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Bobo v. LM Wind Power Blades ND, Inc.

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

March 19, 2019

ROSIE BOBO; and AMBER GRAYSON, Each Individually and on Behalf of All Others Similarly Situated PLAINTIFFS
v.
LM WIND POWER BLADES ND, INC. DEFENDANT

          ORDER

          D.P.Marshall Jr.United States District Judge

         1. The Court appreciates the parties' supplemental papers, Nq21, responding to the Court's Order. The revisions address the Court's concerns. The Court understands now the reasons behind the language differences in the release forms. And not using text messaging here is fine considering the parties' intentions. But on the Joint Stipulation, Nq 21-1, Claim Form, Ns 21-2 at 2, and Notice, Nq 21-2 at 9, the Court has some more tweaks:

• On page two of the Joint Stipulation, delete "and/" in the class definition paragraph and add "or both" after the word "facilities." The term "and/or" is ambiguous and should be eliminated throughout the document with revisions, which the Court has tried to note.
• In the middle of § 7(b), there's a hyphen after the word "allocated", which should be removed.
• On § 13(b), change "cure said deficiencies" to read "cure the deficiencies

• On pages twelve and thirteen, a few things: delete "such" in the first sentence of § 14(a); in the next sentence, replace "Such objection" with "An objection"; and in § 14(d), remove "and/" in the second line. Also remove the "and/" in § 15 on the next page.

• Take out the "hereto" in § 27.
• At the bottom of the large paragraph in the Claim Form, Nq 21-2 at 3, replace "derivate" with "derive from".
• Last, in the Notice's release paragraph, N° 21-2 at 13, remove the "/or" and replace "derivate" with "derive from".

         2. The Court certifies the following group as a collective action for settlement purposes and as a Settlement Class:

All current or former hourly paid production employees who work or worked at LM Wind Power's Little Rock, Arkansas or Grand Forks, North Dakota facilities or both at any time between 2 April 2015 and 1 March 2019 who received at least one production or attendance bonus during this period.

         The roughly 1, 250 group members are similarly situated. Through its payment scheme, LM Wind likely failed to pay these hourly employees for overtime that they worked. Mumbower v. Callicott, 526 F.2d 1183, 1187-88 (8th Cir. 1975). And the class satisfies Rule 23. Class members share a core claim on overtime payments; the class is certainly numerous; both Bobo and Grayson have typical claims and will adequately represent the class. Also, because they are able and experienced, the Court appoints Daniel Ford, Joshua Sanford, and Joshua West of the Sanford Law Firm, PLLC, as class counsel.

         3. The Court tentatively concludes that the proposed settlement between the parties is adequate, fair, and reasonable. The Court is likely to be able to give final approval. Fed. R. ClV. P. 23(e); Wineland v. Casey's General Stores, Inc., 267 F.R.D. 669, 675-77 (S.D. Iowa 2009) (FLSA group and Rule 23 class). The deal shows a compromise between the parties about what LM Wind Power owes its hourly employees. The Court also concludes for the purposes of notice that the proposed attorney's fees are reasonable considering the work involved. The Court will revisit its assessment at the fairness hearing.

         4. The Court appoints JND Legal Administration as the Claims Administrator in this case.

         5. The Court approves, as revised by this Order, the Joint Stipulation, Nq 21-1, Claim Form, and Notice ...


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