United States District Court, W.D. Missouri, Central Division
ERIC LAFOLLETTE and CAMILLE LAFOLLETTE, Individually and on behalf of all others similarly situated, Plaintiffs,
LIBERTY MUTUAL FIRE INSURANCE COMPANY, Defendant.
NANETTE K. LAUGHREY United States District Judge
Eric and Camille LaFollette move the Court for an order
accepting their unopposed proposed notice plan and proposed
Notice and Opt-Out forms, as set forth in Docs. 200, 200-1,
209, and 209-1. For the following reasons, the motion is
granted. Plaintiff's initial Motion for Order for
Approving Notice, [Doc. 200], is denied as moot.
a breach of contract class action arising out of Liberty
Mutual's homeowner's insurance policies. The dispute
in this case involves Liberty Mutual's assessment of a
$1, 000 deductible on the Lafollettes' actual cash value
claim, which the Lafollettes contend should not have been
assessed under the terms of the policy. The Lafollettes
sought certification of a class of Liberty Mutual property
insurance policyholders in Missouri whose ACV payments were
similarly reduced by their deductible amounts.
August 1, 2016, the Court certified a Rule 23(b)(3)
class defined as:
All persons who received an ACV payment, directly or
indirectly, from Liberty Mutual Fire Insurance Company for
physical loss or damage to their dwelling or other structures
located in the state of Missouri arising under policy Form HO
03 (Edition 04 91) and endorsements, such payments arising
from losses that occurred from April 8, 2004 to August 1,
2016, where a deductible was applied to the ACV payment for
the person's dwelling or other structure (Coverage A
October 31, 2016, Plaintiffs moved for approval of their
proposed notice plan. [Doc. 200]. Following Defendant's
agreement to provide Plaintiffs with address information for
all class members, Plaintiffs filed a revised proposed notice
plan, [Doc. 209], incorporating by reference their previously
filed motion and the Declaration of James Prutsman, [Doc.
200-1]. Defendant consents to Plaintiffs' revised
proposed notice plan.
any class certified under Rule 23(b)(3), the court must
direct to class members the best notice that is practicable
under the circumstances, including individual notice to all
members who can be identified through reasonable
effort.” Fed. R. Civ. Pro. 23(c)(2)(B). This notice
must also provide class members the right to opt out.
Id. The notice must communicate Rule
23(c)(2)(B)(i-vii)'s requirements in clear, concise,
plain language that is easy to understand. Id. The
sufficiency of Plaintiffs' proposed notice plan is
Delivery of Notice Plan
assist with preparing and carrying out a notice plan and
notice documents, Plaintiffs retained Heffler Claims Group
LLC, a company that provides class action notice and claims
administration services. Defendant has the last known address
for every class member, which it has already provided to
Plaintiffs. Therefore, Plaintiffs propose a direct mailing
campaign as the best notice practicable under the
circumstances. To address out-of-date addresses, Plaintiffs
further propose running Defendant's provided address
records through the National Change of Address database to
obtain the most current addresses for each class member.
After updating the addresses, class member notice will be
mailed via First Class Mail.
behalf of Plaintiffs, Heffler will create a PO Box that is
specific to this case and can be used for any undeliverable
notices, class member correspondence, and opt-outs. Heffler
will also record all notices that are returned as
undeliverable and provide these records to both parties. For
notices that are returned with a forwarding address, Heffler
will log the updated addresses in the database and forward
the notices. For those returned mailings that do not include
a forwarding address, Heffler will run the name and address
through a name and address database, such as Lexis/Nexis,
after which it will forward these notices to the addresses
listed in the database. Heffler will provide the parties with
regular reporting on its notification efforts and the
opt-outs it receives. Heffler will also provide a final list
to the Court of all opt-outs received.
the proposed plan directs individual notice to all members by
First Class Mail and provides reasonable processes for
delivering notice to those class members with out-of-date
mailing addresses, this proposed delivery plan is sufficient.
However, the delivery plan fails to fully comport with Rule
23's requirements because it does not propose a specific
date by which class members must mail their opt out forms or
be bound to the class.
Notice Form ...