United States District Court, N.D. Indiana, Fort Wayne Division
DANIEL KOCH and JOHNNY RAY WELLS, JR., on Behalf of Themselves and All Others Similarly Situated, Plaintiffs,
JERRY W. BAILEY TRUCKING, INC., JERRY W. BAILEY and LINDA L. BAILEY, Defendants.
OPINION AND ORDER
A. BRADY JUDGE
matter comes before the Court on Defendants' Motion to
Decertify Provisional Class and Collective Actions (ECF No.
126). For the reasons set forth below, Defendants' Motion
will be granted.
allege that Jerry W. Bailey Trucking, Inc.
(“JWBT”) violated both federal and state wage
laws, the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”), 29
U.S.C. § 201 et seq., the Indiana Wage Payment
Statute, Ind. Code § 22-2-5 et seq., and the
Indiana Wage Claims Statute, Ind. Code § 22-2-9 et
seq., by failing to pay employees for certain work
performed off-the-clock. Plaintiffs claim that they are
entitled to overtime wages, regular wages, and overtime
April 22, 2014, Plaintiffs filed their Motion for
Certification and Notice of Collective Action Lawsuit and
Plaintiffs' Motion for Class Certification (ECF No. 18).
Rather than litigate the certification issue, on May 29,
2014, the parties filed their Joint Stipulation Regarding
Conditional Certification, Class Certification and
Distribution of Proposed Opt-In Notice (ECF No. 28). In that
filing, the parties “elected to stipulate to
conditional certification, preliminary class certification
and issuance of notice to potential opt-ins and class
members.” (Id. at 1). However, Defendants
expressly reserved the right to “later petition for
decertification or otherwise to challenge the ultimate
certification of this matter as a collective and/or class
action.” (Id.). Following significant
additional filings and briefing on various certification
issues, the Court granted Plaintiffs' Motion for
Certification on June 24, 2015, and certified,
a class comprised of all present truck drivers employed by
Jerry W. Bailey Trucking Inc. and former truck drivers who
voluntarily ended their employment, who were employed by
Jerry W. Bailey Trucking Inc. on or after March 7, 2012,
until November 1, 2013, and were not paid regular wages for
time spent performing morning (pre-driving) inspections,
fueling and end of day (post-driving) inspections.
(ECF No. 59 at 6). The Court additionally appointed Daniel
Koch and Johnny Ray Wells, Jr., as representative plaintiffs
and the attorneys at Weldy and Associates as class counsel.
(Id.). Finally, the Court also granted preliminary
certification of a collective action under the FLSA.
discovery into Plaintiffs' claim, Defendants filed the
instant motion and accompanying Memorandum in Support (ECF
No. 127). Plaintiffs filed their response in opposition with
supporting memorandum on June 19, 2018 (ECF No. 149) and
Defendants filed their Reply Memorandum in Support of Motion
to Decertify Provisional Class and Collective Actions (ECF
No. 156) on August 3, 2018.
Rule 23(a), class certification is permitted only if these
four requirements are met: “(1) the class is so
numerous that joinder of all members is impracticable; (2)
there are questions of law or fact common to the class; (3)
the claims or defenses of the representative parties are
typical of the claims and defenses of the class; and (4) the
representative parties will fairly and adequately protect the
interests of the class.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 23(a).
23(a) is satisfied, the proposed class must also fall within
one of three categories in Rule 23(b), which the Seventh
Circuit has described as: “(1) a mandatory class action
(either because of the risk of incompatible standards for the
party opposing the class or because the risk that the class
action adjudication would, as a practical matter, either
dispose of the claims of nonparties or substantially impair
their interests), (2) an action seeking final injunctive or
declaratory relief, or (3) a case in which the common
questions predominate and class treatment is superior.”
Spano v. The Boeing Co., 633 F.3d 574, 583 (7th Cir.
23 does not set forth a mere pleading standard.”
Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. v. Dukes, 564 U.S. 338, 351
(2011). “On issues affecting class certification . . .
a court may not simply assume the truth of the matters as
asserted by the plaintiff.” Messner v. Northshore
Univ. HealthSys., 669 F.3d 802, 811 (7th Cir. 2012).
Rather, the named plaintiff bears the burden of showing that
a proposed class satisfies each requirement of Rule 23 by a
preponderance of the evidence. Id. “Failure to
meet any one of the requirements of Rule 23 precludes
certification of a class.” Harriston v. Chi.
Tribune Co., 992 F.2d 697, 703 (7th Cir. 1993).
Certification is proper only if “the trial court is
satisfied, after a rigorous analysis, that the prerequisites
of Rule 23(a) have been satisfied.” Dukes, 564
U.S. at 351. The Seventh Circuit has directed district courts
to exercise “caution in class certification
generally.” Thorogood v. Sears, Roebuck &
Co., 547 F.3d 742, 746 (7th Cir. 2008).
Rule 23(c)(1)(C), “[a]n order that grants or denies
class certification may be altered or amended before final
judgment.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 23(c)(1)(C). After granting
certification, the court “remains under a continuing
obligation to review whether proceeding as a class action is
appropriate.” Shurland v. Bacci Cafe & Pizzeria
on Ogden, Inc., 271 F.R.D. 139, 142 (N.D. Ill. 2010)
(quoting Ellis v. Elgin Riverboat Resort, 217 F.R.D.
415, 419 (N.D. Ill. 2003)). When a party moves to decertify a
class, “the party seeking class certification
‘bears the burden of producing a record demonstrating
the continued propriety of maintaining the class
action.'” Farmer v. DirectSat USA, LLC,