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Lazaro Chavarria v. New York Airport Service

July 20, 2011

LAZARO CHAVARRIA, PLAINTIFFS,
v.
NEW YORK AIRPORT SERVICE, LLC, ET AL., DEFENDANTS. -



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Go, United States Magistrate Judge:

PRELIMINARY APPROVAL

ORDER

The above-entitled matter came before the Court on Plaintiffs' Motion to Provisionally Certify a Class Action, Appoint Plaintiffs' Counsel as Class Counsel, Preliminarily Approve the Proposed Class Action Settlement, Approve the Proposed Notice of Settlement and Direct the Distribution of Same (ct. doc. 62). After consideration of the submissions and prior proceedings herein, this Court makes the following rulings based on the findings and conclusions of law set forth below.

I. Conditional Certification of the Proposed Rule 23 Settlement Class

1. The Court conditionally certifies the following class under Fed. R. Civ. P. 23(e), for settlement purposes ("Settlement Class"):

All current and former Ticket Agents working at LaGuardia and/or John F. Kennedy Airports in New York while employed by Defendants New York Airport Service, LLC, Zev Marmurstein, Jacob Marmurstein, Contract Transportation, Inc. and Janet West at any time from April 29, 2004 through the date of judgment (the "Class" or "Class Members").

2. Plaintiffs meet all of the requirements for class certification under Fed. R. Civ. P. 23(a) and (b)(3).

3. Plaintiffs satisfy Fed. R. Civ. P. 23(a)(1) because there are more than 200 Class Members and therefore joinder is impracticable. See Consol. Rail. Corp. v. Town of Hyde Park, 47 F.3d 473, 483 (2d Cir. 1995).

4. Plaintiffs satisfy Fed. R. Civ. P. 23(a)(2), the commonality requirement, because Plaintiffs and the Class Members share common issues of fact and law, including whether Defendant failed to pay Plaintiffs and the Class Members for all of the overtime they worked.

5. Plaintiffs satisfy Fed. R. Civ. P. 23(a)(3), because plaintiffs' claims arise from the same factual and legal circumstances that form the bases of the class members' claims. See Prasker v. Asis Five Eight LLC, 2010 WL 476009, at *2 (S.D.N.Y. Jan. 6, 2010).

6. Plaintiffs satisfy Fed. R. Civ. P. 23(a)(4) because plaintiffs' interests are not antagonistic or at odds with class members. See Diaz v. Eastern Locating Servs., Inc., 2010 WL 2945556, at *2 (S.D.N.Y. July 22, 2010); Prasker, 2010 WL 476009, at *2.

7. Plaintiffs also satisfy Rule 23(b)(3). Common factual allegations that Defendant failed to pay Class Members for all overtime they worked and a common legal theory predominate over any factual or legal variations among class members. See Diaz, 2010 WL 2945556, at *2; Prakser, 2010 WL 476009, at *2.

Class adjudication of this case is superior to individual adjudication because it will conserve judicial resources and is more efficient for class members, particularly those who lack the resources to bring their claims individually. See Diaz, 2010 WL 2945556, at *2.

II. Preliminary Approval of Settlement 1. Based upon the Court's review of the Plaintiffs' Motion for Preliminary Approval, the Declaration of William Cafaro ("Cafaro"), and all other papers submitted in connection with Plaintiffs' Motion for Preliminary Approval, the Court grants preliminary approval of the settlement memorialized in ...


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