United States District Court, D. Colorado
BRIANNA CAMERON, individually and on behalf of others similarly situated, Plaintiff/Counter Defendant,
GOODTIME TOWNE TAVERN, INC. Defendant/Counter Claimant.
Brooke Jackson United States District Judge
moves to enforce two settlement agreements. Defendant
concedes the motion in part and opposes it in part. Defense
counsel also moves to withdraw. This order addresses those
Cameron worked for the Goodtime Towne Tavern, Inc. (GTTI) as
an exotic dancer. In her Complaint she asserted, purportedly
on behalf of herself and other similarly situated dancers,
that she was not paid minimum wages or overtime pay as
required by the Fair Labor Standards Act. She also asserted
claims under the Colorado Minimum Wage Act and for unjust
enrichment. ECF No. 1.
her claim to represent herself and others, Ms. Cameron did
not seek certification of a collective action or a class
action. She did, however, file a “Consent to
Join” on behalf of another individual, Georgina
Santich. ECF No. 21. Whether that was a proper means of
adding an additional party plaintiff to the case was not
challenged by the defendant.
parties settled this case on terms set forth in two written
agreements. ECF No. 28 (for Ms. Cameron) and No. 28-1 (for
Ms. Santich). Among other terms, these agreements required
payments of $6, 483.33 to Ms. Cameron and $5, 933.33 to Ms.
Santich no later than July 15, 2019. Id. The
settlement amounts were not paid as agreed, and to the
Court's knowledge, have never been paid.
status conference held on August 8, 2019, the defendant's
owner, Stan Pettengill, both in person and through his
attorney, represented that GTTI did not have funds with which
to make the settlement payments, but that Mr. Pettengill was
in the process of attempting to sell the tavern and would
make the payments out of the sales proceeds. Shortly
thereafter Ms. Cameron filed the pending motion to enforce
the settlement agreement(s) against GTTI and against Mr.
Pettengill individually. She asserted that Mr. Pettengill was
obligated because he had “ratified” the
settlement agreement. ECF No. 27 at 3-4.
through counsel, responded that it did not oppose the motion
to the extent that sought to impose liability on GTTI but did
oppose it to the extent that it sought to impose liability on
Mr. Pettengill. ECF No. 29 at 1. GTTI argues that Mr.
Pettengill was not a party to the litigation and did not
ratify the settlement in any capacity other than as an
authorized signatory for GTTI. Id. at 1-2.
after filing the response defendant's counsel moved to
withdraw, stating that he is not a collections attorney, and
that there was additional good cause for withdrawal that he
could not disclose in the motion. ECF No. 30 at 1. The motion
indicates that counsel had conferred with plaintiff's
counsel who indicated that plaintiff opposed the motion.
However, no opposition has been filed. Nor have GTTI or Mr.
Pettengill responded to the motion to withdraw.
Enforceability of the Settlement
party seems to have paid close attention to the terms of the
settlement agreements, but the answers to their arguments can
be found there. Preliminarily, it does not matter that Mr.
Pettengill was not a party to the case. The parties to the
case resolved the case by entering into two written
settlement agreements. The agreements are enforceable, and
they will be enforced on their express terms.
Cameron agreement expressly provides that it is between
Brianna Cameron and her agents, etc., on the one hand, and
GTTI “along with its owner (Stan Pettengill),
agents, managers, employees, officers, directors, attorneys,
predecessors, successors, assignees, beneficiaries, and
affiliated entities (collectively
“RELEASEE”), all of whom may be collectively or
individually referred to as the ‘parties' or a
‘party, '” on the other hand. ECF No. 28
at 1 (emphasis added). Setting aside the excessive legalese,
the Court interprets this language to mean that Mr.
Pettengill, among others, is a “releasee” and a
party to the settlement agreement. ECF No. 28 at 1. The
Santich agreement contains substantially identical language.
ECF No. 28-1 at 1.
1 of the Cameron agreement provides that in exchange for a
complete release, “RELEASEE will cause to be paid to
you and your counsel the gross total sum of Six Thousand Four
Hundred Eighty-Three Dollars and Thirty-Three Cents
($6483.33) (‘the Settlement Payment').” ECF
No. 28 at 1. The Santich agreement is the same except that
the amount is $5, 933.33. ECF No. 28-1 at 1. The agreements
continue, “The Settlement Payment will be delivered to
your counsel on or before July 15, 2019 so long as the
following have also occurred prior to that Dated: (a) ...