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Griffiths v. Aviva London Assignment Corp.

United States District Court, D. Massachusetts

October 23, 2018

JOHN W. GRIFFITHS, Plaintiff,
v.
AVIVA LONDON ASSIGNMENT CORPORATION, et al., Defendants.

          ORDER

          Nathaniel M. Gorton United States District Judge.

         Upon consideration of the record and proceedings herein, and after a Final Fairness Hearing on October 18, 2018, Plaintiff's Motion for Final Approval of Settlements and for Award of Attorney's Fees and Expenses and Service Award (Docket No. 140) is hereby ALLOWED.

         In connection with the allowance of the subject motion, the Court finds, concludes and hereby orders as follows:

         1. For the purpose of this Order, the Court adopts all defined terms as set forth in the Settlement Agreements entered into with the defendants and previously filed with this Court on May 1, 2018.

         2. The Court has jurisdiction over the subject matter of this action and personal jurisdiction over the parties thereto and the Settlement Class Members.

         3. Having preliminarily certified a Settlement Class for settlement purposes only and appointed Class Counsel by Order on June 29, 2018 (Docket No. 132) (the “Preliminary Approval Order”), the Court now grants final approval of the Settlement Class as defined below.

         4. The Court finds that the distribution of Notice of the Settlements as provided by the Settlement Agreements, and as ordered by this Court upon preliminary approval, constituted the best notice practicable under the circumstances and fully meets the requirements of due process under the United States Constitution and Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 23. The Court finds that the distribution of the Notice has been achieved pursuant to the Preliminary Approval Order and the Settlement Agreements. The Court further finds that the Notice was adequate and reasonable and that it apprised the Settlement Class Members of the nature and pendency of this action and the terms of the Settlement Agreements as well as their rights to request exclusion, object and/or appear at the Fairness Hearing.

         5. The Court finds that the Settlement Class Representative is similarly situated to absent Settlement Class Members, is typical of the class and that Class Counsel and the Settlement Class Representative have fairly and adequately represented the Settlement Class. The Court grants final approval to its appointment of Marcus & Auerbach LLC and Krasnoo, Klehm & Falkner LLP as Class Counsel and its designation and appointment of Jerome M. Marcus and Jonathan Auerbach (Marcus & Auerbach LLC) as lead counsel for the Settlement Class, and its appointment of John W. Griffiths as Settlement Class Representative.

         6. The Court certifies the following Settlement Class under Fed.R.Civ.P. 23(a) and 23(b)(3):

All beneficiaries of structured settlement annuities assigned to Athene London Assignment Corporation (formerly known as Aviva London Assignment Corporation and as CGNU London Annuity Service Corp.), which includes all annuities covered by the Capital Maintenance Agreement between CGU International Insurance plc and CGNU London Annuity Service Corp., dated February 1, 2002, where such annuities remained in force as of October 2, 2013.
Excluded from the proposed class are the officers and directors of any defendant and members of their immediate families and any entity in which any defendant has a controlling interest, the legal representatives, heirs, successors or assigns of any such excluded party, the judicial officer(s) to whom this action is assigned, and the members of their immediate families.

         7. Also excluded from the Settlement Class are those persons identified in Exhibit A of Docket No. 150 (Declaration of Mabel L. Card), who submitted timely and valid requests for exclusion from the Settlement Class. Such persons shall not receive any monetary benefits of the Settlement Agreements and shall not be bound by this Final Judgment.

         8. The Court finds that the settlements defined above satisfy the requirements of Fed.R.Civ.P. 23(a) and (b)(3) in that:

(a) the Settlement Class is so numerous that joinder of all Settlement Class Members would be ...

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