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Dowling v. Winghouse II, Inc.

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

May 7, 2018

JOSEPH DOWLING, Plaintiff,
v.
WINGHOUSE II, INC., CRAWFORD F. KER and SOARING WINGS, LLC, Defendants.

          REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION

          DANIEL C. IRICK UNITES STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE

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

MOTION: MOTION TO APPROVE FLSA SETTLEMENT AND FOR DISMISSAL WITH PREJUDICE AS TO ALL DEFENDANTS (Doc. 51)
FILED: April 12, 2018
THEREON it is RECOMMENDED that the motion be GRANTED.

         I. BACKGROUND

         On May 15, 2017, Plaintiff filed a Complaint against Defendants alleging a cause of action for an alleged violation of the overtime provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act (the FLSA). Doc. 1. On April 12, 2018, the parties filed a joint motion to approve settlement (the Motion), to which the parties attached their proposed settlement agreements (the Agreements). Docs. 51; 51-1; 51-2. The Agreements provide that Defendants Winghouse II, Inc. (Winghouse) and Crawford F. Ker (Ker) will pay Plaintiff $5, 500.00 to settle his FLSA claims: $970.90 in unpaid wages, $970.90 in liquidated damages, and $3, 558.20 in attorney fees. Docs. 51 at 2-3; 51-1 at 2-3. The Agreements provide that Defendant Soaring Wings, LLC (Soaring Wings) will pay Plaintiff $6, 000.00 to settle his FLSA claims: $1, 500.00 in unpaid wages, $1, 500.00 in liquidated damages, and $3, 000.00 in attorney fees. Docs. 51 at 3-4; 51-2 at 2-3. The parties request that the Court review and approve the Agreements, and dismiss this case with prejudice. Doc. 51 at 6.

         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.[1] 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 discovery completed.
. The probability of plaintiff s success on the ...

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