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Taylor Dunham and Rodriguez Successful in FedEx Ground Class Action

Taylor Dunham and Rodriguez LLP successfully represented the Texas class of FedEx drivers in a class action against FedEx Ground concerning their status as independent contractors. Donald R. Taylor and Jennifer Tatum Lee served as Texas class counsel. The case resulted in a settlement for the Texas class in the amount of $8.9 million dollars after 12 years of litigation.

The FedEx class action litigation centered around the misclassification of thousands of drivers as independent contractors rather than as employees. By classifying the drivers as independent contractors, FedEx Ground saved money on taxes, overtime, healthcare, and other employee benefits.

The first suit against FedEx was filed in 2005 and 19 other suits followed in different states including Texas. The suits were eventually consolidated for adjudication and discovery in the District Court for the Northern District of Indiana. In 2016, FedEx and the Texas class agreed to settle the matter for $8.9 million dollars. The proposed settlement was subject to Fairness Hearings which took place in March 2017. At the hearings, no objections to the proposed settlement were filed. After the hearings, the District Court notified the Seventh Circuit that it was inclined to approve the settlement. The Seventh Circuit then entered an order which allowed the District Court do so.

On May 1, 2017, the Honorable Robert L. Miller, Jr. entered an order approving the proposed settlement. In the order Judge Miller praised the work of the Texas counsel, stating that "[c]ounsel produced exceptional results in the face of long odds" because "Texas law provided no assurance of success." Despite these long odds, counsel crafted a settlement that "achieve[d] a solid percentage of what the plaintiffs might have won had the case ever reached trial."

For more information on this case see: https://www.law360.com/articles/819841/fedex-drivers-battle-over-attys-fees-after-240m-settlement; http://triblive.com/business/headlines/10645280-74/drivers-fedex-lawsuits; http://www.employmentlawdaily.com/index.php/news/with-proposed-240m-settlement-fedex-misclassification-litigation-may-be-winding-down/; and http://humphreys-v-fedexground-settlement.com/.

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