Outer Banks Power Outage Class Action lawsuit.pdf


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members that submit a timely business claim form may either: (1) receive a $2,500 payment upon
proof ofa valid Business Tax Identification Number at the time ofthe outage and a sufficient written
statement ofthe economic loss incurred; or (2) may submit documentation ofproof ofloss and seek
a recovery in excess of $2,500. Recovery in excess of $2,500, however, is not guaranteed. See id.
at 26-27. Rental/vacationer class members and resident class members who submit a timely claim
form can recover their economic damages. See id. at 28, 47-52. Any funds remaining after all
claims are processed and all other attorneys' fees, expenses, and costs are paid will be first
distributed to business class, rental/vacationer class, and resident class members pro rata in an
amount equal to 20% of their recovery. See id. at 28. Any remaining funds will be paid to~ pres
recipients approved by the court. See id.
II.

Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 23(e) provides that "[t]he claims, issues, or defenses of a
certified class may be settled, voluntarily dismissed, or compromised only with the court's
approval." Fed. R. Civ. P. 23(e). The primary concern of Rule 23(e) is ''the protection of class
members whose rights may not have been given adequate consideration during the settlement
negotiations." In re Jiffy Lube Sees. Litig., 927 F.2d 155, 158 (4th Cir. 1991). Courts generally
follow a two-step procedure in reviewing the proposed settlement. See Beaulieu v. EQ Indus. Servs..
Inc., No. 5:06-CV-{)0400-BR, 2009 WL 2208131, at *23 (E.D.N.C. July 22, 2009) (unpublished);
Horton v. Merrill Lynch. Pierce. Fenner & Smith. Inc., 855 F. Supp. 825, 827 (E.D.N.C. 1994).
First, the court preliminarily reviews the settlement to determine whether there is ''probable cause
to notifY the class ofthe proposed settlement." Hortolb 855 F. Supp. at 827 (quotation omitted); see

Armstrong v. Bd. Sch. Dir. of Milwaukee, 616 F.2d 305,314 (7th Cir. 1980), overruled on other
grounds by Felzen v. Andreas, 134 F.3d 873 (7th Cir. 1998). Second, after notice has been sent to

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Case 4:17-cv-00141-D Document 24 Filed 05/02/18 Page 4 of 17