United States District Court, N.D. Mississippi, Oxford Division
R.K. HILL, et al., Plaintiffs,
HILL BROTHERS CONSTRUCTION COMPANY, INC., et al., Defendants.
ORDER ON PLAINTIFFS' UNOPPOSED PRELIMINARY MOTION
FOR APPROVLA OF CLASS ACTION SETTLEMENT AND PRELIMINARY
CERTIFICATION OF SETTLEMENT CLASS
Sharion Aycock United States District Judge.
Robert K. Hill, Donald Byther, Sandy Byther, Keith Clark,
Samuel Copeland, B.T. Erve, Percy Evans, George Flakes, Scott
Goolsby, Sheila Kelly, Paul Leonard, Fred Smith, Dewayne
Toliver, Ulysses Wiley, and Warlfoyd Winters (hereinafter
“Plaintiffs”) filed their Unopposed Motion for
Approval of Class Actions Settlement and Preliminary
Certification of the Settlement Class on March 23, 2017
(hereinafter “Motion”). A hearing was held before
this Honorable Court on May 3, 2017, and Counsel for
defendants Hill Brothers Construction Company, Inc., HBC
Board of Directors, Kenneth W. Hill, Kenneth W. Hill, Jr.,
Gerald C. Hill, Jimmy Hill, John F. Hill, Jr., Sterling Aker,
Danny McAllister, Clyde R Robertson, Donald Bates, Jane H.
Childs, Beth Lockhart, Mark Robertson, Doug Horton, David
Horton, and the Hill Brothers Construction Company, Inc.
Employee Stock Ownership and 401(K) Plan and Trust Plan
Administrative Committee were present.
capitalized terms used herein shall have the same meaning as
defined in the Settlement Agreement which is attached as
Appendix A to Plaintiff's Motion for Preliminary Approval
(the “Settlement Agreement”). Having considered
Plaintiffs' motion, brief and supporting documents, the
signed Settlement Agreement and all other evidence submitted
concerning Plaintiffs' motion, and being duly advised in
the premises, this Court hereby finds that:
(a) The settlement proposed in the Settlement Agreement
(“the Settlement”) has been negotiated in good
faith at arm's length and is preliminarily determined to
be fair, reasonable, adequate, and in the best interests of
the Settlement Class (as defined below).
(b) The class notice, as described in the Settlement
Agreement, Plaintiffs' brief, and as described during the
preliminary hearing, fully complies with Federal Rule of
Civil Procedure 23(c)(2)(B) and due process, constitutes the
best notice practicable under the circumstances, and is due
and sufficient notice to all persons entitled to notice of
the settlement of the Action.
(c) With respect to the Settlement Class, this Court finds
that, for settlement purposes only, certification is
appropriate under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 23(a) and
(b)(3). This Court finds that members of the Settlement Class
will receive notice of the settlement through the notice
program described below.
(d) This Court finds that the class notice described below
constitutes the best notice practicable under the
circumstances and fully complies with Federal Rule of Civil
THEREFORE ORDERED THAT:
the reasons stated on the record, and in Plaintiffs'
Motion, the settlement proposed in the Settlement Agreement
has been negotiated in good faith at arm's length, and is
preliminarily determined to be fair, reasonable, adequate,
and in the best interests of the Settlement Class in light of
the factual, legal, practical and procedural considerations
raised by this case.
following class (the “Settlement Class”) is
preliminarily certified solely for the purpose of settlement
pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 23(a) and (b)(3):
All participants, beneficiaries, and alternate payees of the
ESOP reflected on the records of the ESOP as of August 15,
Court makes a preliminary finding that this action satisfies
the applicable prerequisites for class action treatment under
Fed.R.Civ.P. 23(a) and (b). The Settlement Class is
ascertainable, so numerous that joinder of all members is not
practicable, there are questions of law and fact common to
the Settlement Class, the claims of the Class Representative
(as defined below) are typical of the claims of the
Settlement Class, and the Class Representative will fairly
and adequately protect the interests of the Settlement Class.
Questions of law and fact common to the members of the
Settlement class predominate over any questions affecting
only individual members, and a class action is superior to
other available methods for the fair and efficient
adjudication of the controversy.
Court preliminarily appoints Plaintiffs Robert K. Hill,
Donald Byther, Sandy Byther, Keith Clark, Samuel Copeland,
B.T. Erve, Percy Evans, George Flakes, Scott Goolsby, Sheila
Kelly, Paul Leonard, Fred Smith, Dewayne Toliver, Ulysses
Wiley, and Warfloyd Winters as class representatives of the
Settlement Class (“Class Representative”), and
finds that they meet the requirements of Fed.R.Civ.P. 23.
Court preliminarily appoints the following lawyers as
Settlement Class Counsel and finds that they meet the
requirements of Fed.R.Civ.P. 23: Matthew Y. Harris of Harris
Law, PLLC, New Albany, MS; Diandra S. Debrosse Zimmermann, of
Zarzaur Mujumdar & Debrosse, Birmingham, Alabama; Edgar
C. Gentle of Gentle Turner Sexton & Harbison, LLC,
Hoover, AL; L. ...