FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
WHAT IS THIS LAWSUIT ABOUT?
This lawsuit is about whether OC Burger Boys, LLC (“Defendant”) paid overtime, provided meal periods, provided rest breaks, paid all wages owed upon termination of employment, provided proper wage statements, received authorization for paycheck deductions, and reimbursed business expenses incurred by Business Managers as required by applicable California laws. The settlement involves the claims asserted by Plaintiff Veronica Ibanez on behalf of herself and all Class Members. Plaintiff seeks a monetary recovery for the members of the class. The money sought includes damages, restitution, penalties, interest, costs, attorneys’ fees, and other relief. Separate from the claims that are the subject of this settlement, Plaintiff previously made individual claims that concerned her employment only. These individual claims have been independently resolved and do not affect the recovery or rights of the Class Members. Defendant expressly denies that it did anything wrong or that it violated the law and further denies any liability whatsoever.
The Court has not decided whether the lawsuit has merit. In other words, the Court has not determined whether any law has been violated; it has not decided in favor of either Plaintiff or Defendant. Instead, both sides have agreed to resolve the lawsuit with no decision or admission regarding who is right or wrong. By agreeing to resolve the lawsuit, all parties avoid the risks and cost of a trial.
WHAT IS A CLASS ACTION AND WHO IS INVOLVED?
In a class action lawsuit such as this, a person called a “Class Representative” sues on behalf of other people who have similar claims. The people together are a “Class” or “Class Members.” The person who is the Class Representative is also called the Plaintiff. The company sued (in this case OC Burger Boys, LLC) is called the Defendant. One court resolves the issues for everyone in the Class—except for those people who choose to exclude themselves from the Class.
WHY IS THIS LAWSUIT A CLASS ACTION?
As part of the settlement with Defendant, Plaintiff and Defendant agreed to conditionally certify the class with respect to all of the claims Plaintiff alleged against Defendant as a class action, for settlement purposes only, and to move towards Court approval of the settlement. The Court has not ruled on the merits of these claims, and the decision to certify the agreed-upon Class for settlement purposes should not be viewed as a prediction that Plaintiff or the Class would ultimately prevail on the merits of the action.
WHAT ARE THE TERMS OF THE PROPOSED SETTLEMENT?
Defendant has agreed to pay $325,000.00 for payments to the Class, incentive award to the Class Representative, administration costs, and attorneys’ fees and costs.
The major terms of the settlement are as follows:
- Defendant has agreed to pay $325,000.00 to settle the claims made in this lawsuit. This is also known as the Gross Settlement Amount.
- Plaintiff has agreed to release all of her claims against Defendant.
- Plaintiff seeks the following deductions from the $325,000.00 Gross Settlement Amount:
- one-third of the Gross Settlement Amount (which is currently equal to $108,333.33) for Class Counsel’s attorneys’ fees.
- Up to $15,000.00 for reimbursement of Class Counsel’s litigation costs.
- An incentive award of $7,500 to Plaintiff Veronica Ibanez for having filed this action, work performed, and risks undertaken.
- Up to $10,000.00 to cover the costs of the Settlement Administrator.
If the Court approves each of the requested amounts from the Gross Settlement Amount, the Parties estimate there will be approximately $184,166.67 remaining (less Class Members’ share of taxes). The remaining funds will be referred to as the Net Settlement Amount. The Net Settlement Amount will be distributed to Class Members who do not request exclusion (“Participating Class Members”) and according to the following formula:
After the time to object or opt out of the settlement has passed and after final approval by the Court, Participating Class Members will be paid a pro rata share of the Net Settlement Amount based on their individual weeks worked for Defendant during the period of May 22, 2013 through February 5, 2019 (the “Class Period”).
Your estimated individual settlement payment is listed in section 7 of the Notice you received in the mail. Payroll deductions will be made to your individual settlement payment for state and federal withholding taxes and any other applicable payroll deductions owed by you.
AM I PART OF THIS CLASS?
The Class includes: All employees who served as a Business Manager for Defendant from May 22, 2013 through February 5, 2019 (the “Class Period”).
You have to decide whether to stay in the Class or ask to be excluded from the settlement, and you have to decide this by no later than April 27, 2019.
