Doe 1 v. Deja Vu Consulting, Inc et al
OPINION and ORDER Granting the Parties' 29 Joint MOTION for Preliminary Approval of Class Action Settlement, (Fairness Hearing set for 6/6/2017 02:00 PM before District Judge Stephen J. Murphy III). Signed by District Judge Stephen J. Murphy, III. (DPar)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
EASTERN DISTRICT OF MICHIGAN
JANE DOE 1, individually and on behalf of
all others similarly situated,
Case No. 2:16-cv-10877
HONORABLE STEPHEN J. MURPHY, III
DEJA VU SERVICES, INC., et al.,
OPINION AND ORDER GRANTING THE PARTIES' JOINT MOTION FOR
PRELIMINARY APPROVAL OF CLASS ACTION SETTLEMENT 
During a January 30, 2017 hearing, the parties appeared before the Court,
presented an oral motion for preliminary approval of Class Action Settlement, described the
claims and defenses, reviewed the class certification elements under Federal Rule of Civil
Procedure 23, and advised the Court as to the settlement efforts that led to the parties'
settlement term sheet. Following the hearing, the parties filed a joint motion seeking
preliminary approval of the proposed settlement. Mot., ECF No. 29.
Obtaining court approval of a class-action settlement involves a three-step process:
(1) preliminary approval of the proposed settlement at an informal hearing; (2)
dissemination of mailed and/or published notice of the settlement to all affected class
members; and (3) a formal fairness hearing or final approval hearing, at which class
members may be heard regarding the settlement, and at which evidence and argument
concerning the fairness, adequacy, and reasonableness of the settlement is presented.
See Fussell v. Wilkinson, No. 1:03-CV-704, 2005 WL 3132321, at *3 (S.D. Ohio Nov. 22,
2005) (citing Williams v. Vukovich, 720 F.2d 909 (6th Cir. 1983)); see also Manual on
Complex Litigation, Fourth, § 21.63. This procedure, commonly employed by federal courts
and endorsed by a leading class action commentator, see 2 Newberg on Class Actions, §
11.25 et seq., serves the dual function of safeguarding class members' procedural due
process rights, and enabling the Court to fulfill its role as the guardian of the interests of the
First, the Court must ascertain whether there is any reason to notify the class
members of the proposed settlement and to proceed with a fairness hearing. Id. In this
regard, the settlement agreement should be preliminarily approved if it (1) "does not
disclose grounds to doubt its fairness or other obvious deficiencies, such as unduly
preferential treatment to class representatives or of segments of the class, or excessive
compensation for attorneys," and (2) "appears to fall within the range of possible approval."
Sheick v. Auto. Component Carrier, LLC, No. 09-14429, 2010 WL 3070130, at *11 (E.D.
Mich. Aug. 2, 2010) (quotations omitted).
Here, the parties have jointly moved for preliminary approval of a class action
settlement pursuant to Rule 23 and 29 U.S.C. § 216(b) of the Fair Labor Standards Act.
Mot., ECF No. 29. The attorneys representing the parties have presented the Court with
a comprehensive description of the claims and defenses, a description of the settlement
goals and efforts made to achieve those goals by the parties, and a detailed outline of the
final settlement terms. See Settlement Agreement, ECF No. 29-2. Also, the Court draws
upon its experience and familiarity with a prior case involving the same issues and some
of the same Defendants, Doe v Cin-Lan, Inc., et al., Case No. 08-cv-12719, in which the
Court presided over a class action settlement and retained ancillary jurisdiction.
The Court finds that the elements of Rule 23(a) are met, including that (1) the class
is so numerous that joinder of all members is impracticable; (2) there are questions of law
or fact common to the class; (3) the claims or defenses of the representative parties are
typical of the claims or defenses of the class; and (4) the representative parties will fairly
and adequately protect the interests of the class. Fed. R. Civ. P. 23(a)
Additionally, pursuant to Rule 23(b)(3), the Court finds that the questions of law or
fact common to class members predominate over any questions affecting only individual
members, and that a class action is superior to other available methods for fairly and
efficiently adjudicating the controversy. Id. The Court has considered (a) the class
members' interests in individually controlling the prosecution or defense of separate
actions; (b) the extent and nature of any litigation concerning the controversy already begun
by or against class members; (c) the desirability or undesirability of concentrating the
litigation of the claims in the particular forum; and (d) the likely difficulties in managing a
class action. Id.
Based on the parties' motion and the Court being otherwise fully advised on the
premises, the Court finds that the proposed settlement is a fair, reasonable, and adequate
resolution of a bona fide dispute between Defendants and Plaintiffs Jane Doe 1 and Jane
Doe 2 and all other class members. Specifically, the Court finds that this Class meets the
requirements of Fed. R. Civ. P. 23(a), Fed. R. Civ. P. 23(b)(3), and 29 U.S.C. § 216(b).
