Mehigan v. Ascena Retail Group

Case # 15-cv-00724
Case Name Mehigan v. Ascena Retail Group
Jurisdiction US District Court for E.D. PA
Summary

Plaintiffs allege that Defendants used deceptive marketing practices to lure customers to their "Justice"-brand stores.  They did so by advertising substantial "discounts" which were actually the everyday price of their products.  These illusory discounts unfairly lead customers to believe they were receiving a deal on the merchandise and lead them to make purchases they would not have without the deceptive marketing.

Final Approval Date 07/29/2016
Result
  1. Final Approval granted.
    • The valuation of the settlement was changed, which reduced the awarded attorneys' fees.
    • Class representative incentive awards were also decreased.
  2. Numerous objectors requested the opportunity to petition for fees, citing the changes to the settlement agreement.
  3. Numerous objectors appealed the Final Approval order.
  4. Class counsel motioned for an appeal bond of $121,200.
    • Objector-appellants disputed the appropriateness of including class administration costs in the bond.
    • The Center for Class Action Fairness, in the alternative, proposed an enjoinder preventing the payment of objectors in exchange for the dropping of appeals (see Comlish and Artlip's Response to Motion for Appeal Bond, below).
  5. The Court granted an appeal bond of $1,235.32 from each objector.
Dismissal of Last Appeal ongoing
Attachments Docket Report.pdf
Third Amended Class Action Complaint.pdf
Preliminary Approval Order.pdf
Defendant's Response to Objections.pdf
Opinion and Order of Final Approval.pdf
Proposed Motion to File Request for Attorneys' Fees for Objectors.pdf
Motion for Appeal Bond.pdf
Reply in Support of Motion for Appeal Bond.pdf
Memorandum Granting in Part Motion for Appeal Bond.pdf
Added to Index 2016-12-19 11:49:30 -0700 MST
Last Updated 2017-03-08 11:09:39 -0700 MST

Objection of Kelsey D. Foligno

Objectors Kelsey D. Foligno
Signers Kelsey D. Foligno
Glenn A. Manochi
Attorneys Glenn A. Manochi
Gary P. Lightman
Christopher A. Bandas
Robert W. Clore
Summary
  1. Attorneys' fees are excessive.
  2. "Clear sailing" provisions are improper.
  3. Reversionary provisions are improper.
  4. Class members may receive differing compensation, depending on their state of residency.
    • Sub-classes lack adequate representation.
  5. Voucher provisions are overly restrictive.

NOTE:  Attorneys Clore and Bandas (both of the Bandas Law Firm) filed their appearances on the appeal.

Attachments Objection of Kelsey D. Foligno.pdf
Appeal of Objector Foligno.pdf
Foligno Response to Motion for Appeal Bond.pdf
Foligno Payment of Appeal Bond.pdf
Bandas Appearance for Objector-Appellant Foligno.pdf
Clore Appearance for Objector-Appellant Foligno.pdf
Foligno Motion for Extension.pdf
Foligno Appeal Docket.pdf
Added to Index 2016-12-19 12:27:06 -0700 MST
Last Updated 2016-12-19 12:27:46 -0700 MST

Objection of Michelle W. Vullings

Objectors Michelle W. Vullings
Signers Michelle W. Vullings
Brent F. Vullings
Attorneys Brent F. Vullings
Summary
  1. Class representative incentive awards are excessive.
  2. Settlement lacks injunctive relief.
  3. Class size is unknown.
  4. Release is over-broad.
  5. Rule 23 requirements are not met.
  6. Class members cannot easily review the fee request.
  7. Notice plan may not be the most practicable option.
  8. Reversionary provisions are improper.
  9. Attorneys' fees are excessive.
  10. Opt-out procedures are unduly burdensome.
  11. Voucher provisions represent a windfall for the Defendant.
  12. Administration costs are uncapped.
  13. Claims process is unduly burdensome.
Attachments Objection of Michelle W. Vullings.pdf
Appeal of Objector Vullings.pdf
Vullings Response to Motion for Appeal Bond.pdf
Vullings Payment of Appeal Bond.pdf
Added to Index 2016-12-19 14:59:09 -0700 MST
Last Updated 2016-12-19 14:59:25 -0700 MST

