Hornsby et al v. Macon County Greyhound Park, Inc. et al, No. 3:2010cv00680 - Document 208 (M.D. Ala. 2013)

Court Description: ORDER AND FINAL JUDGMENT directing that the Motions for Entry of Final Approval Order and Approval of Plan of Allocation (Doc. Nos. 195 & 205 ) and the Plaintiffs' 194 Application for Award of Attorneys' Fees, Expenses, and Award of En hancement for Class Representatives are granted, as further set out; without affecting the finality of this Judgment, the Court retains jurisdiction for purposes of implementing the Agreement and reserves the power to enter additional orders to effec tuate the fair and orderly administration and consummation of the Agreement and Settlement, as may from time to time be appropriate, and resolution of any and all disputes arising thereunder. Signed by Honorable Judge Myron H. Thompson on 4/23/13. (Attachments: # 1 Civil Appeals Checklist)(scn, )
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Hornsby et al v. Macon County Greyhound Park, Inc. et al Doc. 208 IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE MIDDLE DISTRICT OF ALABAMA, EASTERN DIVISION LUCRETIA HORNSBY, ANMARIE YOUNG, PRESTON YOUNG, DAWN HAMMOCK, CELINA JORDAN, TABITHA ARLEDGE, ERICA MILLER, OCIE BUTLER, and DARRELL THOMAS, on behalf of themselves and all others similarly situated, Plaintiffs, v. MACON COUNTY GREYHOUND PARK, INC., MILTON McGREGOR, McGREGOR ENTERPRISES, and VICTORYLAND, Defendants. ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) CIVIL ACTION NO. 3:10cv680-MHT (WO) ORDER AND FINAL JUDGMENT This action came before the Court for a final fairness hearing held on April 22, 2013, on a proposed settlement (the “Settlement”) of this class action (the “Action”) preliminarily certified for settlement purposes only, and the issues having been duly heard and a decision having been duly rendered, IT IS THEREFORE ORDERED AND ADJUDGED that the Dockets.Justia.com Motions for Entry of Final Approval Order and Approval of Plan of Allocation (Doc. Nos. 195 & 205) and the Plaintiffs’ Application for Award of Attorneys’ Fees, Expenses, and Award of Enhancement for Class Representatives (Doc. No. 194) are granted as follows: To the extent not otherwise defined herein, all terms shall have the same meaning as used in the Agreement of Settlement (Doc. No. 188-1) executed on October 23, 2012 (“the Agreement”). The Court has jurisdiction over the subject matter of this action and over all parties to this action, including all members of the Settlement Class. The Court hereby approves and confirms the Settlement embodied in the Agreement as being a fair, reasonable, and adequate settlement and compromise of this action, adopts the Agreement as its judgment and orders that the Settlement shall be effective, binding, and enforced according to its terms and conditions. The Court determines that the Plaintiffs have asserted claims on behalf themselves and all members of 2 the Settlement Class to recover damages, including but not limited to the statutory damages provided by the Employee Retirement amended, 29 U.S.C. failure to Income Security Act of 1974 as §§ 1001-1461 (“ERISA”) for alleged give appropriate notices concerning Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1985 (“COBRA”) that complied with the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (“ARRA”). Defendants have generally denied Plaintiffs’ allegations. The Court determines that the Settlement, which will include the total payment of One Million Three Hundred Thousand ($1,300,000.00) Dollars by the Defendants, $350,000 of which is for statutory damages, to be paid to the Class Representatives and Class Members, has been negotiated vigorously and at arms’ length by Class Counsel and Defense Counsel and further finds that at all times, Plaintiffs have acted independently and that their interests are identical to the interests of the Settlement Class. that the Plaintiffs and Defendants 3 The Court finds have vigorously litigated numerous issues. The Court finds that the concerns of Class Counsel that the Defendants may be unable to pay any larger recovery in the future is reasonable, given Defendants. the present Furthermore, circumstances Plaintiffs of the appropriately recognize that there is no guarantee of success in the litigation further and that a protracted appeals. settlement litigation is preferable including to possible The Court further finds that the Settlement arises from a genuine controversy between the Parties and is not the result of collusion, nor was the Settlement procured by fraud or misrepresentation. The Court determines transmitted to the Preliminary Approval that Settlement Order the Class Class pursuant concerning the Notice to the Settlement and other matters set forth therein is the best notice practicable individual Class who efforts. under the notice to could be circumstances all members identified of and included the Settlement through reasonable Such Class Notice provides valid, due, and 4 sufficient notice of these