Stretch v. State of Montana Settlement
Cause No. DV-04-713(A)

Common Questions

 

Expand/Collapse All
  • You received a notice because you have been identified as a Settlement Class Member. The purpose of the Class Notice is to inform you that your rights may be affected by the Proposed Settlement of the above-captioned lawsuit. The Class Notice was issued pursuant to Rule 23 of the Montana Rules of Civil Procedure and by order of the Montana Eleventh Judicial District Court.

  • The Class Notice describes the Proposed Settlement of a class action lawsuit concerning alleged violation of law by Defendants State of Montana, Department of Corrections, and Treasure State Correctional Training Center. The named Plaintiff alleges that, while he was employed by the Defendants, he worked in excess of 40 hours per week, but was not compensated for the overtime wages which were due to him for hours worked in excess of 40 hours per week. The named Plaintiff alleges that Defendants engaged in the same violation of Montana law generally by not compensating other employees for the overtime wages due to them. The named Plaintiff alleges that this conduct is a violation of the Defendants' personnel manuals and policies, of §39-3-204, M.C.A. and of §39-3-405, M.C.A.

  • Each Settlement Class Member whose claims have not been dismissed by the Court shall automatically be entitled to receive a pro rata portion of the Net Settlement Fund. The Net Settlement Fund is $575,000 less the costs of notice, costs of administering the Settlement, Court-approved Class Counsel attorney fees and expenses, and the Court-approved Class Representative’s award, including requested compensation for time expended by the Class Representative for the prosecution of this case, not to exceed $30,000, all as more fully discussed and defined in the Stipulation of Settlement. Each such Settlement Class Member's pro rata share of the Net Settlement Fund shall be calculated by creating a fraction using the number of their presumed unpaid hours over the number of total unpaid hours; this fraction will then be multiplied by the net amount of the settlement fund after the expenses listed above. However, each such Settlement Class Member will have the option of opting out of the settlement and filing their own case.

    Each Settlement Class Member whose claims have been dismissed by the Court may either accept $100 or may opt out of the settlement and file his or her own case.

    More specifically, pro rata payment to Settlement Class Members shall be as follows: (a) Peggy Rajacich was initially dismissed from the case by the Court but later returned to work and is a member of the Settlement Class. She may either accept her portion of the Net Settlement Fund and $100, or she may opt-out. (b) Each Settlement Class Member whose claims have been dismissed by the Court may either accept $100 or may opt out of the settlement and file his or her own case. (c) For the remaining members of the Settlement Class, each member’s presumed hours shall be calculated by the Class Representative and each member of the Settlement Class shall receive that percentage of the net Settlement Fund, after deductions for benefits paid under subsections (a) and (b) above, as his or her hours bears to the total number of hours calculated for all non-dismissed Settlement Class Members. The calculation of hours shall be determined as follows: Drill Instructors shall be allocated 1.66 hours per week that they were employed by Defendants. Drill Instructor/Facilitators shall be allocated 3.0 hours per week for each week they were employed by Defendants. Facilitators shall be allocated 4.0 hours per week for each week they were employed by Defendants. Secretaries and Administrative Assistants shall be allocated 1.5 hours per week that they were employed by Defendants. Maintenance personnel shall be allocated 2.0 hours per week for each week they were employed by Defendants.

  • The Settlement Class shall include:

    All past and present ‘non-exempt or covered’ employees of the Defendants subject to the overtime provisions of the Federal Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 as amended and its regulations and any Montana law or regulation who allegedly incurred compensable overtime for which they were not compensated. ‘Past and present’ employees includes those employees employed by the Defendants from April 25, 2004 (180 days prior to the Complaint being filed) until December 15, 2016. Additionally, the “Settlement Class” shall also include those former class members whose claims were dismissed by the Court as untimely in its Order On Defendants’ Motion For Partial Summary Judgment dated July 18, 2014.

    To be excluded from the Settlement Class, you must follow the “opt out” procedure described in the question "Can I exclude myself from the settlement class?" below.

