United States District Court, D. Massachusetts
CHERYL LAPAN, MICHELLE SHUTT, AARON WILLIAMS, ANA TOTH, JOHN BOUCHARD, and PATRICK KACZMARCZYK, individually and on behalf of all other persons similarly situated, Plaintiffs,
DICK’S SPORTING GOODS, INC., Defendants.
ORDER GRANTING THE PARTIES’ MOTION FOR PRELIMINARY APPROVAL OF SETTLEMENT, CONDITIONAL CERTIFICATION OF THE SETTLEMENT CLASSES, APPOINTMENT OF CLASS COUNSEL, AND APPROVAL OF THE PROPOSED NOTICE OF SETTLEMENT AND CLASS ACTION PROCEDURE
Honorable Richard G. Stearns United States District Judge
The above-entitled matter came before the Court on the parties’ Motion for Preliminary Approval, Conditional Certification of the Settlement Classes, appointment of Klafter Lesser & Olsen LLP, Hepworth, Gershbaum & Roth, PLLC, Winebrake & Santillo, LLC and Wexler Wallace LLC, as Class Counsel, and approval of Plaintiffs’ Proposed Notice of Settlement and Class Action Settlement Procedure (“Motion for Preliminary Approval”) (Docket No. 209).
I. Preliminary Approval of Settlement
Based upon the Court’s review of the Parties’ Memorandum of Law in Support of Plaintiffs’ Motion for Preliminary Approval of Settlement, the Declaration of Seth R. Lesser (“Lesser Declaration”), and all other papers submitted in connection with the Parties’ Motion for Preliminary Approval, the Court grants preliminary approval of the settlement memorialized in the Settlement Agreement: DSG Assistant Store Manager Litigation (“Settlement Agreement”), attached to the Lesser Declaration as Exhibit A.
1. The Court concludes that the proposed Settlement Agreement is within the range of possible settlement approval, such that notice to the Class is appropriate.
2. The Court finds that the Settlement Agreement is the result of extensive, arm’s length negotiations by counsel well-versed in the prosecution of wage and hour class and collective actions.
3. The assistance of an experienced mediator, Hunter Hughes, reinforces that the Settlement Agreement is non-collusive.
II. Certification of the Proposed FLSA and Rule 23 Settlement Classes
4. The Court provisionally certifies for settlement purposes only the “FLSA Class, ” which shall consist of all individuals who: (a) file or filed a valid consent to join the LaPan Action; and (b) worked for Dick’s Sporting Goods, Inc. (“DSG”) as an exempt ASM anywhere in the United States within the three year period immediately preceding the filing of their consent to join the LaPan Action. The FLSA Collective period shall run until November 5, 2015.
5. The Court provisionally certifies the following classes under Fed.R.Civ.P. 23(e), for settlement purposes only:
a. The “State Classes, ” which shall consist of all individuals employed as ASMs for DSG in the following states and during the time periods specified below, and who, as ASMs, DSG classified as exempt. The “State Class Periods” set forth below shall run through November 5, 2015:
1. Arizona: all ASMs employed at any point in time between November 5, 2014 and November 5, 2015.
2. Colorado: all ASMs employed at any point in time between November 5, 2012 and November 5, 2015.
3. Connecticut: all ASMs employed at any point in time between November 5, 2012 and November 5, 2015.
4. Delaware: all ASMs employed at any point in time between November 5, 2014 and November 5, 2015.
5. Illinois: all ASMs employed at any point in time between May 29, 2012 and November 5, 2015.
6. Indiana: all ASMs employed at any point in time between November 5, 2012 ...