United States District Court, S.D. Ohio, Eastern Division, Dayton
ROBERT SLAUGHTER, On behalf of himself and those similarly situated, Plaintiff,
5 STAR PIZZA, LLC, et al., Defendants.
Magistrate Judge Deavers
ORDER APPROVING SETTLEMENT
ALGENON L. MARBLEY, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
matter is before the Court on Plaintiffs' unopposed
Motion for Settlement Approval. (ECF No. 20). For the
following reasons, the Court GRANTS the
Motion for Settlement Approval and the case is
DISMISSED WITHOUT PREJUDICE. The parties are
directed by the Court to file a Dismissal Order dismissing
this case with prejudice not later than thirty (30) days
after the entry of this Order.
matter is now terminated by settlement and shall be
considered, pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P. 41, dismissed without
prejudice as to all claims, until the parties file the
above-referenced Dismissal Order dismissing this matter with
prejudice, unless the case is reopened for good cause shown
upon proper motion of one or more parties to this action. The
Court will retain jurisdiction over the settlement
April 2019, Plaintiff Slaughter filed his Complaint on behalf
of himself and similarly situated employees alleging
violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act
(“FLSA”) and West Virginia state wage and hour
statutes. Plaintiffs Sengstock, Mainville, Smith, and West
joined the action at various times between May and September.
The proposed settlements would fully resolve all claims which
presently exist or may exist in the future against Defendants
arising out of or relating to Plaintiffs' assertions in
the Complaint. The Court has reviewed Plaintiffs'
unopposed Motion and Settlement Agreements and approves the
proposed settlements for the following reasons.
Court shall approve an FLSA settlement if there exists a bona
fide dispute under FLSA that can be resolved by a settlement
agreement, the agreement was reached through an arms-length
negotiation, and the agreement is fair, reasonable, and
adequate. Kritzer v. Safelite Solutions, LLC, 2012
WL 1945144, at *5 (S.D. Ohio May 30, 2012) (citing In re
Broadwing, Inc. ERISA Litig., 252 F.R.D. 369, 381-82
(S.D. Ohio 2006)).
settlements meet this standard for approval. First, the Court
finds the settlements were the result of bona fide dispute.
Defendants deny the material allegations of Plaintiffs'
claims and any violation of the FLSA and state wage and hour
laws. There is no indication that the parties were
“merely engaged in pretense and posturing.”
See Moulton v. U.S. Steel Corp., 581 F.3d 344, 351
(6th Cir. 2009). As discussed below, the Court also finds
that the settlement agreements were reached as the result of
Fairness, Reasonableness, and Adequately of
determine whether a settlement is “fair, reasonable,
and adequate, ” the Court balances the following
factors: “(1) the risk of fraud or collusion; (2) the
complexity, expense, and likely duration of the litigation;
(3) the amount of discovery completed; (4) the likelihood of
success on the merits; (5) the opinion of class counsel and
representatives; (6) the reaction of absent class members;
and (7) public interest in the settlement.” Vigna
v. Emery Fed. Credit Union, No. 1:15- CV-51, 2016 WL
7034237, at *3 (S.D. Ohio Dec. 2, 2016). The balance of these
factors weighs in favor of approving the proposed settlement
The risk of collusion.
Court finds that the negotiations were conducted at arm's
length and there is no reason to believe the settlement
involves collusion. Pursuant to the arbitration agreements,
Plaintiffs each pursued settlement negotiations individually.
All Plaintiffs submit in their joint Motion that the
negotiations were conducted at arm's length and
Defendants do no object.
Complexity, expense, and likely ...