  • If you wish to participate in the Settlement, you do not need to do anything, and you will participate by your payment being calculated per the terms of the Settlement Agreement. You will not be charged anything individually to remain in the Settlement Class. You may, if you wish, enter an appearance through your own counsel, although you must pay the fees and expenses incurred by that counsel.

    If you received the Class Notice and fall within the Settlement Class description, you will be bound by any Judgment entered, including the Released Claims, and will be permanently enjoined from prosecuting any of the Released Claims at any time in the future.

  • You may “opt out” of the Settlement Class by using the procedure described below. If you elect to opt out, the Court will exclude you from the Settlement and you will not receive any payment in this case. If you validly opt out, you will also not be bound by this Settlement or any Final Judgment entered in the Action.

    To opt out, send a letter addressed to JND Class Action Administration at:

    Stretch v. State of Montana Settlement Administrator
    c/o JND Class Action Administration
    PO Box 6878
    Broomfield, CO 80021

    The letter should state your name, address, and telephone number, should state that you do not wish to be a member of the Settlement Class and are “opting out,” and should be signed by the Person who is opting out. The letter must be postmarked no later than April 7, 2017.

  • For purpose of the Settlement, the Named Plaintiff, Kenneth V. Stretch, has been designated by the Court as the Class Representative. The Class is represented by the following attorneys (“Class Counsel”):

    Alan J. Lerner
    LERNER LAW FIRM
    P.O. Box 1158
    Kalispell, MT 59903-1158
    (406) 756-9100

    Brian M. Joos
    VISCOMI, GERSH, SIMPSON & JOOS, PLLP
    121 Wisconsin Ave.
    Whitefish, MT 59937
    (406) 862-7800

  • The Named Plaintiff and Class Counsel support the Settlement because it provides prompt, efficient, and fair relief. In ultimately deciding to recommend this Settlement, Class Counsel considered the relative risks and benefits to the Settlement Class of settlement or continuing litigation. Settlement Class Members incur no individual risk or cost in obtaining the relief provided by the Settlement.

    While the Defendants have agreed to the terms of this Settlement, Defendants denied and continue to deny liability on each and every claim asserted by the Named Plaintiff. More specifically the Defendants specifically denied and continue to deny all charges of wrongdoing or liability, on any theory, arising out of any conduct, statements, acts or omissions of Defendants or their employees, agents or representatives, in connection with the Action.

  • At the Final Settlement Hearing, set for May 18, 2017 at 3:00 p.m., Class Counsel will seek Court approval for an attorneys' fee award not to exceed 25% of the Settlement Fund amount of $575,000.00, which amount includes the following allocations: $205,537.14 as unpaid overtime wages; $225,892.86 as a 110% statutory penalty pursuant to §39-3-206, MCA; and, $143,750 as an attorney fee recovery for the Settlement Class’ statutory attorney fee claim.

    Subject to Court approval, Class Counsel will request a Class Representative award to the Named Plaintiff in an amount not to exceed $30,000.00 in recognition of the risk and substantial effort undertaken in prosecuting this case, as well as an award of costs and litigation expenses, and fees of the third-party class administrator all to be paid out of the Settlement Fund.

  • The Court will hold a Final Settlement Hearing on May 18, 2017 at 3:00 p.m. in the Courtroom of the Honorable Amy Eddy. The address of the Court is 920 South Main Street, Kalispell, Montana 59901. At the Final Settlement Hearing, the Court will consider whether the proposed Settlement should be granted final approval as fair, adequate, and reasonable and in the best interests of the Settlement Class as a whole. The Court will also consider the request of Class Counsel for an award of attorneys' fees and the proposed payment to the Class Representative and for costs and litigation expenses. You may attend this hearing if you wish, but are not required to do so in order to participate in the Settlement.

