District Court, S.D. Florida, Miami Division

February 26, 2018

IN RE TAKATA AIRBAG PRODUCTS LIABILITY LITIGATION THIS DOCUMENT RELATES TO ALL ECONOMIC LOSS ACTIONS AGAINST HONDA DEFENDANTS

          FINAL ORDER APPROVING CLASS SETTLEMENT AND CERTIFYING SETTLEMENT CLASS

          FEDERICO A. MORENO, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.

         WHEREAS, the Court, having considered the Settlement Agreement filed September 1, 2017 (the "Settlement Agreement") between and among Class Representatives, through Settlement Class Counsel, and Defendants Honda Motor Co., Ltd., American Honda Motor Co., Inc., Honda R&D Co., Ltd., and Honda of America Mfg., Inc. (collectively "Honda"), the Court's September 19, 2017 Order Granting Preliminary Approval of the Class Settlement, Directing Notice to the Class, and Scheduling Fairness Hearing (the "Preliminary Approval Order"), having held a Fairness Hearing on February 7, 2018, and having considered all of the submissions and arguments with respect to the Settlement Agreement, and otherwise being fully informed, and good cause appearing therefor (all capitalized terms as defined in the Settlement Agreement);

         IT IS HEREBY ORDERED AS FOLLOWS:

         1. This Final Order Approving Class Action Settlement incorporates the Settlement Agreement and its exhibits, and the Preliminary Approval Order. Unless otherwise provided herein, the terms defined in the Settlement Agreement and Preliminary Approval Order shall have the same meanings for purposes of this Final Order and accompanying Final Judgment.

         2. The Court has personal jurisdiction over all parties in the Action, including all Class Members, and has subject matter jurisdiction over the Action, including jurisdiction to approve the Settlement Agreement, grant final certification of the Class, to settle and release all claims released in the Settlement Agreement, and to dismiss the economic loss claims asserted against Honda in the Actions with prejudice and enter final judgment with respect to Honda in the Actions. Further, venue is proper in this Court.

         I. THE SETTLEMENT CLASS

         3. Based on the record before the Court, including all submissions in support of the settlement set forth in the Settlement Agreement, objections and responses thereto and all prior proceedings in the Action, as well as the Settlement Agreement itself and its related documents and exhibits, the Court hereby confirms the certification of the following nationwide Class (the "Class") for settlement purposes only:

(1) all persons or entities who or which owned and/or leased, on the date of the issuance of the Preliminary Approval Order, Subject Vehicles distributed for sale or lease in the United States or any of its territories or possessions; and (2) all persons or entities who or which formerly owned and/or leased Subject Vehicles distributed for sale or lease in the United States or any of its territories or possessions, and who or which sold or returned, pursuant to a lease, the Subject Vehicles after November 11, 2008 and through the date of the issuance of the Preliminary Approval Order. Excluded from this Class are: (a) Honda, its officers, directors, employees and outside counsel; its affiliates and affiliates' officers, directors and employees; its distributors and distributors' officers and directors; and Honda's Dealers and their officers, directors, and employees; (b) Settlement Class Counsel, Plaintiffs' counsel, and their employees; (c) judicial officers and their immediate family members and associated court staff assigned to this case, any of the cases listed in Exhibit 1, or the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals; (d) Automotive Recyclers and their outside counsel and employees; and (e) persons or entities who or which timely and properly exclude themselves from the Class.

         4. The Court finds that only those persons/entities/organizations listed on Appendix B to this Final Order Approving Class Action Settlement have timely and properly excluded themselves from the Class and, therefore, are not bound by this Final Order Approving Class Action Settlement or the accompanying Final Judgment.

         5. The Court confirms, for settlement purposes and conditioned upon the entry of the Final Order and Final Judgment and upon the occurrence of the Effective Date, that the Class meets all the applicable requirements of FED. R. CIV. P. 23(a) and (b)(3):

a. Numerosity. The Class, which is ascertainable, consists of millions of persons located throughout the United States and satisfies the numerosity requirement of FED. R. CIV. P. 23(a)(1). Joinder of these widely dispersed, numerous Class Members into one suit would be impracticable.
b. Commonality. There are some questions of law or fact common to the Class with regard to the alleged activities of Honda in this case. These issues are sufficient to establish commonality under Fed.R.Civ.P. 23(a)(2).
c. Typicality. The claims of class representatives are typical of the claims of the Class Members they seek to represent for purposes of settlement.
d. Adequate Representation. Plaintiffs' interests do not conflict with those of absent members of the Class, and Plaintiffs' interests are co-extensive with those of absent Class Members. Additionally, this Court recognizes the experience of Settlement Class Counsel. Plaintiffs and their counsel have prosecuted this action vigorously on behalf of the Class. The Court finds that the requirement of adequate representation of the Class has been fully met under Fed.R.Civ.P. 23(a)(4).
e. Predominance of Common Issues. For settlement purposes, the questions of law or fact common to the Class Members predominate over any questions ...

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