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Hunt v. VEP Healthcare, Inc.

United States District Court, N.D. California

April 3, 2018

EMILY HUNT, on behalf of herself, all others similarly situated, and on behalf of the general public, Plaintiff,
v.
VEP HEALTHCARE, INC., a corporation; and DOES 1 through 100, inclusive, Defendants.

          SECOND REVISED [PROPOSED] ORDER GRANTING PLAINTIFF EMILY HUNT'S UNOPPOSED MOTION FOR FINAL APPROVAL OF CLASS/COLLECTIVE ACTION SETTLEMENT; AWARD OF ATTORNEYS' FEES, COSTS, CLASS/COLLECTIVE REPRESENTATIVE ENHANCEMENT/GENERAL RELEASE PAYMENT, CLAIMS ADMINISTRATION EXPENSES; AND ENTERING JUDGMENT

          Honorable Vince Chhabria United States District Court Judge.

         This matter came on for hearing on March 15, 2018 at 10:00 a.m., in Courtroom 4 of the above-captioned Court on Plaintiff's Motion for Final Approval of Class/Collective Action Settlement; Award of Attorneys' Fees, Costs, Class/Collective Service Award Payment, Claims Administration Expenses; and Entering Judgment (Dkt. No. 59).

         Having received and considered Plaintiff's motion and supplemental briefs, the Joint Stipulation and Settlement Agreement (hereinafter referred to as the “Settlement Agreement”), the supporting papers filed by the Parties, and the evidence and argument received by the Court in conjunction with the Motion for Final Approval of Class and Collective Action Settlement, the Court grants final approval of the Settlement and HEREBY ORDERS AND MAKES THE FOLLOWING DETERMINATIONS:

         1. Pursuant to the Court's Order as Modified Granting Renewed Motion for Preliminary Approval of Class and Collective Action Settlement (Dkt. No. 55) (hereinafter referred to as the “Order Granting Preliminary Approval”), a Notice of Collective and Class Action Settlement (hereinafter referred to the “Notice”) was mailed to all members of the California Class and FLSA Collective by first-class U.S. Mail on January 3, 2018. A Notice was also emailed to all members of the California Class and FLSA Collective between January 4, 2018, and January 8, 2018. The Court finds that distribution of the Notice in the manner set forth in the Court's Order Granting Preliminary Approval and the Settlement Agreement constituted the best notice practicable under the circumstances, and constituted valid, due and sufficient notice to all members of the California Class and FLSA Collective. The Court finds that such notice complies fully with the requirements of Rule 23 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, the Constitution of the United States, and any other applicable laws. The Notice set forth herein and in the Settlement Agreement provides a means of notice reasonably calculated to apprise the California Class and FLSA Collective Members of the pendency of the action and the proposed settlement, and thereby meets the requirements of Rule 23(c)(2) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, as well as due process under the United States Constitution and any other applicable law, and shall constitute due and sufficient notice to all California Class and FLSA Collective Members entitled thereto. The Notice informed the California Class and FLSA Collective of: (1) the terms of the Settlement; (2) their right to submit objections, if any, and to appear in person or by counsel at the final approval hearing and to be heard regarding approval of the Settlement; (3) California Class Members' right to request exclusion from the Class and the Settlement; (4) FLSA Collective Members' right to opt-in to the Collective and the Settlement; and (5) the date set for the final approval hearing. Adequate periods of time were provided by each of these procedures. No. member of the California Class or FLSA Collective filed a written objection to the proposed Settlement as part of this notice process or stated an intention to appear at the final approval hearing.

         2. One (1) member of the California Class has requested to be excluded from the Class and the Settlement. This individual is excluded from the Settlement and is not bound by this Judgment or the terms of the Settlement Agreement. The name of this individual is attached hereto as Exhibit A. Plaintiff and all California Class Members other than the individual who requested to be excluded from the settlement are adjudged to be Participating California Class Members and are bound by this Final Judgment and by the Settlement Agreement, including the releases provided for in the Settlement Agreement.

         3. Two hundred and ten (210) FLSA Collective Members submitted FLSA Claim Forms and thereby opted-in to Collective and the Settlement. All FLSA Collective Members who did not submit FLSA Claim Forms are excluded from the settlement and are not bound by this Judgment or the terms of the Settlement Agreement. These individuals are excluded from the Settlement and are not bound by this Judgment or the terms of the Settlement Agreement. The names of the individuals who submitted FLSA Claim Forms are attached hereto as Exhibit B. Plaintiff and all FLSA Collective Members who submitted FLSA Claim Forms are adjudged to be Participating FLSA Collective Members and are bound by this Final Judgment and by the Settlement Agreement, including the releases provided for in the Settlement Agreement.

         4. The Court finds and determines that this notice procedure afforded adequate protections to California Class and FLSA Collective Members and provides the basis for the Court to make an informed decision regarding approval of the Settlement based on the responses of California Class and FLSA Collective Members. The Court finds and determines that the Notice was the best notice practicable, which satisfied the requirements of law and due process.

         5. Solely for the purpose of settlement, in accordance with the Settlement Agreement, the Court finds that the requirements of Rule 23 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure and other laws and rules applicable to settlement approval of class actions have been satisfied, and the Court hereby certifies a California Class of all individuals employed by VEP Healthcare, Inc. as Physician's Assistants in the state of California who were eligible to receive productivity pay from April 6, 2011 to May 15, 2017.

         6. Solely for the purpose of settlement in accordance with the Settlement Agreement, the Court finds that the requirements of 29 U.S.C. § 216(b) have been satisfied and other laws and rules applicable to settlement approval of collective actions have been satisfied, and the Court hereby certifies an FLSA Collective of all individuals employed by VEP Healthcare, Inc. as Physician's Assistants in the state of California who were eligible to receive productivity pay from April 6, 2011 to May 15, 2017.

         7. Pursuant to the Settlement Agreement, and for settlement purposes only, the Court further finds as to the California Class that:

a. The Class is so numerous that joinder of all members is impracticable;
b. There are questions of law or fact common to the Class which predominate over the questions affecting only individual members;
c. The claims of the Class Representative, Emily Hunt, are typical of the claims of the Class that the Class Representative seeks to certify;
d. The Class Representative, Emily Hunt, will fairly and adequately protect the interests of the Class and is, therefore, appointed ...

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