The plaintiffs in this case were the named plaintiffs in a wage and hour class action.?? ?Before certification of the class, the employer by-passed plaintiffs? counsel and settled the claims of the named plaintiffs for $2,000. ?The named plaintiffs terminated their counsel, who filed a notice of his intent? ?to? ?withdraw.?????? Before? ?the? ?notice? ?of withdrawal became effective, the plaintiffs and the employer filed a stipulation and order of dismissal but did not serve it on their former counsel. ?The court dismissed the action without giving notice to class counsel.? ?When he found out about the dismissal, class counsel moved unsuccessfully to vacate it and allow the putative class to intervene in the case. Division III reversed the denial of the motion to vacate and ordered the Superior Court to consider the motion to intervene.?? Division III ruled that because class counsel?s Notice of Intent to Withdraw? had? not? become? effective,? he? should have? been? served? before? judgment? was? entered. The failure to serve counsel required vacation of the judgment under CR 60.? ?Division III then adopted Ninth Circuit law on Rule 23, and held that the trial court must consider the interests of the putative class before approving dismissal in a situation where the named plaintiffs have settled their claims with the employer in order to assure the settlement is not collusive.?Jones v. Home Health Care of WA, — Wn. App.—, — P.3d — (Sep. 29, 2009) (Kulik, Schultheis, Brown).
Class Counsel of Putative Class Must be Informed and Allowed to Contest Dismissal of Class Action as a Result of Settlement between Named Plaintiff and Employer.
Sep 29, 2009