  • If you decide to opt out of the Settlement Class, you are not entitled to comment on the proposed Settlement or be heard at the Final Settlement Hearing. If you decide to remain in the Settlement Class, and you wish to comment in support of or in opposition to any aspect of the Settlement or proceedings described in this Class Notice, you may do so, provided that you submit your comments, in writing, to the Court and the persons listed below, no later than thirty (30) days before the Final Settlement Hearing:

    The Court:
    Peg Allison
    Clerk of District Court
    Flathead County
    920 S. Main, Suite 300
    Kalispell, MT 59901

    For the Class:
    Alan J. Lerner
    LERNER LAW FIRM
    P.O. Box 1158
    Kalispell, MT 59903-1158

    Brian M. Joos
    VISCOMI, GERSH, SIMPSON & JOOS, PLLP
    121 Wisconsin Ave.
    Whitefish, MT 59937

    For the Defendants:
    Mikel L. Moore
    Jay T. Johnson

    GOICOECHEA & JOHNSON, P.C.
    145 Commons Loop, Suite 200
    P.O. Box 7370
    Kalispell, MT 59904-0370

    If you wish to appear at the Final Settlement Hearing and be heard orally in support of or in opposition to the Settlement, you may do so if you file with the Clerk of Court, and send to the persons listed above, a written notification of your desire to appear personally, indicating briefly the nature of your intended comments. Such notice must be postmarked not later than thirty (30) days before the Final Settlement Hearing. You do not need to appear in person at the Final Settlement Hearing in order to submit a written comment.

    If you intend to object or seek to intervene in the Settlement, you must submit in writing to the Court and the above counsel the following information: (a) a heading which refers to the Action; (b) the name, address, telephone number and signature of the Settlement Class Member filing the objection; (c) a statement whether the objector intends to appear at the Final Settlement Hearing, either in person or through counsel, and, if through counsel, identifying the counsel by name, address and phone number; (d) a detailed statement of the specific legal and factual bases for each and every objection; (e) a list of any witnesses, along with the expected testimony of such witnesses, and photocopies of exhibits which the objector intends to introduce at the Final Settlement Hearing; (f) a detailed description of any and all evidence the objector may offer at the Final Settlement Hearing, if the objector intends to speak at the Hearing; and (g) documentary proof of membership in the Settlement Class. If the Settlement Class Member is represented by an attorney, he/she or it must comply with all applicable laws and rules for filing pleadings and documents. The Notice of Intent to Object, to be effective, also must be submitted by the objector or a legally authorized representative on an individual basis and not as part of a group, class or subclass.

  • The Settlement Administrator cannot take address updates over the phone. To update your address you may either e-mail STAsettlement@classactionadmin.com or mail your address update to the Settlement Administrator's information provided at the bottom of this page.  Please include the case name, Stretch v. State of Montana, and your old mailing address for verification purposes.

  • The foregoing is only a summary of the circumstances surrounding the Action, the claims asserted, the proposed Settlement, and related matters. All agreements between the Settlement Class and the Defendants are contained in the Stipulation of Settlement. To the extent there are inconsistencies between the Stipulation of Settlement and the Class Notice, the Stipulation of Settlement shall control. All capitalized terms used in the Class Notice, which are not defined in the Class Notice, shall have the meanings given to them in the Stipulation of Settlement. You may download copies of the court order and Stipulation of Settlement on the Key Dates and Documents page. You may seek the advice and guidance of your own private attorney, at your own expense, if you desire, and you may call counsel for the class listed on the Class Counsel Information page.

    For more detailed information, you may review the pleadings, records, and other papers on file in this Action, which may be inspected during regular business hours at the office of Peg Allison, Clerk of District Court, Flathead County, 920 S. Main, Suite 300, Kalispell, MT 59901. Copies of the Stipulation of Settlement are available from Class Counsel upon written request. If you wish to communicate with Class Counsel, you may do so by writing to Class Counsel, or phoning Class Counsel. Their contact information can be found on the Class Counsel Information page.

    You may also contact the Settlement Administrator for more information using the contact information provided below.

For More Information

Mail:

Stretch v. State of Montana Settlement Administrator
c/o JND Class Action Administration
PO Box 6878
Broomfield, CO 80021