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Pascual v. Zirx Consumer Services, Inc.

United States District Court, W.D. Washington, Seattle

April 25, 2017

CHRISTINA PASCUAL, on her own behalf and on behalf of a class of similarly situated employees of Defendant, Plaintiffs,
v.
ZIRX CONSUMER SERVICES, INC., a California corporation, Defendant.

          ORDER PRELIMINARILY APPROVING CLASS ACTION SETTLEMENT, AUTHORIZING NOTICE, AND SETTING FAIRNESS HEARING

          JOHN C. COUGHENOUR UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         This matter comes before the Court on the parties' stipulated motion for certification for settlement purposes, preliminary approval of class action settlement, authorization of notice, and a fairness hearing (Dkt. No. 35). Having thoroughly considered the parties' briefing and the relevant record, the Court hereby GRANTS the motion. The Court FINDS and ORDERS that:

         1. The proposed settlement (the Settlement) appears to be fair, reasonable, and adequate, and a fairness hearing should be held after notice of the Settlement is disseminated to the Class to finally determine whether the Settlement is fair, reasonable, and adequate.

         2. For the purpose of the Settlement only, the conditional certification of the Class is appropriate because (a) the Class is ascertainable and sufficiently numerous, (b) a well-defined community of interest exists, and (c) there are substantial benefits from certification that render proceeding on a class-wide basis superior to any alternatives.

         3. The Court preliminarily finds that: (a) the terms of the Settlement appear to be fair and reasonable to the Class when balanced against the probable outcome of further litigation relating to class certification, liability and damage issues, and potential appeals; (b) Class Counsel is experienced in wage-and-hour class action litigation; (c) significant investigation was undertaken, and significant information was exchanged, enabling the parties to reasonably evaluate one another's positions; (d) approving the Settlement will avoid the substantial costs, delay, and risks that would be presented by further litigation; and (e) the Settlement's terms were the result of intensive, serious, and non-collusive negotiations between the parties. Accordingly, the Settlement falls within the range of possible approval and meets the requirements for preliminary approval.

         4. The following Class is conditionally certified for the purpose of the Settlement only: All persons who entered into independent contract agreements with Zirx Consumer Services, Inc. and worked as a parking agent more than 40 hours in any work week during the period of June 1, 2015 through October 31, 2015.

         5. Connor & Sargent PLLC is conditionally appointed as Class Counsel.

         6. Christina Pascual is conditionally appointed as Class Representative.

         7. Settlement Services, Inc. is conditionally appointed as Settlement Administrator.

         8. The claim form and class notice (collectively, the Notice Packet) contemplated by the Settlement is conditionally approved as to form and content. The Notice Packet is attached as Exhibits 1 and 2 to the Settlement. The Notice Packet and the notification procedures contemplated by the Settlement constitute the best notice practicable under the circumstances and are in full compliance with the laws of the United States and the State of Washington (to the extent applicable) and the requirements of due process. The Notice appears to fully and accurately inform Class Members of all material terms of the Settlement, including the manner in which Settlement payments will be calculated; the procedure for filing claims (through the use of the claim form); and the right to object, and procedure for objecting, to the Settlement.

         9. The dates for performance are as follows:

(a) No later than two weeks after the Class is preliminarily approved, Defendant shall provide the Settlement Administrator with a list of all Class Members (the Class List), which will include their names, social security numbers, last-known email addresses, last-known postal addresses, last-known telephone numbers, overtime hours, and calculated Settlement award.
(b) No later than two weeks after receiving the Class List, the Settlement Administrator shall send Notice Packets to the Class Members using the procedures provided in the Settlement, and shall post the notice, the claim form, the complaint, the stipulated motion and related papers, the Settlement, and this order on its website.
(c) Class Members shall have until 45 calendar days after the Settlement Administrator first sends Notice Packets-extended by the periods set forth in the Settlement-to submit claim forms to the Settlement Administrator. To be considered valid, a submitted claim form must include the Class Member's name and it must be signed and dated and either ...

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