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Commonly Asked Questions


Why did I receive this Notice?

Answer:

You received notice because FedEx Ground’s records show that you signed a FedEx Ground Pickup and Delivery Contractor Operating Agreement, to provide service in West Virginia, that was in effect between September 25, 2001, and October 15, 2007, and that you may have personally worked as a full-time contractor under that contract at some point between September 25, 2001 and the end of the Release Period which is April 30, 2016.

What is the lawsuit about?

Answer:

The lawsuit is about whether FedEx Ground misclassified pick-up and delivery contractors as independent contractors rather than as employees, and failed to provide them with legal rights that employees have under West Virginia law. On behalf of all contractors in West Virginia Plaintiffs sought compensation for, among other things, illegal wage deductions and unreimbursed employment expenses. FedEx Ground maintains that the independent contractor classification is appropriate and denies that it has broken any laws.

In 2008, the Court allowed the lawsuit to be a class action on behalf of contractors in West Virginia for claims pertaining to rescission, unjust enrichment, and declaratory relief. In 2008, the District Court overseeing the case ruled West Virginia contractors were independent contractors and subsequently, Plaintiffs appealed that decision to the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit. While on appeal, the case was mediated and the parties subsequently entered into an agreement to settle this action.

How do I know if I am a part of the Settlement?

Answer:

You are part of the settlement if you meet all the following criteria:

  • (1) Signed Operating Agreement. You entered into a FedEx Ground or FedEx Home Delivery Pick Up and Delivery Operating Agreement (now known as OP-149 and Form OP-149-RES) that was in effect between September 25, 2001, and October 15, 2007; 
  • (2) Personally Drove Full Time. You drove a vehicle on a full-time basis (meaning exclusive of time off for commonly excused employment absences) any time between September 25, 2001 and October 15, 2007, to provide package pick-up and delivery services pursuant to that Operating Agreement; AND 
  • (3) Operated out of a West Virginia Terminal. You were dispatched out of a terminal in the state of West Virginia between those dates.
If you do not satisfy any one of these three conditions, you are not a member of the Class and are excluded from participation in this lawsuit.

What does the Settlement provide?

Answer:

FedEx Ground has agreed to pay $3,575,000 to resolve the class claims asserted in the West Virginia action.  The money will also be used to pay administration costs, Plaintiffs’ attorneys’ fees and costs, and to pay the named Plaintiffs for their time and service to the Class. The entirety of the Net Settlement Fund—the total settlement amount after payment of attorney’s fees, litigation costs, and service payments to Named Plaintiffs who participated in the litigation—will be distributed to the Class with no money returned to FedEx Ground.

How much will I receive?

Answer:

All Class members will receive a settlement payment of $69.52 for each workweek during which it appears, based on data derived from FedEx Ground records, that they personally drove one of their FedEx Ground routes 35 or more hours, and a lower payment of $24.33 for workweeks in which they drove between 16 and 35 hours per week. Class members who, based on data derived from FedEx Ground records, did not personally drive more than 16 hours in any workweek during the recovery period will receive a flat minimum payment of $250 dollars.  The average per Class member recovery, net of attorneys’ fees and costs, will be approximately $22,306.

Your Computation of Estimated Share Form explains your initial estimated settlement amount and how it was calculated.  The settlement amount is an estimate and may be high or lower depending on a number of factors.

When would I get my payment?

Answer:

The Court will conduct a Final Fairness Hearing on March 13-14, 2017, to decide whether to approve the settlement.  You should receive your payment within a few months if the Court approves the settlement. However, payment will be delayed if there are appeals.

What am I giving up to get a payment?

Answer:

Under the terms of the settlement, you will be releasing FedEx Ground Package System, Inc., and parties related to it, from all claims that were asserted or could have been asserted in this action relating to allegations of misclassification as an independent contractor set forth in Plaintiffs’ Operative Complaint. The release extends to April 30, 2016.

PLEASE NOTE: If the Court approves the Settlement, your claims described above will be extinguished.

How can I request to be excluded?

Answer:

For most members of the West Virginia Class, the opt-out period expired in 2008, and there is no opportunity to now opt-out from the proposed settlement. If our records indicate that you were not sent the prior notice, you have beensent a new notice which explains how to request to be excluded.

Do I have a lawyer in the case?

Answer:

You may hire your own attorney at your own expense if you choose to do so, but you are already represented by Class Counsel as set forth in the Notice. 

The attorneys representing the Class are: Robert I. Harwood, Beth Ross, Susan E. Ellingstad, and Damon L. Ellis.

