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De Los Santos v. New Food Corp.

United States District Court, E.D. New York

February 28, 2018

Andres de los Santos, Domingo Franco, Angel Rodriguez, Ramon Santos, and Jose Ramon Lopez, individually and on behalf of all others similarly situated, Plaintiffs,
v.
New Food Corp. d/b/a Foodtown, JCA Food Corp. d/b/a Metfood, JJC Food Corp. d/b/a Foodtown, SWF Food Corp. d/b/a Foodtown, Mother Food Corp. d/b/a Foodtown, Jason Ferreira, and Jose Ferreira, Defendants.

          [PROPOSED] FINAL JUDGMENT AND ORDER GRANTING FINAL APPROVAL OF CLASS ACTION SETTLEMENT

          Honorable Anne Y. Shields, U.S.M.J.

         The above-entitled matter came before the Court on Plaintiffs' Motion for Final Approval of the Class Action Settlement ("Motion for Final Approval").

         On July 29, 2014, the Plaintiffs Andres de los Santos, Domingo Franco, Angel Rodriguez, Ramon Santos, and Jose Ramon Lopez, commenced this action on behalf of themselves and all similarly situated workers employed by New Food Corp. d/b/a Foodtown, JCA Food Corp. d/b/a Metfood, JJC Food Corp. d/b/a Foodtown, SWF Food Corp. d/b/a Foodtown, Mother Food Corp. d/b/a Foodtown, Jason Ferreira, and Jose Ferreira ("Defendants") for the six-year period preceding the filing of the complaint.

         The Parties resolved this case at a Settlement Conference on June 6, 2016. The terms of the settlement were clarified in the Court's Minute Order of January 24, 2017 (ECF No. 186). The settlement calls for the payment of $1, 400, 000.00 to resolve the claims of the opt-in plaintiffs, and $167, 500.00 to resolve the claims of a putative class.

         On May 9, 2017, the Plaintiffs filed a joint motion for approval of the terms of the Joint Stipulation of Settlement and Release ("FLSA Settlement Agreement"). ECF No. 194. By docket order dated May 10, 2017, the Court approved the terms of the FLSA Settlement Agreement, finding that agreement was fair and reasonable and consistent with the Second Circuit's decision in Cheeks v. Freeport Pancake House, Inc., 796 F.3d 199 (2d Cir. 2015).

         On November 6, 2017, the Plaintiffs submitted a motion for preliminary approval of the terms of the Negotiated Settlement Agreement and Release ("Class Action Settlement Agreement"), conditional certification of the settlement class, appointment of Plaintiffs' Counsel as class counsel, approval of the proposed notice of settlement and class action settlement procedure and final approval of the FLSA settlement. See ECF Nos. 209-211. As part of this motion, Plaintiffs submitted an Addendum to the FLSA Settlement Agreement and Class Action Settlement Agreement along with an Amended Exhibit A (collectively, hereinafter the "Addendum") to clarify and verify the identities of the FLSA Collective Members in the lawsuit, Plaintiffs requested that the Court approve the incorporation of the terms of said Addendum into the FLSA Settlement Agreement and Class Action Settlement Agreement and approve both agreements. See Moser Decl. dated Sept. 1, 2017 ("Moser Decl. I") at Ex. 3, ECF No. 211-3.

         On November 8, 2017, the Court issued an order which inter alia (1) incorporated the terms of the Addendum into the FLSA Settlement Agreement and Class Action Settlement Agreement; (2) preliminarily approved the terms of the Class Action Settlement Agreement, (3) conditionally certified a class under Fed.R.Civ.P. 23(e), (4) appointed Moser Law Firm, P.C. as class counsel, (5) approved distribution of the class notice, (6) adopted the class action settlement procedure, (7)

         approved the FLSA Settlement Agreement as fair and reasonable and consistent with the Second Circuit's decision in Cheeks v. Freeport Pancake House, Inc., 796 F.3d 199 (2d Cir. 2015); and (8) set a Fairness Hearing with regard to the Class Action Settlement for February 28, 2018. See ECFNo. 212.

         On February 21, 2018, Plaintiffs filed a Motion for Final Approval of the Class Action Settlement and approval of an Amended FLSA Distribution worksheet. Defendants take no position with respect to Plaintiffs' Motion for Final Approval and the Amended FLSA Distribution worksheet.

         The Court held a Fairness Hearing on February 28, 2018. No. Class Member objected to the settlement. A single class member opted-out of the Rule 23 class.

         Having considered the Motion for Final Approval, the supporting Declaration of Steven J. Moser dated February 21, 2018, the oral argument presented at the Fairness Hearing on February 28, 2018, and the proceedings had and papers submitted to date, IT IS HEREBY ORDERED, ADJUDGED AND DECREED:

         Certification of the Settlement Class

         1. The Court finds that all the requirements of Rule 23(a) and Rule 23(b)(3) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure are satisfied for settlement purposes.

         2. The Court finally certifies the following class under Fed.R.Civ.P. 23(e), for settlement purposes ...


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