United States District Court, E.D. Wisconsin, Green Bay Division
KATHY L. SAFRANSKI, on behalf of herself and all others similarly situated, Plaintiff,
PROFESSIONAL PLACEMENT SERVICES, LLC; a Wisconsin Limited Liability Company; and, JOHN AND JANE DOES NUMBERS 1 THROUGH 25, Defendants.
FINAL APPROVAL ORDER AND JUDGMENT
WILLIAM C. GRIESBACH Chief Judge, United States District
consideration of the Parties' request for final approval
of the Class Settlement Agreement (“Agreement”)
between Plaintiff, Kathy L. Safranski, individually, and as
representative of the class of persons defined below
(“Settlement Class”), and Defendant, Professional
Placement Services, LLC (“PPS”), the Court orders
and finds as follows:
Court has jurisdiction over the subject matter of this
lawsuit, Plaintiff, Class Members, and PPS.
following Settlement Class is certified pursuant to
All persons with addresses in the State of Wisconsin to whom
Professional Placement Services, LLC mailed an initial
written communication to collect a debt, between January 27,
2016 and February 17, 2017, which states “Re:
Partnership Community Health Center.”
Based on the Parties' stipulations: (A) the Settlement
Class as defined is sufficiently numerous such that joinder
is impracticable; (B) common questions of law and fact
predominate over any questions affecting only individual
Class members, and included whether or not PPS violated the
Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA), 15 U.S.C.§
1692, et seq. by mailing consumers initial
collection letters which failed to identify the current
creditor in a clear and unambiguous fashion as required by
the FDCPA; (C) Plaintiff's claim is typical of the Class
Members' claims; (D) Plaintiff is an appropriate and
adequate representative for the Class and her attorneys,
Stern• Thomasson LLP are appointed Class Counsel; and
(E) a class action is the superior method for the fair and
efficient adjudication of the claims of the Settlement Class.
Court approved a form of notice for mailing to the Settlement
Class. The Court is informed that actual notice was sent by
first class mail to 1, 319 Class Members by Heffler Claims
Group, the third-party settlement administrator
(“Settlement Administrator”). A total of 219
envelopes were returned by the United States Postal Service,
10 of which were returned with forwarding addresses and
successfully re-mailed. No Class Members requested exclusion
from, or objected to, the Settlement. A total of 75 Class
Members returned the proof of claim form and are entitled to
a share of the monetary benefits of the Settlement.
February 23, 2018, the Court held a fairness hearing to which
Class Members, including any with objections, were invited;
however, no one appeared to voice any objection.
Court finds that provisions for notice to the Class satisfy
the requirements due process pursuant to the Federal Rules of
Civil Procedure, including Rule 23, the United States
Constitution, and any other applicable law.
Court finds the Settlement is fair, reasonable, and adequate
and hereby finally approves the Agreement submitted by the
Parties, including the Release and payments by PPS.
the Effective Date, as that term is defined in the Agreement,
PPS shall make the following payments:
(a) PPS will create a class settlement fund of $9, 000.00,
which Class Counsel through the Settlement Administrator will
distribute pro rata (up to $50.00) among those Class
Members who did not exclude themselves and who returned a
claim form (“Claimants”). Claimants will receive
their share of the Class Recovery by check, which shall
become void sixty (60) days from the date of issuance. Any
checks that have not been cashed by the void date, along with
any unclaimed funds remaining in the Class Recovery will be
donated as a cy pres award to Legal Action of
Wisconsin and earmarked for assisting Wisconsin residents
with consumer issues.
(b) PPS shall pay Plaintiff $2, 000.00.
(c) PPS shall pay Class Counsel $48, 000.00 for their
attorneys' fees and costs incurred in the based upon
their requested hourly rates and expenses incurred. Class
Counsel shall not request ...