United States District Court, D. Maine
DECISION AND ORDER ON CLASS ACTION SETTLEMENT AND
Torresen United States Chief District Judge
me is the Plaintiffs' unopposed motion for final approval
of class action settlement (ECF No. 176) and the
Plaintiffs' unopposed motion for attorney fees and
reimbursement of litigation expenses (ECF No. 177). The
Plaintiffs are sheet metal workers, mechanics, and painters
working on an aircraft restoration project in Auburn, Maine
who allege that Global Aircraft Service, Inc.
(“GAS”) and Lufthansa Technik North America
Holding Corporation (“LTNA”) improperly
classified them as independent contractors rather than
employees and seek unpaid overtime wages. The parties have
come to an agreement to settle the case.
previously authorized the Plaintiffs to send notice of the
settlement out to the class members. Order Authorizing Notice
of Class Action Settlement (ECF No. 174). Notice of the
settlement has been successful, reaching 76 of 81 class
members. Seventy class members have filed claims forms and
are entitled to a distribution from the settlement fund.
conducting a fairness hearing on June 15, 2017, as Federal
Rule of Civil Procedure 23(e) requires, I conclude that the
settlement is fair, reasonable, and adequate, that the
attorney fees and expenses are reasonable, and that the
service award to Mr. Venegas is warranted and reasonable.
Settlement and Plan of Distribution
proposed class action settlement is subject to the following
(1) The court must direct notice in a reasonable manner to
all class members who would be bound by the proposal.
(2) If the proposal would bind class members, the court may
approve it only after a hearing and on finding that it is
fair, reasonable, and adequate.
(3) The parties seeking approval must file a statement
identifying any agreement made in connection with the
(4) If the class action was previously certified under Rule
23(b)(3), the court may refuse to approve a settlement unless
it affords a new opportunity to request exclusion to
individual class members who had an earlier opportunity to
request exclusion but did not do so.
(5) Any class member may object to the proposal if it
requires court approval under subdivision (e); the objection
may be withdrawn only with the court's approval.
Fed. R. Civ. P. 23(e). Here, class members received
individual notice of the settlement; there has been a
hearing; there are no side agreements; no class members filed
written objections; no class members appeared at the hearing.
What remains, then, is for me to determine whether the
settlement is “fair, reasonable, and adequate.”
consider the following factors to assess a class settlement:
(1) comparison of the proposed settlement with the likely
result of litigation; (2) stage of the litigation and the
amount of discovery completed; (3) reaction of the class to
the settlement; (4) quality of counsel; (5) conduct of the
negotiations; and (6) prospects of the case, including risk,
complexity, expense and duration. In re New Motor