The opinion of the court was delivered by: M. James Lorenz United States District Court Judge
ORDER GRANTING MOTION FOR PRELIMINARY APPROVAL OF RULE 23 SETTLEMENT; FOR CERTIFICATION OF CLASS, AND FOR PERMISSION TO DISSEMINATE AMENDED NOTICE TO CLASS.
The above-entitled matter came before the Court on Plaintiffs' Unopposed Motion for Preliminary Approval of Rule 23 Settlement, for Certification of Class, and for Permission to Disseminate Notice to Class (Doc. No. 152). For the reasons set forth in the motion and memorandum, and upon the good cause shown, it is hereby ORDERED that:
1. Plaintiffs' Unopposed Motion for Preliminary Approval of Class Settlement, for Certification of Settlement Class, and for Permission to Disseminate Class Notice is GRANTED, and the terms of the Settlement Agreement and Release ("Settlement Agreement") attached as Exhibit A to the motion (Doc. No. 152), as clarified by the Parties' Joint Stipulation Regarding Settlement (Doc. No. 171), are preliminarily approved.
2. Solely for purposes of settlement, a California Class is hereby certified pursuant to Rule 23(b)(3) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, defined as follows:
Current and former Inventory Associated employed by Defendants in the State of California from October 7, 2003 to November 13, 2008.
Specifically excluded from the California Class are: (a) all federal court judges who have presided over this case and their spouses and anyone within three degrees of consanguinity from those judges and their spouses, (b) all persons who elect to exclude themselves from the Settlement Class; and, (c) any person who opted into this case who claims they were not properly paid overtime under the FLSA and who did not work in the State of California.
3. The Court provisionally, and only for the purposes of this settlement, finds that:
(a) the Class Members consist of 16,300 individuals employed by Defendant throughout the State of California, and the requirement of numerosity is satisfied;
(b) the litigation and proposed settlement raise questions of law and fact common to the California Class, and these common questions predominate over any questions affecting only individual Class Members;
(c) the claims of Eduardo Chavez and Tomas Soliz, Inventory Associates employed by Defendants (the "Class Representatives") are typical of the claims of the Class;
(d) in assisting with the litigation and negotiating and entering into the proposed settlement, the Class Representative and their counsel have fairly and adequately protected the interests of the Class, and will adequately represent the Class in connection with the proposed settlement; and
(e) a class action is superior to other available methods for the fair and efficient adjudication of this controversy.
4. Pursuant to Rule 23(g), the Court appoints the Class Representatives' counsel of record Stueve Siegel Hanson LLP and Lear Werts LLP to act on behalf of the Class in connection with the proposed settlement.
5. If the proposed settlement is not finally approved by the Court or the settlement is terminated or fails to become effective in accordance with the terms of the Settlement Agreement, this conditional class certification shall be vacated without further order of the Court and without prejudice to the right of any party to seek or oppose class certification thereafter. ...