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Colozzi v. St. Joseph's Hospital Health Center

United States District Court, Second Circuit

July 3, 2013

ROBERT COLOZZI; TAMMY AIKEN; and CHRISTINE CORREIA; on behalf of themselves and all other employees similarly situated, Plaintiffs,
v.
ST. JOSEPH'S HOSPITAL HEALTH CENTER; THEODORE M. PASINSKI; FRANK PANZETTA; ST. JOSEPH'S HEALTH CENTER PROPERTIES INC.; ST. JOSEPH'S HOSPITAL HEALTH CENTER FOUNDATION, INC.; AUXILIARY OF ST. JOSEPH'S HOSPITAL HEALTH CENTER, INC.; ALUMNI ASSOCIATION ST. JOSEPH'S COLLEGE OF NURSING INC.; ST. JOSEPH'S HEALTH CENTER MEDICAL OFFICE BUILDING, LLC; and ST. JOSEPH'S HOSPITAL HEALTH CENTER EMPLOYEES 401K SAVINGS AND RETIREMENT PLAN AND TRUST, Defendants.

THOMAS & SOLOMON LLP PATRICK J. SOLOMON, ESQ., GUY A. TALIA, ESQ., Rochester, NY, Attorneys for Plaintiffs.

EDWARD G. MELVIN, ESQ. COSTELLO, COONEY & FEARON, PLLC Syracuse, NY, Attorneys for Defendants

ORDER GRANTING PRELIMINARY APPROVAL OF CLASS AND COLLECTIVE ACTION SETTLEMENT

DAVID N. HURD, District Judge.

WHEREAS, Named Plaintiffs Robert Colozzi, Tammy Aiken and Christine Correia, for themselves and on behalf of the Opt-In Plaintiffs and proposed Settlement Classes, on the one hand, and St. Joseph's Hospital Health Center, for itself and on behalf of the other Defendants in this Action, on the other hand, have, contingent on Court approval, entered into a Settlement Agreement that is intended to resolve this Action, as well as any other claims that were, or could have been, asserted based upon the allegations in the Complaint, dated November 13, 2008, which alleged claims under the Fair Labor Standards Act, 29 U.S.C. § 201, et seq. (the "FLSA"), the New York Labor Law, the Employee Retirement Income and Security Act, 29 U.S.C. § 1001, et seq., and for estoppel arising out of Defendants' alleged failure to appropriately compensate current and former hourly employees for all time worked and alleged failure to keep accurate records;

WHEREAS, in prior Decisions and Orders in this Action, a collective action has been certified under Section 216(b) of the FLSA, 29 U.S.C. § 216(b) [ECF No. 101], and a class action certified under Fed.R.Civ.P. 23(a) and (b)(3) [ECF No. 278];

WHEREAS, currently pending is the Parties' Joint Motion for Preliminary Approval of Settlement, which includes the Settlement Agreement and supporting materials;

WHEREAS, it is preliminarily found that the proposed Settlement resulted from good faith, informed, and extensive arm's-length negotiations between experienced counsel with the assistance of an independent and knowledgeable mediator, and is sufficiently fair, reasonable and adequate to warrant sending notice of the Settlement to the members of the proposed Settlement Classes ("Class Members");

IT IS ORDERED AS FOLLOWS:

1. Capitalized terms not otherwise defined in this Order shall have the definitions assigned to them in the Settlement Agreement.

2. The terms and conditions of the Settlement are preliminarily approved, subject to further consideration thereof at the Final Approval Hearing, as provided in Paragraph 18, below. It is found that Notice of the proposed Settlement should be given as provided in the Settlement Agreement.

3. The following Settlement Classes are preliminarily certified in place of the FLSA collective action and the Fed.R.Civ.P. 23 class action previously certified, which are decertified:

i. The "Collective Class" shall include (a) the individuals listed on Tab B of the Settlement Agreement, who have previously filed consents to join the Action and who have not been dismissed (the "Opt-In Plaintiffs"), and (b) all individuals who timely return a valid and effective Claim Form containing a consent to join the Action and who worked for any of the Defendants as an Hourly Employee at any time from November 13, 2002, through the date of entry of this Preliminary Approval Order. The Collective Class is preliminarily certified under FLSA § 216(b), 29 U.S.C. § 216(b).

ii. The "Rule 23 Class" shall include all individuals who worked for any of the Defendants as an Hourly Employee at any time from November 13, 2002, through the date of entry of this Preliminary Approval Order. The Rule 23 Class is preliminarily certified under Fed.R.Civ.P. 23(a), (b)(3), and (e).

4. It is preliminarily found that the Named Plaintiffs, Robert Colozzi, Tammy Aiken and Christine Correia are adequate class ...


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