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Mario Batali Lawsuit Settlement

Mario Batali Lawsuit Settlement

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Published by SharonWaxman

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Published by: SharonWaxman on Mar 12, 2012
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11/30/2013

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Justin M. Swartz D. Maimon Kirschenbaum
 
Rachel Bien Denise A. Schulman
 
Dana Sussman Charles E. Joseph
OUTTEN & GOLDEN LLP JOSEPH, HERZFELD, HESTER 
3 Park Avenue, 29th Floor 
& KIRSCHENBAUM LLP
 New York, New York 10016 233 Broadway, Fifth Floor Telephone: (212) 245-1000 New York, New York 10279Telephone: (212) 688-5640
 
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURTSOUTHERN DISTRICT OF NEW YORK STEPHANIE CAPSOLAS, HERNAN RICARDOALVARADO, JEFFREY CUTAIAR, NICOLEMEDVITZ, PAUL TORO, DANIEL JANSEN, ROGER CARO, CHRIS ELL, CHRIS FORBES, and JESSEPATRICK, on behalf of themselves and other similarlysituated,Plaintiffs,v.PASTA RESOURCES INC., BABBO LLC d/b/a BABBORISTORANTE ENOTECA, PANE SARDO LLC d/b/aOTTO ENOTECA PIZZERIA, EL MONO LLC d/b/aCASA MONO and BAR JAMON, LA LOGGIA LLCd/b/a TARRY LODGE, MARIO BATALI, and JOSEPHBASTIANICH,Defendants.No. 10-cv-5595 (RLE)MEMORANDUM OF LAW IN SUPPORT OF PLAINTIFFS’ MOTIONFOR PRELIMINARY APPROVAL OF CLASS ACTION SETTLEMENT,CONDITIONAL CERTIFICATION OF THE SETTLEMENT CLASS, APPOINTMENTOF PLAINTIFFS’ COUNSEL AS CLASS COUNSEL, AND APPROVAL OF THEPROPOSED NOTICE OF SETTLEMENT AND CLASS ACTION SETTLEMENTPROCEDURE
Case 1:10-cv-05595-RLE Document 124 Filed 03/05/12 Page 1 of 32
 
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TABLE OF CONTENTS
INTRODUCTION ...........................................................................................................................1PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND ..................................................................................................1I.
 
The Parties ...............................................................................................................1II.
 
Litigation ..................................................................................................................2III.
 
Discovery .................................................................................................................3IV.
 
Settlement Negotiations ...........................................................................................3SUMMARY OF THE SETTLEMENT TERMS .............................................................................3I. The Settlement Fund ................................................................................................3II. Release .....................................................................................................................4III. Eligible Employees ..................................................................................................4IV. Allocation Formula ..................................................................................................4V. Attorneys’ Fees and Costs .......................................................................................5VI. Service Awards ........................................................................................................6VII. Settlement Claims Administrator .............................................................................7CLASS ACTION SETTLEMENT PROCEDURE .........................................................................7ARGUMENT ...................................................................................................................................8I.
 
Preliminary Approval of the Settlement is Appropriate .........................................8A.
 
The Settlement Is Fair, Reasonable, and Adequate .........................................10
1.
 
Litigation Through Trial Would be Complex, Costly, and Long(
Grinnell 
Factor 1) ....................................................................................11
2.
 
The Reaction of the Class Has Been Positive (
Grinnell 
Factor 2) ............12
Case 1:10-cv-05595-RLE Document 124 Filed 03/05/12 Page 2 of 32
 
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3.
 
Discovery Has Advanced Far Enough to Allow the Parties to ResponsiblyResolve the Case (
Grinnell 
Factor 3).........................................................12
4.
 
Plaintiffs Would Face Real Risks if the Case Proceeded(
Grinnell 
Factors 4 and 5) ..........................................................................13
5.
 
Establishing a Class and Maintaining It Through Trial Would Not BeSimple (
Grinnell 
Factor 6) .........................................................................14
6.
 
The Settlement Fund Is Substantial in Light of the Possible Recovery andthe Attendant Risks of Litigation; Defendants’ Ability to Withstand aGreater Judgment Is Not Determinative (
Grinnell 
Factor 7, 8 and 9) ......14
II. Conditional Certification of the Rule 23 Class Is Appropriate ................................ 16A. Numerosity ...................................................................................................... 17B. Commonality ................................................................................................... 17C.
 
Typicality ........................................................................................................ 18D.
 
Adequacy of the Named Plaintiff .................................................................... 19E.
 
Certification is Proper Under Rule 23(b)(3) .................................................... 191. Common Questions Predominate .............................................................. 202. A Class Action is a Superior Mechanism .................................................. 21III.
 
Plaintiffs’ Counsel Should Be Appointed as Class Counsel ..................................... 22IV.
 
The Proposed Class Notice is Appropriate ............................................................... 23V.
 
Plaintiffs Will Seek Approval of the FLSA Settlement .......................................... 24CONCLUSION ..............................................................................................................................24
 
Case 1:10-cv-05595-RLE Document 124 Filed 03/05/12 Page 3 of 32

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