Kullar v. Foot Locker Retail, Inc., 168 Cal. App. 4th 116 (2008)

Crystal Echeverria and two other objectors challenged the fairness and adequacy of a settlement of a class action lawsuit involving approximately 18,000 Foot Locker employees who were required to “purchase and wear shoes of a distinctive design or color as a term and condition of their employment” (the “uniform class”) as well as employees who were subject to security searches for which they were not compensated (the “security check class”). Following a successful mediation with Mark Rudy, Esq., the parties agreed to a stipulation of settlement, which was submitted to the trial court for approval. After Echeverria filed a separate class action alleging meal break violations and wages due to terminated employees, she filed written objections to the settlement in this case, asserting that there was insufficient investigation and discovery prior to settlement to allow counsel or the trial court to act intelligently in valuing the case. The Court of Appeal reversed the judgment approving the settlement and held “the fact that the settlement was reached during mediation to which Evidence Code § 1119 applies does not eliminate the court’s obligation to evaluate the terms of the settlement and to ensure that they are fair, adequate and reasonable.”