CARRASQUILLO v. DELGADO et al

Filing 12

ORDER granting 11 Motion for Settlement and Dismissing case with prejudice. All pending motions are DENIED AS MOOT. Closing Case. Motions Terminated: 11 Plaintiff's MOTION for Settlement APPROVAL OF SETTLEMEN AGREEMENT filed by IRENE CARRASQUILLO. Signed by Judge Beth Bloom on 10/13/2020. See attached document for full details. (lk)

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Case 1:20-cv-23680-BB Document 12 Entered on FLSD Docket 10/13/2020 Page 1 of 2 UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF FLORIDA Case No. 20-cv-23680-BLOOM/Louis IRENE CARRASQUILLO, Plaintiff, v. SINDY DELGADO, individually, and SINDY DELGADO, d/b/a PHYSICAL THERAPY NOW OF NMB, Defendants. ___________________________________/ ORDER THIS CAUSE is before the Court on Plaintiff’s Motion for Approval of Settlement Agreement [and] for Order for Dismissal with Prejudice, ECF No. [11]. The parties seek the Court’s approval of a proposed Settlement Agreement and General Release (“Agreement”), ECF No. [11-1], which includes the award of attorney’s fees. The Court has carefully considered the Motion, Agreement, record, and applicable law. Before a court may approve a settlement agreement, it must scrutinize the agreement to determine whether it is a fair and reasonable resolution of a bona-fide dispute. Lynn’s Food Stores, Inc. v. United States, 679 F.2d 1350, 1352-55 (11th Cir. 1982). That is, FLSA rights — including, inter alia, the right to coverage as an employee under the statute or the right to liquidated damages equal to unpaid minimum wages, or the unpaid overtime compensation — cannot be abridged by private contract or waiver. Id. at 1352; Nall v. Mal-Motels, Inc., 723 F.3d 1304, 1307 (11th Cir. 2013) (Generally, “[a] plaintiff cannot waive her right to liquidated damages in a FLSA settlement when there is no genuine dispute about whether she is entitled to them.”); Silva v. Miller, 307 F. App’x 349, 351 (11th Cir. 2009) (“FLSA provisions are mandatory; the provisions are not subject to negotiation or bargaining between employer and employee.”) Case 1:20-cv-23680-BB Document 12 Entered on FLSD Docket 10/13/2020 Page 2 of 2 Case No. 20-cv-23680-BLOOM/Louis Here, the Motion states there is a bona fide dispute in this matter. See Mot. at ¶ 3. Nevertheless, Defendants have “accept[ed] the amount [owed to Plaintiff] as true and valid.” Id. Defendants agree to a total settlement amount of $7,711.25. See Agreement at ¶ 1. Defendants will pay Plaintiff $4,220.00, with one half of that sum consisting of liquidated damages. See Mot. at ¶ 5; Agreement at ¶ 1. The remainder of the settlement amount — $3,491.25 — consists of $2,981.25 in attorney’s fees and $510.00 in costs. See Agreement at ¶ 1. Upon review of the record and the parties’ documented basis for a settlement of the FLSA case, including the award of attorneys’ fees to Plaintiff’s counsel as the prevailing party, the Court finds that settlement of this action is fair and reasonable1 and that the requested fee is fair and reasonable and not grossly excessive. Accordingly, it is ORDERED AND ADJUDGED as follows: 1. The Motion, ECF No. [11], is GRANTED. 2. The Settlement Agreement and General Release, ECF No. [11-1], is APPROVED. 3. The above-styled case is DISMISSED WITH PREJUDICE, and all pending motions are DENIED AS MOOT. 4. The Court retains jurisdiction to enforce the terms of the Agreement DONE AND ORDERED in Miami, Florida, this 13th day of October, 2020. _________________________________ BETH BLOOM UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE cc: counsel of record 1 The Court notes the Agreement contains a confidentiality provision. See Agreement at ¶ 6. Because the Agreement and this Order have been filed, and will remain, on the public docket, the confidentiality provision is ineffective. 2

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