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Thursday, April 2, 2020

Court OKs settlement in unpaid OT suit brought by ex-employees vs Hartford Insurance

Lawsuits

By Marian Johns | May 16, 2019

General court 07

ORLANDO — A Florida federal court has approved a settlement in a case involving several current and former employees of Hartford Fire Insurance Company who alleged the company failed to pay overtime. 

According to the March 28 U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida report and recommendation, plaintiffs Patricia Dearth, Jessica Perez, Jamie Rivera, Layfon Rosu, Marissa Shimko, Carol Somers, Jeanne Bachmann and Alicia Duquette filed a second amended complaint against Hartford. 

The plaintiffs alleged violation of the Fair Labor Standards Act with plaintiffs Bachmann and Duquette accusing Illinois and Massachusetts of unpaid wage violations.  

Both parties filed a joint motion for approval of settlement in February that included a total settlement of up to $921,333 with $663,358 being divided "among the representatives and opt-in plaintiffs," according to the court filing. 

The agreement includes a condition that the plaintiffs execute and return a release form within 10 days of the court approving the agreement and if five or more the plaintiffs do not return the form in the required time or if the "opt-in plaintiffs" do not meet the deadline and "in combination represent more than 15% of the payment amount, Hartford can nullify the agreement."

The plaintiffs and defendant petitioned the court to approve the agreement and dismiss the action without prejudice and the court found the "amount of the compromise reasonable." 

U.S. Magistrate Judge Leslie Hoffman  granted the joint motion for approval and concluded the agreement "is a fair and reasonable resolution of a bona fide dispute under the FLSA." The judge also ordered the case to be dismissed without prejudice and retained the jurisdiction to "enforce the terms of the agreement until such time as the parties file a joint notice of dismissal."

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U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida Orlando Division