Friedman v. Guthy-Renker

Case # 14-cv-06009
Case Name Friedman v. Guthy-Renker
Jurisdiction US District Court for C.D. CA
Summary

Defendants manufacture hair care products under the brand name "WEN", including a Cleansing Conditioner.  Plaintiffs allege that the Cleansing Conditioner caused extensive hair loss in consumers that used the product.

Final Approval Date 08/21/2017
Result
  1. Final Approval granted.
  2. All objections were overruled.
  3. In particular, the Court noted that Sweeney’s objections are too vague for the Court to properly analyze" (See Final Approval Order at 16:9-10)
  4. Objectors Sweeney, Behrend, and Bentz appealed the Final Approval.
  5. Class Counsel motioned for each Objector-Appellant to post an appeal bond of $48,326.50 ($5,827.50 in appellate costs and $42,499 in administrative costs).
  6. The Sweeney appeal was dismissed on 11/02/2017 for failure to prosecute (failure to pay appellate fee).
  7. The Bentz and Behrend appeals were voluntarily dismissed on 12/29/2017, before the District Court could rule on the appeal bond.
Dismissal of Last Appeal 12/29/2017
Attachments Docket Report.pdf
Third Amended Class Action Complaint.pdf
Preliminary Approval Order.pdf
Final Approval Order.pdf
Motion for Appeal Bond.pdf
Reply in Support of Motion for Appeal Bond.pdf
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Objection of Pamela Sweeney

Objectors Pamela Sweeney
Signers Pamela Sweeney
Attorneys
Summary
  1. Claims administration lacks sufficient oversight.
  2. Attorneys' fees are excessive.
  3. Attorneys' billing records are not sufficiently disclosed.

At her deposition, Class Counsel asked Objector Sweeney "Have you obtained any payments in conjunction with the objections that you filed in any of these nine cases?"  Objector Sweeney declined to answer, stating "I'm under nondisclosure so I cannot comment." (See Sweeney Deposition Transcript at 20:13-16)  Later, Objector Sweeney noted that these nondisclosure settlements came in three of the cases in which she has objected. (See Sweeney Deposition Transcript at 21:17) 

Attachments Objection of Pamela Sweeney.pdf
Sweeney Deposition Transcript.pdf
Appeal of Objector Sweeney.pdf
Dismissal of Sweeney Appeal.pdf
Sweeney Appeal Docket.pdf
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Objection of Pamela Behrend

Objectors Pamela Behrend
Signers Pamela Behrend
Attorneys N. Albert Bacharach, Jr.
Michael D. Luppi
Summary
  1. Settlement does not provide the statutory minimum in damages for class members with statutory minimums.
  2. Actual relief to the class may be de minimis, depending on the number of claims received.
  3. Attorneys' fees are excessive.

NOTE:  Attorneys Bacharach and Luppi appeared on the appeal.

Attachments Objection of Pamela L. Behrend.pdf
Behrend Deposition Transcript.pdf
Appeal of Objector Behrend.pdf
Bacharach Appearance for Objector-Appellant Behrend.pdf
Behrend Response to Motion for Appeal Bond.pdf
Dismissal of Behrend Appeal.pdf
Behrend Appeal Docket.pdf
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Objection of Ellen Bentz

Objectors Ellen Bentz
Signers Ellen Bentz
Attorneys Bryce Lenox
Summary
  1. Settlement fund is underfunded and will not fully compensate class members.
  2. Attorneys' fees are excessive.
  3. Settlement shows signs of collusion.
  4. Opt out period is too short.
  5. Caps on personal injury damages are too low.
  6. Release is overbroad.
  7. Class representative incentive awards are excessive.
Attachments Objection of Ellen Bentz.pdf
Bentz Deposition Transcript.pdf
Appeal of Objector Bentz.pdf
Dismissal of Bentz Appeal.pdf
Bentz Appeal Docket.pdf
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