Modica v. Iron Mountain Information Management Services

Filing 29

ORDER and FINAL JUDGEMENT signed by District Judge Troy L. Nunley on 1/5/2021 GRANTING 23 Motion for Attorney Fees and 25 Motion for Final Approval of Class Action Settlement. CASE CLOSED. (Coll, A)

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1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT 9 EASTERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA 10 11 JENNIFER MODICA, individually and on behalf of other similarly situated current and former employees and as proxy for the LWDA, 12 Plaintiff, 13 14 15 16 17 v. Case No.: 2:19-cv-00370-TLN-JDP ORDER GRANTING FINAL APPROVAL OF CLASS AND ACTION SETTLEMENT, MOTION FOR ATTORNEYS’ FEES, COSTS, SERVICE PAYMENT, AND FINAL JUDGMENT IRON MOUNTAIN INFORMATION MANAGEMENT SERVICES, INC., a Delaware corporation; and DOES 1-100, inclusive, Defendants. 18 19 Plaintiff Jennifer Modica’s (“Modica” or “Plaintiff”) Motion for Final Approval of Class and 20 Action Settlement (“Motion for Final Approval”) and Motion for Attorneys’ Fees, Costs, and Service 21 Payment (“Fee Motion”) came on for hearing on December 17, 2020, at 2:00 p.m., before the honorable 22 Troy L. Nunley, District Judge, United States District Court for the Eastern District of California. Jenny 23 D. Baysinger appeared on behalf of Plaintiff and Jonathan Brophy appeared on behalf of Defendant Iron 24 Mountain Information Management Services, Inc. The Court, having fully and carefully considered 25 Plaintiff’s Motion for Final Approval and Fee Motion, the memoranda and declarations in support 26 thereof, the Parties’ Settlement Agreement, and the oral arguments made at the hearing, hereby makes 27 28 1 the following determinations and orders1: 2 1. On August 19, 2020, this Court granted preliminary approval of the Settlement. (ECF 3 No. 21.) The claims brought by Plaintiff are set forth in that order and will not be repeated here. 4 Plaintiff’s Motion for Attorneys’ Fees (ECF No. 23) and Motion for Final Approval (ECF No. 25) were 5 timely filed and posted to both this Court’s website and the Settlement Claims Administrator’s website 6 for interested Class Members to review. No objections to Plaintiff’s motions were filed. 7 2. The Court finds that the Settlement was reached after arm’s-length negotiations between 8 the Parties, including a full-day mediation before experienced class action mediator David Rotman; the 9 proposed Settlement occurred only after counsel for the Parties conducted adequate investigation and 10 formal discovery; and the Settlement of this action, as embodied in the terms of the Settlement, is finally 11 approved as fair, reasonable, and adequate and in compliance with all applicable requirements of the 12 Federal Rules of Civil Procedure and any other applicable law, and in the best interests of the Class 13 Members. 14 3. Plaintiff Jennifer Modica is confirmed as Class Representative. 15 4. Mayall Hurley P.C., by and through Lead Counsel Jenny D. Baysinger and Robert J. 16 Wasserman are confirmed as Class Counsel. 17 18 5. Phoenix Class Action Administration Solutions is confirmed as Administrator of the Settlement. 19 6. Prior to granting preliminary approval, the Court evaluated the standards for class 20 certification. Nothing has been raised subsequently that might affect the Court’s prior analysis as to 21 whether certification is appropriate here, and the Court has no cause to revisit that analysis. The Court 22 finds that final certification as to the following classes and subclasses, collectively referred to as the 23 Class is appropriate under Rule 23: 24 25 26 27 28 All terms used in this Order Granting Final Approval of Class Action Settlement, Attorneys’ Fees, Costs, and Service Payment (the “Order”) shall have the same meanings given those terms in the Parties’ Joint Stipulation of Class and Representative Action Settlement Agreement and Release of Claims (“Settlement Agreement” or “Settlement”), a copy which is attached as Exhibit A to the Declaration of Jenny D. Baysinger in Support of Plaintiff’s Motion for Final Approval. 1 1 a. All current and former California non-exempt employees of Defendant who (i) worked 2 double time or used paid sick leave during a workweek when he/she also earned shift 3 differentials, non-discretionary bonuses, or other remuneration on at least one occasion 4 between October 1, 2017 and March 13, 2020; and/or (ii) received a wage statement 5 during a pay period when he/she either (a) earned shift differentials and/or (b) worked 6 overtime between January 22, 2018 and March 13, 2020 (the “Class”); 7 i. All current and former California non-exempt employees of Defendant who 8 worked more than twelve (12) hours in a workday and/or more than eight (8) 9 hours on the 7th consecutive day worked in the workweek during a workweek 