ORDER WITH REASONS
JERRY A. BROWN, Bankruptcy Judge.
This matter came before the Court on the Motion for Appointment of Interim Class Counsel and Related Relief filed by Barbara Kusnick, on behalf of herself and all others similarly situated, ("Kusnick Plaintiffs") and the opposition filed by Terry King, on behalf of himself and all others similarly situated ("King Plaintiffs").
On February 17, 2017, after transfer of the bankruptcy proceedings to this court, the Kusnick Plaintiffs, who already had an adversary proceeding pending in the Bankruptcy Court in Delaware, filed a First Amended Class Action Adversary Proceeding Complaint (the "Kusnick Complaint"). The Kusnick Complaint seeks remedies for LMCHH PCP, LLC, Louisiana Medical Center and Heart Hospital, LLC, CCG of Louisiana, LLC, and Medcare Investment Funds' ("Defendants") alleged failure to provide at least sixty days' advance written notice of the terminations as required by the WARN Act and adds claims against the Non-Debtor Defendants, among other claims. On February 24, 2017, the King Plaintiffs, on behalf of themselves and all others similarly situated, filed an almost identical class action adversary proceeding against the Defendants, minus Medcare Investment Funds, for violation of the WARN Act and the recovery of damages in the amount of sixty days' back pay and ERISA benefits, among other claims.
Federal Rule 23(g) governs the appointment of interim class counsel in these proceedings.
"In appointing class counsel, the court:
The chosen counsel "must fairly and adequately represent the interests of the class."
Both the counsel for Kusnick Plaintiffs and for King Plaintiffs are qualified in handling claims, experienced in class actions, and have the proper legal knowledge. However, this court finds that counsel for Kusnick Plaintiffs should be appointed as interim counsel to represent the class. The counsel for Kusnick Plaintiffs specialize in WARN Act litigation and are nationally recognized experts in this specialized area of the law. Although they are not located in the state, they have associated local counsel as required by the local rules. Counsel for the Kusnick Plaintiffs filed their suit first, and their suit names additional defendants that may be able to augment the limited recovery the plaintiffs are likely to recover from the debtor's estate. At oral argument, counsel for the King Plaintiffs argued that they had not yet had an opportunity to amend their complaint to include the additional defendants named in the Kusnick suit, but that was several months ago, and the court notes that the King Plaintiffs have not amended their complaint, although answers have been filed in that suit.
The Kusnick Plaintiffs' counsel represent to the court that they will be paid on a contingent fee basis, so they will not cost the debtor's estate anything more than the King Plaintiffs' counsel. On the balance, although both proposed interim counsel are very competent and would certainly be able to do a fine job, the balance of the factors the court must consider weigh in favor of the counsel for the Kusnick Plaintiffs leading the charge. Accordingly,