United States District Court, S.D. New York
MARTIN ALVAREZ a/k/a EDUARDO LOPEZ, on behalf of himself, FLSA Collective Plaintiffs, and the Class, Plaintiff,
SCHNIPPER RESTAURANTS LLC, et al., Defendants.
EDGARDO RAMOS, U.S.D.J.
December 17, 2018, the parties submitted an application to
the Court for preliminary approval of the class settlement.
Doc. 105. On November 1, 2019, the Court declined to approve
the agreement without prejudice for four reasons: the
proposed settlement contained an overbroad release and an
improper confidentiality clause, and it failed to explain the
proposed tax allocation, as well as the possible range of
plaintiffs' recovery. Doc. 111. Before the Court is the
parties' revised application for an order (1) granting
preliminary approval of the class settlement (the
"Revised Agreement"); (2) conditionally certifying
the settlement class under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure
23(b)(3) and 29 U.S.C. § 216(b); (3) appointing class
counsel; and (4) approving the proposed notice and schedule
for final settlement approval. For the reasons stated below,
the motion is GRANTED.
PRELIMINARY APPROVAL OF THE SETTLEMENT AGREEMENT
response to the Court's Order, on November 21, 2019, the
parties submitted a Revised Agreement that does not contain
an overbroad release, has modified confidentiality and tax
treatment clauses, and adequately explains the range of
possible recovery. Doc. 112. Accordingly, the Court finds
that the Revised Agreement complies with Cheeks v.
Freeport Pancake House, Inc., 796 F.3d 199 (2d Cir.
CONDITIONAL CERTIFICATION OF CLASS AND APPOINTMENT OF CLASS
reasons stated in its November 1, 2019 Order, the settlement
class is preliminarily certified, and Lee Litigation Group,
PLLC is appointed lead counsel for the settlement class.
APPROVING THE PROPOSED NOTICE AND NOTICE SCHEDULE
proposed notice appears to be the best notice practical under
the circumstances and appears to allow potential class
members a full and fair opportunity to consider the
parties' Revised Agreement and to develop a response. The
notice fairly, plainly, accurately, and reasonably informs
class members of: (1) appropriate information about the
nature of this litigation, the settlement class at issue, the
identity of class counsel, and the essential terms of the
settlement agreement; (2) appropriate information about class
counsel's forthcoming application for attorneys' fees
and other payments that will be deducted from the settlement
fund; (3) appropriate information about how to participate in
the settlement; (4) appropriate information about this
Court's procedures for final approval of the settlement;
(5) appropriate information about how to challenge or opt-out
of the settlement; and (6) appropriate instructions as to how
to obtain additional information regarding this litigation
and the settlement.
proposed plan for distributing the notice appears to be a
reasonable method calculated to reach all class members who
would be bound by the settlement. This satisfies the notice
requirements of Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 23 and all
other legal and due process requirements.
the Court hereby orders as follows:
• The Revised Agreement is preliminarily approved.
• The settlement class is preliminarily certified.
• Lee Litigation Group, PLLC is appointed lead counsel
for the ...