WHAT IS MY APPROXIMATE SETTLEMENT PAYMENT?
The total number of work weeks for which you are entitled to settlement compensation and your estimated payment amount are included in the notice that was mailed to you.
Your estimated share of the settlement proceeds is based on the information provided in the notice and will be less applicable taxes, withholdings, and garnishments.
You need not do anything further to receive your Settlement Payment, other than to ensure that the Settlement Administrator has an accurate mailing address for you. You will have one hundred and eighty (180) calendar days to cash your settlement check or the check will be deemed void. After 180 days from the mailing, the amount of any settlement checks that has not been cashed will be paid to the Wage Justice Center (a member of The Legal Aid Association of California), located at 3250 Wilshire Blvd., 13th Fl., Los Angeles, California, 90010.
If you believe your total weeks worked during the Class Period as shown in the notice are not correct, you may send a letter to the Settlement Administrator indicating what you believe is correct. You may also send any documents or other information that supports your belief that the information set forth above is incorrect. The Settlement Administrator will resolve any dispute based upon Defendant’s records and any information you provide. Please be advised that the number of weeks you worked during the Class Period is presumed to be correct unless the documents you submit are company records from Defendant.
Any dispute regarding settlement must be mailed or faxed to the Settlement Administrator no later than April 27, 2019.
WHAT RIGHTS AM I RELEASING IF IN PARTICIPATE IN THE SETTLEMENT?
Upon final approval by the Court, the claims released by Class Members (the “Released Claims”) are all claims, demands, rights, liabilities and causes of action arising during the Class Period that were asserted in the operative complaint in the lawsuit or that could have been asserted based on the factual allegations in the operative complaint in the lawsuit. Each Settlement Class Member will be deemed to have released the Released Parties from the Released Claims, and covenants not to sue any of the Released Parties for any Released Claims.
The Released Parties are Defendant, its past or present officers, directors, shareholders, employees, agents, principals, heirs, representatives, accountants, auditors, consultants, insurers and reinsurers, and their respective successors and predecessors in interest, subsidiaries, affiliates, payroll administrators (including Akash Management, LLC), parents and attorneys.
To the extent that any taxing authority imposes tax liability on any Class Member with respect to his or her Individual Settlement Payment, that Class Member shall be solely responsible for the amount imposed (including any interest and/or penalties thereon), if any.
HOW DO I OBJECT TO THE SETTLEMENT?
If you are a member of the Class above and would like to object to the settlement, you must not submit a request for exclusion (i.e., must not opt out). Also, no later than April 27, 2019, you must mail or fax a written statement to the Settlement Administrator (at the address or fax number in below) setting forth the grounds of objection, signed by you or your attorney, along with any supporting papers. Your objection should state a specific reason for the objection, and your name, address, and dates of employment with Defendant, include any supporting papers, and must be signed by you as the objecting party or your authorized representative, such as your attorney.
WHY WOULD I ASK TO BE EXCLUDED?
You have the right to exclude yourself from the settlement. If you exclude yourself—sometimes called “opting-out” of the Class—you won’t get any money or benefits from the settlement. However, you may then be able to sue or continue to sue Defendant for your own claims if permitted by law. If you exclude yourself, you will not be legally bound by the Court’s disposition of this class action. If you exclude yourself, you should talk to your own lawyer soon, because your claims may be subject to a statute of limitations.
HOW DO I ASK TO BE EXCLUDED FROM THE CLASS?
If you are a member of the Class described above and would like to exclude yourself from the Class (“opt out”) you need to submit a written statement requesting exclusion from the Class containing your name, address, telephone number, and your signature or the signature of your authorized representative. This request must be returned to the Settlement Administrator at the address or fax number below, and it must be postmarked or faxed on or before April 27, 2019. The date of the postmark on the return mailing envelope or the date indicated on the fax that the fax was received by the Settlement Administrator shall be the exclusive means used to determine whether a request for exclusion has been timely submitted. Any Class Member who opts out of the Class will not be entitled to any recovery under the settlement and will not be bound by the settlement or have any right to object, appeal, or comment thereon. Class Members who fail to submit a valid and timely request for exclusion on or before April 27, 2019 shall be bound by all terms of the settlement and any final disposition entered in this Class Action if the settlement is approved by the Court.
