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Judge approves $227M in FedEx driver suit settlements

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FedEx Corp. will pay more than $227 million to settle some of the long-running lawsuits brought by drivers in Indiana and 18 others states who claim they were undercompensated because the company classified them as independent contractors rather than full-time workers.

A total of 12,627 drivers named as plaintiffs in class-action lawsuits in 19 states will receive payouts ranging from $250 to more than $116,000 under terms of separate settlements in each state. The settlements bring the total FedEx has paid resolve driver compensation claims to at least $454 million.

Judge Robert L. Miller Jr. in the District Court for the Northern District of Indiana, South Bend Division, granted final approval to 19 state class-action settlements Friday and Monday. Miller’s orders resolve the nearly half of the 40 class-action lawsuits brought by FedEx drivers that remained before him, clearing the FedEx multidistrict litigation docket.

Miller’s orders cleared the way for settlement distributions and resolution of the lawsuits as follows:

  • Indiana: 791 drivers will divide a settlement of $33.95 million. Average recovery per class member will be $29,520. Settlements per driver may range from $250 to $116,028.
  • Alabama: 375 drivers will share a settlement of $3.2 million. Average recovery per class member will be $5,620. Settlements per driver may range from $250 to $20,100.
  • Arizona: 380 drivers will share a settlement of $4.95 million. Average recovery per class member will be $8,699. Settlements per driver may range from $250 to $28,149.
  • Georgia: 867 drivers will share a settlement of $4.94 million. Average recovery per class member will be $3,785. Settlements per driver may range from $250 to $13,711.
  • Louisiana: 315 drivers will share a settlement of $5.25 million. Average recovery per class member will be $11,061. Settlements per driver may range from $250 to $39,743.
  • Maryland: 533 drivers will share a settlement of $9.4 million. Average recovery per class member will be $12,047. Settlements per driver may range from $250 to $29,455.
  • Minnesota: 455 drivers will share a settlement of $8.3 million. The average recovery per class member will be $12,312. Settlements per driver may range from $250 to $44,701.
  • New Jersey: 901 drivers will share a settlement of $25.5 million. Average recovery per class member will be $19,301. Settlements per driver may range from $250 to $71,194.
  • New York: 1,602 drivers will share a settlement of $42.9 million. Average recovery per class member will be $18,421. Settlements per driver may range from $250 to $68,880.
  • North Carolina: 707 drivers will share a settlement of $20 million. Average recovery per class member will be $19,250. Settlements per driver may range from $250 to $53,440.
  • Ohio: 878 drivers will share a settlement of $8.35 million. Average recovery per class member will be $6,363. Settlements per driver may range from $250 to $20,611.
  • Pennsylvania: 1,265 drivers will share a settlement of $23 million. Average recovery per class member will be $12,442. Settlements per driver may range from $250 to $45,647.
  • Rhode Island: 125 drivers will share a settlement of $1.6 million. Average recovery per class member will be $7,352. Settlements per driver may range from $250 to $20,332.
  • South Carolina: 274 drivers will share a settlement of $3.1 million. Average recovery per class member will be $7,405. Settlements per driver may range from $250 to $19,682.
  • Tennessee: 762 drivers will share a settlement of $12.25 million. Average recovery per class member will be $10,863. Settlements per driver may range from $250 to $39,838.
  • Texas: 1,515 drivers will share a settlement of $8.9 million. Average recovery per class member will be $3,938. Settlements per driver may range from $250 to $13,880.
  • Utah: 171 drivers will share a settlement of $2.4 million. Average recovery per class member will be $9,130. Settlements per driver may range from $250 to $28,886.
  • West Virginia: 107 drivers will share a settlement of $3.75 million. Average recovery per class member will be $22,306. Settlements per driver may range from $250 to $76,456.
  • Wisconsin: 604 drivers will share a settlement of $5.5 million. Average recovery per class member will be $6,126. Settlements per driver may range from $250 to $21,842.

The orders came after fairness hearings on each proposed settlement in March, most of which were unopposed. Miller rejected objections by class members in all cases where objections were raised. FedEx announced proposed settlements last June.

The settlements reflect rates of payment for each week a driver worked in excess of 35 hours, plus a separate, lower payment rate for each week a driver worked fewer hours. These amounts vary according to compromises reached through mediation based on the laws of each state.