Objection of Manda Hipshire

Objectors Manda Hipshire
Signers Manda Hipshire
Miles Dumack
Attorneys Miles Dumack
Christopher T. Cain
Summary
  1. Settlement is rife with intra-class conflict.
  2. Class members did not have adequate chance to review the fee request.
  3. Attorneys' fees are excessive, indicative of collusion, and improperly calculated.
  4. Release is over-broad.
  5. Voucher provisions are largely illusory.
  6. Class representative incentive awards are excessive.
Attachments Objection of Manda Hipshire.pdf
Appeal of Objector Hipshire.pdf
Hipshire Response to Motion for Appeal Bond.pdf
Hipshire Payment of Appeal Bond.pdf
Cain Appearance for Objector-Appellant Hipshire.pdf
Added to Index 2016-12-19 15:13:31 -0700 MST
Last Updated 2016-12-19 15:13:55 -0700 MST

Objection of Vicki Mager, Melissa Schultz

Objectors Vicki Mager
Melissa Schultz
Signers Vicki Mager
Melissa Schultz
Attorneys George W. Cochran
Summary
  1. Objectors should receive 40% vouchers.
  2. Claim forms are unnecessary.
  3. Reversionary provisions are improper.
  4. Release is over-broad.
  5. Attorneys' fees are excessive.

NOTE:  George W. Cochran filed his appearance on the appeal.

Attachments Objection of Mager and Schultz.pdf
Appeal of Objectors Mager and Schultz.pdf
Cochran Appearance for Mager and Schultz Objector-Appellants.pdf
Mager and Schultz Appeal Docket.pdf
Added to Index 2016-12-19 15:33:05 -0700 MST
Last Updated 2016-12-19 15:33:30 -0700 MST

Objection of Leah Harrington, Beth Yoes, Leighan Sonnier

Objectors Leah Harrington
Beth Yoes
Leighan Sonnier
Signers Paul A. Lawless
Attorneys Paul A. Lawless
N. Albert Bacharach, Jr.
Summary
  1. Diversity of the class requires the creation of sub-classes.
  2. Claims-made, reversionary, and "clear-sailing" provisions are improper.
  3. Settlement lacks meaningful injunctive relief.
  4. Attorneys' fees are excessive.

NOTE:  N. Albert Bacharach filed his appearance on the appeal.

NOTE:  This appeal was dismissed for failing to file opening forms.  Following the dismissal, Attorney Bacharach motioned to reopen the appeal, arguing that he had been "recently appointed" and had not received the necessary notifications.  This was despite evidence that Attorney Bacharach had been objectors' counsel at the District Court level (see Exhibits in Support, Exhibit A, showing filings made under Attorney Bacharach's ECF).  The Third Circuit denied the motion to reopen.

Attachments Objection of Leah Harrington et al.pdf
Supplemental Objection of Harrington et al Objectors.pdf
Appeal of Harrington et al Objectors.pdf
Bacharach Appearance for Harrington et al Objector-Appellants.pdf
Dismissal of Harrington et al Appeal.pdf
Harrington et al Motion to Reopen.pdf
Plaintiff's Response to Harrington et al Motion to Reopen.pdf
Exhibits in Support of Plaintiff's Response to Harrington et al Motion to Reopen.pdf
Order Denying Harrington et al Motion to Reopen.pdf
Added to Index 2016-12-19 15:55:45 -0700 MST
Last Updated 2017-03-08 11:09:31 -0700 MST

Objection of Sheila Ference

Objectors Sheila Ference
Signers Sheila Ference
Mardi Harrison
Attorneys Mardi Harrison
Summary
  1. Diversity of the class makes it unmanageable.
  2. Class notice is inadequate.
  3. Attorneys' fees are excessive.

