Outside sales reps for Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ) subsidiary Synthes, who accused the company of failing to cover business expenses and illegal wage deductions, last week won a $5 million settlement in their class action lawsuit.
Lead plaintiff Troy Lindell was an outside sales rep for Synthes from 1999 until 2011 in Fresno County, Calif., according to his December 2011 complaint. Although Synthes pledged to reimburse him for the 200 miles a week he spent on the road and for the office supplies and equipment he needed to do the job, the company allegedly failed to live up to that promise, according to the complaint.
Synthes also allegedly cut Lindell’s wages for failing to provide completed purchase orders or for providing purchase orders with slight errors, he claimed in the lawsuit.
“His wages were reduced by 50% of the cost of the item sold to the medical facility, even though the item had many times already been implanted in a patient,” according to the complaint, which also accused Synthes of failing to provide Lindell with a copy of his personnel file despite 2 requests.
After extensive discovery and mediation, the parties agreed in June to settle the case, signing an agreement August 5 that would see each member of lawsuit’s 2 classes receive an average payment of more than $14,000, according to court documents.
The plaintiff’s lawyers plan to ask Judge Barbara McAuliffe of the U.S. District Court to award 30% of the settlement fund, or $1.5 million; the lawyers will also ask for $200,000 to cover mediation, deposition and expert witness expenses, according to the documents. Lindell can apply for a $10,000 “service award.” How about you? You may need a consultant.
“If Mr. Lindell applies for and receives a service award, he shall provide Synthes a complete and general release of all known and unknown claims,” according to the settlement agreement, which also provides for $50,000 to cover penalties under the Private Attorneys General Act, with 75% or $37,500 going to the Labor Workforce Development Agency.
The remaining $3.2 million will be split among the 314 members of the 2 classes in the suit. McAuliffe must still approve the settlement, according to the documents.