United States District Court, N.D. Oklahoma
DR. SAM LEBARRE HORTON, on behalf of himself and all other entities and persons similarly situated, Plaintiff,
MOLINA HEALTHCARE, INC., Defendant.
OPINION AND ORDER
V, EAGAN UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
matter came before the Court on plaintiff's motion (Dkt.
# 112) for preliminary approval of the proposed class action
settlement (the “Settlement”) of the
above-captioned case (the “Action”). The Action
was brought by plaintiff Dr. Sam LeBarre Horton (“Class
Plaintiff” or “Class Representative”),
individually and on behalf of all others similarly situated
against defendant Molina Healthcare, Inc.
(“Defendant” or “Molina”) (together,
with Class Plaintiff, the “Parties”). Based on
this Court's review of the Parties' April 18, 2019
Settlement Agreement (the “Settlement
Agreement”), Class Plaintiff's motion for
preliminary approval of proposed class action settlement
(Dkt. # 112), and the arguments of counsel, the Court finds
based on good cause:
otherwise defined herein, all terms in this Opinion and Order
shall have the meanings ascribed to them in the Settlement
Court has jurisdiction over the subject matter of the Action,
the Parties, and all persons in the Settlement Class.
Scope of Settlement.
Settlement Agreement resolves all claims alleged in the Class
Action Complaint filed in the District Court of Rogers
County, Oklahoma on April 7, 2017, amended (before service)
on April 12, 2017, thereafter removed to this Court on May
11, 2017, and as amended finally on August 17, 2019.
Preliminary Approval of Proposed Settlement
Court has conducted a preliminary evaluation of the proposed
Settlement as set forth in the Settlement Agreement for
fairness, adequacy, and reasonableness. Based on this
preliminary evaluation, the Court finds that: (a) the
proposed Settlement Agreement is fair, reasonable, and
adequate, and within the range of possible approval; (b) the
Settlement Agreement has been negotiated in good faith at
arms' length between experienced attorneys familiar with
the legal and factual issues of this case aided by an
experienced and neutral third-party mediator; and (c) with
respect to the forms of notice of the material terms of the
Settlement Agreement to persons in the Settlement Class for
their consideration and reaction (Exhibit B to the Settlement
Agreement, Dkt. # 112-1, at 35), the notice is appropriate
and reasonable. Therefore, the Court grants preliminary
approval of the Settlement, as follows.
Class Certification for Settlement Purposes Only.
Court, pursuant to Rule 23(a) and Rule 23(b)(3) of the
Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, conditionally certifies,
for purposes of this Settlement only, the following
All persons with cases and claims against Molina arising out
of the sending of unsolicited facsimiles in connection with
Molina's network builds by Southwest Medical Consulting,
LLC for the class period from April 12, 2013 to the present.
Excluded from the Settlement Class are Molina, and any
affiliate, subsidiary or division of Molina, along with any
employees thereof, and any entities in which any of such
companies have a controlling interest; Southwest, along with
any employees or owners thereof; as well as all persons who
validly opt-out of the Settlement Class.
connection with this preliminary certification, the Court
makes the following preliminary findings:
(a) The Settlement Class appears to be so numerous that
joinder of all members is impracticable;
(b) There appear to be questions of law or fact common to the
Settlement Class for purposes of determining whether the
Settlement should be approved;
(c) The Class Representative's claims appear to be
typical of the claims being resolved through the proposed
(d) The Class Representative appears to be capable of fairly
and adequately protecting the interests of all members of the
Settlement Class in connection with the Settlement;
(e) For purposes of determining whether the Settlement
Agreement is fair, reasonable, and adequate, common questions
of law and fact appear to predominate over questions
affecting only individual persons in the Settlement Class.
Accordingly, the Settlement Class appears to be ...