Kiran v. Atkinson Concessions, Inc.
Rockingham Superior Court Civil Action No. 218-2021-CV-01175
NOTICE OF SETTLEMENT OF CLASS ACTION LAWSUIT
Please read carefully. Your legal rights may be affected.
This is not a solicitation from a lawyer. The Rockingham Superior Court authorized this Notice
Re: Kiran v. Atkinson Concessions, Inc.
Rockingham Superior Court Civil Action No. 218-2021-CV-01175
We are writing to tell you that you may be eligible to receive a share of a proposed settlement in a class action lawsuit. Information about the settlement is available online at https://AtkinsonSettlement.com/, where you may submit a claim form to receive your share of the settlement funds if this settlement is approved by the Court.
Who Is Affected by This Settlement?
The settlement covers the following group:
All individuals whom Defendant employed as banquet service employees in the following roles: servers and bartenders at the Atkinson Resort and Country Club from November 22, 2018, through October 2, 2022 (the “Settlement Class Period”).
This settlement does not cover other jobs or positions. The covered employees are referred to as the “Settlement Class.”
What Are the Claims in This Case?
This lawsuit was filed in November 2021. It was filed by a former server at Atkinson Resort and Country Club for herself and others similarly situated. The lawsuit generally claims that Atkinson retained a portion of gratuities and service charges and required employees to participate in a mandatory tip pool in violation of New Hampshire Law. Atkinson vigorously denies that any of its compensation practices or policies violated any laws. The settlement was reached after the parties conducted discovery and engaged in arms-length settlement negotiations. The parties want to resolve the case to avoid the cost, uncertainty, and risks of continued litigation.
What Are the Terms of the Settlement?
If approved by the court, the settlement will make money available to members of the Settlement Class who submit claim forms. The total amount of the proposed settlement fund is $240,000. The settlement proposes that one-third of the settlement fund ($80,000) be used to pay for attorneys’ fees and litigation costs associated with bringing and prosecuting the lawsuit. An additional $10,000 from the settlement fund may be used to pay for administration of the settlement under the terms of the proposed settlement. The proposed settlement also allocates no more than $5,000 as an incentive payment to the named plaintiff for her initiative and risk in bringing this lawsuit to challenge practices that affected the entire class.
The remaining settlement funds will be paid out to members of the Settlement Class who submit timely claim forms on a pro rata basis, based on each Class members’ total hours worked as a server or as a bartender during the time period from November 22, 2018 through October 2, 2022. Hours worked by Class members in other job positions will not be included. Checks will be issued in two rounds. For the first round, members of the Settlement Class who submit a claim form will be mailed a check with their initial pro rata share (the amount that they would be entitled to receive assuming all members of the Settlement Class claim). When first round checks are issued, a reminder letter enclosing the claim form will be sent to those members of the Settlement Class who have not yet claimed, providing 30 additional days to submit a claim form. Any newly claiming class members will receive their pro rata share as if they had timely claimed. In addition, all claimants who filed timely claim forms in either the first or second round will receive a pro rata share of any unclaimed amounts. After all funds have been distributed, any checks that are not cashed within 90 days of issuance will be distributed on a cy pres basis to New Hampshire Legal Aid.
The proposed settlement calls for the settlement amounts to be paid out to members of the Settlement Class in early 2023 following the claims and court approval process, but we do not know the exact date right now.
If you would like to review a copy of the proposed settlement agreement, a copy of the settlement agreement is available here.
Based on an analysis of the risks of litigation and the potential damages that could be obtained in this case, we believe that this is a fair settlement based on the totality of the circumstances. If the case proceeds without a settlement, there is no guarantee that a class would be certified, that any judgment would be entered in the Settlement Class’s favor, or that any payments ultimately will be made. Litigation always poses a risk of unexpected outcomes.
What Do I Need to Do?
YOUR LEGAL RIGHTS AND OPTIONS
SUBMIT A CLAIM FORM
If you wish to receive your share of the settlement, you must fill out and return or submit online the attached Claim Form no later than APRIL 10, 2023.
EXCLUDE YOURSELF FROM THE CLASS
If you choose to exclude yourself from the Settlement Class by APRIL 10, 2023, you will NOT receive any payment from the settlement funds and will NOT be bound by any judgment, whether favorable or not.
OBJECT TO THE SETTLEMENT
If you do not choose to exclude yourself from the Settlement Class, you may object to the terms of the settlement by APRIL 10, 2023. Regardless of how the Court responds to your objection, in order to receive your share of any settlement funds, you MUST ALSO submit a claim form.
ENTER AN APPEARANCE THROUGH COUNSEL
If you do not choose to exclude yourself from the Settlement Class, you may enter an Appearance through your own attorney.
If you do nothing, you will NOT receive any payment from the settlement fund, but you WILL be bound by any judgment, whether favorable or not.
SUBMIT A CLAIM FORM: In order to claim your share of the Settlement Funds, you must complete, sign, and submit a claim form to Optime Administration by APRIL 10, 2023. You may submit the claim form online (and sign electronically), or you may email, fax, or mail a signed claim form to Optime Administration. A hard copy of the claim form has been included with this notice, which may be mailed to Optime in the enclosed return envelope, postage pre-paid.
If the Court grants approval of the settlement and you have not requested exclusion from the Settlement Class, you will be bound by the settlement regardless of whether you have submitted a claim form. Pursuant to the settlement, all members of the Settlement Class will forever release and discharge certain claims, as described in the claim form.
REQUEST EXCLUSION FROM THE CLASS: If you do not wish to participate in this settlement as a member of the Settlement Class, you may choose to exclude yourself from the Settlement Class by APRIL 10, 2023. If you exclude yourself from the Settlement Class, you will NOT receive any payment from the settlement funds and will NOT be bound by any judgment, whether favorable or not. The request for exclusion must include your full name, address, and telephone number. In addition, you must personally sign the request for exclusion.
OBJECT TO THE SETTLEMENT: If you do not request exclusion from the Class, but you object to the terms of the proposed settlement, you must send a written objection to Optime Administration by APRIL 10, 2023, and it will be provided to the Court and all counsel. The objection must include a statement of the objection, as well as the specific reasons you are objecting to the Settlement. The Objection also must include your full name, address, and telephone number. In addition, you must personally sign the Objection.
ENTER AN APPEARANCE THROUGH COUNSEL: If you do not request exclusion from the Settlement Class, you may enter an Appearance through your own attorney. You do not need to find your own attorney, however. The Court has appointed Hillary Schwab and Rachel Smit of Fair Work, P.C. and Ian Russell of Pyle, Rome & Ehrenberg, P.C. as Settlement Class Counsel to represent the Settlement Class.
DO NOTHING: If you do nothing, you will NOT receive any payment from the settlement fund. You WILL be bound by any judgment, however, whether favorable or not. Pursuant to the settlement, you will forever release and discharge certain claims, as described in the claim form.
There will be a court hearing at 10:00 AM on June 9, 2023, at the Rockingham Superior Court, 10 Route 125, Brentwood, NH 03833 in Courtroom 6. You have the right to attend this hearing, but you do not need to attend.
Optime Administration, LLC
PO Box 3206
Brockton, MA 02304
SETTLEMENT CLASS COUNSEL
Fair Work, P.C.
192 South Street
Boston, MA 02111