Plaintiff alleges that Defendants owe money to persons (“Class Members”) who worked as non-exempt cannabis cultivators for Defendants in the State of California from October 1, 2015 through December 31, 2019 (the “Class Period”). She alleges that Defendants failed to comply with various wage and hour requirements. Plaintiff alleges that Defendants did not pay Class Members overtime for hours worked in excess of eight hours per day or forty hours per week. Plaintiff further alleges that Defendants failed to provide Class Members with accurate wage statements, which could make Defendants liable for statutory penalties. Plaintiff also alleges that Class Members were not paid all the wages owed to them upon the termination of their employment, and thus alleged that Defendants are liable for waiting time penalties under Labor Code Section 203.
Defendants deny all of Plaintiff’s allegations. They maintain that they have complied with all wage and hour laws during the Class Period. The Court has not decided whether or not Defendants have violated any laws or whether any Class Member is entitled to any money or other relief.
WHY YOU RECEIVED A NOTICE
On June 17, 2022, the Monterey County Superior Court (the “Court”) preliminarily approved a Settlement of the Lawsuit. According to Defendants’ records, you are a Class Member. Because you are a Class Member, you have the right to participate in, object to, or exclude yourself from the Settlement.
THE TERMS OF THE SETTLEMENT
Defendants have agreed to pay the Gross Settlement Amount of $825,000 in full and complete resolution of this Lawsuit. It is estimated that, after deducting the litigation costs (not to exceed $15,000) and attorney’s fees (not to exceed $247,500 or 30% of the Gross Settlement Amount) awarded to Class Counsel, the enhancement awarded to Plaintiff (not to exceed $10,000), and the costs to administer the Class Action to the Settlement Administrator (estimated at $20,000, or $15,000 if a Radio Notice is not necessary) approximately $532,500 (the “Net Settlement Amount”) will be available for payment to Class Members. It is estimated that, if all Class Members (estimated at no more than 600) are located and do not opt out, each Class Member will on average receive about $887.50 from the Net Settlement Amount.
You have three options: (1) participate in the Settlement (which does not require any further action from you); (2) object to the Settlement; or (3) exclude yourself from the Settlement.
1. Participate In The Settlement
To receive your share of Settlement benefits, you do not need to do anything more. As long as you do not exclude yourself from the Settlement by submitting a written exclusion request to Atticus Administration, LLC, the Settlement Administrator, you will receive whatever Settlement benefits you are entitled to following Final Approval of the Settlement and you will be bound by the Release of Claims in the Settlement, which means that you will not be able to sue Defendants for any of the claims asserted against them in the Lawsuit and settled through the Settlement. If the Court approves the Settlement at the final approval hearing, the Settlement Payments to you and the other Class Members are expected to receive a payment by November 2022. A second distribution shall be made to Class Members who cash the first check if there are any undistributed Settlement funds after the first distribution, by no later than February 2023. The second payment to Class Members will be based on the pro-rata share of each Class Member’s payment from the first payment. Unless you update your address with Atticus Administration, LLC, by sending a change of address request by e-mail RiverviewFarmsSettlement@atticusadmin.com, fax 1-888-326-6411, mail Riverview Farms Settlement, c/o Atticus Administration, P.O. Box 64053, St. Paul, MN 55164, or calling 1-800-372-8104, your payment will be mailed to the address where the physical Notice was sent.
2. Object to The Settlement
As long as you do not exclude yourself from the Settlement, you have the right to object to the Settlement. The objection must be in writing and must be sent by August 25, 2022 by regular mail to the Settlement Administrator at the following address: Riverview Farms Settlement, c/o Atticus Administration, P.O. Box 64053, St. Paul, MN 55164, e-mail RiverviewFarmsSettlement@atticusadmin.com, or fax 1-888-326-6411. The Court will rule on your objection at the Final Class Settlement Approval Hearing discussed below.
3. Exclude Yourself From The Settlement
If you wish to exclude yourself from the Settlement, you must submit a written request for exclusion. The exclusion request must be sent by August 25, 2022, by regular mail to the Settlement Administrator at the following address: Riverview Farms Settlement, c/o Atticus Administration, P.O. Box 64053, St. Paul, MN 55164, e-mail RiverviewFarmsSettlement@atticusadmin.com, or fax 1-888-326-6411.
Class Members who submit a valid and timely request for exclusion will not be entitled to recover any Settlement benefits or object to the Settlement but will retain the right to bring any claims they may have against Defendants. Any Class Member who does not exclude himself or herself from the Settlement will, upon final approval of the Settlement, be bound by the release of claims against Defendants and lose the right to sue Defendants for any of the claims asserted against Defendants in the Lawsuit.
RELEASE OF CLAIMS
Unless you exclude yourself from the Settlement, upon final approval of the Settlement by the Court, you will be deemed to have released any and all claims against Defendants, Cross-Claimant or Cross-Defendant and all of their subsidiaries, affiliates, shareholders, members, agents (including, without limitation, any insurers, reinsurers, attorneys and any past, present or future officers, directors and employees) predecessors, successors, and assigns, (the “Released Parties”) from any and all claims, rights, demands, liabilities, and causes of action under federal or California law giving rise to potential liability for acts or omissions during the Release Period, as asserted or that could have been asserted in the operative First Amended Complaint (“FAC”), including all claims for failure to pay overtime, unfair competition based on the above Labor Code claims, failure to provide accurate or proper itemized wage payment statements, failure to pay all wages owed upon termination, claims for waiting time penalties or statutory penalties for failure to provide accurate or proper wage statements, interest, costs, and attorneys’ fees in connection therewith (other than as payable under this Agreement); all such claims under Labor Code sections 201-203, 204, 210, 221, 226, 226.2, 226.7, 510, 512, 558.1, 1174, 1174.5, 1182.12, 1185, 1194, 1194.2, 1197, 1198, 1199, 2698, 2699, et seq.; IWC Wage Order No. 4, and claims under Section 17200, et seq. of the California Business and Professions Code based on the foregoing (the “Released Claims”). The Release Period shall be the Class Period.
FINAL CLASS SETTLEMENT APPROVAL HEARING
The Court has scheduled a Final Class Settlement Approval Hearing for October 14, 2022, at 8:30 a.m. in Department 15 of the Monterey County Superior Court, located at 1200 Aguajito Road, Monterey CA, 93940. At the Final Class Settlement Approval Hearing, the Court will decide whether to grant final approval to the Settlement. The Court will also rule on the application by Plaintiff for an award of attorney’s fees (not to exceed $247,500 or 30% of the Gross Settlement Amount), costs (not to exceed $205,000), the Settlement Administrator’s fee ($20,000) and a service enhancement to Plaintiff (not to exceed $10,000). You have the right to attend the Final Class Settlement Approval Hearing and, if you objected to the Settlement, address the Court. You also have the right to retain an attorney, at your own expense, to speak on your behalf.
WHERE TO GET MORE INFORMATION
If you want more information about the lawsuit or the Settlement, you can contact the attorney for the class at the address or telephone numbers listed below or any other advisor of your choice.
LAW OFFICES OF SANTOS GOMEZ
1003 Freedom Boulevard, Watsonville, CA 95076
Telephone: (831) 228-1560; Cellular Number: (805) 236-1743
You can also view and obtain copies of Lawsuit related documents in the Court’s file by going to the clerk’s office located at 1200 Aguajito Road, Monterey, California 93940.
DO NOT CONTACT THE COURT WITH QUESTIONS