Peck v. Swift Transp. Co. of Ariz., 2022 WL 414692 (9th Cir. 2022)

In evaluating a settlement of a class action involving Cal. Labor Code § 2802 (employer indemnity for employee expenses), the district court stated that “the parties engaged in arm’s-length, serious, informed and non-collusive negotiations between experienced and knowledgeable counsel … after mediation with a neutral mediator. The settlement agreement is therefore presumptively the product of a non-collusive, arms-length negotiation.” The Ninth Circuit vacated the district court’s approval of the class-action settlement on the ground that the district court erroneously applied the presumption that the appellate court expressly rejected in Roes 1-2 v. SFBSC Mgmt., LLC, 944 F.3d 1035, 1048 (9th Cir. 2019). The Court further held that objector Lawrence Peck could not appeal the PAGA settlement because he was not a party to the underlying PAGA action even though he was a member of the putative class action. See also Espinoza v. Hepta Run, Inc., 74 Cal. App. 5th 44 (2022) (short-haul truck drivers’ PAGA claims were preempted by federal law; personal liability for owner of company pursuant to Cal. Labor Code § 558.1 affirmed).