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Slaght v. Rex Performance Products, LLC

United States District Court, E.D. Michigan, Southern Division

September 15, 2017

CHRISTOPHER SLAGHT, et al., Plaintiffs,
v.
REX PERFORMANCE PRODUCTS, LLC, f/k/a MICHIGAN FOAM AND FABRICATION, et al., Defendants. Event Anticipated Date

          ORDER GRANTING PRELIMINARY APPROVAL OF CLASS ACTION SETTLEMENT

          MATTHEW F. LEITMAN UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         This Action involves claims relating to alleged unpaid back wages under the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”) and a breach of contact claim for failure to pay compensation for all time worked, as both a collective action and Rule 23 class action.

         The terms of the Settlement are set out in the Settlement Agreement between (the “Agreement” or “Settlement Agreement”), by the Named Plaintiffs, Christopher Slaght, Jeffrey Megie Jr. and Steven Smith (“Plaintiffs”), and Defendants Rex Performance Products, LLC, f/k/a Michigan Foam and Fabrication, Maxwell Morgan, LLC, Don Tate, Rex Hansen, and John Ballinger (jointly, the “Defendants”).

         Pursuant to the parties' Agreement, the Court has preliminarily considered the settlement to determine, among other things, whether the settlement is sufficient to warrant the issuance of notice to members of the proposed Settlement Class. As discussed below, the Court preliminarily approves the Parties' settlement and sets the following schedule for the further approval and administration of the settlement:

Event
Anticipated Date

Deadline for CAFA Notice mailing

Within 10 calendar days after filing the Motion for Preliminary Approval.

Defendants shall provide the Administrator with an Excel spreadsheet containing the name and last known residential address, e-mail addresses, and phone number of all Class Members other than Current Opt-Ins.

Within 5 business days after Preliminary Approval.

Defendants shall transfer the Gross Settlement Amount to an escrow account

By July 15, 2017.

Administrator will mail the Notice Form to each Current Opt-In.

Within 10 business days after Preliminary Approval.

Administrator shall mail to all Class Members a package containing the Notice Form, and a postage-paid envelope returnable to the Administrator.

Within 10 business days after Preliminary Approval.

Deadline for Class Members to submit exclusion requests, or objections to the Settlement.

Within 45 days after mailing of notice.

Deadline for Parties to file responses to objections.

Within 10 days after objection deadline.

Deadline for objectors to file replies in support of objections.

Within 3 days after response deadline.

Defendants shall provide Administrator with a report

Within 7 calendar

showing the amounts payable before the calculation of pro-rata payments for each Claimant.

days of Preliminary Approval.

Administrator will send to Class Counsel and Defendants' Counsel all timely and completed exclusion requests

Within 50 calendar days after mailing Notice Form.

Administrator shall provide Class Counsel and Defendants' Counsel with a report identifying the Settlement Share payments to be paid to each Class Member

Within 60 calendar days after mailing Notice Form

Class Counsel shall file Motion for Final Approval.

At least 7 calendar days before Final Approval Hearing.

Final Approval Hearing and Entry of Final Approval Order.

[TBD] - COURT TO INSERT DATE (EARLIEST POSSIBLE DATE: NOVEMBER 6, 2017

Effective Date

31 days after Final Approval.

Deadline for Administrator to deliver attorneys' fees, litigation expenses, and incentive award to Class Counsel.

Within 7 calendar days after Effective Date.

Deadline for Administrator to mail individual payments to Class Members.

Within 14 calendar days after Effective Date.

Deadline for cashing checks by the Class Members

Within 60 days after the Effective Date

         Upon reviewing the Settlement Agreement submitted by the parties seeking preliminary approval of the Settlement, it is hereby ORDERED, ADJUDGED AND DECREED as follows:

         1. Class Findings: Solely for the purposes of the Settlement, the Court finds that the requirements of the Fed.R.Civ.P. 23, the Constitution of the United States, the Rules of this Court, and any other applicable law have been met as to the Settlement Class defined in paragraph 2 below, in that:

         (a) The Court preliminarily finds, for purposes of settlement only, that Plaintiff has standing to represent the Settlement Class because they have potentially suffered damages and are members of the Settlement Class;

         (b) The Court preliminarily finds, for purposes of settlement only, that, as required by Fed.R.Civ.P. 23 the Settlement Class is ascertainable from records kept by Defendants with respect to their employees and from other objective criteria, and that the members of the Settlement Class are so numerous that their joinder before the Court would be impracticable;

         (c) The Court preliminarily finds, for purposes of settlement only, that, as required by Fed.R.Civ.P. 23 there are one or more questions of fact and/or law common to the Settlement Class;

         (d) The Court preliminarily finds, for purposes of settlement only, that, as required by Fed.R.Civ.P. 23 the claims of the Plaintiff are typical of the claims of the Settlement Class;

         (e) The Court preliminarily finds, for purposes of settlement only, that, as required by Fed.R.Civ.P. 23 the Plaintiff will fairly and adequately protect the interests of the Settlement Class in that: (i) the interests of the Plaintiff and the nature of her alleged claims are consistent with those of the members of the Settlement Class, (ii) there appear to be no conflicts between or among the Plaintiff and the Settlement Class, and (iii) the Plaintiff and the members of the Settlement Class are represented by qualified, reputable counsel who are experienced in preparing and prosecuting large, complex class actions; and

         (f) The Court preliminarily finds, for purposes of settlement only, that, as required by Fed.R.Civ.P. 23 and upon consideration of the factors enumerated in Fed.R.Civ.P. 23 maintaining the Plaintiff's claims as a class action is superior to other available means of adjudication in promoting the convenient administration of justice.

         2. Class Certification - The Court, in conducting the settlement approval process required by Fed.R.Civ.P. 23 certifies, for purposes of ...


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