United States District Court, D. Kansas
BRYAN BAILES, Individually and on Behalf of All Others, Plaintiff,
LINEAGE LOGISTICS, LLC, Defendant.
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
D. Crabtree United States District Judge
Bryan Bailes brings this lawsuit on behalf of himself and
putative class members alleging that defendant, Lineage
Logistics, LLC, violated the Fair Credit Reporting Act
(“FCRA”), 15 U.S.C. §§ 1681-81x. The
parties met, negotiated, and agreed to a compromise. On May
9, 2016, they asked the court to approve the result of their
efforts: a proposed class settlement. Doc. 24-1. On August
19, 2016, the court denied their motion and gave the parties
time to renegotiate. Doc. 25. The parties met, negotiated,
and agreed to a new proposed class settlement. On December
15, 2016, the court approved this new proposed settlement
agreement and certified the settlement class. Doc. 32. The
court later approved the parties' proposed notice and
notice plan. Doc. 35. The parties filed their Joint Motion
for Order for Final Approval of Class Action Settlement on
April 19, 2017, and plaintiff filed a Motion for Attorney
Fees and Costs the same day. Docs. 38, 39. The court held a
final fairness hearing on April 25, 2017.
reasons explained in the court's June 6, 2017 Order, the
court denied both the parties' Joint Motion for Order for
Final Approval of Class Action Settlement and plaintiff's
Motion for Attorney Fees and Costs. Doc. 41. But, the
court's June 6 Order denied these motions without
prejudice. So, on July 28, 2017, the parties filed a Joint
Motion for Order for Final Class Certification and Approval
of Class Action Settlement. Doc. 46. That same day, plaintiff
filed a renewed Motion for Attorney Fees and Costs. Doc. 47.
The court has reviewed the parties' submissions and, for
reasons explained below, grants both motions.
Settlement Agreement and Class Notice Details
the court granted the parties' motion for preliminary
approval, the settlement administrator, Analytics Consulting,
LLC, began sending out the court-approved notice to potential
class members. The parties initially expected the class to
consist of 3, 400 members, but the actual number decreased
slightly to 3, 356. After the initial mailing, the settlement
administrator ran a skip trace and re-mailed notices to 694
class members. The administrator then ran a second skip
trace, and re-mailed notices to 29 class members. All told,
the parties were unable to locate 425 of the 3, 356 class
members. Of the 2, 931 members who received notice, none
opted out and none objected.
parties have agreed to settle the class's claims for a
total of $149, 205. They propose to distribute this sum in
this fashion: attorneys' fees and costs of $49, 237
(should the court approve the amount); settlement
administrator costs of $16, 500; a $2, 500 incentive award
for Bryan Bailes, the named plaintiff (should the court
approve the amount); and then the remainder, $80, 968, to be
distributed among the 2, 931 class members “to whom
notice was sent and not returned as undeliverable.”
Doc. 46-2 at 6-7, 9. So, each class member who received
notice will recover about $27.62. If finally approved, the
settlement agreement requires the administrator to mail
settlement checks to all class members “to whom notice
was sent and not returned as undeliverable.” Doc. 46-2
at 9. Any checks not cashed within 120 days of issuance will
pass to Goodwill Industries International, Inc. as a cy pres
addition to the monetary considerations detailed above, the
parties have agreed not to publicize the settlement.
Plaintiff and all class members also have agreed to release
all claims they may have against the defendant based on
plaintiff's First Amended Complaint.
Joint Motion for Order for Final Class Certification and
Approval of Class Action Settlement
Final Class Certification
certification is appropriate if, after rigorous analysis, the
court finds that the proposed class satisfies the
requirements of Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 23.
Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. v. Dukes, 564 U.S. 338, 350-51
(2011). To certify a class seeking damages for a common
injury-as this proposed class seeks-a plaintiff must meet six
requirements. Four are found in Rule 23(a) and two come from
Rule 23(b)(3). Namely, the court must find that:
(1) the class is so numerous that joinder of all members is
(2) there are questions of law or fact common to the class;
(3) the claims or defenses of the representative parties are
typical to the claims or defenses of the class; and
(4) the representative parties will fairly and adequately
protect the interests of the class.
Civ. P. 23(a)(1)-(4). And, to satisfy Rule 23(b)(3), the
court must also find that:
(1) the common questions of law or fact predominate over
individualized questions; and
(2) a class action is the superior method for adjudicating
the controversy. In order, these six requirements are called
numerosity, commonality, typicality, adequacy, predominance,
the court was persuaded that all six requirements are met.
The parties' representations during the fairness hearing
and in their briefing convinces the court that its initial,
conditional class certification analysis still applies and,
thus, the court grants the parties' request to certify
the settlement class. The court certifies the following class
for settlement purposes only:
all individuals from whom, Lineage obtained written consent
between February 5, 2013 and March 26, 2015, using a form
titled Disclosure and Authorization Regarding Obtaining
Consumer and/or Investigative Reports for Employment, to
conduct a background check and upon whom Lineage subsequently
obtained a background check.
Doc. 46-2 at 3.
Final Approval of ...