United States District Court, C.D. California
EUGENE SANDERS, DOUG BUTLER, DARREL FOLEY, GEORGE RENNER, and ROGER SHRADER, individuals, on behalf of themselves, on behalf of all persons similarly situated, Plaintiffs,
OLD DOMINION FREIGHT LINE, INC., a Corporation; and Does 1 through 50, Inclusive, Defendants.
ORDER: (1) GRANTING FINAL APPROVAL OF CLASS ACTION
SETTLEMENT; AND (2) ENTERING FINAL JUDGMENT
HONORABLE DALE S. FISCHER UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
November 18, 2019, a hearing was held on the motion of
Plaintiffs Eugene Sanders, Doug Butler, Darrel Foley, George
Renner, and Roger Shrader for final approval of their
proposed class action settlement (the Settlement) and
payments to the Plaintiffs, Class Counsel, the Labor and
Workforce Development Agency and the Settlement
Administrator. Blumenthal Nordrehaug Bhowmik De Blouw LLP
appeared for Plaintiff; and McGuireWoods LLP appeared for
Defendant Old Dominion Freight Line, Inc.
Parties have submitted their Settlement, which this Court
preliminarily approved by its June 4, 2019, Order (Docket No.
81) (the Preliminary Approval Order). In accordance with the
Preliminary Approval Order, Class Members have been given
notice of the terms of the Settlement and the opportunity to
comment on or object to it or to exclude themselves from its
received and considered the Settlement, the supporting papers
filed by the Parties, and the evidence and argument received
by the Court before entering the Preliminary Approval Order
and at the final approval hearing, the Court grants final
approval of the Settlement as modified in this Order, enters
this Final Approval Order, and ORDERS and DETERMINES as
Except as otherwise specified, the Court for purposes of this
Final Approval Order adopts all defined terms set forth in
the Stipulation for Settlement and Release of Class Action
Claims (Settlement Agreement or Agreement). All
initially-capitalized terms used in this Order have the same
defined meaning as provided in the Settlement Agreement,
unless otherwise defined in this Order.
Court has jurisdiction over this Action and the Settlement
pursuant to 28 U.S.C. sections 1132(a) and 1332(d).
settlement purposes, the Court confirms the certification of
the Class defined as: “all line haul and pick-up and
delivery drivers employed by Defendant working in the State
of California from September 2, 2012 through December 31,
2018 (the Settlement Class Period), but expressly excluding
therefrom any individuals who, as of the date of preliminary
approval, have filed their own separate action as a named
plaintiff alleging the same or similar claims being released
by the settlement and/or who has previously released all
claims against Defendant being settled and released by this
Agreement.” 4. For settlement purposes only, Plaintiffs
shall be and hereby are granted leave to file the Sixth
Amended Complaint in the form attached to the Stipulation for
Settlement and Release of Class Action Claims as Exhibit A,
as their operative pleading in this action. Defendant's
currently operative Answer to the Fifth Amended Complaint is
deemed to be its Answer to the Sixth Amended Complaint.
Pursuant to this Preliminary Approval Order, the Notice of
Class Action Settlement was sent to each class member by
first-class mail. The Notice of Class Action Settlement
informed Class Members of the terms of the Settlement, their
right to receive a Settlement Share, their right to comment
on or object to the Settlement and/or the attorneys' fees
and costs, their right to elect not to participate in the
Settlement and pursue their own remedies, and their right to
appear in person or by counsel at the final approval hearing
and be heard regarding approval of the Settlement. Adequate
periods of time were provided by each of these procedures.
notice procedure afforded adequate protections to Class
Members and provides the basis for the Court to make an
informed decision regarding approval of the settlement based
on the responses of Class Members. The Court finds and
determines that the notice provided in this case was the best
notice practicable, which satisfied the requirements of law
and due process.
Pursuant to the Class Action Fairness Act, 28 U.S.C. §
1711 et seq. (CAFA), Defendant mailed notice of the
proposed settlement to the Attorney General of the United
States and the appropriate state official in each state in
which a Class Member reportedly resides according to
Defendant's records on May 17, 2019. Accordingly, the
requirements under CAFA to provide notice to the appropriate
federal and state officials have been satisfied.
Class Members filed written objections to the proposed
settlement as part of this notice process. One Class Member
(Jose Luis Cervantes) validly requested exclusion.
the reasons stated in the Preliminary Approval Order, the
terms of the Settlement are fair, reasonable, and adequate to
the Class and to each Class Member and the Settlement Class
Members will be bound by the Settlement, that the Settlement
is ordered finally approved, and that all terms and
provisions of the Settlement should be and are ordered to be
consummated in accordance with this Order.
Gross Settlement Fund in the amount of $1, 158, 070.08 and
the settlement payments to be paid to the Settlement Class
Members as provided for by the Settlement are fair and
reasonable. The Court grants final approval to and orders the
payment of those amounts be distributed to the Settlement
Class Members out of the Net Settlement Fund in accordance
with the Agreement, with the following upward adjustments of
the Net Settlement Fund to be additionally funded by
Defendant in ...