Miller had granted summary judgment in favor of FedEx in a bellwether case involving its drivers in Kansas, but the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals reversed in 2015, instead ordering entry of judgment in favor of the drivers. The 7th Circuit in late March authorized Miller to grant final approval to proposed settlements.

In each order, Miller wrote that a perfect outcome for drivers would be “a long time off, well beyond the eleven years already invested in this litigation,” and that FedEx likewise faced uncertain legal prospects.

Additionally, Miller awarded plaintiffs’ legal fees and costs, at least in part, in each of the suits. Fees awarded in some cases reached 30 percent of the total settlement.

FedEx in June 2015 reached a $227 million settlement with its California drivers in a separate case.
 

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  1. One can only wonder whether Mr. Kimmel was paid for his work by Mr. Burgh ... or whether that bill fell to the citizens of Indiana, many of whom cannot afford attorneys for important matters. It really doesn't take a judge(s) to know that "pavement" can be considered a deadly weapon. It only takes a brain and some education or thought. I'm glad to see the conviction was upheld although sorry to see that the asphalt could even be considered "an issue".

  2. In response to bryanjbrown: thank you for your comment. I am familiar with Paul Ogden (and applaud his assistance to Shirley Justice) and have read of Gary Welsh's (strange) death (and have visited his blog on many occasions). I am not familiar with you (yet). I lived in Kosciusko county, where the sheriff was just removed after pleading in what seems a very "sweetheart" deal. Unfortunately, something NEEDS to change since the attorneys won't (en masse) stand up for ethics (rather making a show to please the "rules" and apparently the judges). I read that many attorneys are underemployed. Seems wisdom would be to cull the herd and get rid of the rotting apples in practice and on the bench, for everyone's sake as well as justice. I'd like to file an attorney complaint, but I have little faith in anything (other than the most flagrant and obvious) resulting in action. My own belief is that if this was medicine, there'd be maimed and injured all over and the carnage caused by "the profession" would be difficult to hide. One can dream ... meanwhile, back to figuring out to file a pro se "motion to dismiss" as well as another court required paper that Indiana is so fond of providing NO resources for (unlike many other states, who don't automatically assume that citizens involved in the court process are scumbags) so that maybe I can get the family law attorney - whose work left me with no settlement, no possessions and resulted in the death of two pets (etc ad nauseum) - to stop abusing the proceedings supplemental and small claims rules and using it as a vehicle for harassment and apparently, amusement.

  3. Been on social security sense sept 2011 2massive strokes open heart surgery and serious ovarian cancer and a blood clot in my lung all in 14 months. Got a letter in may saying that i didn't qualify and it was in form like i just applied ,called social security she said it don't make sense and you are still geting a check in june and i did ,now i get a check from my part D asking for payment for july because there will be no money for my membership, call my prescription coverage part D and confirmed no check will be there.went to social security they didn't want to answer whats going on just said i should of never been on it .no one knows where this letter came from was California im in virginia and been here sense my strokes and vcu filed for my disability i was in the hospital when they did it .It's like it was a error . My ,mothers social security was being handled in that office in California my sister was dealing with it and it had my social security number because she died last year and this letter came out of the same office and it came at the same time i got the letter for my mother benefits for death and they had the same date of being typed just one was on the mail Saturday and one on Monday. . I think it's a mistake and it should been fixed instead there just getting rid of me .i never got a formal letter saying when i was being tsken off.

  4. Employers should not have racially discriminating mind set. It has huge impact on the society what the big players do or don't do in the industry. Background check is conducted just to verify whether information provided by the prospective employee is correct or not. It doesn't have any direct combination with the rejection of the employees. If there is rejection, there should be something effective and full-proof things on the table that may keep the company or the people associated with it in jeopardy.

  5. Unlike the federal judge who refused to protect me, the Virginia State Bar gave me a hearing. After the hearing, the Virginia State Bar refused to discipline me. VSB said that attacking me with the court ADA coordinator had, " all the grace and charm of a drive-by shooting." One does wonder why the VSB was able to have a hearing and come to that conclusion, but the federal judge in Indiana slammed the door of the courthouse in my face.

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