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In re Western States Wholesale Natural Gas Antitrust Litigation

United States District Court, D. Nevada

June 5, 2017

IN RE WESTERN STATES WHOLESALE NATURAL GAS ANTITRUST LITIGATION THIS DOCUMENT RELATES TO Arandell Corporation., et al. Xcel Energy Inc., et al. Heartland Regional Medical Center, et al.
v.
ONEOK Inc., et al. Learjet, et al.
v.
ONEOK, et al. NewPage Wisconsin System Inc. et al.
v.
CMS Energy Resource Management Co., et al. Nos. 2:03-cv-01431-RCJ-PAL, 2:06-cv-00233-RCJ-PAL, 2:07-cv-00987-RCJ-PAL, 2:07-cv-01019-RCJ-PAL, 2:09-cv-00915-RCJ-PAL

          [PROPOSED] ORDER AWARDING ATTORNEYS' FEES, REIMBURSEMENT OF EXPENSES, AND INCENTIVE AWARDS

          Hon. Robert C. Jonas United States District Judge

         The Court, having considered Plaintiffs' Motion for an Award of Attorneys' Fees, Reimbursement of Expenses, and Incentive Awards and supporting papers (the "Motion"), and the complete record and files in the above-referenced matters; and good cause appearing, hereby ORDERS:

         1. The Motion requests (1) reimbursement of 50% of counsel's out-of-pocket litigation costs and expenses; (2) an award of attorneys' fees of 32.8% of the Settlement Fund (comprised of the Settling Defendants' settlement payments of $42, 800, 000); (3) and incentive awards to each of the named plaintiffs appointed as class representatives for settlement purposes ("Settlement Class Representatives").

         2. The Court finds that the amount of fees requested is fair and reasonable under the percentage-of-recovery method.

         3. The attorneys' fees requested were entirely contingent upon success. Plaintiffs' Counsel[1] risked time and effort and advanced costs and expenses with no ultimate guarantee of compensation.

         4. The Class Notice, sent to 3, 626 prospective Settlement Class Members, and the Publication Notice, informed potential Settlement Class Members that Plaintiffs' counsel would be seeking fees in the amount of 32.8% of the Settlement Fund, reimbursement of costs and expenses, and incentive awards for the named plaintiffs in the actions listed on this Order. The Court has been informed that no objections were received from the Settlement Class to the interim fee request, reimbursement of expenses, and payment of incentive awards.

         5. The Court has considered the Motion and papers filed in support thereof. Based upon these and other matters on record filed in this action, the Court finds that the fee requested is reasonable and proper, and that the costs and expenses incurred by Plaintiffs' counsel were necessary, reasonable, and proper.

         6. The Court finds that reimbursements of $840, 873.93 in Learjet, $766, 813.50 in Heartland, and $1, 053, 919.10 in Arandell and NewPage, which represent 50% of the expenses incurred by counsel through August 31, 2016 are fair, reasonable, and proper.

         7. The Court finds that an attorney-fee award of 32.8% of the Settlement Fund to Plaintiffs' Counsel is fair, reasonable, and proper.

         8. The Court further finds that distributing incentive awards as detailed below to each of the Settlement Class Representatives is fair, reasonable, and proper.

         THEREFORE, IT IS HEREBY ORDERED:

         A. The $42, 800, 000 in settlements (the "Settlement Fund") shall be allocated among the Kansas, Missouri, and Wisconsin classes as follows: 32.92% to the Kansas Class, 19.13% to the Missouri Class, and 47.95% to the Wisconsin Class. Applying these percentages, the Kansas Class shall receive $14, 089, 760 before accounting for expenses, fees, and incentive awards, the Missouri Class shall receive $8, 187, 640 and the Wisconsin Class shall receive $20, 522, 000 from the Settlement Fund.

         B. Plaintiffs' Counsel shall be reimbursed for expenses in the amounts of $840, 873.93 in Learjet, $766, 813.50 in Heartland, and $1, 053, 919.10 in Arandell and NewPage.

         C. Plaintiffs' Counsel are awarded attorneys' fees in the amount of 32.8% of ...


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