Coonan v. Deflecto LLC
Order granting the joint motion for approval of settlement (Doc. # 16 ) and the supplement (Doc. # 22 ). The parties' amended settlement agreement (Doc. # 24 ) is approved. This matter is dismissed with prejudice. Each party to bear their own costs. The Court retains jurisdiction over settlement. Judge John R. Adams on 2/10/17. (K,C)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
NORTHERN DISTRICT OF OHIO
CHRISTOPHER COONAN, on behalf of
himself and all others similarly situated,
Case No. 5:16 CV 549
JUDGE JOHN R. ADAMS
Now pending before the Court are the parties’ joint motion for Approval of Settlement
and Stipulation of Dismissal with Prejudice (Doc. # 16) and Supplemental Motion for Approval
of Settlement and Stipulation of Dismissal with Prejudice (Doc. #22) as well as the parties’ Joint
Notice of Filing Confidential Revised Settlement Agreement (Doc. #24).
A court presiding over an FLSA action may approve a proposed settlement of the action
under the FLSA § 16(b) “after scrutinizing the settlement for fairness.” Landsberg v. Acton
Enterprises, Inc., 2008 WL 2468868 at *1 n.1 (S.D. Ohio June 16, 2008) (quoting Lynn’s Food
Stores, Inc. v. United States, 679 F.2d 1350, 1353-55 (11th Cir. 1982) (the court should determine
whether the settlement is “a fair and reasonable resolution of a bona fide dispute”) (citing Schulte,
Inc. v. Gangi, 328 U.S. 108, 66 S. Ct. 925, 928 n.8 (1946))).
Other courts in this Circuit have observed, “[t]he need for the court to ensure that any
settlement of [an FLSA] action treats the Plaintiff fairly is similar to the need for a court to determine
that any class-action settlement is ‘fair, reasonable, and adequate.’” Crawford v. Lexington-Fayette
Urban County Government, 2008 WL 4724499, at *3 (E.D. Ky. Oct. 23, 2008).
The Sixth Circuit uses seven factors to evaluate class action settlements, and the Crawford
Court applied those factors in assessing the fairness of an FLSA settlement:
the risk of fraud or collusion;
the complexity, expense and likely duration of the litigation;
the amount of discovery engaged in by the parties;
the likelihood of success on the merits;
the opinions of class counsel and class representatives;
the reaction of absent class members; and
the public interest.
UAW v. General Motors Corp., 497 F.3d 615, 626 (6th Cir. 2007) (citing Granada Invs., Inc. v.
DWG Corp., 962 F.2d 1203, 1205 (6th Cir.1992); Williams v. Vukovich, 720 F.2d 909, 922-23 (6th
Cir.1983)), quoted in Crawford, 2008 WL 4724499 at *3.
In this matter, the Court has held a hearing and conducted multiple telephone conferences
addressing the content of the settlement agreement. The Court has requested and received additional
briefing on the calculation of the settlement amount and the degree to which the proposed amount
will settle the claims of the proposed class. The parties have responded to the Court’s concerns and
modified the terms of settlement to address the same. The Court is now satisfied that a bona fide
dispute exists between the parties; that they have engaged in meaningful discovery and negotiations
based on that discovery; that they have demonstrated the relative merits of each party’s claim; that
this settlement avoids further expense and drawn out litigation; and that the proposed settlement
represents meaningful recovery for all class members. The Court acknowledges the opinions of class
counsel and the class representative as to the appropriateness of the proposed settlement and
recognizes the utility of such settlements in the public interest. Accordingly, the parties’ proposed
amended settlement agreement (Doc. #24) is APPROVED as fair and reasonable. The parties’ Joint
Motion for Approval of Settlement (Doc. #16) and Supplement (Doc. #22) are GRANTED as to the
Amended Settlement Agreement (Doc. #24).
Accordingly, this matter is DISMISSED WITH PREJUDICE, each party to bear their own
costs; this Court retains jurisdiction over settlement.
/s/ John R. Adams
U.S. District Judge
Northern District of Ohio
Dated: February 10, 2017
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