10 when he/she also earned shift differentials, non-discretionary bonuses, or other 11 remuneration on at least one occasion between October 1, 2017 and March 13, 12 2020 (the “DoubleTime Subclass”); 13 ii. All current and former California non-exempt employees of Defendant who were 14 eligible for and used paid sick leave during a workweek when he/she also earned 15 shift differentials, non-discretionary bonuses, or other remuneration on at least 16 one occasion between October 1, 2017 and March 13, 2020 (the “Sick Pay 17 Subclass”); 18 iii. All individuals who are members of the DoubleTime Subclass or the Sick Pay 19 Subclass and separated from employment at any time between October 1, 2017 20 and March 13, 2020 (the “Former Employee Subclass”); and 21 iv. All current and former California employees of Defendant who received a wage 22 statement during a pay period when he/she either (i) earned shift differentials 23 and/or (ii) worked overtime between January 22, 2018 and March 13, 2020 (the 24 “Wage Statement Subclass”). 25 7. The Court reviewed Class Notice that was proposed when the Parties sought preliminary 26 approval of the Settlement and found it sufficient. The Court-approved Notice informed the Class 27 Members of the Settlement terms, the claims they would be releasing if they chose to participate in the 28 settlement, their rights to opt-out of, comment on or object to the Settlement, and their rights to appear at 1 the Final Approval Hearing and be heard regarding the Settlement. Adequate periods of time to respond 2 and to act were provided by each of these procedures. A website was created and maintained which 3 provided Class Members the ability to obtain additional information regarding the Settlement and to 4 access pertinent pleadings. 5 8. The Administrator sent Notice to 1,264 individuals on September 15, 2020. Notice was 6 effectuated on all 1,264 Class Members; 100% of the Class Members received Notice. (See ECF No. 7 23-4.) 8 9 9. The Court concludes that adequate notice was provided to the Class here. Silber v. Mabon, 18 F.3d 1449, 1453–54 (9th Cir. 1994) (noting the court need not ensure all class members 10 receive actual notice, only that “best practicable notice” is given); Winans v. Emeritus Corp., No. 13-cv- 11 03962-HSG, 2016 WL 107574 *3 (N.D. Cal. Jan. 11, 2016) (“While Rule 23 requires that ‘reasonable 12 effort’ be made to reach all class members, it does not require that each individual actually receive 13 notice.”). The Court accepts the Administrator Declaration and the Supplemental Administrator 14 Declaration and finds sufficient notice has been provided so as to satisfy Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 15 23(e)(1). 16 10. Only one Class Member submitted a valid and timely opt-out. As such, the following 17 individual will not be bound the Settlement and has not waived any of the Released Claims by virtue of 18 the Settlement: 19 a. Jason Weisensell 20 11. None of the Class Members have raised any objection to the Settlement. 21 12. The Settlement contemplates a PAGA allocation $10,000, which will be distributed 22 $7,500 to the LWDA, and $2,500 to the Class. The proposed allocation is fair and reasonable, serves 23 the deterrent and punitive purposes of the PAGA, is within the range commonly approved by state and 24 federal courts, and is confirmed. 25 26 27 28 13. The Court also approves payment to the Administrator in the total amount of $14,000, to be paid from the Maximum Settlement Amount. 14. The proposed Service Payment of $15,000 to Plaintiff, 1% of the Maximum Settlement Amount, for her service as Class Representative is approved. 1 2 3 15. Class Counsel’s request of attorneys’ fees in the amount of 1/3 of the Maximum Settlement Amount, or $500,000, and declared costs of $16,000.05, are approved. 16. In accordance with the terms of the Settlement, as of the Effective Date, Participating 4 Class Members will forever and completely release and discharge Defendants and Released Parties from 5 the Released Claims. Additionally, Plaintiff, on behalf of herself, the LWDA, and the other aggrieved 6 employees in the State of California, will release Defendant and Released Parties from the Released 7 PAGA Claims. 8 9 17. Participating Class Members shall be permanently enjoined and restrained from and against initiating or pursuing against Defendant any individual, representative, or class claims released 10 by this Settlement. 11 18. Final Judgment is hereby entered based on the Parties’ Settlement. The Court retains 12 jurisdiction, however, to enforce the terms of the Settlement, and ensure that its terms and this Order are 13 carried out. 14 DATED: January 5, 2021 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 Troy L. Nunley United States District Judge

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