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Donald v. Xanitos, Inc.

United States District Court, N.D. California

April 27, 2017

PAULA DONALD, on behalf of herself, all others similarly situated, and the general public, Plaintiff,
v.
XANITOS, INC., a Delaware corporation, KAISER FOUNDATION HOSPITALS, a California corporation, and DOES 1 through 10, inclusive, Defendant.

          HOFFMAN EMPLOYMENT LAWYERS Michael Hoffman, Leonard Emma, Stephen Noel Ilg, Attorneys for Plaintiff and the Classes

          ORDER GRANTING PLAINTIFF'S MOTION FOR FINAL APPROVAL OF CLASS ACTION SETTLEMENT AND MOTION FOR ATTORNEYS' FEES, COSTS, AND REPRESENTATIVE PLAINTIFF ENHANCEMENT

          Honorable William H. Orrick United States District Court Judge.

         Pending before the Court are Plaintiff Paula Donald's (“Plaintiff”) Motion for Final Approval of Class Action Settlement and Plaintiff's Motion for Attorneys' Fees, Costs, and Representative Plaintiff Enhancement.

         Plaintiff's Motion for Final Approval requests an order (1) granting final approval to the settlement of claims as set forth in the Stipulation and Agreement to Settle Putative Class Action (“Agreement” or “Settlement”) between the parties in the above-captioned matter; (2) granting approval of payment to the claims administrator; and (3) dismissing this action with prejudice in accordance with the terms of the Agreement.

         Plaintiff's Motion for Attorneys' Fees, Costs and Plaintiff Representative Enhancement requests an order (1) awarding $150, 000 in attorney's fees, (2) an enhancement award of $2, 500 to Representative Plaintiff Paula Donald, and (3) reimbursement of litigation costs of $9, 500.

         The Court conducted a hearing regarding the Motion for Final Approval on April 26, 2017, concurrent with the hearing on Plaintiff's Motion for Attorney's Fees, Costs, and Representative Plaintiff Enhancement.

         On December 9, 2016, the Court entered an order preliminarily approving the Settlement. The Court certified the following classes:

(1) All persons who provided environmental services to Defendants within the State of California as a contractor for Xanitos, and who Xanitos classified as an independent contractor; and
(2) All persons who provided environmental services to Defendants within the State of California as a supervisor, manager or similar or equivalent designation, as an employee of Xanitos, and who Xanitos classified as an exempt employee.
(Dkt. 73 (“Order Granting Preliminary Approval”)).

         For the reasons stated below and at the hearing, the Court GRANTS Plaintiff's Motion for Final Approval of Class Action Settlement and GRANTS Plaintiff's Motion for Attorneys' Fees, Costs, and Representative Plaintiff Enhancement.

         STANDARD FOR APPROVAL OF CLASS ACTION SETTLEMENT

         To approve a proposed settlement of a class action under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 23(e), the Court must find that the proposed settlement is “fair, adequate and reasonable, ” recognizing that “it is the settlement taken as a whole, rather than the individual component parts, that must be examined for overall fairness.” Staton v. Boeing Co., 327 F.3d 938, 960 (9th Cir. 2003) (quoting Hanlon v. Chrysler Corp., 150 F.3d 1011, 1026 (9th Cir. 1998)).

         STANDARD FOR MOTION FOR ATTORNEYS' FEES, COSTS AND REPRESENTATIVE PLAINTIFF ENHANCEMENT

         At the conclusion of a successful class action, class counsel may apply to the Court for an award of reasonable attorneys' fees. See Fed. R. Civ. P. 23(h). Where a settlement produces a common fund for the benefit of the entire class, courts have discretion to employ either the lodestar method or the percentage-of-recovery method. See In re Mercury Interactive Corp., 618 F.3d 988, 992 (9th Cir. 2010) (citing P ...


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