Barry Guryan Quoted in “9th Circuit Affirms Approval of Class Action Settlement in Coverall Case”

Blue MauMau

Barry Guryan, a Member in the Health Care and Life Sciences and Labor and Employment practices, in the Boston office, was quoted in an article titled "9th Circuit Affirms Approval of Class Action Settlement in Coverall Case."

Following is an excerpt:

The U.S. Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit, affirmed the ruling from a federal California court which approves a proposed class action settlement agreement. The decision allows close to $1 million in attorney fees for franchisee plaintiffs' legal counsel.

Laguna v. Coverall N. Am., Inc. the franchisees brought the class action lawsuit in 2009 against the janitorial cleaning company claiming it had misclassified California franchisees as independent contractors. They allege Coverall was attempting to avoid certain protections afforded to franchise owners, and in doing so breached its franchise agreements by taking existing accounts from franchisees and reselling them to other franchisees. …

Barry A. Guryan of Epstein Becker Green said the Ninth Circuit opinion is very narrow due to the standard of review that the court was bound by in reviewing the decision of the district court. "The primary issue that the Ninth Circuit was asked to review was whether a compromise settlement agreement approved by the lower court was ‘fair, reasonable and adequate.' The standard of review to reverse such a case is whether there has been ‘a strong showing that the district court's decision was a clear abuse of discretion.' That's a high standard," Attorney Guryan explained. He added that the Ninth Circuit did not makes its own independent findings of the underlying merits of the facts presented in the case. He said, "The court held that the district court, did not abuse its discretion in ruling that the settlement was fair."