After a long period of silence, it looks as if our efforts helped contribute to a near doubling of the settlement.
Kaplan Inc. and West Publishing Corp. have agreed to pay $9.5 million in order to settle class claims that they colluded in the bar exam prep business after a California judge rejected an earlier $5.2 million deal.
(See http://www.law360.com/articles/424204/kaplan-west-agree-to-pay-9-5m-in-bar-prep-antitrust-case for more of their “coverage.”)
Under the new proposed settlement, submitted two days ago, we are looking at all cash and none of those ridiculous discount certificates. Rough breakdown from the $9.5 M: net remainder dived pro rata based on amount paid for BAR/BRI course AFTER admin and notice costs; fee and expense awards to class counsel; and $20K to named plaintiffs. Based on estimates provided in the filing, that split looks roughly $1.6M / $7.9M.
Long story, less long: estimated per-Claimant recovery $166 vs. the prior proposed settlement’s estimated recovery of $92 per-Claimant (based on the final response rate for “Authorized Claimants” or 25.7% of the class).
However, it appears as though the efficacy of the initial approach to class notice is still an open question and it remains to be seen if there will be a substantive difference in the participation rate this time around after all of the brouhaha surrounding this case. Purportedly, Gilardi has 96% of all class members’ addresses and believes the remaining 4% will be “easy to locate at minimal expense.” Good luck to them on that one…
Proposed time table is as follows:
April 15th, 2013 – conditional certification of class, preliminary approval of settlement agreement, claims administrator appointed
May 6, 2013 – claims administrator provides summary notice to class members
July 15, 2013 – deadline for all claim forms, objections, and exclusion requests
August 5, 2013 – hearing on objections / motions for final approval, fees, and reimbursement of costs.
It appears as though this settlement is reasonable at first blush, but if there is cause for pause upon closer review – it’ll get proper attention on here. We’ll also continue to update the site with more info as it becomes available.
Please feel free to leave thoughts, opinions, etc. in the comments by clicking the “leave a comment” above.
Full filing available via PACER (2:08-cv-00810-R-E / Document 138).