United States District Court, W.D. Missouri, Central Division
ORDER AND JUDGMENT APPROVING KAMO-KPN CLASS SETTLEMENT AGREEMENT AND DIRECTING NOTICE OF FINAL APPROVAL
NANETTE K. LAUGHREY, District Judge.
WHEREAS, the KAMO Class Representatives, through Class Counsel, and Defendants KAMO Electric Cooperative, Inc. and K-PowerNet, LLC (collectively "KAMO-KPN") entered into a KAMO-KPN Class Settlement Agreement (the "Settlement Agreement"), as of December 4, 2014 (terms capitalized herein and not otherwise defined shall have the meanings ascribed to them in the Settlement Agreement); and
WHEREAS, on July 25, 2013, the Class was certified under Rule 23(b)(3) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure and Class Counsel were appointed to represent the Class, [Doc. #254];
WHEREAS, Plaintiffs and KAMO filed cross-motions for summary judgment based on an appendix which summarized and catalogued easements into categories based on the language contained in the easements;
WHEREAS, on March 31, 2014, this Court, inter alia: (1) granted Plaintiffs' Motion for Summary Judgment on the Issue of Defendants' Liability as to claims involving Category 1A-1C easements; (2) denied Plaintiffs' Motion for Summary Judgment on the Issue of Defendants' Liability as to claims involving Category 1D-1E, 2A-2B, and 3 easements; (3) granted KAMO-KPN's Motion for Summary Judgment Against Plaintiff Chase Barfield; (4) granted KAMO-KPN's Motion for Summary Judgment on the Issue of Liability as to claims involving Category 1D, 2A-2B, and 3 easements; (5) denied KAMO-KPN's Motion for Summary Judgment on the Issue of Liability as to claims involving Category 1A-1C and 1E easements; and (6) granted in part and denied in part Sho-Me's Motion for Summary Judgment Against the KAMO Class Members;
WHEREAS, notice of the litigation was provided to the Class pursuant to the plan approved by the Court's order dated May 14, 2014 [Doc. #419];
WHEREAS, Persons fitting the definition of the Class were given until September 8, 2014 to exclude themselves (opt out) from, or to object to, the Action under Rule 23(c)(2)(B) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure;
WHEREAS, KAMO-KPN and Plaintiffs in the Action moved under Rule 23(e) for an order preliminarily approving the proposed settlement of the KAMO Class Members' claims in accordance with the Settlement Agreement and approving the form and plan of notice as set forth in the Parties' joint Motion for Preliminary Approval of the KAMO-KPN Class Settlement Agreement;
WHEREAS, in its Order entered on December 5, 2014 (the "Preliminary Approval Order"), the Court provisionally ordered that this Action may be settled as a class action;
WHEREAS, the Preliminary Approval Order also approved the forms of notice of the Settlement Agreement to KAMO Class Members and directed that appropriate notice of the Settlement Agreement be given to KAMO Class Members;
WHEREAS, in accordance with the Settlement Agreement and the Preliminary Approval Order: (1) the Claims Administrator caused to be mailed to KAMO Class Members the Settlement Notice on December 10 and 12, 2014 and caused to be published the Summary Notice; (2) a Declaration Concerning Administrative Services, Objections and Opt-Outs was filed with the Court prior to this hearing; and (3) the Declaration Concerning Administrative Services, Objections and Opt-Outs filed with this Court demonstrates compliance with the Preliminary Approval Order with respect to the Settlement Notice and the Summary Notice and, further, that the best notice practicable under the circumstances was, in fact, given;
WHEREAS, on January 16 and 23, 2015, at 8:30 a.m., this Court held hearings on whether the Settlement Agreement is fair, reasonable, adequate and in the best interests of the KAMO Class (the "Fairness Hearings"); and
WHEREAS, based upon the foregoing, having heard the statements of counsel for the Parties and of such persons as chose to appear at the Fairness Hearings; having considered all of the files, records, and proceedings in the Action, the benefits to the KAMO Class under the Settlement Agreement, and the risks, complexity, expense, ...