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Raquedan v. Centerplate of Delaware Inc.

United States District Court, N.D. California, San Jose Division

December 16, 2019

MONIQUE RAQUEDAN, et al., Plaintiffs,
v.
CENTERPLATE OF DELAWARE INC, Defendant.

          ORDER GRANTING MOTION FOR FINAL APPROVAL OF CLASS ACTION SETTLEMENT AND GRANTING MOTION FOR ATTORNEY'S FEES, COSTS, AND CLASS REPRESENTATIVE PLAINTIFF AWARDS RE: DKT. NOS. 168, 170

          LUCY H. KOH, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         On July 3, 2019, after the parties filed a Third Amended Settlement (“Settlement Agreement”) and Third Amended Class Notice, the Court granted preliminary approval of the parties' Joint Motion for Class Action Settlement and Release. ECF No. 162 (“July 3, 2019 Preliminary Approval Order”); see also ECF Nos. 159-1, 159-2. On August 30, 2019, the parties notified the court that the appointed Settlement Administrator made material errors in the Class Member Settlement Information Sheet that was mailed to class members. ECF No. 165. On September 3, 2019, the Court granted the parties' stipulation to approve the mailing of a corrected Class Member Settlement Information Sheet.

         On September 23, 2019, Plaintiffs filed the instant motion for attorney's fees, costs, and class representative plaintiff awards. ECF No. 168. On October 17, 2019, the parties filed their joint motion for final approval of class action settlement. ECF No. 170. The motion for attorney's fees, costs, and class representative plaintiff awards and the joint motion for final approval of class action settlement came on for a hearing before this Court on November 21, 2019. The Court raised issues regarding final approval of the settlement, Class Counsel's costs, and Class Counsel's billing records both before and during the November 21, 2019 hearing, and the parties filed additional supplemental declarations in response. ECF Nos. 172-182.

         Due and adequate notice having been given to Class Members as required by the Court's July 3, 2019 Preliminary Approval Order and September 3, 2019 Order Approving Mailing of Corrected Class Member Settlement Information; and the Court having considered the motion for attorney's fees, costs, and class representative plaintiff awards, the motion for final approval of class action settlement, the Settlement Agreement, the arguments of counsel at the November 21, 2019 hearing, and supplemental declarations following the November 21, 2019 hearing; and having received no objections to the settlement; and determining that the settlement is fair, adequate and reasonable, it is hereby ORDERED AS FOLLOWS:

         1. Pursuant to the Preliminary Approval Order, a Notice of Proposed Settlement, Conditional Certification of Settlement Class, Preliminary Approval of Settlement, and Hearing Date for Final Court Approval; a Class Member Settlement Information Sheet; and an Election Not to Participate in Settlement were sent in English and Spanish to each Class Member by first-class U.S. mail. These papers informed Class Members of the terms of the Settlement, their right to receive a Settlement Share, their right to object to the Settlement or 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. No Class Members filed written objections to the proposed Settlement as part of this notice period or stated an intention to appear at the final approval hearing. The Court finds and determines that this 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 and satisfied the requirements of law and due process.

         2. In addition to the notice to the Class, pursuant to the Class Action Fairness Act of 2005, 28 U.S.C. § 1715 (“CAFA”), the Attorney General of the United States and the appropriate state official in each state in which a Class Member resides have been given notice of the Settlement. Pursuant to CAFA, not later than 10 days after the motion seeking preliminary approval of the Settlement was filed with the Court, Centerplate served upon the appropriate state official of each state in which a Class Member resides and the appropriate federal official a notice of the Settlement consisting of a copy of the operative complaint in this action; a notice of the scheduled judicial hearing; the Settlement with its exhibits; and the names of Class Members who reside in each state and the estimated proportionate share of the claims of Class Members in each state to the entire Settlement. The notice of Settlement also invited comment on the Settlement. The Court finds and determines that Centerplate's notice of the Settlement was timely, adequate, and compliant with the statutory requirements of CAFA.

         3. In addition to the notice to the Class and the CAFA notice described above, the California Labor and Workforce Development Agency (the “LWDA”) has been given timely notice of the Settlement pursuant to the California Labor Code Private Attorneys General Act (“PAGA”), Cal. Lab. Code § 2699(1)(2). The notice of Settlement invited comment on the Settlement. The Court finds and determines that this notice of the Settlement was timely, adequate, and compliant with PAGA.

         4. For the reasons stated in the Preliminary Approval Order, the Court finds and determines that the proposed Class, as defined in the definitions section of the Settlement and conditionally certified by the Preliminary Approval Order, meets all of the legal requirements for class certification, and it is hereby ordered that the Class is finally approved and certified as a class for purposes of the Settlement.

         5. The Settlement Administrator noted that it received opt outs from 71 Class Members, though 16 of those opt outs were deemed deficient. ECF No. 178 ¶ 5. The Settlement Administrator followed up with the 16 Class Members who submitted allegedly deficient opt outs. Of the 16 Class Members who submitted allegedly deficient opt outs, 4 Class Members confirmed that they were opting out. Of the 12 remaining Class Members with allegedly deficient opt outs, the Court finds that 6 are valid opt outs and that 6 do not qualify as opt outs.

         6. The Court finds that the opt outs for the following Class Members are valid: (1) Raymond Chestnut, ECF No. 178, Ex. A; (2) Kirsten Clauveh, id., Ex. B; (3) Jose Alfredo Vera, id., Ex. C; (4) Daniel Schwartz, id., Ex. D; (5) Sandra Barrera, id., Ex. E; and (6) Carol Perrigo, id., Ex. F.

         7. The Court finds that the following Class Members did not intend to opt out of the Settlement: (1) Susanna Wong, id., Ex. G; (2) Anderson Penn, id., Ex. H; (3) Christopher Moore, id., Ex. I; (4) Hnin Lwin, id., Ex. J; (5) David Bonilla, id., Ex. K; and (6) Ming Run Xie, id., Ex. L.

         8. The Court finds that the terms of the Settlement are fair, reasonable and adequate to the Class and to each Class Member and that the Class Members who did not timely submit valid opt outs in accordance with the Settlement Agreement and the Preliminary Approval Order 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 hereby are ordered to be consummated.

         9. The Court finds and determines that the Settlement Shares to be paid to the Class Members, as provided for by the Settlement, are fair and reasonable. The Court hereby gives final approval to and orders the payment of those amounts be made to the Class Members out of the Net Settlement Amount in accordance with the Settlement.

         10. Final approval shall be with respect to: All non-exempt employees of Centerplate who worked for Centerplate in the State of California at any time from May 24, 2013, to March 31, 2019, excluding those individuals who already have resolved all the claims asserted in the Action, whether by settlement or adjudication.

         11. The named Plaintiffs Ronald Martinez and Monique Raquedan are suitable representatives and are hereby appointed the representatives for the Settlement Class. The Court finds that Plaintiffs' investment and commitment to the litigation and its outcome ensured adequate and zealous advocacy for the ...


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