WHEREFORE it is hereby ORDERED that:
The parties' motion for preliminary approval of class action settlement  is
GRANTED and the Settlement Class defined below is preliminarily certified for
settlement purposes pursuant to Fed. R. Civ. P. 23 and 29 U.S.C. § 216(b). The
Settlement Class is defined as follows:
All current and former entertainers who worked for Defendants at any
time during the Class Period and today's date at any of the "Déjà Vu
affiliated clubs" listed on Exhibit A to the Settlement Agreement.
The Class Period as agreed by the parties shall cover three time periods,
"Class Period" means the period commencing (a) for Entertainers who
Performed at Deja Vu Saginaw or at any of the Clubs located in the State
of Michigan, March 10, 2013, (b) for Entertainers who performed at Clubs
located outside of the State of Michigan and who are not a putative class
member in any of the Pending Proceedings, the date upon which the
statutes of limitations period under their applicable state labor laws began
to run prior to March 10, 2016, or (c) for any Entertainers who are a
putative class member on any of the Pending Proceedings, the earliest
date of the applicable statute of limitations period as tolled by those
Pending Proceedings, through the Effective Date of this Agreement.
The Court also grants parties' request to amend the current complaint to add opt-in
Plaintiff Doe 2 as a named Plaintiff and the Court appoints her along with Plaintiff
Doe 1 to serve as class representatives. See Mot. 18, ECF No. 29. The parties may
file a Second Amended Complaint adding any new class representatives and claims
as they deem necessary to effectuate the settlement as directed by the schedule
Jason J. Thompson of Sommers Schwartz, P.C. and Megan Bonanni of Pitt,
McGehee, Palmer & Rivers are both familiar attorneys to the Court and experienced
in entertainer class actions. They meet the class counsel requirements of Fed. R.
Civ P. 23(g) and are hereby appointed as Class Counsel for the Settlement Class
with all the duties, obligations and authority as provided in Rule 23.
The Court approves the proposed notice plan and Notice, Exh. D, ECF No. 29-2,
finding it reasonable, adequate, and in conformity with the requirements of
constitutional notice and Rule 23.
The Court orders that each potential Class Member who wishes to be excluded from
the Settlement Class to opt-out per the instructions set forth in the Class Settlement
Notice and no later than forty-five (45) days after the mailing of the Class Settlement
The parties shall work cooperatively to comply with all requirements as to the Private
Attorneys General Act of California including providing the State California Labor
and Workforce Development Agency with (a) a filed-stamped copy of the Amended
Class Action Complaint; (b) a copy of the final Settlement Agreement once it has
been filed with the Court; and (c) the Judgment and Final Approval Order once
entered by the Court.
Defendants shall provide the settlement administrator selected by the parties with
mailing addresses, and email address to the extent available, within 25 days from
entry of this order. Notice shall be effectuated according to the parties' proposed
notice plan and no later than 45 days from entry of this order.
A Fairness Hearing, to determine whether the Settlement should be finally approved,
shall be held before this Court on June 6, 2017 at 2:00 p.m.
The Court has reviewed and approves the following deadlines and briefing schedule,
unless otherwise amended by the Court:
Class Settlement Notice, Election of
Within 21 days of entry of Preliminary
Settlement Benefits Form, Second Amended Approval Order
Class Action Complaint and Settlement
Agreement shall be filed
Defendants to effectuate any required notices Within 25 days of Preliminary Approval,
such as pursuant to CAFA and PAGA
or otherwise as required by law
Defendants to provide postal and email
addresses to the Settlement Administrator
Within 30 days from entry of Preliminary
Class Settlement Notice sent
Within 50 days from entry of Preliminary
Within 80 days from entry of Preliminary
Motion for Final Approval and Motion for
Attorney's Fees and Expense shall be filed
Deadline for Objections, Objection Briefs, and Within 95 days from entry of Preliminary
Opt Outs Forms
Response Briefs to Objections, if any, shall be Within 115 days from entry of Preliminary
Fairness Hearing on Motions for Final
June 6, 2017, 2:00 p.m.
Approval and Attorneys' Fees and Expenses
Any Class Member who has not properly and timely requested exclusion from the
Settlement Class shall be bound in the event the Court issues a Final Order
Any Class Member may object to the Settlement. Objections must be filed with the
Court and served on Class Counsel and Counsel for the Defendants within 95 days
from entry of this order.
The parties are ordered to carry out the Settlement and this order according to the
terms of the Settlement Agreement, or a substantially similar agreement if approved
at the Fairness Hearing, in good faith and with reasonable judgment.
In the event that the Court does not grant final approval of the Settlement
Agreement following the Fairness Hearing, the Court's order preliminarily certifying
the Class, including class certification, shall be null and void.
The Court reserves the right to amend or alter this order as necessary to maintain
manageability over this action and to remain consistent with the parties Settlement
s/Stephen J. Murphy, III
STEPHEN J. MURPHY, III
United States District Court Judge
Dated: February 7, 2017
I hereby certify that a copy of the foregoing document was served upon the parties and/or
counsel of record on February 7, 2017, by electronic and/or ordinary mail.
s/David P. Parker
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