21. When and where will the Court decide whether to approve the settlement?
The Court will hold a “Fairness Hearing” (also known as a “Final Approval Hearing”) to decide whether to finally approve the proposed settlement. The Fairness Hearing will be on April 9, 2018, at 11:00 a.m. (pacific time) before Judge Elihu M. Berle in Department 323 of the Los Angeles Superior Court, Central Civil West Courthouse, located at 600 South Commonwealth Avenue, Los Angeles, California 90005. If you want to attend the Fairness Hearing, keep in mind that the date and/or time may be changed after the Notice is sent, so you should check this settlement website before making travel plans.
At the Fairness Hearing, the Court will consider whether the proposed settlement and all of its terms are adequate, fair, and reasonable. If there are objections, the Court will consider them. The Court may listen to people who have asked for permission to speak at the Hearing. The Court may also decide how much to award Class Counsel for fees and expenses, and whether and how much to award the Class Representatives for representing the Class (the Incentive Awards).
There is no set timeline for either the Court’s final approval decision, or for any appeals that may be brought from that decision, so it is impossible to know exactly when the settlement will become final.
The Court may change deadlines listed in the Notice without further notice to the Class. To keep up on any changes in the deadlines, please contact the Settlement Administrator or review this website.
22. Do I have to come to the Fairness Hearing?
No. Class Counsel will answer any questions asked by the Court.
If you send an objection, you do not have to come to Court to talk about it. So long as you mailed your written objection on time and complied with the other requirements for a proper objection, the Court will consider it. You may also pay another lawyer to attend, but it’s not required.
23. May I speak at the Fairness Hearing?
Yes. If you submitted a proper written objection to the settlement, you or your lawyer may, at your own expense, come to the Fairness Hearing and speak. You must also file a Notice of Intention to Appear, which must be mailed to the Settlement Administrator so that it is postmarked no later than March 2, 2018, and it must be filed with the Clerk of the Court by that same date. If you intend to have a lawyer appear on your behalf, your lawyer must enter a written notice of appearance of counsel with the Clerk of the Court no later than March 2, 2018. See FAQ 19 for the addresses of the Settlement Administrator. You cannot speak at the Fairness Hearing if you excluded yourself.