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Catherine Wilkie, Individually and On Behalf of All Others v. Gentiva Health Services

October 5, 2012

CATHERINE WILKIE, INDIVIDUALLY AND ON BEHALF OF ALL OTHERS SIMILARLY SITUATED,
PLAINTIFFS,
v.
GENTIVA HEALTH SERVICES, INC.,
DEFENDANT.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Garland E. Burrell, Jr. Senior United States District Judge

ORDER PRELIMINARILY APPROVING SETTLEMENT

The Plaintiffs' proposed Order Preliminarily Approving Settlement, filed in the docket as ECF No. 69-2, is hereby approved and reproduced below.

WHEREAS, the Plaintiff and Defendant have entered into a Settlement Agreement intended to resolve the litigation against Defendant arising out of its alleged unlawful compensation practices for Clinical Associates ("CAs") who are or were paid pursuant to Defendant's Pay Per Visit Program; and

WHEREAS, the Settlement Agreement, together with supporting materials, sets for the terms and conditions for a proposed settlement and dismissal with prejudice of this action against the Defendant; and

WHEREAS, the Court has before it Plaintiffs' Motion for Preliminary Approval of Settlement and supporting papers in support thereof, together with the Settlement Agreement and supporting materials; and

WHEREAS, the Court is satisfied that the terms and conditions set forth in the Settlement Agreement were the result of good faith, arms-length settlement negotiations between competent and experienced counsel for both Plaintiff and Defendant.

IT IS HEREBY ORDERED AS FOLLOWS:

1. The terms of the parties' Settlement Agreement are hereby conditionally approved, subject to further consideration thereof at the Final Approval Hearing provided for below. The Court finds that the Settlement is sufficiently within the range of reasonableness and that notice of the proposed settlement should be given as provided in this Order.

2. The Court conditionally certifies the following Settlement Classes:

(a) Collective Action Class: Pursuant to 216(b), the Court conditionally certifies, for settlement purposes only, a class that includes all clinical associates who are or were employed by Gentiva either in California or at Gentiva's branch locations in Troy, Alabama (Branch No. 2431), Fort Walton Beach, Florida (Branch Nos. 2100 and 2101), Newnan, Georgia (Branch Nos. 2659 and 2655), or Hickory, North Carolina (Branch Nos. 2447 and 947); and paid pursuant to Gentiva's Pay Per Visit Program for work performed at any time between June 11, 2007, through the Date of Preliminary Approval, but not including any of the plaintiffs in Rindfleisch, et al v. Gentiva Health Services, Inc., 1:10-cv-03288 (SCJ) (N.D. Ga.) ("Rindfleisch").

(b) State Settlement Class: Pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 23, the Court conditionally certifies, for settlement purposes only, a class that includes all clinical associates who are or were employed by Gentiva in California and paid pursuant to Gentiva's Pay Per Visit Program for work performed at any time between June 11, 2006 through the Date of Preliminary Approval, but not including any of the Rindfleisch Plaintiffs.

3. The Court further conditionally finds that Plaintiff Catherine Wilkie ("Representative Plaintiff" or "Settlement Class Representative") is an adequate class representative for the Settlement Classes.

4. The Court further conditionally finds that Plaintiff's Counsel are adequate to serve as Class Counsel and conditionally appoints the following as counsel for the Classes: Seth R. Lesser Fran L. Rudich Michael J. Palitz KLAFTER OLSEN & LESSER ...


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