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Riley v. Flowers Baking Company of Jamestown, LLC

United States District Court, W.D. North Carolina, Charlotte Division

June 30, 2017

WILLARD ALLEN RILEY MARIO RONCHETTI SCOTT REHBERG, individually and on behalf of all similarly situated individuals, Plaintiffs,
v.
FLOWERS BAKING COMPANY OF JAMESTOWN, LLC FLOWERS FOODS, INC., Defendants.

          FINAL ORDER

          Max O. Cogburn Jr United States District Judge

         THIS MATTER is before the court on the joint Motion for Final Approval of Class and Collective Action Settlement (#248) and unopposed Motion for Attorney Fees, Costs, and Payment of Service Awards (#244). Having considered those motions, the proposed settlements, the presentation of the parties as made at the June 27, 2017, hearing, and reviewed the transcript of that hearing, the court finds that all aspects of the Class Action Fairness Act, 28 U.S.C. § 1715, have been fully complied with and that the settlement is a reasonable resolution of this dispute, and that the fees, costs, and service awards are also reasonable as fair as more fully discussed at the hearing, the court enters the following Order.

         ORDER

         IT IS, THEREFORE, ORDERED that the unopposed Motion for Attorney Fees, Costs, and Payment of Service Awards (#244) is ALLOWED, and the Court AWARDS Class Counsel attorneys' fees and reimbursement of expenses in the amount of $3.8 million. As the service awards are to representative members of the class, such awards are addressed infra;

         IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that the joint Motion for Final Approval of Class and Collective Action Settlement (#248) is GRANTED, as follows:

         1. All defined terms contained herein shall have the same meaning as set forth in the Settlement Agreement executed by the Parties and filed with the Court.

         2. The Court has jurisdiction over the Parties, has subject-matter jurisdiction over the federal law claims, and has supplemental jurisdiction over the state-law claims.

         3. The Court hereby approves the Settlement Agreement and the terms set forth therein as fair, adequate, and reasonable, and hereby directs the Parties to perform, or cause to be performed, the remaining terms of the Settlement as set forth in the Settlement Agreement. The Court authorizes the payment by the Settlement Administrator, of Valid Claims that have been approved by the Settlement Administrator, in accordance with the terms of the Settlement Agreement. The Court further approves the Parties' agreement to maintain a reserve fund of 1% of the settlement, or $52, 000 to be held for payments to self-identified Class members, if any.

         4. This Court hereby dismisses with prejudice this action, specifically including the Released Claims.

         5. Upon entry of this Final Approval Order, all Named Plaintiffs and NCWHA Class Members shall be deemed to have fully, finally, and forever released, relinquished, and discharged all Released Claims, as defined in the Settlement Agreement, against all Releasees, that were brought or which could have been brought in an action arising out of or relating to allegations of misclassification as independent contractors set forth in the Complaint. In addition, FLSA Settlement Releasors who choose to release their FLSA claims against Releasees will be required to execute a release of claims on the Current or Former Distributor FLSA Claim Form and Release.

         6. This Court finds that the administration of the Settlement process was performed in accordance with the Preliminary Approval Order entered by this Court on March 17, 2017 (#242), and that the Settlement Notice was reasonable, constituted the most practicable notice under the circumstances, and complied with the requirements of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure and due process.

         7. This Court finds that the administration of the notice required by the Class Action Fairness Act (“CAFA”), 28 U.S.C. § 1715, was performed in accordance with the Preliminary Approval Order entered by this Court on March 17, 2017 (#242), and with the requirements of CAFA.

         8. Mark Dixon, XXX XXXXX XXXXX, Salisbury, NC 28146 is excluded from the settlement and shall not be bound by this Order and shall not receive any benefits of the settlement.

         9. This Court hereby approves the Service Awards of $12, 500 to Plaintiffs Scott Rehberg, Willard Allen Riley, and Mario Ronchetti, and directs payment of that amount from the Class Settlement Fund to each of ...


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