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Candelaria v. Health Care Service Corp.

United States District Court, D. New Mexico

December 5, 2019

NORA CANDELARIA, KIMANI SINGLETON and all others similarly situated under 29 USC § 216b, Plaintiffs,
v.
HEALTH CARE SERVICE CORPORATION, Defendant.

         COLLECTIVE AND CLASS ACTION COMPLAINT

          ORDER PRELIMINARILY APPROVING SETTLEMENT AGREEMENT

         WHEREAS, Named Plaintiffs have made application for an order preliminarily approving the Parties' settlement as stated in the Settlement Agreement (“Settlement” or “Settlement Agreement”), which, together with the exhibits attached thereto, sets forth the terms and conditions for a proposed settlement and dismissal of the Settlement Class Members' claims upon the terms and conditions set forth therein. This Order incorporates by reference the definitions in the Settlement Agreement;

         WHEREAS, Defendant supports preliminary approval of the Settlement;

         WHEREAS, the Court has read and considered the Settlement Agreement, the exhibits attached thereto, and the briefing submitted in support of preliminary approval of the Settlement;

         NOW, THEREFORE, IT IS HEREBY ORDERED:

         1. Plaintiffs' Unopposed Motion for Preliminary Approval of Settlement Agreement (“Motion”) is GRANTED.

         2. The Court hereby preliminarily approves the Settlement Agreement and the Settlement of the New Mexico Minimum Wage Act and Illinois Minimum Wage Law class action claims as fair, reasonable and adequate based on consideration of the criteria set forth in Fed.R.Civ.P. 23(e)(2) and relevant case law.

         3. The settlement of the Fair Labor Standards Act collective action is also approved as a fair, equitable, and reasonable resolution of a bona fide dispute in this contested litigation.

         4. The formula for allocation of settlement payments set forth in the Settlement Agreement is preliminarily approved as a fair, equitable, and reasonable measure for calculating and distributing the settlement payments to Named Plaintiffs, Settlement Class Members and Opt-In Plaintiffs (collectively, “Settlement Class Members”).

         5. The Settlement Agreement is the result of arm's-length negotiations between experienced attorneys who are familiar with class action litigation in general and with the legal and factual issues of this case in particular.

         6. The Court has considered the pleadings and arguments in support of the Motion and finds that the proposed Settlement Class is proper. For purposes of settlement, the “Settlement Class” includes the 597 individuals who are also identified on Exhibit A by coded identification number. The Settlement Class is comprised of individuals who worked in New Mexico (“New Mexico Class”), individuals who worked in Illinois (“Illinois Class”), and individuals who worked in states other than New Mexico and Illinois (“FLSA Class”). The Settlement Class is comprised of individuals who worked at some point between April 3, 2014, and the present. The FLSA Class is limited to individuals working between April 3, 2015, and the present.

         7. The Court finds that the prerequisites of Fed.R.Civ.P. 23(a) and (b)(3) have been satisfied for the Rule 23 Settlement Class Members for settlement purposes only. Specifically, the Court finds as follows: (a) the settlement class is so numerous that joinder is impracticable; (b) common questions of fact and law exist; (c) the Named Plaintiff's claims are typical of the settlement class's claims; and (d) the Named Plaintiff and Settlement Class Counsel will be able to fairly and adequately protect the interests of the class. In addition, the Court finds that questions of law or fact common to the settlement class predominate over questions affecting individual members for purposes of the settlement, and the class action settlement is superior to other available methods. Certification of the Rule 23 Settlement Class for settlement purposes is the best means for protecting the interests of all of the Rule 23 Settlement Class Members.

         8. The Court appoints J. Derek Braziel of Lee & Braziel, LLP and Jack Siegel of the Siegel Law Group, PLLC, as settlement Class Counsel and preliminarily approves up to thirty-five percent (35%) as attorneys fees. The Court also approves Nora Candelaria and Kimani Singleton as Settlement Class Representatives.

         9. The Court approves the use of a settlement administration firm to be selected in accordance with the ...


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