United States District Court, E.D. Wisconsin, Green Bay Division
BRUCE LONG, individually on behalf of himself and all others similarly situated, Plaintiff,
MICHAEL C. KOEHN and, JOHN AND JANE DOES No. 1 THROUGH 10, 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, Bruce Long, individually and as
representative of the class of persons defined below
(“Settlement Class”), and Defendant, Michael C.
Koehn (“Koehn”), the Court orders and finds as
Court has jurisdiction over the subject matter of this
lawsuit, Plaintiff, the Class Members, and Koehn.
following Settlement Class is certified, for settlement
purposes only, pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P. 23(b)(3):
All persons to whom Michael C. Koehn mailed an initial
written communication to an address in the State of
Wisconsin, between June 21, 2017 and July 12, 2018, which
stated a static amount as being the amount due even though
the debts were accruing interest.
Court finds, 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 Koehn
allegedly violated the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act
(FDCPA), 15 U.S.C.§ 1692, et seq. by mailing
consumers initial collection letters to collect defaulted
medical debts which stated a static amount as being the
amount due even though the debts were accruing interest, and
which were allegedly mailed without meaningful attorney
involvement; (C) Plaintiff's claim is typical of the
Class Members' claims; (D) Plaintiff is an appropriate
and adequate representative for the Class and his attorneys,
Stern Thomasson LLP, are hereby 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 738 Class Members by
Class-Settlement.com, the third-party settlement
administrator (“Settlement Administrator”). A
total of 45 envelopes were returned by the United States
Postal Service, 18 of which were returned with forwarding
addresses and successfully re-mailed. No. Class Members
requested exclusion from, or objected to, the Settlement.
May 15, 2019, the Court held a fairness hearing to which
Class Members, including any with objections, were invited.
Excluded from the Settlement Class are those persons whose
Notices were returned as undeliverable.
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 that the Settlement is fair, reasonable, and
adequate and hereby finally approves the Agreement submitted
by the Parties, including the Release and payments by Koehn.
Upon the Effective Date, as that term is defined in the
Agreement, Koehn shall:
(a) Create a class settlement fund of $5, 000.00, which Class
Counsel through the Settlement Administrator will distribute
pro rata to each Class Member whose Class Notice was
not returned as undeliverable and who did not him/herself
from the Settlement. Class Members 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 disbursed in the
following order: (i) to pay the costs associated with
providing notice to Class Members and administering the Class
Recovery; and (ii) any remainder donated as a cy
pres award to Legal Action of Wisconsin.
(b) Pay Plaintiff $1, 500.00.
(c) Pay Class Counsel $20, 315.00 for their attorneys'
fees and costs incurred in the action, which is based on
their reasonable hourly rates and time expended in the
litigation. Class Counsel shall not request ...