Spears v. Rainsville Technology Inc
MEMORANDUM OPINION REGARDING ORDER APPROVING OFFER OF JUDGMENT AND DISMISSAL OF THIS CASE. Signed by Judge Virginia Emerson Hopkins on 9/19/2016. (JLC)
2016 Sep-19 AM 10:37
U.S. DISTRICT COURT
N.D. OF ALABAMA
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE NORTHERN DISTRICT OF ALABAMA
) Case No.: 4:16-CV-902-VEH
MEMORANDUM OPINION REGARDING
ORDER APPROVING OFFER OF JUDGMENT AND
DISMISSAL OF THIS CASE
On May 31, 2016, the Plaintiff, Warren Sparks, filed this action against
Rainsville Technology, Inc. (Doc. 1). The Complaint alleges that the Defendant has
“willfully and intentionally violated the [Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”), 29
U.S.C. § 201, et seq.] by failing to ensure that [the] Plaintiff was paid one and onehalf times his regular hourly rate of pay for work performed during his unpaid meal
breaks during weeks in which he otherwise worked forty hours or more.” (Doc. 1 at
4) (Count One).
This case comes before the court on the parties’ “Joint Notice of Acceptance
of Offer of Judgment and Motion for Entry of Judgment.” (Doc. 16). In that
document, the parties state that the Plaintiff has accepted the Defendant’s offer of
judgment made pursuant to Rule 68(a) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. (Doc.
16 at 1). The offer of judgment is attached to the notice. (Doc. 16-2). Further, the
parties state that “[t]he amounts offered in the offer of judgment constitute 100% of
the backpay, liquidated damages, and attorneys’ fees and costs, that Plaintiff can
recover in this case.” (Doc. 16 at 1-2).
The court has carefully reviewed and considered the materials submitted by the
parties, and the court finds that the offer of judgment is a fair and adequate resolution
of the plaintiff’s claims. To the extent that the acceptance of the offer of judgment
could be considered a “compromise” of the Plaintiff’s claims, the court holds that the
parties reached a fair and adequate compromise to resolve disputes over whether any
overtime pay is due to the plaintiff, whether it is possible to accurately quantify any
overtime the plaintiff may claim, and, by extension, whether plaintiff is entitled to any
liquidated damages. The court agrees that the negotiated fees and expenses of
plaintiff’s counsel are fair and reasonable and do not reduce the amount the plaintiff
is entitled to receive.
Further, the court expressly finds that the proposed attorneys’ fees and
expenses due to plaintiff’s counsel under the offer of judgment are fair and
reasonable, taking into account the “lodestar” method of calculating fees and the
factors enumerated in Johnson v. Georgia Highway Express, Inc., 488 F.2d 714 (5th
Cir. 1974). In the separate Final Order Approving Settlement and Dismissing Case,
the court will award to plaintiff’s counsel the fees, costs, and expenses consistent with
the offer of judgment. Also in that order, the court will approve the offer of judgment.
Approval of the offer of judgment is expressly subject to the court’s retaining
jurisdiction for a period of one hundred and twenty (120) days from the date of the
order for purposes of enforcement of the offer of judgment and the acceptance
thereof. The parties may proceed with execution of the terms of the offer of
judgment, and the court will dismiss with prejudice this action.
DATED this 19th day of September, 2016.
VIRGINIA EMERSON HOPKINS
United States District Judge
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