Plaintiffs Squeeze Out Settlement In Crest Toothpaste Class Action
The $700,000 fee award amounted to 1.34 times the lodestar figure of $511,890 for 952 hours of work, making it reasonable in light of Third Circuit precedent allowing a multiplier of 2.99 percent, Linares said.
One class member, Tim Blanchard of Corpus Christi, Texas, objected, claiming class counsel failed to sustain their burden of proof on commonality, predominance, superiority and adequacy. But Blanchard did not explain how class counsel failed to sustain its burden, and Linares rejected his objection on its merits, calling it "boilerplate."
Blanchard also claimed class members weren't given enough time or information to evaluate the fee application. Linares noted that settlement terms were posted online in January 2013 and the class's petition for final approval was filed in August.
In addition, class counsel claimed they contacted Blanchard directly after receiving his rejection notice, asking whether he needed more time, but received no response, Linares said.
Class counsel argued that Blanchard's objections should be viewed with caution, calling him a "serial objector" whose purpose is to extract payment to make him go away.
The class was represented by James Cecchi and Donald Ecklund of Carella, Byrne, Cecchi, Olstein, Brody & Agnello in Roseland, along with Joseph Marchese of Bursar & Fisher and Antonio Vozzolo of Faruqi & Faruqi, both in New York.
Ecklund declines to comment on the settlement except to say the class was in the hundreds of thousands.
Neither did Proctor & Gamble's lawyers, Jennifer DelMedico and Hugh Whiting of Jones Day in Cleveland. •