United States District Court, M.D. Florida, Orlando Division
STEPHANIE FEULNER, VERNON HITCHNER and VICTORIA SHUGART, Plaintiffs,
SOUTH REHABILITATION CENTER, INC. and DEDRIX DAKA, Defendants.
REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION
C. IRICK, UNITES STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.
cause comes before the Court for consideration without oral
argument on the following motion:
MOTION: PLAINTIFFS' OPPOSED MOTION TO APPROVE
SETTLEMENT AGREEMENT (Doc. 62)
FILED: December 7, 2017
THEREON it is RECOMMENDED
that the motion be GRANTED.
Feulner, Vernon Hitchner, and Victoria Shugart (collectively,
the Plaintiffs) filed this wage related action against Dedrix
Daka, who is proceeding pro se, and South
Rehabilitation Center, Inc. (SRC). (collectively, the
Defendants). Doc. 1. Plaintiffs each alleged, in relevant
part, that they performed overtime work for Defendants, but
Defendants did not pay them time-and-a-half for all of the
overtime hours they worked. Id. at ¶¶ 57,
59, 94, 96, 132, 134. Thus, Plaintiffs each assert a claim
against Defendants for unpaid overtime wages in violation of
the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), 29 U.S.C. § 207.
Id. at 19-21. Plaintiffs also asserted various state
law claims against Defendants, including common law unpaid
wages, breach of oral contract, and unjust enrichment.
Id. at 21-27.
Clerk entered default against SRC in August 2016. Doc. 19.
August 2017, Plaintiffs and Mr. Daka, on behalf of himself
and as CEO of SRC, engaged in mediation. Docs. 47; 62-1. The
parties settled the case, and executed a “Mediation
Term Sheet” (Mediated Agreement) setting forth the
following material terms of the settlement: 1) Defendants
would pay Ms. Feulner at total of $2, 833.35, Mr. Hitchner a
total of $2, 833.35, Ms. Shugart a total of $2, 833.35, and a
total of $4, 000.00 in attorney fees and costs; 2) the
parties would evenly divide the cost of mediation; 3) the
parties would execute a more-comprehensive settlement
agreement; and 4) Defendants would provide neutral references
in the event a third-party inquires about Plaintiffs'
employment with Defendants. Doc. 62-1.
mediation, Plaintiffs provided Mr. Daka with a
more-comprehensive settlement agreement, but he refused to
execute that agreement. Plaintiffs moved to compel Defendants
to comply with the Mediated Agreement and execute the
settlement agreement drafted by Plaintiffs. Doc. 53. The
undersigned held a hearing on the motion to compel and found
that Plaintiffs had failed to provide any authority
permitting the Court to compel Defendants to execute the
settlement agreement drafted by Plaintiffs. See Doc.
61. Thus, the undersigned denied the motion to compel, and
directed Plaintiffs to file a motion to approve the Mediated
Agreement, if they so choose. Id.
December 7, 2017, Plaintiffs filed a Motion to Approve
Settlement Agreement (Motion), to which they attached the
Mediated Agreement. Docs. 62; 62-1. Plaintiffs argue that the
Mediated Agreement constitutes a fair and reasonable
resolution of their respective FLSA claims, and request that
the Court grant the Motion, approve the Mediated Agreement,
and dismiss the case with prejudice. Id. at 3-5.
Plaintiffs certified that the Motion is opposed, id.
at 5, but Mr. Daka has not filed a response in opposition to
the Motion and the time for doing so has passed. Thus, the
Motion is unopposed.
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.Lynn's FoodStores, Inc.
v. U.S. Dept 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 ...