United States District Court, W.D. Missouri, Western Division
SARAH WENELL, on behalf of herself and all others similarly situated, Plaintiff,
CASEY'S GENERAL STORES, INC. And CASEY'S MARKETING COMPANY Defendants.
PRELIMINARILY APPROVING SETTLEMENT AGREEMENT FOR CLASS AND
COLLECTIVE ACTION CLAIMS, APPROVING FORMS OF CLASS NOTICE TO
CLASS MEMBERS AND NOTICE OF SETTLEMENT TO OPT-IN PLAINTIFFS,
APPOINTING SETTLEMENT ADMINISTRATOR, AND SCHEDULING HEARING
FOR FINAL APPROVAL
NANETTE K. LAUGHREY, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
Plaintiff Sarah Wenell (“Plaintiff”) (herein
“Class Representative”) has requested that the
Court enter an order preliminarily approving the settlement
of this Litigation as stated in the Class and Collective
Action Settlement Agreement (“Settlement” or
“Settlement Agreement”), which, together with the
exhibits attached thereto, set forth the terms and conditions
for a proposed settlement and dismissal of the Litigation.
Doc. 35. Defendants Casey's General Stores, Inc. and
Casey's Marketing Company (“Defendants”) do
not oppose preliminary approval of the Settlement.
having read and considered the Settlement Agreement, the
exhibits attached to it, and the briefing submitted in
support of preliminary approval of the Settlement, the Court
preliminarily approves the Parties' Settlement as fair,
reasonable and adequate and Orders as follows:
Court finds that notice of the Settlement to the Class
Members is justified because the Parties have shown that the
Court will likely be able to approve the Settlement Agreement
under Rule 23(e)(2) and will likely be able to certify the
Settlement Classes for purposes of judgment.
Court finds that it will likely be able to certify the FLSA
Settlement Class and Rule 23 Class as defined in the
Court specifically finds that, for the purposes of Settlement
only, with regard to the Rule 23 Class under Rule 23, (i) the
Class is so numerous that joinder is impracticable; (ii)
common questions of fact and law exist; (iii) the Class
Representatives' claims are typical of the Class
Members' claims; and (iv) the Class Representatives will
be able to fairly and adequately protect the interests of the
Class Members. In addition, the Court finds that, for the
purposes of Settlement only, with regard to the Rule 23
Class, questions of law or fact common to the Class
predominate over questions affecting individual members, and
a class action is superior to other available methods.
Certification of the Rule 23 Class for settlement purposes is
the best means for protecting the interests of all of the
Court finds that it likely will be able to approve the
Settlement Agreement under Rule 23(e)(2) because the
Settlement is the result of arm's-length negotiations
between experienced attorneys who are familiar with class
action litigation in general and with the legal and factual
issues of this case in particular.
Court also finds that the Settlement Agreement provides
adequate relief to the Class Members considering the costs,
risks, and delay associated with trial and appeal as well as
the effectiveness of the proposed distribution of settlement
payments to Class Members. The Court further finds that
preliminary approval of the Settlement is supported by the
terms of the proposed Attorneys' Fee and costs and
proposed service awards.
Settlement Agreement treats Class Members equitably relative
to each other because settlement payments are based on an
equitable formula taking into account the amount of time
worked, the pay rate for each class member, and the claims
asserted in the litigation.
Dirks, and Michael Hodgson shall serve as Class Counsel and
Plaintiff Sarah Wenell shall serve as the Class
Court approves, as to form and content, the Notices of
Settlement attached as Exhibits A and B to the Settlement
Agreement. The Court finds that the Class Notices: (1) meet
the requirements of federal law and due process; (2) are the
best notice practicable under the circumstances; and (3)
shall constitute due and sufficient notice to all individuals
Within sixty (60) days of the initial mailing of the Class
Notice, Class members who have not previously opted in and
who wish to receive a complete settlement award must fill out
and submit or return a Claim Form electronically or via
postcard to the Settlement Administrator.
Final Approval Hearing, for purposes of determining whether
the Settlement should be finally approved, shall be held
before this Court on Tuesday, April 7, 2020, at 1:30 PM in
Courtroom 8C at the U.S. District Court for the Western
District of Missouri, Charles Evans Whittaker U.S.
Courthouse, 400 E. 9th Street, Kansas City, Missouri 64106.
At the hearing, the Court will hear final arguments
concerning whether the proposed Settlement of the Litigation
on the terms and conditions provided for in the Settlement
Agreement is fair, ...