QUENTIN MOORE and LEAH ERVIN, individually, and on behalf of all others similarly situated, Plaintiff,
FITNESS INTERNATIONAL, LLC, Defendant.
ORDER GRANTING JOINT MOTION FOR FINAL APPROVAL OF CLASS/COLLECTIVE ACTION SETTLEMENT BURNS
LARRY ALAN BURNS, District Judge.
This matter came before the Court on November 12, 2013 at 12:00 p.m., with Scott Cole & Associates, APC, appearing as counsel for representative plaintiffs Quentin Moore and Leah Ervin ("Plaintiffs"), individually and on behalf of a putative class, and O'Melveny & Myers LLP appearing as counsel for defendant Fitness International, LLC ("Defendant" and/or "Fitness International"). The Court, having carefully considered the briefs, arguments of counsel and all matters presented to the Court and good cause appearing therefore,
IT IS HEREBY ORDERED, ADJUDGED AND DECREED THAT:
1. This Order incorporates by reference the definitions of the parties' Joint Stipulation of Class and Collective Action Settlement and Release ("Settlement Agreement") as though fully set forth herein, and all terms used herein shall have the same meaning as set forth in the Settlement Agreement.
2. This Court has jurisdiction over the claims of the members of the Class and Collective Class asserted in this proceeding, personal jurisdiction over Plaintiffs, Defendant, and the members of the Class and Collective as defined in the Settlement Agreement, and subject matter jurisdiction to approve the Settlement.
3. In accordance with the Settlement and this Court's Order Adopting Report and Recommendation regarding Preliminary Approval of Class and Collective Action Settlement ("Preliminary Approval Order") ( ECF No. 28), distribution of the Class Notice, Collective Class Notice, Claim Form, Collective Claim Form and Request for Exclusion directed to the Class and Collective Members has been completed, including the individual notice to all Class and Collective Members who could be identified through reasonable effort. It is hereby determined that the notice to Class and Collective Members, as disseminated to Class and Collective Members in accordance with the provisions of the Preliminary Approval Order, was the best notice practicable under the circumstances to all Class and Collective Members. Due and adequate notice of the pendency of this Lawsuit and of this Settlement has been provided to Class and Collective Members, and this Court hereby finds that the notice program described in the Preliminary Approval Order ( ECF No. 28) and completed by the Claims Administrator complied fully with the requirements of due process, the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, and all other applicable laws.
4. The Court finds that Plaintiffs have satisfied the standards and applicable requirements for final approval of this class action settlement under Rule 23 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. The Court finds that the Settlement has been reached as a result of non-collusive arm's-length negotiations after sufficient discovery, investigation and research. The Court also finds that settlement at this time will avoid additional substantial costs, as well as the delay and risks that would be presented by the further prosecution of the litigation. The Court has reviewed the benefits that are being granted as part of the Settlement and recognizes their significant value to Class Members. The Parties to the Settlement Agreement are hereby directed to effectuate the Settlement according to its terms.
5. This Court previously conditionally certified the Class and Collective for settlement purposes. The Court hereby grants final certification approval, for settlement purposes, to the Class and Collective, consisting of:
a. "Class:" All non-exempt, club level Fitness International employees in the State of California who began employment on or after December 1, 2011, from that date through the date of the Court's Order Granting Preliminary Approval of this Settlement (collectively, with Ervin, the "Settlement Class").
b. "Collective:" All persons employed by Fitness International as Personal Trainers in the United States from June 22, 2009, through the date of the Court's Order Granting Preliminary Approval of this Settlement, excluding those individuals who filed valid claim forms in the Baker settlement (collectively, with Moore, the "Settlement Collective") for the time period released therein, i.e. May 26, 2006 through July 16, 2012.
6. All Participating Class and Collective Members, as defined in the Settlement, are bound by this Final Approval Order and Judgment and by the Settlement embodied therein, including the releases provided for in the Settlement Agreement and this Final Approval Order and Judgment. As of the Effective Date of Settlement, by operation of the entry of this Final Approval Order and Judgment, each Participating Class and Collective Member, including Plaintiffs, shall be deemed to have fully released, waived, relinquished and discharged, to the fullest extent permitted by law, all Released Claims that he or she may have against the Releasees.
7. Release of Claims: Settlement Collective. Settlement Collective hereby releases, discharges, and covenants not to sue Fitness International, and all of its respective past and present employees, directors, officers, attorneys, representatives, insurers, agents, parents, subsidiaries, affiliates, related companies, predecessors, successors, lessees, and assigns, and any entity that could be jointly liable with any of these (individually and collectively "the Fitness International Releasees") from and with respect to all actions, causes of action, suits, liabilities, claims, and demands whatsoever, and each of them, whether known or unknown, from the beginning of time to the date this Court's Order Granting Preliminary Approval was entered, inclusive, which the Settlement Collective, or individual members thereof, has, had, or hereafter may claim to have, against Fitness International Releasees, or any of them, which, by way of description, but not by way of limitation, are based on, or in any way related to: (i) the claims alleged in the Action, (ii) any claim for unpaid wages, unpaid minimum wage, unpaid overtime wages, failure to timely pay wages, failure to pay wages owed under contract, or failure to compensate employees for all hours worked, (iii) any claim for missed meal periods or rest breaks, (iv) any claim for failure to reimburse business expenses, (v) any claim for failure to provide accurate wage statements, (vi) and any claims arising from the claims described in (i) through (v) above under federal or applicable state, local, or territorial law, including, but not limited to, the federal Fair Labor Standards Act, 29 U.S.C. §§ 201-219, and the regulations thereunder ("the Settlement Collective Released Claims"). The Settling Parties intend the Settlement Collective's release to be general and comprehensive in nature and to release all claims and potential claims against the Fitness International Releasees which were brought in the Action, or arise from and/or relate to the claims brought in the Action, to the maximum extent permitted at law. The Released Claims include specifically, by way of further description, but not by way of limitation, any and all claims the Settlement Collective may have arising out of or in any way related to:
a. Any and all allegations set forth in the pleadings in the Action, whether in original or subsequently amended pleadings filed in the Action;
b. Any and all alleged claims for failure to pay wages, failure to pay minimum wage, failure to pay overtime compensation, failure to compensate employees for all hours worked, failure to provide reimbursement for business expenses, failure to provide meal periods, failure to provide rest breaks, unlawful wage deductions, failure to provide accurate and complete wage statements, failure to timely pay wages upon separation, and/or failure to timely pay wages during employment, whether arising under federal or state statutory, regulatory, or common law, including, but not limited to, the Fair Labor Standards Act, 29 U.S.C. §§ 201-219, and the regulations thereunder, that occurred prior to the ...