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Anderson v. Lykes Cartage Company, Inc.

United States District Court, M.D. Florida, Orlando Division

October 17, 2017

DANIEL ANDERSON, Plaintiff,
v.
LYKES CARTAGE COMPANY LLC, Defendant.

          REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION

          DANIEL C. IRICK UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.

         This cause comes before the Court for consideration without oral argument on the following motion:

MOTION: PARTIES' JOINT MOTION AND MEMORANDUM OF LAW FOR APPROVAL OF SETTLEMENT AGREEMENT (Doc. 23)
FILED: September 20, 2017
THEREON it is RECOMMENDED that the motion be GRANTED.

         I. BACKGROUND.

         Daniel Anderson (Plaintiff) filed the operative complaint against Lykes Cartage Company LLC (Defendant) on May 25, 2017. Doc. 8.[1] Plaintiff alleges that he worked for Defendant, a cartage company, as a dispatcher between July 2014 and January 2016. Id. at ¶¶ 12-14. Plaintiff alleges that he “routinely worked in excess of forty (40) hours per week as part of his regular job duties.” Id. at ¶ 19. Plaintiff alleges that Defendant knowingly failed to pay him overtime wages for all of the overtime work he performed during the relevant period. Id. at ¶¶ 20-24. Thus, Plaintiff asserted a single claim against Defendant for unpaid overtime wages in violation of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), 29 U.S.C. § 207. Id. at 4-5.

         The parties reached a settlement in September 2017. Doc. 22.

         The parties filed a Joint Motion and Memorandum of Law for Approval of Settlement Agreement (Motion) and their settlement agreement (Agreement) on September 20, 2017. Docs. 23; 23-1. The Agreement provides that Plaintiff will release his claim against Defendant, in exchange for receiving $1, 750.00 in unpaid overtime wages, and $1, 750.00 in liquidated damages. Doc. 23-1 at 3. The Agreement also provides that Plaintiff will receive $3, 500.00 in attorney fees and costs. Id. The parties represent that the attorney fees and costs were “negotiated separate and apart from Plaintiff s settlement and did not bear any weight on the amounts received by Plaintiff.” Doc. 23 at 4. The parties maintain that the Agreement is fair and reasonable, and request that the Court grant the Motion and dismiss the Complaint with prejudice. Id. at 4-5.

         II. LAW.

         The settlement of a claim for unpaid minimum or overtime wages under the FLSA may become enforceable by obtaining the Court's approval of the settlement agreement.[2] Lynn's Food Stores, Inc. v. U.S. Dep't of Labor, 679 F.2d 1350, 1352-53 (11th Cir. 1982). The Court, before giving its approval, must scrutinize the settlement agreement to determine whether it is a fair and reasonable resolution of a bona fide dispute of plaintiff s FLSA claims. See Id. at 1353-55. In doing so, the Court should consider the following nonexclusive factors: . The existence of collusion behind the settlement.

• The complexity, expense, and likely duration of the litigation.
• The state of the proceedings and the amount of ...

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