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Takiguchi v. MRI International, Inc.

United States District Court, D. Nevada

January 3, 2018

SHIGE TAKIGUCHI, FUMI NONAKA, MITSUAKI TAKITA, TATSURO SAKAI, SHIZUKO ISHIMORI, YUKO NAKAMURA, MASAAKI MORIYA, HATSUNE HATANO, and HIDENAO TAKAMA, Individually and On Behalf of All Others Similarity Situated, Plaintiff,
v.
MRI INTERNATIONAL, INC., EDWIN J. FUJINAGA, JUNZO SUZUKI, PAUL MUSASHI SUZUKI, LVT, INC., dba ICAG, and DOES 1-500, Defendants.

          JAMES E. GIBBONS (pro hac vice) Cal. State Bar No. 130631 MANNING & KASS, ELLROD, RAMIREZ, TRESTER LLP, ROBERT W. COHEN (pro hac vice) Cal. State Bar No. 150310 MARIKO TAENAKA (pro hac vice) Cal. State Bar No. 273895, LAW OFFICES OF ROBERT W. COHEN, A.P.C. Attorneys for Plaintiffs

          ORDER GRANTING PLAINTIFFS' MOTION FOR PRELIMINARY APPROVAL OF CLASS ACTION SETTLEMENT WITH ICAG, INC.

          HOWARD D. MCKIBBEN, United States District Judge

         This matter is before the Court on Plaintiff's motion for preliminary approval of the proposed class action settlement (the “Settlement”) between the representative Plaintiffs Shige Takiguchi, et al. and ICAG, Inc. (“ICAG”), as set forth in the Settlement Agreement attached hereto as Exhibit A. Having considered the Motion, the Settlement Agreement, the proposed form of notice to the Class, the pleadings and other papers filed in these Actions, and for good cause shown, IT IS HEREBY ORDERED as follows:

         1. Unless otherwise defined herein, all terms that are capitalized herein shall have the meanings ascribed to those terms in the Settlement Agreement.

         2. The Court finds that the proposed Settlement with ICAG, which provides for:

• Cash payments totalling $265, 000;
• An assignment of accounts receivable in the amount of $150, 000 owed by Premier Entertainment Services International, Inc. to ICAG; and
• An assignment by Cheryl Shintaku of the 15% interest in HMC Service Center, LLC that she inherited from Richard Shintaku

         is sufficiently fair, reasonable and adequate such that it is hereby preliminarily approved. Notice of the Settlement should be provided to the Settlement Class and a hearing should be held as set forth below. The Court finds that the Settlement Agreement appears to be the product of arm's length, informed, non-collusive negotiations between experienced and knowledgeable counsel who have actively prosecuted and contested this litigation for over three and a half years. In accordance with the schedule outlined below, Class Counsel shall seek entry of an Order and Final Judgment as to the Settling Defendant.

         3. The Court hereby grants Plaintiffs' request to defer distribution of the Settlement Funds and propose a Plan of Allocation until final resolution of the case or at a later time, upon approval by the Court.

         4. The Court approves the Notice of Pendency and Proposed Settlement of Class Action (the “Settlement Notice”), and finds that the dissemination of the Settlement Notice substantially in the manner and form set forth in the Settlement Agreements complies fully with the requirements of Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 23 and due process of law, and is the best notice practicable under the circumstances.

         5. The notice procedures set forth in the Settlement Agreement are hereby found to be the best practicable means of providing notice of the Settlement Agreement under the circumstances and, when completed, shall constitute due and sufficient notice of the proposed Settlement Agreement and the Final Approval Hearing to all persons affected by and/or entitled to participate in the Settlement Agreements, in full compliance with the applicable requirements of Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 23 and due process.

         6. The Court hereby appoints the Japanese attorney group which represents the interests of certain MRI victims in Japan (the “MRI Higaibengodan”) as the Notice Administrator. Consistent with the Settlement Agreement, the Notice Administrator shall (1) disseminate the Notice of Settlement to the Class with the cover letter; (2) cause the Notice of Settlement to be published on the National Consumer Affairs of Japan's website; (3) make relevant documents in English and Japanese accessible to the Class on the MRI Higaibengodan's website; and (4) receive and maintain Requests for Exclusion. Pursuant to the Settlement Agreement, the Notice Administrator's costs shall be paid out of the Settlement Fund, subject to Court review and approval.

         7. The Notice Administrator shall cause the Settlement Notice to be mailed, postage prepaid, to all Class Members within 60 days from entry of this order. The Notice Administrator shall also cause the Settlement Notice to be published on the National Consumer Affairs of Japan's website. At least thirty days prior to the Final Approval Hearing, the Notice Administrator shall file with the Court an Affidavit of Compliance with the Notice Requirements. All costs incurred in disseminating Notice and administering the Settlement shall be ...


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