7 key stages of a Class Action Settlement
With all the Class Action lawsuits that have been filed by former players, I thought it might be beneficial for everyone to understand the 7 key stages of a typical Class Action Settlement. Here they are:
Class action settlement negotiations frequently involve multiple parties and law firms struggling to satisfy competing interests. The court will scrutinize the negotiating process and consider the motivations and interests of the parties and counsel as part of its evaluation of the settlement.
MOTION FOR PRELIMINARY APPROVAL
Once a class action settlement is negotiated and agreed on, the parties make a motion to the court requesting preliminary approval of the settlement.
PRELIMINARY APPROVAL HEARING
At the preliminary approval hearing, the court reviews the proposed settlement and makes an initial determination as to whether the terms are fair, reasonable and adequate.
NOTICE TO THE CLASS
If the court grants preliminary approval, it directs the preparation of notice to proposed class members and sets a date for the final approval and fairness hearing. Notice must be provided in a “reasonable” manner.
OPPORTUNITY TO OPT OUT OR OBJECT
During the notice period, proposed class members may opt out of the settlement or file objections to the settlement with the court.
FINAL APPROVAL AND FAIRNESS HEARING
The court conducts a final fairness hearing to determine whether it should approve the settlement as fair, reasonable and adequate. The court must evaluate the settlement as a whole, rather than assessing its individual components. Although the settlement must be filed with the court, the parties may petition the court to keep certain terms of the settlement agreement confidential, including side agreements, if necessary.
DISTRIBUTION OF SETTLEMENT FUNDS
A claims administrator manages the day-to-day operation of the settlement fund, including processing claims and disbursing awards. Leftover funds are often used for creating cy pres awards to charitable organizations that have a nexus to the class action dispute.
If you are having trouble sleeping, you can always read the entire document “Settling Class Actions” at this link: Settling Class Actions
Your alumni brother,