COURT-AUTHORIZED NOTICE OF LAWSUIT
February 13, 2023
A collective action lawsuit may affect your legal rights.
This is a court-authorized notice.
This is not a solicitation from a lawyer.
The purpose of this Notice is to advise you of the lawsuit that has been filed by three home health care aides (“Plaintiffs”), on behalf of all current and former home health aides, against AVONDALE CARE GROUP, LLC (the “Defendant” or “Avondale”), and to advise you of your legal rights in connection with the lawsuit. The lawsuit is pending in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York (Severino et al. v. Avondale Care Group, LLC, Civil No. 1:21-CV-10720). The lawsuit claims that Avondale failed to pay overtime wages to Home Health Aides who work, or have worked, 24-hour live-in shifts for Avondale within the last six (6) years and seeks unpaid overtime wages and liquidated damages under the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”) and New York Labor Law (“NYLL”) for work that you may have done during meal breaks and sleep periods. Avondale denies any wrongdoing or violation of the FLSA and maintains that they paid Home Health Aides appropriately. The Court has authorized the parties to send you this notice. The Court has not decided who is right and who is wrong. Your legal rights may be affected, and you have a choice to make.
YOUR LEGAL RIGHTS AND OPTIONS IN THIS LAWSUIT
ASK TO BE INCLUDED: If you choose to be included in this collective action, you will be bound by any ruling, settlement or judgment in this case. You may also share in any proceeds from a settlement or judgment if those bringing the claims are successful. If you choose to be included, you will give up your rights to separately sue Avondale about the same legal claims in this lawsuit.
DO NOTHING: By doing nothing, you will not be included in this lawsuit. This means that you give up the possibility of getting money or benefits that may come from a trial or settlement in this lawsuit if the Plaintiffs are successful.
Your options are explained in this notice. To ask to be included in this lawsuit, you must act before April 14, 2023.
This notice contains information that affects your rights. Please read it carefully.
- Why did I get this notice? Who can join the lawsuit?
You are getting this notice because Avondale’s records show that you work or worked for Avondale as a “Home Health Aide” within the last six (6) years. If you are a current or former Home Health Aide who worked for Avondale: (1) at any point on or after December 15, 2015; (2) worked at least two 24-hour live-in shifts in a workweek; (3) worked during your meal and sleep periods, and (4) weren’t paid for working during your sleep and meal periods, then you are eligible to participate in the Lawsuit by signing and returning the Consent to Sue form.
- What is this lawsuit about?
The lawsuit claims that Avondale failed to pay Home Health Aides for all their work hours, including unpaid overtime pay for those workweeks in which they worked in excess of 40 hours. Avondale doesn’t agree that it violated the law, and the Court hasn’t made any decision yet about who is right.
- What damages is the lawsuit seeking?
The federal portion of this lawsuit is seeking to recover unpaid overtime pay and “liquidated damages.”
- What is a collective action?
In a collective action lawsuit, one or more persons who have similar claims can bring a lawsuit that includes others who have similar claims. One court resolves the issues for everyone who decides to join the case.
- Why is this lawsuit a Collective Action?
The Court has conditionally authorized this case to proceed as a collective action under § 216(b) of the FLSA, 29 U.S.C. § 216(b). Specifically, the Court found that the Plaintiffs who filed this lawsuit are potentially “similarly situated” to other non-exempt employees who worked for Avondale.
- What happens if I join this lawsuit?
If you choose to join this lawsuit, you will be bound by any ruling, settlement, or judgment, whether favorable or unfavorable. You will also share in any proceeds from a settlement or favorable judgment. While this lawsuit is pending, you may be asked to provide relevant information regarding the work you performed for Avondale, including possibly providing testimony at a deposition and/or court hearing under oath, responding to written questions, and providing relevant documents. For this reason, if you join the lawsuit, you should preserve all documents relating to your employment with Avondale currently in your possession. You may also be asked to sit for a deposition scheduled at your convenience and/or asked to testify at a trial in the Southern District of New York Courthouse.
By joining this lawsuit, you designate the named Plaintiffs as your representatives, and to the fullest extent possible, you designate the named Plaintiffs and their counsel to make decisions on your behalf concerning the case, the method and manner of conducting the case, and all other matters pertaining to this lawsuit. Decisions made and agreements entered into by Plaintiffs relating to the lawsuit will be binding on you if you join the lawsuit.
- Can the Avondale and/or my current employer retaliate or fire me if I join the lawsuit?
No. The law prohibits retaliation against workers for exercising their rights under the FLSA. Thus, you may not be fired or subjected to discrimination in any manner if you exercise your rights under the FLSA by joining this lawsuit.
- How do I ask the Court to include me in this case?
To join the lawsuit and be represented by the lawyers who are handling this case, you must fill out and return the enclosed Consent to Sue form.
If you choose to join this lawsuit, it is extremely important that you read, sign, and promptly return the Consent to Sue form. The Consent to Sue form must be sent to the following address, fax number, e-mail, or Whatsapp:
Getman, Sweeney & Dunn, PLLC 260 Fair St. Kingston, NY 12401.
AvondaleLawsuit@getmansweeney.com WhatsApp: 845-750-9760
You may also view the notice and sign the Consent to Sue form electronically here: https://rebrand.ly/avondaleCTS.
Your Consent to Sue form must be postmarked no later than April 14, 2023. More information can be learned by calling the lawyers representing the Plaintiffs (Getman, Sweeney & Dunn) at 845-255-9370, or by viewing the lawyers’ website at www.AvondaleLawsuit.com.
- Who are the lawyers in this case?
If you choose to join this lawsuit you will be represented by Plaintiffs’ Counsel: Getman, Sweeney & Dunn, PLLC, 260 Fair Street, Kingston, NY 12401, and Bohrer Brady, LLC, 8712 Jefferson Highway, Suite B, Baton Rouge, Louisiana 70809.
- Should I get my own lawyer?
You do not need to hire your own lawyer because Plaintiffs’ Counsel will be working on your behalf. However, you are allowed to hire your own lawyer at your own expense.
- How will the lawyers be paid?
The named Plaintiffs have entered into a contingency fee agreement with Plaintiffs’ counsel. Under this agreement, you are not responsible for paying any of the attorneys’ fees or costs expended in this lawsuit. In the event there is a recovery, Plaintiffs’ counsel will ask the Court for their reasonable attorneys’ fees. Plaintiffs’ counsel may ask for the greater of: (1) their reasonable hourly rates multiplied by the number of hours expended on the lawsuit, or (2) 1/3 of the gross settlement or judgment amount. The fees may be part of a settlement obtained or money judgment entered in favor of Plaintiffs, or may be ordered by the Court to be separately paid by Avondale, or may be a combination of the two. A copy of the contingency fee agreement executed by the named Plaintiffs may be obtained upon request from Plaintiffs’ counsel identified above. If there is no recovery, you pay nothing.
- What happens if I do nothing at all?
If you choose not to join, you will not be eligible to participate in the federal portion of this lawsuit and will not be eligible to receive any benefits in the event that a settlement or judgment is obtained.
- This notice has been authorized by the Court.
This notice and its contents have been authorized by Magistrate Judge Stewart D. Aaron of the U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York. The Court has not yet ruled on whether Plaintiffs’ claims or Avondale’s defenses have any merit.
Please do not write or call the Court about this notice.