United States District Court, N.D. California
JUAN SARAVIA, individually and on behalf of himself and all others similarly situated, Plaintiffs,
DYNAMEX OPERATIONS WEST, LLC, Defendant.
ORDER GRANTING FINAL APPROVAL OF COLLECTIVE
SETTLEMENT AND APPROVING SERVICE AWARD
WILLIAM ALSUP UNITED STATE DISTRICT JUDGE.
wage-and-hour collective action under the Fair Labor
Standards Act, both sides seek final approval of a
collective-wide settlement, and the named plaintiff seeks a
service award. Several objections were filed. For the reasons
stated below, the objections are Overruled,
and final approval is Granted. The service
award is also Approved, though reduced.
Juan Saravia represents a certified collective of drivers who
contracted with defendant Dynamex Operations West, LLC.
Plaintiffs contend Dynamex improperly classified them as
independent contractors rather than as employees and failed
to pay them minimum wages and overtime premiums.
full and hard-fought discovery period, an order denied
defendants' motion to decertify the collective action but
invited plaintiffs to identify the individual with the
easiest case for misclassification and further invited both
sides to move for summary judgment as to that plaintiff
(rather than as to the named plaintiff). Summary judgment was
denied for both sides. Shortly before trial, the parties
reached a settlement agreement, and an order granted
preliminary approval of that agreement.
several drafts and resolution of a contested term of the
settlement agreement, the parties notified the members of the
collective of the settlement and the procedure for opting
out, objecting, or offering a conditional challenge to the
than 140 individuals initially opted in as plaintiffs. After
various motions to dismiss certain individuals and the
narrowing of the case before summary judgment, 107 plaintiffs
(including 106 opt-ins and our named plaintiff) remained
members of the collective. After notice of the settlement was
disseminated, one plaintiff opted out of the settlement.
Another challenged the settlement agreement, but did not
withdraw. A third attempted to challenge the settlement
agreement, but failed to do so according to the proper
procedure. Accordingly, the proposed settlement affects a
total of 106 plaintiffs.
order follows plaintiffs' counsel's brief on the
merits of the settlement, briefs from both sides addressing
objections, and a fairness hearing.
settlement should be approved if it is fundamentally fair,
adequate and reasonable.” Torrisi v. Tucson Elec.
Power Co., 8 F.3d 1370, 1375 (9th Cir. 1993) (internal
A. Settlement Fund.
will pay a total of $500 thousand to settle claims herein.
This amount is exclusive of attorney's fees and
costs, settlement administration costs, and the service award
to Saravia. Fees and costs are addressed in a separate order
on plaintiffs' counsel's disputed motion. Dynamex is
paying administrative costs. The service award is addressed
below. There is no possibility that any of the settlement
fund will revert to Dynamex.
plaintiffs who remain part of the collective will receive a
direct monetary distribution. There will be no
amount disbursed to each plaintiff will be a minimum payment
of two hundred dollars, plus a proportion of the total
settlement fund after the minimum payment is disbursed, which
proportion will be based on each plaintiff's pro
rata share of the total number of overtime hours worked.
The calculation of overtime hours is based on plaintiff's
driver activity reports ...