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Teets v. Great-West Life & Annuity Insurance Co.

United States District Court, D. Colorado

December 29, 2016

JOHN TEETS, Plaintiff,
v.
GREAT-WEST LIFE & ANNUITY INSURANCE COMPANY, Defendant.

          ORDER GRANTING IN PART AND DENYING IN PART PLAINTIFF'S MOTION TO APPROVE CLASS NOTICE

          William J. Martínez United States District Judge.

         Plaintiff John Teets (“Plaintiff”) brings this lawsuit against Defendant Great-West Life & Annuity Insurance Company (“Defendant”) for Defendant's alleged breaches of its fiduciary duties under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (“ERISA”), 29 U.S.C. §§ 1001 et seq. Currently before the Court is Plaintiff's “Motion for an Order Approving the Form and Manner of Notice to the Class, Directing Defendant to Produce a Class List to Class Counsel, and Approving a Schedule for Notice of Class Certification” (“Motion for Approval”). (ECF No. 130.) For the reasons explained below, Plaintiff's “long-form” notice is approved with certain minor changes shown in the attachment to this order; the Court finds that service of the long-form notice by traditional postal mail to all class members is appropriate in these circumstances; and Plaintiff must bear the costs of notice.

         I. LEGAL STANDARD

         The Court previously certified this matter as a class action under Rules 23(b)(1)(A) and 23(b)(3). (See ECF No. 118.) Given the Rule 23(b)(3) certification,

the court must direct to class members the best notice that is practicable under the circumstances, including individual notice to all members who can be identified through reasonable effort. The notice must clearly and concisely state in plain, easily understood language:
(i) the nature of the action;
(ii) the definition of the class certified;
(iii) the class claims, issues, or defenses;
(iv) that a class member may enter an appearance through an attorney if the member so desires;
(v) that the court will exclude from the class any member who requests exclusion;
(vi) the time and manner for requesting exclusion; and
(vii) the binding effect of a class judgment on members under Rule 23(c)(3).

Fed. R. Civ. P. 23(c)(2)(B).

         This Court “has great discretion and flexibility in determining what is the best notice procedure to utilize under the circumstances of the case at hand.” 7AA Charles Alan Wright et al., Federal Practice & ...


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