United States District Court, E.D. Michigan
CHRISTOPHER SLAGHT, JEFFREY MEGIE, JR and STEVEN SMITH, individually and on behalf of all similarly situated persons, Plaintiffs,
REX PERFORMANCE PRODUCTS, LLC, f/k/a MICHIGAN FOAM AND FABRICATION, a Michigan Limited Liability Company, MAXWELL MORGAN, LLC, a Nebraska Limited Liability Company, DON TATE, an individual, REX HANSEN, an individual, and JOHN BALLINGER, an individual, jointly and severally, Defendants.
ORDER GRANTING PLAINTIFFS' UNOPPOSED MOTION FOR
FINAL SETTLEMENT APPROVAL
MATTHEW F. LEITMAN UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
January 18, 2016, Plaintiff filed a collective/class action
lawsuit (the “Litigation”) against the Defendants
Rex Performance Products, LLC, f/k/a Michigan Foam and
Fabrication, Maxwell Morgan, LLC, Don Tate, Rex Hansen, and
John Ballinger (collectively “Defendants”)
alleging they violated the Fair Labor Standards Act,
(“FLSA”), 29 U.S.C. §201, et seq. and for
breach of contract for failure to pay compensation for all
filing a Motion for Conditional FLSA Certification,
Plaintiffs and Defendants agreed to engage in extensive
settlement discussions and discovery to determine whether a
consensual resolution for the litigation could be reached.
June/early July 2017, the parties reached a class-wide
settlement of $125, 000, which the Court preliminarily
approved on September 15, 2017. (Doc. 26, “Preliminary
Approval Order”). The terms of the agreement are
memorialized in the parties' Settlement Agreement. (Doc.
25-1). The parties had also filed and fully briefed
Plaintiff's Motion for 216(b) Conditional Certification
(Dkt. 14). The Parties dismissed the pending motion once they
were involved in settlement negotiations. (Dkt. 23).
Preliminary Approval Order: (1) approved of the parties'
FLSA settlement; (2) certified a Michigan Rule 23 Class for
settlement purposes; (3) appointed Kevin J. Stoops of Sommers
Schwartz, P.C. and Brian Delekta of Delekta & Delekta
P.C. as Class Counsel and Christopher Slaght, Jeffery Megie,
Jr., and Steven Smith as the Class Representative; (4)
approved of the parties' proposed settlement notices; (5)
approved of the parties' proposed class action settlement
procedure; and (6) scheduled a fairness hearing after the
close of the settlement notice period. (Doc. 26).
the Court's Preliminary Approval Order, the
court-approved Settlement Administrator sent the settlement
notice to 199 Settlement Class Members on September 27, 2017.
The notice informed the Class Members of the total amount of
the Settlement, how to request exclusion from the Settlement,
and how to object to the Settlement. It further stated Class
Counsel's intention to seek incentive awards for Mr.
Slaght, Mr. Megie, Jr., and Mr. Smith, attorneys' fees
and costs, including the specific amounts requested. Two (2)
individuals requested to be excluded from the settlement and
zero (0) individuals objected to the
settlement. A total of 196 individuals will
participate in the settlement.
November 6, 2017, Plaintiffs filed their Motion for Final
Settlement Approval and Approval of Attorneys' Fees,
Costs, and Class Representative Awards. Defendants did not
oppose the motion. The Court held a final fairness hearing on
November 20, 2017
considered the Motion for Final Approval, the supporting
memoranda, and the complete record in this matter, and for
good cause shown:
Court hereby GRANTS the Motion for Final
Approval and finally approves the settlement as set forth in
the Settlement Agreement under Rule 23 and the FLSA. The
Court, for purposes of this Order, adopts all defined terms
set forth in the Settlement Agreement. The Court finds that
the settlement is fair, reasonable, adequate, and not a
product of collusion. See Fed. R. Civ. P. 23(e);
2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 74994 (S.D. Ohio May 30, 2012)
(citation omitted). The Court finds that this action
satisfies the requirements of Rule 23 for settlement purposes
and further finds that the Class has at all times been
adequately represented by the Class Representative and Class
Counsel. The notice approved by the Court was provided by
first class mail to the last-known address of each of the
individuals identified as Class Members. In addition,
follow-up efforts were made to send the notice to those
individuals whose original notices were returned as
undeliverable. The notice adequately described all of the
relevant and necessary parts of the proposed Settlement, and
Class Counsel's motion for an award of attorneys'
fees and costs. The Court finds that the notice given to the
Class fully complied with Rule 23, was the best notice
practicable, satisfied all constitutional due process
concerns, and provides the Court with jurisdiction over the
Class Members. The Court concludes that the reaction from the
Class can only be described as positive.
Court also concludes that the Settlement, as set forth in the
Settlement Agreement executed by the parties, is fair,
reasonable, and adequate under state and federal laws,
including the Fair Labor Standards Act, 29 U.S.C. § 201,
et. seq. The Court finds that the uncertainty and
delay of further litigation strongly supports the
reasonableness and adequacy of the $125, 000 settlement
amount established pursuant to the Settlement Agreement.
Settlement is HEREBY APPROVED in its
Settlement Fund shall be dispersed in accordance with the
Settlement Agreement as detailed in Plaintiffs' Motion
for Final Settlement Approval.
Pursuant to the Settlement Agreement, the Court approves the
requested incentive award of $10, 000 to be split equally
among the Named Plaintiffs, Christopher Slaght, Jeffery
Megie, Jr., and Steven Smith.
Class Counsel's requested fees and hourly rates are
reasonable and their request for attorneys' fees in the
amount of $41, 666.67 and litigation expenses and costs an
amount not to exceed $10, 000.72 (with any unused portion of
this cost ...