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Dahlheimer v. Massage Retreat & SPA, Inc.

United States District Court, D. Minnesota

October 21, 2019

Rosalee Dahlheimer, Jessica Onu, and Jessica Garcia, individually and on behalf of all others similarly situated, Plaintiffs,
v.
Massage Retreat & Spa, Inc. and Lee Oberg, Defendants.

          ORDER FOR CLASS CERTIFICATION, FINAL APPROVAL OF CLASS ACTION SETTLEMENT, AND DISMISSAL WITH PREJUDICE

          Katherine Menendez United States Magistrate Judge

         The above-entitled matter came before the undersigned on September 30, 2019, on the parties' joint motion for an Order granting Final Approval of Settlement, to Certify the Proposed Settlement Class, to Certify the Named Plaintiffs as Class Representatives, to Certify Joshua R. Williams as Class Counsel, and to Approve Service Awards, Attorneys' Fees and Costs and Claims Administration Costs.

         Based on all of the files, records, and proceedings herein, the Court hereby finds and concludes:

         1. Named Plaintiffs filed this lawsuit against Defendants alleging violations of the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”), the Minnesota Fair Labor Standards Act (“MFLSA”), the Minnesota Payment of Wages Act (“MPWA”), Breach of Contract, Unjust Enrichment/Quantum Meruit, and Civil Liability for Theft (the “Litigation”).

         2. The Settlement Class was preliminarily approved by the Court on June 24, 2019 and, pursuant to Rule 23 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure was defined, for purposes of settlement only, as: “All current and former Skin Therapists, Lead Skin Therapists, Massage Therapists, or Lead Massage Therapists employed by Massage Retreat & Spa, Inc. between June 8, 2015 and May 13, 2018.”

         3. The Court has jurisdiction over the subject matter of this Litigation and all Parties to this Litigation, including all Settlement Class Members (as defined above), including, without limitation, jurisdiction to approve the proposed settlement, grant final certification of the Settlement Class, and dismiss this Litigation with prejudice.

         4. The Class Representatives appointed in this Court's Order Certifying Classes for Settlement Purposes Only and Approving Notice of Settlement have fairly and adequately represented the Settlement Class throughout the proceedings and are hereby finally confirmed and appointed as Class Representatives.

         5. For purposes of approving and effectuating the settlement, and only for such purposes, the prerequisites for certifying this Litigation as a class action under Rule 23 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure have been met and that the settlement in this case is fair, reasonable, adequate and in the best interest of the Named Plaintiffs and the Settlement Class.

         The settlement agreement applies a self-executing formula to equitably distribute an award among Settlement Class Members commensurate to the alleged damages each Settlement Class Member suffered.

         6. The Settlement Agreement provides for a full and final resolution of this Litigation, subject to the approval of the Court and the entry of this Order the accompanying Final Judgment.

         7. When approving a class action settlement, the Court must be satisfied that the settlement was not the product of fraud or collusion between the parties. In the instant case, the settlement agreement was the result of hard-fought litigation between the parties, with vigorous advocacy on both sides. After arms-length negotiations with the assistance of a neutral mediator, the parties were able to agree to compromises as set forth in the settlement agreement. The Court finds that the settlement is not the product of fraud or collusion between the parties.

         8. Following preliminary approval of the proposed settlement, the appointed Claims Administrator mailed Notice, Claim Forms, and Opt-Out Forms to 363 eligible Class Members in compliance with the Court's June 24, 2019 Order to Preliminarily Approve the Settlement. (Declaration of Notice Administrator Chris Amundson, ECF No. 48).

         9. The Notice advised Settlement Class Members of the background of the Litigation and terms of the proposed settlement, of the Final Approval Hearing, and their right to appear at such Hearing, of procedures for exercising such rights, of the scope of the Release, and of the binding effect of this Order and the accompanying Final Judgment in this Action.

         10. The Notice provided to the Settlement Class constitutes the best and most practicable notice under the circumstances. The Notice was designed to provide notice in the manner most likely to be received and read by Settlement Class Members. The Settlement Class received valid, due, and sufficient notice that complied ...


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