Ricardo Casas v. Belfor USA Group, Inc. et al

Filing 49


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1 2 3 ~~~_~ ._.___... r~ c CLERK, 11.5. ^u_T^ ~T r,,,,ar _._ .._... _ ii 4 5 OCT I ~l 2uiti 6 C ENir~N~ ~ ~;.,~ ~ ur ~B~ t,~~~4 ~'q 7 g UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT 9 FOR THE CENTRAL DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA l0 RICARDO CASAS,an individual, on) CASE NO.CV 14-9591-GHK(MRWx) behalf of himself and all others ) )JUDGMENT AND ORDER 12 similarly situated, GRANTING FINAL APPROVAL OF 13 Plaintiffs, CLASS ACTION SETTLEMENT 11 14 v. 15 BELFOR USA GROUP,INC., a Colorado Corporation; and, DOES 1 17 through 10, inclusive, 16 18 Defendants. 19 2 0 21 22 23 24 25 2 6 27 28 Plaintiff Ricardo Casas and Defendant Belfor USA Group, Inc. have reached 2 a settlement of a putative class action. On May 25, 2016, this Court:(1) 3 preliminarily certified a class for settlement purposes;(2)preliminarily approved 4 the terms of the proposed class action; and(3)authorized notice to the Settlement 5 Class ofthe terms of the proposed Settlement. Having completed the notice process 6 and no objectors having come forward, Plaintiff moves for final approval of a class 7 action settlement ofthe claims asserted against Defendant, memorialized in the 8 Amended Class Action Settlement Agreement("Settlement" or "Settlement 9 Agreement"). (Dkt. 41-1.) Capitalized terms in this Order shall have the same 10 11 meaning as in the Settlement Agreement unless stated otherwise. After reviewing the Settlement Agreement, the Motion for Order Granting 12 Final Approval, and other related documents, and having heard the argument of 13 counsel for the respective Parties, IT IS HEREBY ORDERED AS FOLLOWS: 14 15 16 17 1. The Court has jurisdiction over the Parties to this action, including all members of the Class as defined in the Settlement Agreement. 2 . The Court finds and concludes, for purposes of settlement only, that the proposed Class satisfies the applicable standards for certification under Federal 18 Rule of Civil Procedure 23. The requirements of Rule 23(a) are satisfied because 19 the Class is so numerous that joinder of all Class members is impracticable, there 2 0 are questions oflaw or fact common to the Class, the claims of Plaintiff are typical 21 ofthe claims of the Class, and Plaintiff will fairly and adequately protect the 22 interests ofthe Class. The requirements of Rule 23(b)(3) are satisfied because 23 questions of law or fact common to Class Members predominate over any questions 24 affecting only individual Class Members, and the class action device is superior to 25 other available methods for fairly and efficiently adjudicating this controversy. 2 6 Accordingly, solely for the purposes of effectuating this Settlement, the Court 27 hereby certifies the Class as defined below: 28 All persons employed by Belfor USA Group, Inc., in California as non-exempt, hourly paid technicians at any time during the period from September 24, 2010 through January 31, 2016. 2 3 3 . The Court hereby grants final approval ofthe Settlement Agreement as 4 it meets the criteria for final settlement approval. The Settlement is fair, adequate, 5 and reasonable; appears to be the product of arms'-length and informed 6 negotiations; and treats all Class members fairly. 7 4 . The Class Notice approved by the Court was mailed to each member of 8 the Class by first-class mail on June 24, 2016. The Notice informed Class Members 9 ofthe terms of the Settlement, of their right to receive their proportional share of 10 the Settlement without the need to return a claim form, of their right to comment 11 upon and request to be excluded from the Settlement or object to the Settlement, 12 and oftheir right to appear in person or by counsel at the time of the Final Approval 13 hearing. Follow-up efforts were made to send the Class Notice to those individuals 14 whose original Class Notices were returned undeliverable. 15 5. The Court has determined that the Notice given to the Class fully and 16 accurately informed the Class of all material elements ofthe proposed Settlement, 17 constituted the best practicable notice, and fully meets the requirements of Rule 23 18 and the U.S. Constitution. 