United States District Court, D. Connecticut
ROGER LASSEN JR., individually and on behalf of all other similarly situated individuals,
HOYT LIVERY, INC., et. al.,
RULING AND ORDER REGARDING MOTION TO ENFORCE
A. BOLDEN UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
Lassen, Jr. (“Plaintiff”), on behalf of himself
and others similarly situated, brought this action against
Hoyt Livery, Inc. (“Hoyt Livery”), Santo
Silvestro, and Lynda Silvestro (collectively
“Defendants”), asserting claims under the Fair
Labor Standards Act, 29 U.S.C. § 201 et seq.
(“FLSA”) and the Connecticut Minimum Wage Act,
Conn. Gen. Stat. §§ 31 to 58 et seq.
(“CMWA”). On March 16, 2018, after conducting a
Final Approval Hearing, the Court approved the settlement of
Lassen now seeks to enforce the settlement agreement and
attorney's fees for overdue payment.
following reasons, the Court finds the motion to enforce the
settlement agreement is MOOT and
DENIES the motion for a judgment and the
awarding of penalties under the settlement agreement but
GRANTS Plaintiffs' motion for
attorney's fees in the amount of $5,
236.25, payable by December 31,
2018, because of the additional litigation
necessitated to ensure the fulfillment of the settlement
FACTUAL BACKGROUND AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY
nearly three years, Mr. Lassen worked as a limousine driver
for Hoyt Livery, a Connecticut company owned by Mr. Silvestro
and Ms. Silvestro. Hoyt Livery paid all drivers, including
Mr. Lassen, with a commission-based system. Under the system,
a dispatcher assigned drivers to work trips requested by
customers, and the assigned driver earned forty percent of
whatever fee Hoyt charged the customer for the requested
trip. The forty percent figure included two components:
commission comprised twenty-five percent, while built-in
gratuity comprised fifteen percent. Hoyt Livery required
full-time drivers to be available six days a week.
July 2013, Hoyt Livery did not keep hourly time records for
its drivers. During the period relevant to this lawsuit, Hoyt
Livery drivers did not receive additional compensation if
they worked more than forty hours in a week. Regardless of
how many hours a driver worked in a week or how many trips a
driver took, all drivers earned the same forty percent
commission per trip. Hoyt Livery has since changed their
policy, and now pays drivers one and a half times their
weekly commission when the driver works more than forty hours
during that workweek. This case involved whether the earlier
payment structure followed the FLSA, and the CMWA.
September 17, 2014, the Court (Meyer, J.) granted
Plaintiff's motion to certify conditionally a FLSA
collective action and to certify a Rule 23 class action as to
the CMWA claims, with a class consisting of “all
persons who have worked for Defendant . . . as full time
limousine drivers between October 18, 2011 and the date of
final judgment in this matter” (the “CMWA
Class”). See Certification Order at 1-2, 13,
ECF No. 43. In addition to Mr. Lassen, nine other plaintiffs
opted in to the FLSA collective action (collectively, the
“Opt-In Plaintiffs”), while the CMWA Class
consists of thirty-five total members. See Approval
Br. at 3-4, ECF No. 193-1.
March 22, 2017, Mr. Lassen filed an unopposed motion for
preliminary approval of the class action settlement, ECF No.
193, which the Court granted in part and denied in part. ECF
No. 201. The Court allowed the parties to send the proposed
notice to CMWA Class members, using the notice procedures
outlined in the settlement agreement. The Court, however,
rejected two provisions of the settlement agreement related
to the FLSA collective action and the Opt-In Plaintiffs,
namely the (a) general release provision and (b) the
confidentiality provision. The Court directed the parties to
change those provisions of the settlement agreement, as
further explained in the Court's June 5, 2017 Order.
December 5, 2017, on consent, Plaintiffs' moved the Court
to order the unconditional preliminary approval of the
proposed class action settlement, as amended. ECF No. 238.
with the general release provision, as amended, and the
confidentiality provision, as amended, the Court granted this
motion on December 6, 2017. ECF No. 204.
February 15, 2018, the Court held a Final Approval Hearing.
ECF No. 255.
March 1, 2018, the Court approved the settlement terms in the
Settlement and Release Agreement and the Amended Settlement
and Release. Under the agreement, defendants agreed to pay a
settlement fund of $670, 000 to Plaintiffs and
Plaintiff's Counsel, which represented:
a. $120, 000 to Mr. Lassen and the Opt-In Plaintiffs,
consistent with Section 8(a) of the Settlement Agreement and
Release, to be paid “[w]ithin thirty (30) days of Final
Approval of the settlement, as defined by Section 1(k) of the
Settlement Agreement and Release;
b. $135, 000 to the CMWA Class, consistent with Section 8(c)
of the Settlement Agreement and Release, to be paid
“[n]o later than June 1, 2018;
c. an incentive award of $15, 000 to Mr. Lassen as the
representative plaintiff in this case, consistent with
Section 8(a) of the Settlement Agreement and Release, to be
paid “[w]ithin thirty (30) days of Final Approval of
the settlement, as defined ...