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  1. Why is this Notice being provided?
  2. What is this lawsuit about?
  3. What is a class action settlement?
  4. How much is the settlement?
  5. How do I know if I am eligible to be part of the settlement?
  6. How do I get benefits from the settlement?
  7. How much will my settlement payment be?
  8. When will I get my payment?
  9. What am I giving up as part of the settlement?
  10. What happens if I exclude myself from the settlement?
  1. How do I exclude myself from the settlement?
  2. Do I have a lawyer in this case?
  3. How will Class Counsel and the Class Representatives be paid?
  4. How do I tell the Court that I do not like the settlement?
  5. When and where will the Court decide whether to approve the Settlement?
  6. Do I have to attend the Final Approval Hearing?
  7. How do I get more information about the settlement?

The Court directed that this Notice be provided because you have a right to know about a proposed settlement that has been reached in this class action lawsuit and about all of your options before the Court decides whether to grant final approval of the settlement. If the Court approves the settlement, and after objections or appeals, if any, are resolved, the Settlement Administrator appointed by the Court will distribute the payments that the settlement allows. This Notice explains the lawsuit, the settlement, your legal rights, what payments are available, who is eligible for them, and how to receive them.

The Court in charge of this case is the Superior Court of the State of Washington, County of King. The case is Nyannor v. Vessel WA Operations LLC dba Reef Kitchens, et al., Case No. 22-2-08233-0 SEA (the “Lawsuit”).

 


The persons who filed the Lawsuit – Okyeremah Nyannor, Billy Abrego Olea, Daniel Sotelo, Dasia Altheimer, Dennis Chiu, Derek Mecklenburg, Destinee Moliga, Dylan Debusk, Emmanuel Washington, Everett Whaley, Harrison Nichols, John Henderson, Jose Mendoza, Michael Ketron-Dettwiler, Nicolas Monteagudo, Sergio Silva-Rueda, Shameque Robinson, TreMaine Battle, Tawana Taylor, and Tyra Cummings – are called the Plaintiffs. The companies the Plaintiffs sued – Vessel WA Operations LLC, Vessel Enterprises LLC, and Bamia 2 LLC (collectively, “Reef”) – are called the Defendants.

Plaintiffs claim that Reef violated Seattle law by: (1) failing to give employees at least 10 hours of rest between shifts, (2) failing to pay employees time and a half for the hours worked that were less than 10 hours apart, (3) failing to provide work schedules at least 14 days in advance, and (4) failing to pay employees an extra hour of pay for employer-requested schedule changes that occurred with less than 14 days’ advance notice.

Reef has denied and continues to deny all of the claims made in the Lawsuit, as well as all charges of wrongdoing or liability against it.

 


In a class action, the Plaintiffs (also called Class Representatives) sue on behalf of people who have similar claims. Together, all these people are called a Class or the Class members. One court and one judge resolves the issues for all Class members who do not exclude themselves.

The Plaintiffs negotiated a settlement that allows the Plaintiffs, the Class members, and Reef to avoid the risks and costs of lengthy and uncertain litigation and the uncertainty of a trial and appeals. It also allows Class members to obtain payment without further delay. The Plaintiffs and their attorneys believe the settlement is in the best interest of all Class members. The Court did not decide in favor of the Plaintiffs or Reef, and this settlement does not mean that Reef did anything wrong.

 


Subject to Court approval, Reef agreed to pay a total of $1,300,000 to settle the Lawsuit (“Fund”). The Fund will cover settlement payments to the Class members, Class Representatives’ service awards, Class Counsel’s attorneys’ fees, costs, and expenses, and the Settlement Administrator’s fees.

 


You are eligible to be part of this settlement if you are a current or former non-exempt, hourly employee, including but not limited to Line Cooks, Kitchen Supervisors, Retail Associates, and similarly-titled workers of one or more of the Defendants who, between May 5, 2019 and April 25, 2023, worked within the city limits of Seattle and:

  1. Were required to work with less than 10 hours of rest between shifts (excluding split shifts), and were not compensated at one and one-half times your regular rate of pay for the hours worked that were less than 10 hours apart; and/or
  2. Were not provided with at least 14 days’ advance notice of your work schedules, or employer-requested changes thereto, and were not provided mandatory compensation (as listed in SMC 14.22.050) for the employer-requested changes thereto.