NOTE:  This appeal was dismissed for failing to file opening forms.

Attachments Objection of Sheila Ference.pdf
Appeal of Objector Ference.pdf
Dismissal of Ference Appeal.pdf
Added to Index 2016-12-19 16:41:35 -0700 MST
Last Updated 2016-12-19 16:41:50 -0700 MST

Objection of Pamela Sweeney

Objectors Pamela Sweeney
Signers Pamela Sweeney
Attorneys
Summary
  1. Attorneys' fees are excessive.
  2. Reversionary provisions are improper.
    • Remaining funds should be used for a cy pres award.

NOTE:  This appeal was dismissed for failure to pay the filing fee.

Attachments Objection of Pamela A. Sweeney.pdf
Appeal of Objector Sweeney.pdf
Dismissal of Sweeney Appeal.pdf
Sweeney Appeal Docket.pdf
Added to Index 2016-12-19 16:55:42 -0700 MST
Last Updated 2016-12-19 16:55:50 -0700 MST

Objection of Barbara Comlish, Kathryn Artlip

Objectors Barbara Comlish
Kathryn Artlip
Signers Adam E. Schulman
Attorneys Adam E. Schulman
Summary
  1. Attorneys' fees represent a disproportionate portion of the settlement fund.
  2. Class representatives may be inadequate, due to relationships with class counsel.
Attachments Objection of Barbara Comlish and Kathryn Artlip.pdf
Comlish and Artlip's Response to Motion for Appeal Bond.pdf
Added to Index 2016-12-20 10:22:59 -0700 MST
Last Updated 2016-12-20 10:23:23 -0700 MST

Objection of Steven F. Helfand

Objectors Steven F. Helfand
Signers Steven F. Helfand
Attorneys
Summary
  1. "Clear sailing" provisions are improper.
  2. Attorneys' fees are excessive.
  3. Voucher provisions represent a windfall for the Defendants.
  4. Subclasses require more adequate representation.
Attachments Objection of Steven F. Helfand.pdf
Added to Index 2016-12-20 10:32:47 -0700 MST
Last Updated 2016-12-20 10:32:55 -0700 MST

Objection of Susan House

Objectors Susan House
Signers Susan House
Attorneys
Summary
  1. Voucher provisions provide little value to class members.
  2. Cash payments are de minimis.
  3. Reversionary provisions are improper.
  4. Attorneys' fees are excessive.
Attachments Objection of Susan House.pdf
Added to Index 2016-12-20 10:38:12 -0700 MST
Last Updated 2016-12-20 10:38:20 -0700 MST

Objection of Jeffrey L. Weinstein

Objectors Jeffrey L. Weinstein
Signers Jeffrey L. Weinstein
Attorneys
Summary
  1. Subclasses lack adequate representation.
  2. "Clear sailing" provisions are improper.
  3. Settlement treats claims of various subclasses identically.
  4. Attorneys' fees are excessive and improperly calculated.
  5. Class representative incentive awards are excessive.

NOTE:  This objection was voluntarily withdrawn.

Attachments Objection of Jeffrey Weinstein.pdf
Withdrawal of Weinstein Objection.pdf
Added to Index 2016-12-20 10:45:23 -0700 MST
Last Updated 2016-12-20 10:45:31 -0700 MST

Objection of Jill M. Brown

Objectors Jill M. Brown
Signers Jill M. Brown
Attorneys David D. Dishman
Summary
  1. Voucher provisions provide inadequate compensation to class members.
  2. Reversionary provisions are improper.
  3. Class representatives are inadequate.
  4. Subclasses lack adequate representation.
  5. Attorneys' fees are excessive.

NOTE:  This objection was voluntarily withdrawn.

Attachments Objection of Jill M. Brown.pdf
Withdrawal of Brown Objection.pdf
Added to Index 2016-12-20 11:28:30 -0700 MST
Last Updated 2016-12-20 11:28:45 -0700 MST