How will lawyers and Plaintiffs be paid?

Answer:

Class Counsel will ask the Court to approve payment of (a) up to 30% of the Settlement Fund for attorney’s fees and expenses to compensate the many attorneys who for eleven years invested thousands of hours and significant expenses investigating the facts, litigating the case, including appeals, and negotiating the settlement and (b) $15,000 each in service awards for the Representative Plaintiffs for their efforts in pursuing this lawsuit, producing documents, and providing testimony on behalf of the Class. The Court will decide the attorney’s fees and expenses to be paid.

How do I tell the Court that I don't like the Settlement?

Answer:

You can ask the Court to deny approval by filing an objection. You can’t ask the Court to order a larger settlement; the Court can only approve or deny the proposed settlement. If the Court denies approval, no settlement payments will be sent out and the lawsuit will continue. If that is what you want to happen, you must object.
To object, you must send a letter to the Court and parties that includes: 

• The name of this proceeding (Asbury, et al., v. FedEx Ground Package System, Inc., Civil No. 3:05-cv-00826-RLM-CAN);
• Your full name, address, and phone number;
• A written statement that you are objecting to the settlement, as well as the specific reason(s), if any, for each objection, including any legal or factual support you wish to bring to the Court’s attention;
• Any evidence or other information you wish to introduce in support of your objection;
• A statement of whether you or your counsel intends to appear and argue at the Final Fairness Hearing (see Question 20); and
To be considered, you must file your letter with the Court and mail it to the Settlement Administrator, Class Counsel and Defense Counsel.  Your letter of objection must be mailed postmarked no later than November 14, 2016.

Settlement Administrator's Address:

Asbury v FedEx Settlement Administrator
c/o Rust Consulting Inc. – 5245
PO Box 2537
Faribault, MN 55021-9537

Class Counsel's Address:

Robert I. Harwood
HARWOOD FEFFER, LLP
488 Madison Ave., 8th Floor
New York, NY 10022

Defense Counsel's Address:

Scott Voelz, Esq.
O’MELVENY & MYERS LLP
400 South Hope Street
18th Floor
Los Angeles, CA 90071

When and where will the Court decide whether or not to approve the Settlement?

Answer:

The Court will hold a Final Fairness Hearing on March 13-14, 2017, before Judge Robert L. Miller, Jr. of the United States District Court for the Northern District of Indiana, located at 325 Robert A. Grant Courthouse, 204 South Main Street, South Bend, Indiana, 46601. The Court will also be asked to approve Class Counsel’s request for attorney’s fees and costs, administration costs, and the Service Awards paid to the Class Representatives. 

Do I have to come to the hearing?

Answer:

No.  Class Counsel will answer questions the Court may have.  You are welcome, however, to come at your own expense, or attend via telephone.  If you submit a written objection, you don’t have to come to the Court to talk about it.  As long as you submitted your written objection on time, the Court will consider it.  You may also pay your own lawyer to attend, but it is not necessary. Please check this website, or contact Plaintiffs’ counsel, as the hearing approaches to determine when these telephonic appearances will be scheduled during the March 13-14 Hearing.

May I speak at the hearing?

Answer:

You may ask the Court for permission to speak at the Fairness Hearing.  To do so, you must send a letter stating your “Notice of Intention to Appear at Fairness Hearing in John Humphreys, et al. v. FedEx Ground Package System, Inc., Civil No. 3:05-cv-00540-RLM-CAN.”  Be sure to include your name, address, telephone number, and your signature. 

Your Notice of Intention to Appear must be postmarked no later than November 14, 2016, and be sent to the Clerk of the Court, Class Counsel, and FedEx Ground’s counsel. Under the terms of the settlement, you will be releasing FedEx Ground Package System,Inc., and parties related to it, from all claims that were asserted or could have been asserted in this action relating to allegations of misclassification as an independent contractor set forth in Plaintiffs’ Operative Complaint. The release extends to April 30, 2016.


What happens if I do nothing at all?

Answer:

If you are a Class Member and do nothing and the Court approves the settlement, you will be sent your proportional share of the Settlement Fund at the address at which you received this notice. If the Court denies approval, no settlement payments will be sent out and the lawsuit will continue.

How do I change the name of a Company that is no longer in operation to an individual?

Answer:

You will need to submit a completed W-9 for the individual.  If one was not provided in your notice packet it can be obtained off the IRS website (www.irs.gov). You will also need to provide dissolution paperwork for the company in question. This information must be submitted to the Settlement Administrator.

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