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Hatcher v. Frank A. Rogers & Co., Inc.

United States District Court, E.D. Arkansas, Jonesboro Division

November 30, 2018

RAYMOND HATCHER, Individually and on Behalf of All Others Similarly Situated PLAINTIFF
v.
FRANK A. ROGERS & CO, INC.; and EDWARD SCOGGINS DEFENDANTS

          PLAINTIFFS Raymond Hatcher, signature forthcoming, DEFENDANT FRANK A. ROGERS & CO., INC. Edward Scoggins, Sanford Law Firm, PLLC Josh Sanford Attorneys for Plaintiffs

          HUSCH BLACKWELL Hillary Klein Attorneys for Defendants

          ORDER

          D. P. MARSHALL JR. UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         The Court appreciates the parties' addendum. All material things considered, the proposed settlement is fair, reasonable, and adequate. Lynn's Food Stores v. United States, 679 F.2d 1350, 1353 (11th Cir. 1982); see also Melgar v. OK Foods, 902 F.3d 775, 779 (8th Cir. 2018). The parties' agreement is attached. The settlement reflects a good-faith compromise of disputed issues based on a thorough investigation of the wage-related facts. The lawyers' fees are modest given all the work shown in the docket. In these circumstances, the Court has adequate information to evaluate them without reviewing billing records. The joint motion to approve the settlement, No.31, is granted. Hatcher's complaint will be dismissed with prejudice.

         So Ordered.

         SETTLEMENT AGREEMENT AND RELEASE OF CLAIMS

         This agreement, along with all exhibits hereto (collectively, the ''Settlement Agreement"), is entered into by and between Frank A. Rogers & Co., Inc. (as well as its former and current directors, officers, agents, employees, attorneys, predecessors, successors, subsidiaries, and affiliated entities) and Edward Scoggins (collectively "Defendants"), on the one hand, and Raymond Hatcher ("Mr. Hatcher"), Bryan Herring ("Mr. Herring"), Thomas Peoples ("Mr. Peoples"), Jerry Jewell ("Mr. Jewell"), and Harold Ray Barnhill ("Mr. Barnhiil") (collectively, "Plaintiffs"), on the other hand, in the case of Raymond Hatcher v. Frank A. Rogers & Co., Inc. and Edward Scoggins, No. 3:17-cv-00190-DPM, filed in the U.S. District Court of the Eastern District of Arkansas (the "Lawsuit").

         RECITALS

         WHEREAS, Mr. Hatcher filed this action against Defendants alleging violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act ("FLSA"), individually and on behalf of a collective group pursuant to 29 U.S.C. § 216(b), and violations of the Arkansas Minimum Wage Act ("AMWA"), individually and on behalf of a putative class under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 23 ("Rule 23") on July 27, 2017 (Doc. 1);

         WHEREAS, Defendants filed an Answer denying the material allegations in the Complaint on September 11, 2017 (Doc. 4);

         WHEREAS, pursuant to 29 U.S.C. § 216(b), the Court conditionally certified a collective action for the FLSA claims in the Lawsuit on October 31, 2017 (Doc. 15);

         WHEREAS, six additional individuals opted into the FLSA collective action (Docs. 19-24);

         WHEREAS, no Rule 23 class has been certified;

         WHEREAS, the parties reached an agreement fully and finally settling the Plaintiffs' claims in the Lawsuit (the "Settlement"), and hereby reduce those terms to a formal agreement for Court approval:

         WHEREAS, Defendants deny all the allegations in the Lawsuit and any and all liability and damages of any kind to anyone with respect to these alleged facts or causes of action asserted in the Lawsuit, but nonetheless, without admitting or conceding any liability or damages whatsoever have agreed to settle the Lawsuit on the terms and conditions set forth in this Settlement Agreement to avoid the burden, expense, and uncertainty of continuing the Lawsuit;

         WHEREAS, the parties recognize that the outcome in the Lawsuit is uncertain and that achieving the final result through the litigation process would require substantial additional risk, discovery, time, and expense to both parties;

         WHEREAS, the Plaintiffs and their counsel have conducted an investigation and evaluation of the facts and law relating to the claims asserted in the Lawsuit and have determined that the settlement as provided in this Settlement Agreement is in the best interests of all and that the settlement provided in this Settlement Agreement represents a fair, reasonable, and adequate resolution of the Lawsuit; and

         NOW THEREFORE, the parties, intending to be legally bound and in consideration of the mutual covenants and other good and valuable consideration set forth below, do hereby agree as follows:

         AGREEMENT

         1. ...


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