proceedings and of the matters set forth therein, including the Settlement to all persons entitled to such Class Notice; and such Class Notice fully satisfies the requirements of Rule 23 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure and the requirements of due process. The Court hereby approves the maintenance of the action Federal as an Rules opt-out of class Civil action Procedure pursuant 23(b)(3) to the with the Class being defined as: All former employees of Macon County Greyhound Park (d/b/a Victoryland and McGregor Enterprises) (“MCGP”) who participated in a group health insurance plan with BlueCross BlueShield of Alabama that was provided by MCGP in this action for employees of MCGP, including employees who signed an arbitration agreement as a condition to employment, and who were laid off from employment at MCGP in January and February of 2010 and who were not subsequently re-hired by MCGP. Pursuant to Federal Rules of Civil Procedure 23(g), the Court hereby confirms Class Counsel as follows: its prior appointment of The Segrest Law Firm, Robert Simms Thompson, P.C.; Bailey & Glasser, LLC; and The 5 Martin Law Group, LLC. Based on the Settlement, the Court hereby dismisses the Complaint and the action against the Defendants, with prejudice, on the merits. As of the date of complete settlement approval and payment of the settlement amount, Plaintiffs and each member of the Settlement Class who has not opted out in accordance with the Settlement Agreement and Class Notice, on their own behalf, shall be deemed to have released each and all of the Defendants from the released claims. As of the date of complete settlement approval and payment including might of the all settlement persons, otherwise be firms, entitled to amounts, and Defendants, corporations claims through who them, shall be deemed to have released the Plaintiff Released Parties from any claims that may have arisen out of this action. Approval, and As of the date of Complete Settlement payment of the settlement amounts, Plaintiffs and Settlement Class Members shall be deemed 6 to have released the Defendants from any claims that may have arisen out of this action. As of the date of Complete Settlement Approval, and payment of provisions the shall settlement be given amount, full force all and release effect in accordance with each and all of their express terms and provisions, including relating unknown, to those terms unsuspected, demands, or causes of action. Plaintiffs, for Settlement Class, provisions future claims, Further, Defendants and themselves, assume or and and the on risk of behalf any of the subsequent discovery of any matter, fact, or law, that, if now known or understood, would in any respect have affected or could have affected any such Person’s entering into the Agreement. The Court further determines that Defendants have fully complied Class Action with the Fairness notice Act of requirements 2005, to the of the extent possible. Plaintiffs and all members of the Settlement Class, 7 including those who have opted out without reservation of rights, pursuant to the Settlement Agreement and Class Notice, are hereby barred and enjoined from the institution and prosecution, either directly or indirectly, of any other actions in any court asserting any and all Released Claims against any and all Released Parties as described in the Release. The litigation expenses incurred by Class Counsel in the course reasonable. of prosecuting Accordingly, Class this action Counsel are are awarded expenses in the amount of $15,383.08, to be paid from the Administration Fund. The attorneys fees sought by Class Counsel in the amount of $917,957.41 are reasonable in light of the successful monetary results achieved by Class Counsel, the benefits obtained in this Action, the with the experience in substantial Counsel’s risk skill litigation of comparable cases. associated and this type, and Accordingly, 8 the Action, class fee Class Class action awards Counsel in are awarded attorneys’ fees in the amount of $917,957.41, to be paid from the Administrative Fund. The named Plaintiffs are hereby awarded enhancement awards in the amount of $2,200.00 each and shall be paid from the Settlement Fund of $350,000.00. To the extent any funds remain in the Settlement Fund after all distributions are complete, Plaintiffs’ counsel are directed to distribute any excess funds equally to (1) the Tuskegee Human & Civil Rights Multicultural Center and (2) the Macon County Board of Education. Without affecting the finality of this Judgment, the Court retains jurisdiction for purposes of implementing the Agreement and reserves the power to enter additional orderly orders administration to effectuate and the consummation fair and of the Agreement and Settlement, as may from time to time be appropriate, and resolution arising thereunder. 9 of any and all disputes This case is closed. DONE, this 23d day of April, 2013. ___/s/ Myron H. Thompson_____ UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE