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Bradescu v. Hillstone Restaurant Group, Inc.

United States District Court, C.D. California

July 8, 2016

MAIA BRADESCU, STEVEN LUMINELLI, and VANESSA TAMAYO, on behalf of all others similarly situated, Plaintiffs,
v.
HILLSTONE RESTAURANT GROUP, INC., a Delaware Corporation; and DOES 1 through 10, Defendants.

          AMENDED ORDER AND FINAL JUDGMENT GRANTING FINAL APPROVAL OF CLASS ACTION SETTLEMENT

          HONORABLE GEORGE H. WU UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         This matter came on for hearing on June 27, 2016, at 8:30 a.m., and again on July 7, 2016, at 8:30 a.m., [1] in Department 10 of the United States District Court for the Central District of California before the Honorable George H. Wu. Due and adequate notice having been given to the Settlement Class (as defined below), and the Court having considered all papers filed and proceedings held herein, all oral and written comments and any objections received regarding the proposed settlement, and having reviewed the record in the above captioned matter, and good cause appearing thereto, IT IS HEREBY ORDERED, ADJUDGED AND DECREED AS FOLLOWS:

         1. The Court has jurisdiction over the subject matter of the above-captioned action (the "Action"), the Class Representatives, Defendant Hillstone Restaurant Group, Inc. ("Hillstone" or "Defendant"), and all members of the California Settlement Class and the FLSA Settlement Class, which are defined as follows (the California Settlement Class and FLSA Settlement Class are collectively referred to herein as the "Settlement Class"):

California Settlement Class: All current and former non-exempt employees of Hillstone who performed work in California in any Covered Positions ("Covered Positions" means any non-culinary position, including, but not limited to, Bartender, Service Bar, Bar Check, Service Bartender, Night Service Bar, Server, Greeter, Service Assistant, Night Checkout, Cocktail, Restaurant Other, Rover, Flying Chicken, Cart Driver, Cleaning R & M, Hourly Manager, and/or Dining Room Key Employee), between April 5, 2011 through February 23, 2016.
FLSA Settlement Class: All current and former non-exempt employees of Hillstone employed throughout the United States (excluding California) who worked in any Covered Positions ("Covered Positions" means any non-culinary position, including, but not limited to, Bartender, Service Bar, Bar Check, Service Bartender, Night Service Bar, Server, Greeter, Service Assistant, Night Checkout, Cocktail, Restaurant Other, Rover, Flying Chicken, Cart Driver, Cleaning R & M, Hourly Manager, and/or Dining Room Key Employee), between August 22, 2010 through February 23, 2016.

         2. The terms "Settlement" or "Settlement Agreement" shall refer to the Settlement Agreement filed by the Class Representatives as Exhibit A to the Declaration of Paul K. Haines in Support of Plaintiffs' Supplemental Brief Regarding Predominance in Support of Motion for Preliminary Approval, on February 1, 2016 (Docket Entry 136-1), and all terms herein shall have the same meaning as the terms defined in the Settlement Agreement, unless specifically provided herein.

         3. The Court grants final approval of the Parties' Settlement Agreement because it meets the criteria for final settlement approval. The settlement falls within the range of possible approval as fair, adequate and reasonable, appears to be the product of arm's-length and informed negotiations, and treats all members of the Settlement Class fairly.

         4. The Court finds that the distribution by U.S. first-class mail of the Class Notice, Claim Form, and Opt-Out Form constituted the best notice practicable under the circumstances to all persons within the definition of the Settlement Class and fully met the requirements of due process under the United States Constitution and applicable state law. Based on evidence and other material submitted in conjunction with the Final Approval Hearing, the Notice to the Settlement Class was adequate. The Notice informed members of the Settlement Class of the terms of the Settlement, their right to participate in the Settlement and how to do so, their right to object to the Settlement or Class Counsel's Motion for Attorney's Fees and Costs and the Class Representatives' Incentive Payments, their right to appear in person or by counsel at the Final Approval Hearing and be heard regarding approval of the Settlement and Class Counsel's motion for Attorney's Fees and Costs and the Class Representatives' Incentive Payments, and their right to exclude themselves from the Settlement and pursue their own remedies. Adequate periods of time were provided by each of these procedures. No members of the Settlement Class objected to the Settlement or Class Counsel's motion for Attorney's Fees and Costs and the Class Representatives' Incentive Payments, and only 23 California Settlement Class members opted out of the Settlement.

         5. The Court finds, for purposes of settlement only, that the Settlement Class satisfies the applicable standards for certification under Federal Rules 23(a), 23(b)(3) and the Fair Labor Standards Act. Accordingly, solely for purposes of effectuating this Settlement, this Court has certified the Settlement Class, as defined above. Because the Settlement Class is being certified here for settlement purposes only, the Court need not (and does not) address the manageability requirement of Rule 23(b)(3). See Amchem Products, Inc. v. Windsor, 521 U.S. 591 (1997).

         6. The Court approves the Settlement, and each of the releases and other terms set forth in the Settlement Agreement, as fair, just, reasonable and adequate as to the Settlement Class, the Class Representatives, and Defendant (collectively the "Settling Parties"). The Settling Parties and the Claims Administrator are directed to perform in accordance with the terms set forth in the Settlement Agreement.

         7. Except as to any member of the California Settlement Class who has validly and timely opted out of the Settlement, and all Settlement Class members who are solely members of the FLSA Settlement Class and who did not opt-in, all of the claims asserted in the Action are dismissed with prejudice as to the Class Representatives and the members of the Settlement Class. The Settling Parties are to bear their own attorney's fees and costs, except as otherwise provided in the Settlement Agreement.

         8. By this Judgment, the Class Representatives and California Settlement Class members who have not validly and timely opted out of the Settlement, and all FLSA Settlement Class members who have affirmatively opted-in (collectively the "Releasing Members"), hereby release Defendant and the Released Parties (as defined in the Settlement Agreement) from the Released Claims (as defined in the Settlement Agreement).

         9. By this Judgment, the Releasing Members and Class Counsel shall be deemed to have released all claims for attorney's fees and costs incurred in connection with the litigation and settlement of the Action.

         10. The Action is dismissed on the merits and with prejudice, permanently barring the Releasing Members from prosecuting any of the Released Claims. The Court reserves and retains exclusive and continuing jurisdiction over the Action, the Class Representatives, the Settlement Class, and Defendant for the purposes of supervising the implementation, effectuation, ...


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