Gowey v. True Grip & Lighting, Inc. et al
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER: The Court GRANTS the motion (Doc. 99 ) and hereby: 1. APPROVES the settlement agreement for an amount of $40,000.00 of backpay and liquidated damages for Plaintiff's uncompensated overtime work, to be disbursed as provided in the agreement; 2. AWARDS reasonable attorney's fees and expenses to Plaintiff's counsel in the amount of $15,000.00; and 3. DISMISSES this action WITH PREJUDICE. AN APPROPRIATE JUDGMENT WILL ENTER. Signed by District Judge Travis R McDonough on 7/15/2021. (BJL)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
EASTERN DISTRICT OF TENNESSEE
TRUE GRIP & LIGHTING, INC.
Case No. 3:19-cv-45
Judge Travis R. McDonough
Magistrate Judge H. Bruce Guyton
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
Before the Court is the parties’ joint motion for approval of settlement of claims under
the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”) (Doc. 99).
Plaintiff filed this action on February 1, 2019, alleging that Defendants True Grip &
Lighting, Inc. (“True Grip”) and Nascar Productions, LLC violated the FLSA by failing to
adequately compensate him for overtime hours he worked while employed by Defendants.1 (See
Doc. 1, at 5.) The parties extensively litigated this action through discovery, mediation, and
summary judgment, and the Court conducted a pretrial conference on June 14, 2021. (See Doc.
98). On June 23, 2021, Plaintiff and True Grip filed a notice of settlement with the Court (Doc.
96), and the Court gave them up to and including July 14, 2021, to file their settlement
paperwork. (Doc. 97.) Accordingly, the parties have now filed their settlement agreement with
the Court, pursuant to which Defendant True Grip agrees to pay Plaintiff a total of $55,000.00 to
The Court granted summary judgment in favor of Nascar Productions, LLC and dismissed
Plaintiff’s claim against it on February 12, 2021. (Doc. 83.)
resolve his claims. (See Doc. 100-1, at 1–2.) True Grip agreed to pay Plaintiff $40,000, with an
additional $15,000 representing fees and expenses paid to his attorneys. (Id. at 2.) Pursuant to
the agreement, Plaintiff will release all claims related to this dispute against True Grip. (Id.)
STANDARD OF REVIEW
In reviewing an FLSA settlement, courts scrutinize the proposed settlement to determine
whether the settlement is a “fair and reasonable resolution of a bona fide dispute over FLSA
provisions.” Thompson v. United Stone, LLC, No. 1:14-CV-224, 2015 WL 867988, at *1 (E.D.
Tenn. Mar. 2, 2015) (citing Lynn’s Food Store, Inc. v. United States, 679 F.2d 1350, 1355 (11th
An award of attorneys’ fees and costs to Plaintiff’s counsel must be “reasonable under the
circumstances.” Rawlings v. Prudential-Bache Props., Inc., 9 F.3d 513, 516 (6th Cir. 1993).
The Court “must make sure that counsel is fairly compensated for the amount of work done as
well as for the results achieved.” Id. Two methods may be used, the percentage-of-the-fund
method and the lodestar method, and the Court must consider which method is more appropriate
for the particular case. Id. The lodestar method calculates the number of hours reasonably
expended by a reasonable hourly rate, while the percentage-of-the-fund method better accounts
for the attorneys’ success. Id.
Courts often also consider the following factors: “(1) the value of the benefit rendered to
the plaintiff class; (2) the value of the services on an hourly basis; (3) whether the services were
undertaken on a contingent fee basis; (4) society’s stake in rewarding attorneys who produce
such benefits in order to maintain an incentive to others; (5) the complexity of the litigation; and
(6) the professional skill and standing of counsel involved on both sides.” Moulton v. U.S. Steel
Corp., 581 F.3d 344, 352 (6th Cir. 2009) (quoting Bowling v. Pfizer, Inc., 102 F.3d 777, 780 (6th
The Court FINDS that the proposed settlement of $40,00.00 in backpay and liquidated
damages for Plaintiff’s uncompensated overtime work is a fair and reasonable resolution of a
bona fide dispute. The Court further FINDS that attorney’s fees and costs of $15,000.00 are
reasonable and appropriate under the circumstances. Accordingly, the motion (Doc. 99) is
GRANTED, and the settlement agreement (Doc. 100-1) is APPROVED. The Court will
DISMISS WITH PREJUDICE this action.
For the reasons above, the Court GRANTS the motion (Doc. 99) and hereby:
1. APPROVES the settlement agreement for an amount of $40,000.00 of backpay and
liquidated damages for Plaintiff’s uncompensated overtime work, to be disbursed as
provided in the agreement;
2. AWARDS reasonable attorney’s fees and expenses to Plaintiff’s counsel in the amount
of $15,000.00; and
3. DISMISSES this action WITH PREJUDICE.
AN APPROPRIATE JUDGMENT WILL ENTER.
/s/ Travis R. McDonough
TRAVIS R. MCDONOUGH
UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
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