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Williams v. Bluestem Brands, Inc.

United States District Court, M.D. Florida, Tampa Division

August 27, 2019

WADDELL WILLIAMS, on behalf of himself and others similarly situated, Plaintiff,
v.
BLUESTEM BRANDS, INC., Defendant.

          FINAL ORDER AND JUDGMENT

          Honorable James D. Whittemore United States District Court Judge

         On August 18, 2017, Waddell Williams ("Plaintiff) filed a class action complaint (hereinafter referred to as the "Lawsuit") against Bluestem Brands, Inc. ("Bluestem") in the United States District Court for the Middle District of Florida, No. 8:17-CV-01971-T-27AAS, asserting class claims under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (hereinafter referred to as the "TCPA"), 47 U.S.C. § 227, et seq.

         Bluestem has denied any and all liability alleged in the Lawsuit.

         On November 21, 2018, after extensive arms-length negotiations with the assistance of an experienced and qualified mediator, Plaintiff and Bluestem (the "Parties") entered into a written settlement agreement (the "Settlement Agreement"), which is subject to review under Fed.R.Civ.P. 23.

         In compliance with the Class Action Fairness Act of 2005, 28 U.S.C. §§ 1332(D), 1453, and 1711-1715, Bluestem served written notice of the proposed class settlement as directed.

         This Court preliminarily approved the settlement on April 2, 2019, authorizing the distribution of notice and claim forms to potential Class Members. Williams v. Bluestem Brands, Inc., No. 8:17-CV-1971-T-27AAS, 2019 WL 1450090 (M.D. Fla. Apr. 2, 2019) (the "Preliminary Approval Order"). Pursuant to the Preliminary Approval Order, the Court, among other things, (i) preliminarily certified (for settlement purposes only) a class of plaintiffs (the "Class Members") with respect to the claims asserted in the Lawsuit; (ii) preliminarily approved the proposed settlement; (iii) appointed Waddell Williams as the Class Representative; (iv) appointed Michael L. Greenwald, James L. Davidson, Jesse S. Johnson, and Aaron D. Radbil of Greenwald Davidson Radbil PLLC as Class Counsel; and (v) set the date and time of the Settlement Approval Hearing.

         On June 14, 2019, Plaintiff filed his Unopposed Motion for Final Approval of Class Action Settlement (the "Final Approval Motion").

         On August 27, 2019, a Final Approval Hearing was held pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P. 23 to determine whether the Settlement Class satisfies the applicable prerequisites for class action treatment and whether the proposed settlement is fundamentally fair, reasonable, adequate, and in the best interest of the Class Members and should be approved by the Court.

         Plaintiff now requests final certification of the settlement class under Fed.R.Civ.P. 23 (b)(3) and final approval of the proposed class action settlement.

         The Court has read and considered the Settlement Agreement, Motion for Final Approval, Motion for Attorneys' Fees, Costs, Expenses, and an Incentive Award, and the record. All capitalized terms used herein have the meanings defined herein and in the Agreement.

         NOW, THEREFORE, IT IS HEREBY ORDERED:

         The Court has jurisdiction over the subject matter of the Lawsuit and over all settling parties hereto.

         Pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P. 23(b)(3), the Lawsuit is hereby certified, for settlement purposes only, as a class action on behalf of the following Class Members with respect to the claims asserted in the Lawsuit:

All persons and entities throughout the United States (1) to whom Bluestem Brands, Inc. placed a call in connection with a Fingerhut, Gettington, or PayCheck Direct account, (2) directed to a number assigned to a cellular telephone service, (3) in connection with its efforts to collect an account balance, (4) via Live Vox, Inc.'s Quick Connect platform, (5) where Bluestem's records contain a notification of wrong phone, (6) from November 2, 2015 through July 8, 2018.

         Pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P. 23, the Court certifies Plaintiff Waddell Williams as the Class Representative and Michael L. Greenwald, James L. Davidson, Jesse S. Johnson, and Aaron D. ...


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