United States District Court, E.D. Michigan, Southern Division
SUHAIL ALI, SHALAN ALMANSOOB, QASEM SALEH, and KASSEM DUBAISHI, on behalf of themselves and all other persons similarly situated, known and unknown, Plaintiffs,
PIRON, LLC, STEVE HANNAH, CRAIG MONROE, REYNOLDS QUALITY INSTALLATIONS, LLC, RODERICK REYNOLDS JR., AERO COMMUNICATIONS, INC, and COMCAST CABLE COMMUNICATIONS MANAGEMENT, LLC, a Michigan company, Defendants.
OPINION AND ORDER GRANTING THE PARTIES' JOINT
MOTION FOR APPROVAL OF FLSA SETTLEMENT (ECF NO. 95)
V. PARKER U.S. DISTRICT JUDGE.
filed this putative collective action claiming that
Defendants violated the Fair Labor Standards Act
(“FLSA”) by failing to pay overtime compensation.
The Court conditionally certified the matter as a collective
action. (ECF No. 76.) Thereafter, the parties engaged in a
settlement conference before Magistrate Judge Grand, where a
settlement was reached. Plaintiffs subsequently filed a Joint
Motion for Approval of FLSA Settlement. (ECF No. 95.) For the
reasons that follow, the Court is granting the motion.
reviewing a proposed FLSA settlement, the court must
determine whether the settlement is a “fair and
reasonable resolution of a bona fide dispute over FLSA
provisions.” Lynn's Food Stores, 679 F.2d
at 1355. There are several factors courts consider in making
(1) the plaintiff's range of possible recovery; (2) the
extent to which the settlement will enable the parties to
avoid anticipated burdens and expenses in establishing their
respective claims and defenses; (3) the seriousness of the
litigation risks faced by the parties; (4) whether the
settlement agreement is the product of arm's-length
bargaining between experienced counsel; and (5) the
possibility of fraud or collusion.
Wolinsky v. Scholastic, Inc., 900 F.Supp.2d 332, 335
(S.D.N.Y. 2012) (internal quotation marks and citation
omitted); see also Dees v. Hydradry, Inc., 706
F.Supp.2d 1227, 1241 (M.D. Fla. 2010).
the settlement agreement includes the payment of
attorney's fees, the court must assess the reasonableness
of that amount. Wolinsky, 900 F.Supp.2d at 336
(citing cases finding judicial review of the fee award
necessary). “[T]he Court must carefully scrutinize the
settlement and the circumstances in which it was reached, if
only to ensure that ‘the interest of [the]
plaintiffs' counsel in counsel's own compensation did
not adversely affect the extent of the relief counsel
procured for the clients.' ” Id. (quoting
Cisek v. Nat'l Surface Cleaning, Inc., 954
F.Supp. 110, 110-11 (S.D.N.Y. 1997)).
reviewing the pleadings and the parties' joint motion,
the Court finds that the parties' proposed settlement
represents a “fair and reasonable resolution of a bona
fide dispute over FLSA provisions.” Lynn's Food
Stores, Inc., 679 F.2d at 1355.
Court first turns to the potential range of recovery. In
their brief, the parties dispute the range of recovery.
Consequently, the range of recovery is stated to be between
de minimis and $68, 640.00, excluding attorneys'
fees. The proposed settlement amount is $26, 344.94. The
parties have found and agreed that this amount is reasonable.
the Court looks to the extent that settlement will enable the
parties to avoid additional burdens and expenses. With the
proposed settlement, the parties will not have to incur the
burden and expense of trial.
third factor to consider is the litigation risks faced if the
settlement is not approved. Here, both parties face risks if
the Court does not approve settlement because there is a
bona fide dispute as to an issue of employment law
and whether Defendants jointly employed Plaintiffs. The
resolution of this dispute creates risks either to
Plaintiffs' potential award or Defendants' potential
the Court considers whether the settlement agreement is the
product of arm's-length bargaining. The parties reached
their settlement during a settlement conference before
Magistrate Judge Grand; therefore, the Court concludes that
the settlement is the product of arm's-length bargaining.
the Court must consider whether fraud or collusion occurred
in reaching the proposed settlement. The Court has found no
reason to suspect fraud or collusion ...