United States District Court, E.D. Arkansas, Jonesboro Division
SKY BARRETT, Individually and on Behalf of All Others Similarly Situated PLAINTIFF
NESTLE USA, INC.; and NESTLE PREPARED FOODS COMPANY DEFENDANTS
Marshall Jr. United States District Judge
The Court appreciates the parties' response, No.
17, to the Court's recent Order, No. 15, as
well as counsels' billing records through the end of
January, No. 16. The Court understands now why
notice by text message wasn't proposed. The Court also
appreciates the parties' revisions of all the proposed
documents to address the Court's questions and concerns.
On the Notice, No. 17-1 at 22-23, one follow-up, and
follow-up. The heading caption at the top of the box (in dark
gray) should read "YOUR OPTIONS AND LEGAL RIGHTS".
The first box (in light gray) on the left margin should be
restored to the original text proposed. It should read
"FILL OUT THE CLAIM FORM".
possible tweak. In the middle box of the Notice, [*] No. 17-1
at 23, "and/or" is used twice. This
mischievous expression can cause confusion. The Court
suggests a re-write: "you may state your objections to
the Court, or file the Opt-Out Form, or do both. To do so,
you must mail a letter to counsel for the Parties stating why
you object to the Settlement, or mail the Opt-Out Form to the
Claims Administrator, or do both, by__, 2019." This is a
suggestion because the Court may not have accurately captured
the parties' understanding. And the Court authorizes
counsel to revise this part of the Notice to eliminate
"and/or" while faithfully capturing the
parties' proposed agreement.
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 the Nestle processing factory located in
Jonesboro, Arkansas, at any time between 1 January 2016 and 1
members of this group are similarly situated. As a result of
a common Nestle policy they may not have received all the
monthly and annual bonuses to which they are entitled.
Buford v. Superior Energy Services, LLC, 2018 WL
6441097, at *2 (E.D. Ark. 1 June 2018). Federal Rule of Civil
Procedure 23's requirements are satisfied: common claims
predominate; the group is numerous; Barrett's claim is
typical; and she will adequately represent the Settlement
Class. The Court appoints Joshua West and Joshua Sanford of
the Sanford Law Firm, PLLC, as class counsel because they are
able and experienced.
proposed settlement of the collective action and the class
action is, the Court tentatively concludes, fair and
reasonable. The Court is likely to be able to give its final
approval in due course. FED. R. CIV. P. 23(e); Melgar v.
OK Foods, 902 F.3d 775, 779-80 (8th Cir. 2018)
(FLSA group); Van Horn v. Trickey, 840 F.2d 604,
606-07 (8th Cir. 1988) (Rule 23 class). The deal reflects a
good faith compromise of the disputed bonuses. Given the
lawyer time already spent through January 2019, and expected
to be spent thereafter, the target amount of attorney's
fees is a reasonable estimate, which the Court will revisit
with more information at the fairness hearing.
Court appoints JND Legal Administration as the Claims
Court schedules the fairness hearing for 1:30 p.m. on Monday,
8 July 2019 in courtroom 324 at the E.C. "Took"
Gathings Federal Building, 615 South Main Street, Jonesboro,
Court approves the form and content (as revised by this
Order) of the Notice of Proposed Settlement, Claim Form, and
Opt-Out Form as proposed and revised by the parties, No
Here's the schedule:
• 1 May 2019 - Deadline for claims administrator to
complete Notice mailing.
• 31 May 2019 - Deadline for any objector's lawyer
to file an ...