Whiteman v. Kforce Inc.
ORDER: The Joint Motion for Approval of Plaintiffs Carmona, Green, Olson, and Ortega's Acceptance of Offers of Judgment (Doc. # 110) is GRANTED. The parties' settlement is approved. This case is DISMISSED WITH PREJUDICE as to Plaintiffs Carmona, Green, Olson, and Ortega only. The Clerk is directed to enter judgment in favor of these Plaintiffs as set out in the Notices of Acceptance of Offers of Judgment. (Doc. ## 103, 104, 105, 106). Signed by Judge Virginia M. Hernandez Covington on 9/16/2022. (DMD)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
MIDDLE DISTRICT OF FLORIDA
SAM WHITEMAN, on behalf of
himself and others similarly
Case No. 8:22-cv-56-VMC-CPT
This matter is before the Court pursuant to the Joint
Motion for Approval of Plaintiffs Carmona, Green, Olson, and
Ortega’s Acceptance of Offers of Judgment (Doc. # 110), filed
on September 16, 2022. The Court grants the Motion.
Plaintiff Sam Whiteman filed this action against his
former employer Kforce Inc. on January 6, 2022. (Doc. # 1).
He filed an amended complaint on March 18, 2022, alleging
Standards Act (FLSA) on behalf of a collective. (Doc. # 43).
After the Court issued its fast-track Scheduling Order
(Doc. # 23), the parties mediated in May 2022. (Doc. # 65).
At mediation, opt-in Plantiffs Blasche and Marshall accepted
Kforce’s Offers of Judgment. (Id.; Doc. # 81; Doc. # 82). The
Court then approved the Offers of Judgment as to Blasche and
Marshall. (Doc. # 86).
Now, four more opt-in Plaintiffs — Bernardo Ortega,
Maxwell Olson, Josh Green, and Marisa Carmona — have accepted
Kforce’s Offers of Judgment. (Doc. ## 103-106). At the Court’s
direction, the parties now seek approval of the settlement as
to these four opt-in Plaintiffs. (Doc. # 110).
provisions of the FLSA. Accordingly, any settlement of this
claim reached between the parties is subject to judicial
scrutiny. See Lynn’s Food Stores, Inc. v. United States, 679
F.2d 1350, 1353 (11th Cir. 1982); see also Christopher v.
Residential Realty Servs. Corp., No. 19-CV-61240, 2019 WL
recommendation adopted, No. 19-61240-CIV, 2020 WL 7491558
(S.D. Fla. Apr. 6, 2020) (“[T]he Court has an independent
duty to review the terms of the proposed Rule 68 offer of
judgment in the context of the FLSA claims.”).
Pursuant to the Offers of Judgment, the relevant parties
have reached a settlement wherein it is agreed that: Carmona
will receive $3,330.00 in taxable wages; Green will receive
$12,668.00 in taxable wages; Olson will receive $6,067.33 in
taxable wages; and Ortega will receive $1,370.00 in taxable
wages. (Doc. # 110 at 4). It has also been agreed that
Plaintiff’s counsel will receive $1,750.00 in fees as to
Carmona, $6,332.00 in fees as to Green, $3,642.67 in fees and
costs as to Olson, and $685.00 in fees as to Ortega, which
represent one-third of Plaintiffs’ recovery. (Id. at 6-7).
Additionally, the parties explain that the issues in
this case are still in dispute, but they have reached a
litigation. (Id. at 5-6). Furthermore, if Carmona, Green, and
Ortega had not accepted the Offers of Judgment, they would
Arbitration Association as they are “subject to a mandatory
arbitration agreement.” (Id. at 3).
Pursuant to Bonetti v. Embarq Management Company, 715 F.
Supp. 2d 1222, 1228 (M.D. Fla. 2009), and other governing
law, the Court approves the compromise reached by the parties
in an effort to amicably settle this case. 1 The settlement is
In Bonetti, the court explained: “if the parties submit
a proposed FLSA settlement that, (1) constitutes a
compromise of the plaintiff’s claims; (2) makes a full
and adequate disclosure of the terms of settlement,
including the factors and reasons considered in reaching
fair on its face and represents a reasonable compromise of the
Accordingly, it is
ORDERED, ADJUDGED, and DECREED that:
The Joint Motion for Approval of Plaintiffs Carmona,
Judgment (Doc. # 110) is GRANTED.
Green, Olson, and Ortega only.
The Clerk is directed to enter judgment in favor of these
Plaintiffs as set out in the Notices of Acceptance of
Offers of Judgment. (Doc. ## 103, 104, 105, 106).
same and justifying the compromise of the plaintiff’s
claims; and (3) represents that the plaintiff’s attorneys’
fee was agreed upon separately and without regard to the
amount paid to the plaintiff, then, unless the settlement
does not appear reasonable on its face or there is reason
to believe that the plaintiff’s recovery was adversely
affected by the amount of fees paid to his attorney, the
Court will approve the settlement without separately
considering the reasonableness of the fee to be paid to
plaintiff’s counsel.” 715 F. Supp. 2d at 1228.
DONE and ORDERED in Chambers, in Tampa, Florida, this
16th day of September, 2022.
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