Wallace v. Mercedes Benz U.S. International, Inc.
MEMORANDUM OPINION. Signed by Judge L Scott Coogler on 12/2/2014. (KAM, )
2014 Dec-02 PM 02:05
U.S. DISTRICT COURT
N.D. OF ALABAMA
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE NORTHERN DISTRICT OF ALABAMA
ROBERT CLARK WALLACE,
MERCEDES BENZ U.S.,
Memorandum of Opinion
Before the Court is the parties’ joint motion for approval of settlement. (Doc.
23.) This suit was brought by Plaintiff Robert Clark Wallace (“Wallace”) to collect
alleged unpaid overtime compensation under the Fair Labor Standards Act
(“FLSA”). In the “context of suits brought directly by employees against their
employer . . . to recover back wages for FLSA violations,” any party to an FLSA
settlement must present any proposed settlement to the district court, which “may
enter a stipulated judgment after scrutinizing the settlement for fairness.” Lynn’s Food
Stores, Inc. v. United States, 679 F.2d 1350, 1353 (11th Cir. 1982).
Having considered the guidelines set forth by the Eleventh Circuit for approval
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of an FLSA settlement, the Court finds that the amended settlement agreement is fair,
as it reflects a reasonable compromise of issues actually in dispute. The settlement was
reached in an adversarial context in which Wallace was represented by competent and
experienced counsel, and the totality of the proposed settlement is fair and reasonable
as required by Lynn’s Food. Id. at 1354; see also Nall v. Mal-Motels, Inc., 723 F.3d 1304,
1308 (11th Cir. 2013) (noting that a joint settlement proposal reached in an adversarial
context is valid even if the agreement is not reviewed by the Secretary of Labor).
Furthermore, the proposed agreement does not bind non-parties to the present
action.1 Lastly, the proposed agreement does not ask the Court to assess attorney’s
fees, as the parties have agreed on the amount owed.
For the reasons stated above, the joint motion for approval of settlement
agreement (Doc. 23) is due to be granted, resulting in an award of $20,000 to Plaintiff
Robert Clark Wallace and $11,517.75 to Wallace’s counsel for fees and expenses.
The Court notes that the submitted settlement agreement also purports to apply to a
plaintiff in another action, Margie Carolyn Adams (“Adams”). However, this Court will not enter
an order binding a non-party to the agreement. Concerning Adams, the parties should seek
agreement from the court that her suit was filed in.
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Done this 2nd day of December 2014.
L. SCOTT COOGLER
UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
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