Friday, December 7, 2007
The recent settlement agreement in the California state court class action against Ford Motor Company is available through the Superior Court of California’s website. The system doesn’t provide a direct link, but if you follow this link, then click "other," and enter JCCP 4266/4270, the November 29th agreement is currently the sixth document listed. Although I haven’t had a chance to read the full 273 pages, the pertinent compensation and attorneys’ fees are described in paragraph 34. Paragraph 34(e), covering attorneys’ fees, reads as follows:
e. Plaintiffs and Class Counsel may apply to the Court for an award of reasonable attorneys' fees and expenses incurred by them in litigating the Related Actions. Ford agrees to pay an award of attorneys' fees and expenses that is determined by the Court to be reasonable, does not exceed an aggregated total of $25 million for fees and expenses incurred in litigating the Related Actions, and is included in the Final Order and Judgment as of the Effective Date of Settlement. This amount includes any award for attorneys' fees in connection with securing final approval of this Agreement by the Court at the Fairness Hearing. Ford does not agree to pay for any additional attorneys' fees or expenses that may be incurred by or on behalf of Plaintiffs, the Settlement Class, or any Settlement Class Member after the date on which this Agreement is approved by the Court in, and by entry of, the Final Order and Judgment at or following the Fairness Hearing. Class Counsel and Plaintiffs agree not to seek, accept, or enforce, on behalf of themselves, any others, or any combination of themselves and any others, any award of attorneys' fees and expenses that in the aggregate exceeds $25 million. In no event shall Ford be obligated to pay Plaintiffs, Settlement Class Members, Class Counsel, or other counsel in aggregate any attorneys' fee, cost, or expense in any amount greater than the amount specified in this Paragraph for any activity or cost related to any of the Related Actions, the negotiation or implementation of this Agreement, or the allegations that form, or could have formed, the basis of any of the Related Actions, or any combination of the foregoing. Failure of the Court to approve attorneys' fees and expenses of the full amount requested by Plaintiffs or Class Counsel, or approval by the Court of any amount of attorney fees and expenses less than the amount sought by Plaintiffs or Class Counsel, shall not affect any of the other terms of this Agreement. Ford shall deliver to Class Counsel payment of the final award of attorneys' fees, costs and expenses no later than ten (10) days after the Effective Date of Settlement. Ford, in its sole discretion, and upon consultation with Class Counsel, may agree to commence issuance of Certificates and/or Settlement benefits and/or payment of Court-awarded attorneys' fees, costs and expenses before the Effective Date of Settlement.