United States District Court, W.D. Michigan, Southern Division
DUSTY A. BYSTRY, on behalf of himself and all others similarly situated, Plaintiff,
ROYAL OAK INDUSTRIES, INC. d/b/a ROYAL OAK BORING, INC. BRONSON d/b/a PRECISION PRODUCTS, INC, Defendant.
T. NEFF, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
before the Court is Plaintiffs Motion for Class Certification
and Related Relief, accompanying memorandum, supporting
declarations and documentation, and proposed order. A default
was entered against Defendant following service of the motion
and the withdrawal of defense counsel. Defendant has failed
to respond to the motion. Upon review, the Court determines
that Plaintiffs well-presented motion is properly granted.
alleges that on or about February 15, 2016, Defendant Royal
Oak Industries, Inc., d/b/a Royal Oak Boring, Inc. and d/b/a
Bronson Precision Products, Inc., terminated the employment
of Plaintiff and approximately 200 other employees who worked
at Defendant's facilities in Bloomfield Hills, Bronson,
and Port Huron, Michigan. Plaintiff and the other employees
were terminated as part of, or as a result of a mass layoff
and/or shutdown, as defined by the Worker Adjustment and
Retraining Notification Act, 29 U.S.C. § 2101(a)(2) (the
"WARN Act"). Further, Defendant carried out the
mass layoff and/or shutdown without giving 60 days'
advance notice to Plaintiff and the employees as required by
the WARN Act. Defendant also failed to pay Plaintiff and the
other former employees 60 days' pay and benefits in lieu
of WARN notice.
February 26, 2016, Plaintiff commenced this Class Action
Complaint (hereinafter the "Complaint") against
Defendant (ECF No. 1). On June 30, 2016, Defendant filed an
Answer to the Complaint (ECF No. 13), and an Amended Answer
on July 21, 2016 (ECF No. 15). On September 22, 2016, the
Court entered a Case Management Order (ECF No. 20).
December 30, 2016, Plaintiff filed and served the instant
Motion for Class Certification and Related Relief (the
"Class Certification Motion") (ECF Nos. 31, 32),
including a proposed Order Certifying a Class and Granting
Related Relief (ECF No. 32-5). Plaintiff states that prior to
filing the Class Certification Motion, the parties informally
exchanged information regarding putative class members in
order to ascertain the scope of the class. Plaintiff was able
to make a reasonable estimate of the class size, identity of
putative class members, and potential damages.
to Plaintiff moving for class certification, Defendant's
counsel filed an Unopposed Motion to Withdraw as Counsel (the
"Motion to Withdraw") (ECF No. 33), which was
granted on January 9, 2017 (ECF No. 35). In the Order
granting the Motion to Withdraw, the Court ordered Defendant
to secure new counsel on or before January 30, 2017 and
permitted Plaintiff to file for entry of default and default
judgment (ECF No. 35). Defendant failed to secure new counsel
and has failed to file a Response to Plaintiffs Class
March 17, 2017, Plaintiff filed for entry of default against
Defendant (ECF No. 37), which was entered on March 20, 2017
(ECF No. 39). The motion for class certification is now
before the Court as a matter preliminary to proceeding with
moves for class certification pursuant to Federal Rule of
Civil Procedure 23. As the party seeking class certification,
Plaintiff has the burden of showing that the requirements of
Rule 23 are met. Smith v. ComputerTraining.com,
Inc., No. 2:10-CV-11490, 2011 WL 308992, at *2 (E.D.
Mich. Jan. 27, 2011) (citing Anchem Prods., Inc., v.
Windsor, 521 U.S. 591 (1997)). A district court has
broad discretion in determining whether an action should be
certified as a class action. Smith, 2011 WL 308992,
at *2 (citing Sterling v. Velslcol Chemical Corp.,
855 F.2d 1188, 1197 (6th Cir. 1988)).
Court is required to 'conduct a rigorous analysis into
whether the prerequisites of Rule 23 are met before
certifying a class.'" Smith, 2011 WL
308992, at *2 (quoting In re Am. Med. Sys., Inc., 75
F.3d 1069, 1078-1079 (6th Cir. 1996) (internal quotations and
citation omitted)). Any doubt concerning whether to certify a
class action should be resolved in favor of allowing a class.
Smith, 2011 WL 308992, at *2 (citing Little
Caesar Enter., Inc. v. Smith, 172 F.R.D. 236, 241 (E.D.
a default has been entered against Defendant,
<"(r)elief cannot be granted to a class before an
order has been entered determining that class treatment is
proper.'" Smith, 2011 WL 308992, at *2
(quoting Davis v. Romney, 490 F.2d 1360, 1366 (3rd
Cir. 1974)); see also Partington v. Am. Int'l
Specialty Lines Ins. Co., 443 F.3d 334, 340 (4th Cir.
2006); Davis v. Hutchins, 321 F.3d 641, 648 (7th
Cir. 2003). For the reasons detailed in Plaintiffs
memorandum, the Court finds the requirements for class
certification met in this case, as summarized below.