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Mendis v. Schneider National Carriers, Inc.

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

July 30, 2018

BALAPUWADUGE MENDIS, et al., Plaintiffs,
v.
SCHNEIDER NATIONAL CARRIERS, INC., Defendant.

          ORDER

          JOHN C. COUGHENOUR UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.

         This matter comes before the Court on Plaintiffs' unopposed motion for preliminary approval of class settlement (Dkt. No. 185), Plaintiffs' declaration from class counsel (Dkt. No. 186), and Defendant's notice of proposed settlement (Dkt. No. 187). This litigation involves Defendant's alleged wage and hour violations. (See generally Dkt. No. 114.) The Court previously certified the following class: “All current and former employees of [Defendant] who, at any time from December 30, 2011 through the date of final disposition, worked as drivers for the company while residing in the state of Washington.” (Dkt. No. 117 at 13.) The Court also certified the following subclasses:

i. Individuals who (1) meet the criteria for membership in the class, and (2) received less than 100% of what they would have been paid hourly, including overtime, using the local hourly rate.
ii. Individuals who (1) meet the criteria for membership in the class, and (2) were enrolled in the per diem pay plan and received $0.02 less per mile as a result.

(Id.)

         The Parties have entered into a Class Action Settlement Agreement and Release (the “Settlement Agreement”), which sets forth the terms and conditions of the settlement and release of claims against Defendant. Having reviewed and considered the Settlement Agreement and all of the filings, records, and other submissions, the Court finds upon a preliminary examination that the Agreement appears fair, reasonable, and adequate, and that a hearing should and will be held after notice to the Settlement Class in order to confirm that the Settlement is fair, reasonable, and adequate, and to determine whether the Settlement Agreement should be finally approved pursuant to the terms and conditions set forth in the Settlement Agreement (“Final Approval Hearing”).

         Therefore, the Court FINDS, CONCLUDES and ORDERS as follows:

1. Unless otherwise provided herein, all capitalized terms in this Order shall have the same meaning as set forth in the Settlement Agreement (Dkt. No. 186-1).
2. This Court has jurisdiction over the subject matter of this Action and personal jurisdiction over the Parties and the Settlement Class.
3. The Court finds that (a) the Settlement Agreement resulted from extensive arm's-length negotiations, with participation of an experienced mediator, and (b) the Settlement Agreement is sufficient to warrant notice thereof to members of the Settlement Class and the Final Approval Hearing described below.
4. The Settlement Class includes all current and former employees of Schneider who, at any time from December 30, 2011 through the date of preliminary approval of the Settlement, worked as drivers for Schneider while residing in Washington. The Settlement Class will not include any persons who validly request exclusion from the Class.
5. The Court has previously appointed Plaintiffs Balapuwaduge Mendis, Michael Feola, Andrea Arbaugh, and Edward Ash as Class Representatives and finds that for settlement purposes, the Class Representatives have and will continue to fairly and adequately protect the interests of the Settlement Class.
6. The Court has previously appointed Rekhi & Wolk, P.S. and the Terrell Marshall Law Group PLLC as Class Counsel and finds that for settlement purposes, Class Counsel have and will fairly and adequately protect the interests of the Settlement Class.
7. The Court preliminarily finds that the Settlement Agreement is fundamentally fair, ...

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