Burden v. Selectquote Insurance Services

Filing 98

ORDER FOR FURTHER BRIEFING re 92 MOTION for Preliminary Approval of Class Action Settlement filed by Charles Burden. Signed by Judge ARMSTRONG on 2/6/13. (lrc, COURT STAFF) (Filed on 2/7/2013)

Download PDF
1 2 3 4 5 6 UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT 7 FOR THE NORTHERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA 8 OAKLAND DIVISION 9 CHARLES BURDEN, individually and on Case No: C 10-05966 SBA 10 behalf of other persons similarly situated, Plaintiff, 11 vs. 12 ORDER FOR FURTHER BRIEFING RE PLAINTIFF’S MOTION FOR PRELIMINARY APPROVAL OF CLASS ACTION SETTLEMENT 13 SELECTQUOTE INSURANCE SERVICES, a California corporation; and DOES 1 through Dkt. 92 14 10, 15 Defendants. 16 17 Plaintiff Charles Burden (“Plaintiff”) brings the instant class action against his 18 former employer, Defendant SelectQuote Insurance Services, alleging, inter alia, that he 19 was erroneously classified as exempt from state and federal wage and hour laws. 20 Following several settlement conferences before Magistrate Judge Donna Ryu of this 21 Court, the parties reached a settlement of the instant dispute. In accordance with the 22 settlement, Plaintiff has filed a Motion for Preliminary Approval of Settlement Subclass 23 and Dismissal of Class Allegations. Dkt. 92. 24 The proposed Settlement Class is comprised of: (1) a California Insurance Agent 25 Class defined as “all persons who, at any time between February 9, 2006 and March 31, 26 2012, were employed by Defendant as an Account Manager (also called ‘insurance agent’) 27 in State of California”; (2) the Nationwide Insurance Agent Class, defined as “all persons 28 who, at any time between February 9, 2006 and March 31, 2012, were employed by 1 Defendant as an Account Manager in the United States”; and (3) the Former Insurance 2 Agent Class defined as “all persons employed by Defendant as an Account Manager in the 3 State of California and whose employment with Defendant ended at any time between 4 February 9, 2007 and October 9, 2012.” See Class Action Settlement and Release at 10:8- 5 16, Dkt. 96. 6 Under the terms of the settlement, Defendant will pay a Gross Settlement Amount of 7 $750,000 on a non-reversionary basis. Id. at 6:21-28. Following final court approval of the 8 settlement, Defendant is to pay the Gross Settlement Amount to the Settlement 9 Administrator, who will, in turn, distribute net settlement payments to Class Members. Id. 10 at 11:11-14. Any unclaimed funds are to be paid to the Legal Aid Society–Employment 11 Law Center as a cy pres award. Id. at 24:12-14. 12 As part of the claims administration process, the Settlement Administrator will mail 13 a Claim Form to each of the Class Members based on the detailed employee information 14 that will be provided by Defendant. Id. at 13:14-14:2. In order to receive a settlement 15 payment, the Class Member must submit a Claim Form. Id. at 15:23-26, 16:13-15. 16 Irrespective of whether a Class Member timely submits a Claim Form, however, all Class 17 Members who do not affirmatively opt out will be bound by the settlement, including its 18 general release of all wage and hour claims against Defendant. Id. at 18:18-21, 27:15-23. 19 The rationale underlying the requirement that a Class Member submit a Claim Form 20 in order to receive a payment under the settlement is not apparent from Plaintiff’s motion 21 papers. The settlement agreement requires Defendant to provide sufficient information to 22 the Settlement Administrator from which it can ascertain the identity and location of the 23 Class Member, as well as calculate the Class Member’s pro rata share of the settlement. 24 Thus, it appears, at least facially, that direct payments could be made to Class Members. 25 While it is not the role of the Court to “delete, substitute or modify” provisions of the 26 settlement, Hanlon v. Chrysler Corp., 150 F.3d 1011, 1026 (9th Cir. 1998), the Court is 27 obligated “to protect the unnamed members of the class from unjust or unfair settlements 28 -2- 1 affecting their rights,” In re Syncor ERISA Litig., 516 F.3d 1095, 1100 (9th Cir.2008) 2 (citation omitted). Accordingly, 3 IT IS HEREBY ORDERED THAT: 4 1. Plaintiff shall file a supplemental memorandum which provides an 5 explanation of why Class Members are being required to submit a Claims Form as a 6 prerequisite to receiving a payment under the settlement, and why direct payments are not 7 being made to Class Members. Plaintiff shall file his supplemental memorandum by no 8 later than February 12, 2013. 9 2. Pursuant to Civil Local Rule 7-1(b), the Court will take Plaintiff’s Motion for 10 Preliminary Approval of Settlement Subclass and Dismissal of Class Allegations under 11 submission, without oral argument, as of the date Plaintiff’s supplemental memorandum is 12 due. 13 3. 14 IT IS SO ORDERED. 15 The motion hearing scheduled for February 12, 2013 is VACATED. Dated: February 6, 2013 ______________________________ SAUNDRA BROWN ARMSTRONG United States District Judge 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 -3-

Disclaimer: Justia Dockets & Filings provides public litigation records from the federal appellate and district courts. These filings and docket sheets should not be considered findings of fact or liability, nor do they necessarily reflect the view of Justia.

Why Is My Information Online?