DO I HAVE A LAWYER IN THIS CASE?
The Court decided that the law firm of Petronelli Law Group, PC is qualified to represent you and all Class Members. The law firm is called “Class Counsel.” The law firm’s attorneys are experienced in handling similar cases against other employers. More information about this law firm, its practice, and its lawyers’ experience is available at www.petronellilaborlaw.com.
HOW WILL THE LAWYERS BE PAID?
As part of the settlement with Defendant, Class Counsel has requested one-third of the Gross Settlement Amount (currently, that is equal to $108,333.33) in attorneys’ fees, plus costs not to exceed $15,000.00, to be paid from the Gross Settlement Amount to compensate Class Counsel for their work on this matter. You will not have to pay Class Counsel’s fees and costs.
HOW WILL THE NAMED PLAINTIFF BE PAID?
As part of the settlement with Defendant, Class Counsel has requested an enhancement of up to $7,500.00 to be paid to Veronica Ibanez for her efforts in this matter during initial investigation, discovery, mediation and the like, while serving as a Class Representative and taking on the burden and risks of litigation.
WHO IS HANDLING THE SETTLEMENT ADMINISTRATION PROCESS?
Ibanez v. OC Burger Boys Settlement
PO Box 1440
Minneapolis, MN 55440
Telephone: (888) 233-2228
Fax: (888) 326-6433
WHEN IS THE FINAL FAIRNESS AND APPROVAL HEARING AND DO I HAVE TO ATTEND?
The Final Fairness and Approval Hearing has been set for August 8, 2019 in Department 17 of the Superior Court of the State of California, County of Los Angeles, located at 312 North Spring Street, Los Angeles, California 90012. You do not need to attend the hearing to be a part of the settlement. However, if you wish to object to the settlement, you may appear at the hearing to object.
WHEN WILL I GET MONEY AFTER THE HEARING?
Your Individual Settlement Payment from the Net Settlement Amount will be paid within approximately 45 days after the Court grants Final Approval of the settlement, or, if there is any objection to the settlement that is not withdrawn or if an appeal is filed, then after all rights to appeal are exhausted (assuming Court approval stands).
ARE MORE DETAILS AVAILABLE?
You may contact the Settlement Administrator:
Ibanez v. OC Burger Boys Settlement
PO Box 1440
Minneapolis, MN 55440
Telephone: (888) 233-2228
Fax: (888) 326-6433
You may contact Class Counsel:
PETRONELLI LAW GROUP, PC
Christian J. Petronelli, Esq.
Dayna C. Carter, Esq.
295 Redondo Ave., Suite 201
Los Angeles, CA 90803
Telephone: (888) 855-3670
Fax: (888) 449-9675
Counsel for Defendant is:
PETTIT KOHN INGRASSIA LUTZ & DOLIN
Thomas S. Ingrassia, Esq.
Tristan A. Mullis, Esq.
5901 W. Century Blvd., Suite 1100
Los Angeles, CA 90045
Telephone: (310) 649-5772
Fax: (310) 649-5777
OC BURGER BOYS, LLC
David N. Buffington, Esq.
5670 Schaefer Avenue, Suite P
Chino, CA 91710
Telephone: (805) 672-2889
Fax: (909) 548-8459
IF YOU NEED MORE INFORMATION OR HAVE ANY QUESTIONS, you may contact Class Counsel listed above, or the Settlement Administrator at the telephone number 1-888-233-2228. Please refer to the Ibanez v. OC Burger Boys Class Action Settlement.
This Notice does not contain all of the terms of the proposed settlement or all of the details of these proceedings. For more detailed information, you may refer to the underlying documents and papers on file with the Court at 111 North Hill Street, Los Angeles, CA 90012, Monday through Friday, or may ask for a free copy from Class Counsel listed above.
PLEASE DO NOT CALL OR WRITE TO THE JUDGE OR TO THE COURT, OR TO ANY OF DEFENDANT’ MANAGERS, SUPERVISORS, OR ATTORNEYS WITH QUESTIONS.