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Shaulis v. Falcon Subsidiary LLC

United States District Court, D. Colorado

June 19, 2018

JANET SHAULIS, and JEWEL ARLENE KEY, individually and on behalf of all other similarly situated individuals Plaintiffs,
v.
FALCON SUBSIDIARY LLC, a Delaware limited liability company, d/b/a Axispoint Health, Defendant.

          ORDER GRANTING JOINT MOTION FOR PRELIMINARY APPROVAL OF COLLECTIVE AND CLASS ACTIONS SETTLEMENT AND CERTIFYING THE CLASS FOR PURPOSE OF SETTLEMENT

          CHRISTINE M. ARGUELLO, United States District Judge

         This matter is before the Court on the Parties' Joint Motion for Preliminary Approval of Collective/Class Action Settlement, Certifying Class for Purpose of Settlement, Directing Notice to the Class, and Scheduling Final Approval Hearing (the “Joint Motion”). (Doc. # 26.)

         For the reasons set forth in the Joint Motion, this Court grants preliminary approval of the Settlement Agreement, filed with the Court as Exhibit 1 to the Joint Motion (Doc. # 26-1). Given the procedural posture of this case, the Settlement Agreement is preliminary approved as fair, reasonable, and adequate. See In re Integra Realty Resources, Inc., 354 F.3d 1246, 1266 (10th Cir. 2004); Rutter & Wilbanks Corp. v. Shell Oil Co., 314 F.3d 1180, 1188 (10th Cir. 2002). Accordingly, it is hereby ORDERED as follows:

         1. The Joint Motion (Doc. # 26) is GRANTED.

         2. Class Findings:

Solely for the purposes of the Settlement, the Court finds that the requirements of the Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 23, the Constitution of the United States, the requirements of 29 U.S.C. § 216(b), the Rules of this Court and any other applicable law have been met as to the Settlement Class defined below, in that:
a. The Court preliminarily finds, for purposes of settlement only, that the settlement reflects a fair and reasonable resolution of a bona fide dispute with respect to the claims asserted by the Settlement Class.
b. The Court preliminarily finds, for purposes of settlement only, that each of the Plaintiffs has standing to represent the Settlement Class because they have potentially suffered damages and are members of the Settlement Class.
c. The Court preliminarily finds, for purposes of settlement only, that, as required by Fed.R.Civ.P. 23, the Settlement Class is ascertainable from records kept by Defendant with respect to their employees and from other objective criteria, and that the members of the Settlement Class are so numerous that their joinder before the Court would be impracticable.
d. The Court preliminarily finds, for purposes of settlement only, that, as required by Rule 23, there are one or more questions of fact and/or law common to the Settlement Class.
e. The Court preliminarily finds, for purposes of settlement only, that, as required by Rule 23, the claims of the Plaintiffs are typical of the claims of the Settlement Class; f. The Court preliminarily finds, for purposes of settlement only, that, as required by Rule 23, the Plaintiffs will fairly and adequately protect the interests of the Settlement Class in that: (i) the interests of the Plaintiffs and the nature of their alleged claims are consistent with those of the members of the Settlement Class, (ii) there appear to be no conflicts between or among the Plaintiffs and the Settlement Class, and (iii) the Plaintiffs and the members of the Settlement Class are represented by qualified, reputable counsel who are experienced in preparing and prosecuting large, complex consumer class actions.
g. The Court preliminarily finds, for purposes of settlement only, that, as required by Rule 23 and upon consideration of the factors enumerated in Rule 23, maintaining the Plaintiffs' claims as a class action is superior to other available means of adjudication in promoting the convenient administration of justice.

         3. Class Certification and Appointment of Class Counsel:

         The Court, in conducting the settlement approval process required by Rule 23, certifies, for purposes of settlement only, the following Settlement Class:

All current and former hourly Telehealth Nurses (“THNs”) (a home-based nurse who field patient calls) who work or have worked for F a lc on Subsidiary LLC d /b /a AxisPoint Health at any tim e f rom February 6, 2015 (for all THNs employed in states other than California) and from February 6, 2014 (for all THNs employed in California), through the date on which the Court grants preliminary approval of the Settlement (the “Class Period”).

         Further, the Court appoints the named Plaintiffs as representatives for the Settlement Class and appoints Sommers Schwartz, P.C. as Class Counsel for the Plaintiffs and the Settlement Class. This certification of a preliminary Settlement Class pursuant to the terms of the Settlement Agreement shall not constitute and does not constitute, and shall not be construed or used as an admission, concession, or declaration by or against the Defendant, that (except for the purposes of the Settlement) this Action or any other action is appropriate for class treatment under Rule 23.

         4. Preliminary Findings Regarding Proposed Settlement:

         The Court preliminarily finds that: (i) the proposed Settlement resulted from extensive arm's-length negotiations; (ii) the Settlement Agreement was executed only after Class Counsel had conducted appropriate investigation and fact-finding regarding the strengths and weaknesses of the Plaintiffs' claims; (iii) Class Counsel, having substantial experience in FLSA collective actions and wage and hour class action cases, concluded that the proposed Settlement is fair, reasonable and adequate; and (iv) the proposed Settlement is sufficiently fair, reasonable and adequate to warrant sending notice of the proposed Settlement to the Settlement Class. Having considered the essential terms of the Settlement Agreement under the recommended standards for preliminary approval of settlements as set forth in relevant jurisprudence, the Court finds that ...


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