You have been identified from Reef’s records as a Class member and are therefore eligible to be part of the settlement.

 


All Class members who do not exclude themselves from the settlement will be eligible to receive a payment. If the Court approves the settlement and you did not exclude yourself, you will receive a settlement payment in the mail.

** If your phone number or address changes, you must provide the
updated information to the Settlement Administrator as soon as possible
to ensure you receive your payment.
**

The Settlement Administrator’s contact information is:

CAC Services Group, LLC
6420 Flying Cloud Dr Ste 101
Eden Prairie, MN 55344
Phone: (866) 602-2260
Email: Contact Us

 


Each Class member’s settlement payment will be calculated based on the number of shifts he or she worked during the Settlement Class Period (May 5, 2019 and April 25, 2023) as compared with the total number of shifts worked by all Class members during the Settlement Class Period.

For example, if someone worked 2% of the total shifts worked by all Class members during the Settlement Class Period, he or she would receive 2% of the Net Settlement Fund as a settlement payment.

This payment will be treated as non-taxable damages and interest, which means there will be no payroll or tax withholdings.

If you received a Notice in the mail, your estimated settlement payment is shown on page 3.

You may dispute the amount of your estimated settlement payment, and the data points used to calculate the settlement payment, by timely sending a written notice to the Settlement Administrator informing the Settlement Administrator of the nature of the dispute and providing any records or documentation supporting your position. To be considered timely, you must submit any disputes regarding the settlement payment to the Settlement Administrator no later than July 6, 2023, to:

CAC Services Group, LLC
6420 Flying Cloud Dr Ste 101
Eden Prairie, MN 55344

 


The Court will hold a Final Approval Hearing on August 25, 2023 at 10:00 A.M. to decide whether to approve the settlement. If the Court approves the settlement, there may be appeals. It is always uncertain whether any appeals can be resolved favorably, and resolving them can take time, perhaps more than a year. Please be patient.

Checks may be cashed or negotiated within 180 days of being issued. After 180 days, the check will be void.

 


If you do not submit a timely, valid request for exclusion and the settlement becomes final, you will give up your right to sue Reef, and any of their parents, subsidiaries, affiliates, current and former officers, directors, owners, members, shareholders, employees, and agents, from any and all claims for violations of RCW 49.62 that accrued during or arise out of or relate to your employment with Reef, relating back to the full extent of the federal and state statutes of limitations and continuing through April 25, 2023, including, without limitation, all state claims for violations of RCW 49.62 and related claims for penalties, interest, liquidated damages, exemplary damages, attorneys’ fees, costs, and expenses. This release specifically excludes claims asserted in the matter Abrego Olea v. Vessel WA Operations LLC, King County Superior Court Case No. 22-2-06944-9 SEA.

The specific claims you are and are not giving up against Reef are described in Paragraph 22 of the Settlement Agreement. The Settlement Agreement is available on the case documents page of this website.

The Settlement Agreement describes the released claims with specific descriptions, so read it carefully. If you have any questions about what this means you can talk to the law firms listed in Question 14 for free, or you can talk to your own lawyer at your own expense.

 


If you submit a timely, valid request for exclusion, you will not be entitled to any benefits of the settlement and will not receive a settlement payment. You will not be bound by any judgment in this case and will not give up any right to sue Reef for the claims that this settlement resolves. You may start your own lawsuit or be part of any different lawsuit relating to the claims in this case.

 


If you wish to exclude yourself from the settlement, you must send a written request for exclusion postmarked no later than July 6, 2023, to the Settlement Administrator at:

CAC Services Group, LLC
6420 Flying Cloud Dr Ste 101
Eden Prairie, MN 55344

The request for exclusion must include:

  1. A statement that you wish to be excluded from the settlement (for example, “I request to be excluded from the class action settlement in Nyannor v. Vessel WA Operations LLC dba REEF Kitchens”);
  2. Your full name;
  3. Your address; and
  4. Your signature and the date signed.

 


Yes. The Court appointed Timothy W. Emery of Emery Reddy, PLLC, 600 Stewart Street, Suite 1100, Seattle, WA 98101 to represent you and other Class members. These lawyers are called Class Counsel. You will not be charged for these lawyers. If you want to be represented by your own lawyer, you may hire one at your own expense.

