United States District Court, N.D. Alabama, Northeastern Division
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
MADELINE HUGHES HAIKALA UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
23, 2017, consistent with the plaintiffs' acceptance of
the defendants' offers of judgment and the Court's
approval of the offers of judgment as a fair and reasonable
settlement of the FLSA claims in this action, the Court
entered judgment against the defendants and in favor of the
plaintiffs in varying amounts. (Doc. 42). The plaintiffs then
filed a motion for an award of attorney's fees in the
amount of $33, 803.50 and costs in the amount of $888.06.
(Doc. 43). The defendants do not oppose the plaintiffs'
request for $888.06 in costs. The defendants contend that the
plaintiffs are not entitled to a fee award because the offers
of judgment were silent with respect to attorney's fees.
Alternatively, the defendants argue that the plaintiffs'
requested attorney fee award is too high. (Doc. 48).
reasons stated below, the Court awards the plaintiffs costs
in the amount of $888.06. The Court finds that the plaintiffs
are entitled to a fee award. The Court directs the parties to
mediate their dispute with respect to the amount of the fee
Jigar Patel, Palak Patel, Kanu Patel, and Veena Patel filed
this action on October 30, 2015. (Doc. 1). In their amended
complaint, the plaintiffs alleged that their former
employers, defendants Ashish Shah, Anthony Sharifi, Sharifi,
Inc., and Eat Fresh, Inc., violated the Fair Labor Standards
Act, 29 U.S.C. §§ 201 et seq. (Doc. 14).
The plaintiffs worked for the defendants' Subway
restaurants in Huntsville, Alabama as non-exempt hourly
employees. (Doc. 14, ¶¶ 5-8). The plaintiffs made
sandwiches, served customers, and engaged in other non-exempt
jobs. (Doc. 14, ¶¶ 1, 5-8). The plaintiffs
maintained that on numerous occasions, the defendants
required them to work more than 40 hours in a given workweek
and refused to pay them overtime wages for those hours. (Doc.
14, ¶¶ 1, 25, 29-31).
21, 2016, plaintiff Jigar Patel accepted the defendants'
offer of judgment in the amount of $500.00. (Doc. 21; Doc.
22-1, p. 2). The offer of judgment reads:
COME NOW the Defendants Ashish Shah, Anthony Sharifi,
Sharifi, Inc., and Eat Fresh, Inc., and pursuant to Rule 68
of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, offer to
allow judgment to be taken against the Defendant, Eat Fresh,
Inc., and in favor of the Plaintiff, Jigar Patel, in the
total sum of Five Hundred Dollars ($500.00), in complete
resolution of all claims stated by this plaintiff against any
defendant in the above-styled action.
(Doc. 22-1, p. 2).
October 5, 2016, consistent with the discussion during an
October 4, 2016 status conference, the Court ordered the
parties to mediate the outstanding FLSA claims over the next
two weeks. (Doc. 28). On three occasions over the following
month, the parties requested additional time to engage in
settlement discussions. (Docs. 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35, 37).
November 18, 2016, plaintiffs Palak Patel, Veena Patel, and
Kanu Patel accepted the defendants' offers of judgment in
the amounts of $1, 000, $2, 000, and $3, 000, respectively.
(Doc. 40-2; Doc. 40-3; Doc. 40-4).
defendants' offer of judgment concerning Palak Patel
COME NOW the Defendants, Ashish Shah, Anthony Sharifi, and
Sharifi, Inc., and pursuant to Rule 68 of the Federal
Rules of Civil Procedure, offer to allow judgment to be
taken against them in favor of the Plaintiff, Palak Patel, in
the total sum of One Thousand Dollars ($1, 000.00), in
complete resolution of all claims stated by this plaintiff
against any defendant in the above-styled action.
(Doc. 40-2, p. 2).
defendants' offer of judgment concerning ...