United States District Court, C.D. Illinois, Urbana Division
APRIL R. BRASHIER et al., Plaintiffs,
QUINCY PROPERTY LLC, et al. Defendants.
REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION
I. LONG, UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.
October 29, 2019, Plaintiff filed an Unopposed Motion for
Approval of Settlement (#187). The Motion asks the Court to
approve the settlement with Defendants and Plaintiffs,
resolving all claims against them in this case. All parties
to the litigation approved the instant Motion.
Amended Complaint alleges that Defendants violated the Fair
Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”), 29 U.S.C. §
201, et seq., the Illinois Minimum Wage Law, 820
ILCS 105/1 et seq., and breached a contract for
employment. There are a total of thirty-three combined named
Plaintiffs and Consent Plaintiffs.
agreement comes after months of settlement negotiations. The
Court held a first Settlement Conference on February 22,
2019. After a full day of negotiations, the Court continued
the matter to April 8, 2019. The parties again negotiated in
person with the Court on April 8, 2019. The parties did not
reach a settlement, but continued to engage in phone
negotiations facilitated by the Court through July 2019.
Finally, in August 2019, the parties reached a final
the agreement, total payment to the thirty-three Plaintiffs
will be $383, 825.17. Defendants also agreed to pay
Plaintiffs' counsel fees and costs in the amount of $202,
500.00. The parties agreed that the amount paid to
Plaintiffs' counsel is in addition to and does not reduce
the amount paid to Plaintiffs.
parties ask the Court to approve the FLSA
settlement. “A district court should approve an
FLSA collective action settlement if it was reached as a
result of contested litigation and it is a fair and
reasonable resolution of a bona fide dispute between
the parties.” Soto v. Wings ‘R Us Romeoville,
Inc., 2018 WL 1875296, *1 (N.D. Ill. Apr. 16, 2018).
there is no doubt that the settlement was reached as a result
of contested litigation. This case has been pending for more
than three years. Prior to engaging in settlement
negotiations, the parties engaged in significant motion
practice. Most noteworthy, to reach a settlement in this
case, the parties engaged in two full-day settlement
conferences and numerous phone negotiations over the course
of six months. Accordingly, the Court finds that the proposed
settlement was reach as a result of contested litigation.
the proposed settlement is a fair and reasonable resolution
of a bona fide dispute between the parties. To
determine whether a settlement is “fair and reasonable,
” courts often analyze the following factors:
(1) whether the parties fairly and honestly negotiated the
settlement; (2) if serious questions of law and fact existed
that placed the ultimate outcome of the litigation in doubt;
(3) does the value of immediate settlement outweigh the mere
possibility of future relief after protracted litigation; and
(4) in the judgment of the parties, is the settlement fair
Court finds that each of these factors has been met. The
parties fairly and honestly negotiated the settlement, as
shown by months of ongoing negotiations. The outcome of the
litigation was also uncertain, for both liability and
damages. As to the third factor, each Plaintiff will receive
a considerable sum with this agreement. The $383, 825.17 will
be distributed among thirty-three Plaintiffs as agreed. None
of the Plaintiff's award amount will be reduced for
attorney fees. The amount of attorneys' fees is also
reasonable as it compensates Plaintiffs' counsel for
three years of extensive litigation and negotiations, while
representing numerous Plaintiffs. Plaintiffs' counsel
represents that they have greatly reduced the fees and costs
actually incurred. Finally, the parties jointly agree that
the settlement is fair and reasonable.
these reasons, the Court finds that the parties'
settlement was reached as a result of contested litigation
and it is a fair and reasonable resolution of a bona
fide dispute between the parties, and recommends that
the Motion to Approve Settlement (#187) be GRANTED.
parties are advised that any objection to this recommendation
must be filed in writing with the clerk within fourteen (14)
days after being served with a copy of this Report and
Recommendation. See 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1).
Failure to object will constitute a waiver of objections on
appeal. Video Views, Inc. v. Studio 21, Ltd., 797
F.2d 538, 539 (7th Cir. 1986). If the parties do not object
to this ...