On March 29, 2022, U.S. District Judge Victoria A. Roberts issued an Order granting preliminary approval to the proposed settlement of the class action lawsuit against the University of Michigan arising out of UofM campus sexual misconduct. In the Order, the Court states that it “will likely be able to approve the Settlement Agreement under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 23(e)(2) as fair, reasonable, and adequate.” The Court, went on to note that the Settlement Agreement:
(a) resulted from extensive arm’s-length negotiations between experienced counsel overseen by an experienced mediator; (b) eliminates the risks to the Settling Parties of continued litigation; (c) does not provide undue preferential treatment to Plaintiff or to segments of the Settlement Class; and (d) is sufficiently fair, reasonable, and adequate to warrant providing notice to the Settlement Class.
“We are pleased that the Court took the first step in evaluating the proposed settlement and preliminarily approving it,” stated Lieff Cabraser senior partner Jonathan Selbin, who represents the plaintiff class in the case. “Thus far, we have heard very positive feedback from the community, and look forward to continued engagement with them as we believe this agreement is a major step forward by UofM to becoming the ‘leader and best’ with respect to the prevention of and response to sexual abuse on campus.”
The Court’s order also provisionally certifies the class for settlement purposes, finding the class mechanism appropriate as the class appears so numerous as to render joinder impracticable, that common questions of law or fact apply, that plaintiff’s claims appear typical of the claims being resolved through the proposed settlement, and that plaintiff appears capable of fairly and adequately protecting the interests of all Settlement Class members. The Order also named Lieff Cabraser, the Miller Law Firm, and Sauder Schelkopf as Class Counsel.
The Court ordered that Class Notice will be sent within 28 days, and scheduled a final approval hearing for July 26, 2022 at 2:00 p.m.
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