 


If the settlement is approved and becomes final, Class Counsel will ask the Court to award attorneys’ fees in the amount of $195,000 plus costs not to exceed $20,000. Class Counsel will also request approval of a service award for each Class Representative in the amount of $20,000. If approved, these amounts, as well as the costs of settlement administration, will be paid out of the Fund.

 


You can object to the settlement if you do not like it or a portion of it. You can give reasons why you think the Court should not approve the settlement. The Court will consider your views before making a decision. To object, you must file with the Court and mail copies to Class Counsel and Reef’s Counsel a written notice stating that you object to the settlement in Nyannor v. Vessel WA Operations LLC dba Reef Kitchens, et al., Case No. 22-2-08233-0 SEA.

Your objection must include:

  1. Your full name, address, telephone number, and email address;
  2. Information or proof showing you are a Class member;
  3. The reasons why you object to the settlement, including any documents supporting your objection;
  4. The name and address of your attorney, if you have retained one;
  5. The name and address of any attorneys representing you that may appear at the Final Approval Hearing;
  6. A statement confirming whether you and/or your counsel intend to personally appear and/or testify at the Final Approval Hearing;
  7. A list, by case name, court, and docket number, of all other cases in which you (directly or through a lawyer) have filed an objection to any proposed class action settlement within the last three years;
  8. A list, by case name, court, and docket number, of all other cases in which your lawyer (on behalf of any person or entity) has filed an objection to any proposed class action settlement within the last three years; and
  9. Your signature or the signature of your attorney or other duly authorized representative (along with documentation illustrating representation).

The objection must be filed with the Clerk of the Superior Court of the State of Washington, County of King, at either the Downtown Courthouse (516 Third Avenue, Seattle, WA 98104) or the Maleng Regional Justice Center (401 Fourth Avenue North, Kent, WA 98032) no later than July 6, 2023. You must also mail copies of your objection to Class Counsel and Reef’s Counsel, postmarked no later than July 6, 2023, at the following addresses:

CLASS COUNSEL

Timothy W. Emery
Patrick B. Reddy
Paul Cipriani
EMERY REDDY, PLLC
600 Stewart Street, Suite 1100
Seattle, WA 98101
Phone: (206) 442-9106

REEF’S COUNSEL

Jeff Bone
Lucio Maldonado
Jack Lovejoy
Brittany Madderra
CORR CRONIN LLP
1015 Second Avenue, Floor 10
Seattle, WA 98104-1001
Phone: (206) 625-8600

 


The Court will hold a Final Approval Hearing on August 25, 2023 at 10:00 A.M. in Courtroom 4J of the Maleng Regional Justice Center, 401 Fourth Avenue North, Kent, WA 98032. At this hearing, the Court will consider whether the settlement is fair, reasonable, and adequate. The Court will take into consideration any properly filed written objections and may also listen to people who have asked to speak at the hearing (see Question 14). The Court will also decide whether to approve attorneys’ fees and costs to Class Counsel and the service awards to the Class Representatives.

 


No. Class Counsel will answer any questions the Court may have. However, you are welcome to attend at your own expense. If you file an objection, you do not have to come to Court to talk about it. You may also hire your own lawyer to attend, at your own expense, but you are not required to do so.

You may ask the Court for permission to speak at the Final Approval Hearing. To do so, you must follow the instructions provided in Question 14 above.

If you wish to attend the Final Approval Hearing via Zoom instead of in person, you may obtain the Zoom link by requesting it from the bailiff at Rothrock.Court@kingcounty.gov or (206) 477-1423. If you choose to attend this way rather than in person, the functionality of your technology equipment and your internet connection is your responsibility. If you have requested to speak, you must have a functional camera and microphone so that the Court can see and hear you. Do not expect the Court to delay the hearing if you experience technology issues.

 


The Notice summarizes the proposed Settlement. More details are in the Settlement Agreement. You can view the case documents page to get a copy of the Settlement Agreement. You can also get more information by contacting the Settlement Administrator:

CAC Services Group, LLC
6420 Flying Cloud Dr Ste 101
Eden Prairie, MN 55344
Phone: (866) 602-2260
Email: Contact Us

Please do not call the Court or the Clerk of the Court for additional information.
They cannot answer any questions regarding the settlement or the Lawsuit.