United States District Court, D. Nevada
EBONY HOWARD, individually, and on behalf of all others similarly situated, Plaintiff,
SOUTHWEST GAS CORPORATION, Defendant.
ORDER GRANTING FINAL APPROVAL OF CLASS AND COLLECTIVE
Honorable Jennifer A. Dorsey United States District Judge.
brought claims under the Fair Labor Standards Act
(“FLSA”), 29 U.S.C. §201, et seq. and Nev.
Rev. Stat. Ann. (hereinafter “N.R.S.”)
§§ 608.016 and 608.018 for alleged overtime
violations on behalf of herself and similarly situated
dispatchers who worked at Defendant's dispatch centers.
After the parties reached a class-wide settlement through
private mediation, I preliminarily approved the parties'
settlement, certified the proposed Settlement Class pursuant
to 29 U.S.C. § 216(b) and Fed.R.Civ.P. 23, and directed
the parties to send out the class notice. ECF No. 23. The
parties' Joint Motion for Final Approval of Class and
Collective Action Settlement was heard on June 10, 2019, and
no opposition thereto was filed or voiced.
fully reviewed the Final Approval Motion, the supporting
Memorandum of Points and Authorities, and the supporting
declarations, I HEREBY MAKE THE FOLLOWING FINDINGS,
CONCLUSIONS, AND ORDERS:
Order Granting Final Approval of Class and Collective Action
Settlement (“Final Approval Order”) incorporates
the Amended Settlement Agreement and Release and Exhibits
filed in this action on February 21, 2019
(“Settlement”). ECF No. 22-3.
Consistent with the definitions provided in the Stipulation
of Settlement and Release and the Court's Preliminary
Approval Order, and except as provided herein, the Settlement
For purposes of the FLSA settlement, the “Settlement
Class” consists of all current or former hourly-paid
dispatchers who work or worked for Defendant at any time
between June 22, 2015 and October 1, 2018 and who have filed
timely consents to participate in the Action.
For purposes of the Rule 23 Nevada settlement, the
“Settlement Class” consists of all current or
former hourly-paid dispatchers who work or worked for
Defendant in the state of Nevada at any time between June 7,
2016 and October 1, 2018 and who have not timely submitted
Opt Out Forms in the Action.
Adequate notice has been disseminated and all potential
Settlement Class members have been given an opportunity to
opt out of this lawsuit. Accordingly, this court has
jurisdiction over the subject matter of this proceeding and
over all parties to this proceeding, including all Settlement
Class members, and personal jurisdiction over the Settlement
Class for the Settlement.
Distribution of the Class Notice to the Settlement Class, as
set forth in the Amended Settlement Agreement and Release,
has been completed in conformity with the Preliminary
Approval Order, including individual notice to all Settlement
Class members who could be identified through reasonable
efforts, and the best notice practicable under the
circumstances. The Class Notice provided due and adequate
notice of the proceedings and of the matters set forth in the
Preliminary Approval Order, including the proposed Settlement
and, therefore, fully satisfied the requirements of all
applicable federal and state laws and the United States
Constitution. The Class Notice also provided due and adequate
notice to Settlement Class members of their right to exclude
themselves from the Settlement, as well as their right to
object to any aspect of the proposed Settlement.
Settlement Class member (and more broadly, no one at all)
filed an objection to the proposed Settlement, and no
Settlement Class member appeared at the noticed Final
Approval Hearing to object to the Settlement. Two Settlement
Class members properly and timely submitted requests to be
excluded from the Settlement. The Settlement Class therefore
does not include those 2 individuals who properly and timely
excluded themselves from the Settlement.
conclude that the Settlement is fair, reasonable, and
adequate to the class: (a) the proposed Settlement Fund
amount of $635, 000.00 is fair and reasonable to the
Settlement Class Members when balanced against the probable
outcome of further litigation in relation to potential
decertification of an FLSA collective action, certification
of a state Rule 23 class, liability issues, damages issues
and potential appeals; (b) significant investigation, formal
and informal discovery, research, and litigation have been
conducted such that counsel for the parties at this time are
able to reasonably evaluate their respective positions; (c)
settlement at this time will avoid substantial costs, delay,
and risks that would be presented by the further prosecution
of the litigation; (d) the proposed settlement has been
reached as the result of intensive, serious and non-collusive
negotiations between the parties facilitated by an
experienced wage-and-hour mediator; and (e) no one has
objected to the Settlement.
Accordingly, good cause appearing, parties' Joint Motion
for Final Approval of Class and Collective Action Settlement
is hereby GRANTED, the settlement (as reflected in the
Amended Settlement Agreement and Release) is deemed to be in
good faith, fair, reasonable, and adequate.
confirm the appointment of Jason T. Brown and Nicholas Conlon
of Brown, LLC as Class Counsel for the Settlement Class, and
find that Class Counsel has adequately represented the
Settlement Class for purposes of entering into and
implementing the Settlement.
approve and order payment of $173, 750.00 to Class Counsel
for reasonable fees and costs as provided in the Settlement.
Payment of Class Counsel's Fees and Costs must be made
separately from and in addition to the Opt-In and Rule 23
Funds in ...