The Court has already granted Preliminary Approval of the Settlement. A final hearing on the Settlement, called a final approval or fairness hearing, has been held to determine the fairness of the Settlement. At the Final Approval Hearing, the Court considered whether to make final the certification of the Settlement Class for settlement purposes, heard any proper objections and arguments to the Settlement, as well as any requests for an award of attorneys’ fees and expenses and Incentive Awards for the Plaintiffs that may have been sought by Class Counsel. The Court held the Final Approval Hearing on January 28, 2022, and approved the Settlement.
The Settlement was given Final Approval, but the Court did not make any determination as to the merits of the claims or defenses at issue. Instead, the Settlement’s terms will take effect and the lawsuit was dismissed on the merits with prejudice. Both sides have agreed to the Settlement to achieve an early and certain resolution to the lawsuit, so it provides specific and valuable benefits to the members of the Settlement Class.
If Final Approval is reversed on appeal, or if the Settlement does not become final for some other reason, Plaintiffs, Rutgers, and the Class Members will be in the same position as they were before the execution of the Settlement, and the Settlement will have no legal effect, no class will remain certified (conditionally or otherwise), and Plaintiffs and Rutgers will continue to litigate the lawsuit. There can be no assurance that, if the Settlement is not approved, the Settlement Class will recover more than is provided in the Settlement, or indeed, anything at all.