Simpkins v. Iowa 80 Group, Inc.
ORDER entered by Judge Nanette Laughrey. The parties' joint motion, Doc. 33 , is granted on the condition that: (1) The settlement checks will be good for 180 days rather than the 90 days provided in Paragraphs 4 and 5 in Doc. 33-2, p. 10; and (2) The last sentence of Paragraph 5 "Residual Funds" is replaced with the following: The parties shall report to the Court the sum of all checks that are undeliverable after one skip trace for the Court to make a final determination rega rding whether a second distribution of the settlement to the located plaintiffs is feasible. If the Court determines that a second distribution is not feasible, the settlement funds remaining due to undelivered checks will be distributed to the part ies' identified cy pres recipient, Goodwill Industries International, Inc.; and (3) The Notice document's "Do Nothing" box within the "Summary of Your Rights and Options" box, Doc. 33-3, p. 1, is edited to replace the likely typo "bout" with "bound," so that it reads, "You will be bound by judgments and orders..." This entry was modified on 1/26/2017 to reflect that a document is attached. (Specker, Suzanne).
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE WESTERN DISTRICT OF MISSOURI
Individually and On Behalf of
OAK GROVE 70 TRUCKSTOP, INC.,
IOWA 80 GROUP, INC.,
Case No.: 15-04295-CV-C-NKL
JURY TRIAL DEMANDED
The parties notified the Court that they reached a settlement in this case, and Plaintiff
Carlton Simpkins filed an unopposed motion for preliminary approval of class settlement, to
certify the class for purposes of settlement, and for approval of the proposed notice plan. [Doc.
Rule 23(e) directs that the claims of “a certified class may be settled, voluntarily
dismissed, or compromised only with the court’s approval.”
A proposal that binds the class
members may only be approved “after a hearing and on finding that it is fair, reasonable, and
adequate.” Fed. R. Civ. P. 23(e)(2). This generally involves a two‐step process, in which the
Court first makes a preliminary inquiry into the terms of the settlement. Once satisfied that there
is a plausible basis to approve the settlement, the Court directs notice and solicits the views of
class members. Following the close of any opt‐out and comment deadline, the Court holds the
hearing required by Rule 23(e) and issues a final finding on whether the settlement is fair,
reasonable and adequate.
This case now comes to the Court on the first step – preliminary
approval and issuance of a court‐authorized notice of settlement.
The Court has reviewed the motion, the parties’ Settlement Agreement, and the proposed
notice of settlement, claim, and request for exclusion (opt-out) forms.
The Court grants the
motion, Doc. 33, and specifically finds and orders as follows:
The Settlement Agreement, including its provision for an award of attorneys’ fees
and costs to Class Counsel and an incentive award to Plaintiff, is preliminarily approved pending
objections from Settlement Class members and approval from the Court, and on the condition
a. The settlement checks will be good for 180 days rather than the 90 days
provided in Paragraphs 4 and 5 in Doc. 33-2, p. 10; and
b. The last sentence of Paragraph 5 “Residual Funds” is replaced with the
following: The parties shall report to the Court the sum of all checks that are
undeliverable after one skip trace for the Court to make a final determination
regarding whether a second distribution of the settlement to the located
plaintiffs is feasible. If the Court determines that a second distribution is not
feasible, the settlement funds remaining due to undelivered checks will be
distributed to the parties’ identified cy pres recipient, Goodwill Industries
International, Inc.; and
c. The Notice document’s “Do Nothing” box within the “Summary of Your
Rights and Options” box, [Doc. 33-3, p. 1], is edited to replace the likely typo
“bout” with “bound,” so that it reads, “You will be bound by judgments and
orders . . .”
There are two settlement classes (the “Settlement Classes”) as defined below.
Composition of the Settlement Classes in all cases shall be based exclusively upon Defendant’s
The Settlement Classes are conditionally certified for settlement purposes only,
pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 23(b)(3).
a. The “Disclosure Class” shall include all employees or prospective
employees of Defendants, during the claims period of November 9,
2013 and July 28, 2016, from whom Defendants obtained written
consent, using an Inquirehire Disclosure and Authorization for
Consumer Reports Form, to conduct a background check and upon
whom Defendants subsequently obtained a background check subject
to the consent.
b. The “Adverse Action Class” shall include all employees or prospective
employees of Defendants in the United States that suffered an adverse
employment action between November 9, 2013 and July 28, 2016, that
was based, in whole or in part, on information contained in a consumer
report, and who were not provided a copy of such report, a reasonable
notice period in which to challenge any inaccuracy in the consumer
report, and/or a written description of their rights in accordance with
the FCRA in advance of said adverse employment action.
Any person who previously settled or released all of the claims covered by this
settlement, or any person who previously was paid or received awards through civil or
administrative actions for all of the claims covered by this settlement, or any person who
excludes him/herself from either class shall not be a member of the Settlement Class.
Jason Brown and Jayson Watkins are designated as Class Counsel for the
Settlement Class. Carlton Simpkins is designated as the representative of the Settlement Class.
The form of the class notice attached to the parties’ Settlement Agreement as
Exhibit A, incorporating any such non-substantive changes as are agreed to by the parties,
(“Notice”) and the plan for dissemination specified in the Settlement Agreement, including
appointment of a Settlement Administrator, are approved. Within 60 calendar days of this Order,
the Settlement Administrator will mail the notice to each member of the Settlement Class by first
Pending the outcome of a final fairness hearing, all members of the Settlement
Class are temporarily enjoined from commencing, prosecuting, or maintaining any claim already
asserted in, and encompassed by, the Action as defined in the parties’ Settlement Agreement
and/or based on released claims and against released parties.
All proceedings in this matter, except those related to approval of the settlement,
are temporarily stayed.
This Order shall become null and void and shall be without prejudice to the rights
of the parties, all of whom shall be restored to their respective positions existing as of the date of
execution of the Settlement Agreement, if the settlement is terminated in accordance with the
Settlement Agreement or is not approved by the Court.
Neither the existence nor the terms of this Order shall be construed as an
admission, concession, or declaration by or against Defendants or any released party of any fault,
wrongdoing, breach, or liability, or as a waiver by any party of any arguments, defenses, or
claims he, she, or it may have, including, but not limited to, objections to class certification in the
event that the Settlement Agreement is terminated or is not approved by the Court.
The Court will hold a final fairness hearing on May 30, 2017 at 11:00 a.m. in
Courtroom 4A at 80 Lafayette St., Jefferson City, Missouri. Any Settlement Class member who
wants to object to the settlement must submit an objection as stated in the Settlement Agreement
and Notice. If any objector or objector’s attorney wishes to appear at the fairness hearing, he/she
must affect service of a notice of intention to appear as stated in the Settlement Agreement.
For the previous reasons, Plaintiff’s Motion for Preliminary Approval of Class Action
Settlement, Doc. 33, is granted.
/s/ Nanette K. Laughrey
NANETTE K. LAUGHREY
United States District Judge
Dated: January 26, 2017
Jefferson City, Missouri
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?