19 6 . There were no requests for exclusion from the Settlement. The Court 2 0 hereby orders that all Class Members have released all claims or causes of action 21 settled under the terms ofthe Settlement Agreement. All Class Members are 22 hereby forever barred and enjoined from commencing or prosecuting any of the 23 claims, either directly or in any other capacity, that are released by the Settlement 2 4 Agreement. 25 7 . Having received no objections, and the time for submitting such 2 6 objections having passed, the Court finds that no valid objections have been 27 submitted and no objections will be considered by the Court. Class Members who 28 2 did not timely object to the Settlement set forth in the Settlement Agreement are 2 3 barred from prosecuting or pursuing any appeal of this Order. 8. The Settlement embodied in the Settlement Agreement is not an 4 admission by Defendant nor is this Order a finding ofthe validity of any claims in 5 the litigation or of any wrongdoing by Defendant. Neither this Order, the 6 Settlement Agreement, any document referred to herein, nor any action taken to 7 carry out the terms of the Settlement Agreement may be construed as, or may be 8 used as, an admission by or against Defendant of any fault, wrongdoing, or liability 9 whatsoever. 10 11 12 13 14 9 . The Court hereby appoints Plaintiff Ricardo Casas as the Class Representative in this action. 10. The Court hereby appoints Cohelan, Khoury &Singer and the Law Office of Sahag Majarian, II as Class Counsel. 1 1. The Court finds and determines that the Settlement payments to be 15 paid to Class Members as provided for by the Settlement are fair and reasonable. 16 The Court hereby grants final approval to and orders the payment ofthose amounts 17 be made to all Class Members in accordance with the terms ofthe Settlement. 18 12. The Court approves the settlement of claims under the California 19 Private Attorneys General Act("PAGA"), California Labor Code ยงยง 2698 et seq., 2 0 as set forth in the Settlement Agreement and approves payment to the California 21 Labor and Workforce Development Agency in the amount of $3,750.00 in 22 accordance with the terms of the Settlement Agreement. 23 13. Plaintiffls application for attorneys' fees and reimbursement of 24 litigation costs is granted as follows: Upon consideration of the relevant factors, the 25 Court grants an award of attorneys' fees in the amount of$122,500.00, representing 2 6 2 5% ofthe total settlement amount. See Vizcaino v. Microsoft Corp., 290 F.3d 27 1043, 1048-50(9th Cir. 2002). The Court grants litigation costs in the amount of 28 $21,194.31. 3 1 14. The Court awards Class Representative Ricardo Casas a Service 2 Payment of$5,000.00 as fair and reasonable compensation for his services to the 3 Class. 4 5 15. The Court further directs payment of$8,000.00 to the Settlement Administrator, Phoenix Settlement Administrators, for services rendered and to be rendered in connection with the completion of its administrative duties pursuant to 7 the Settlement. 8 9 16. The Parties are hereby ordered to comply with the terms of the Settlement. 10 17. The Court finds that no just reason exists for delay in entering this 11 Judgment and Final Approval Order. This Order shall constitute a final judgment 12 with respect to the claims of Plaintiff and the Class for purposes of Rule 58 of the 13 Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. 14 18. The Court hereby orders that, without affecting the finality ofthe 15 Judgment, it reserves continuing jurisdiction over the matter and the Parties for the 16 purposes ofimplementing, enforcing, and/or administering the Settlement or 17 enforcing the terms ofthe Judgment. 18 19 2 0 21 19. The Parties shall bear their own costs and attorneys' fees except as otherwise provided by the Settlement Agreement and this Order. 20. Immediately upon entry of this Judgment and Order, the operative Complaint in this action shall be dismissed in its entirety with prejudice. 22 23 IT IS SO ORDERED. 24 25 2 6 Dated: 1~ / ,2016 Hon. George H. King United States District J 27 28 4

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