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California dockworkers win settlement in class action lawsuit

A group of dockworkers in California filed a class action suit against the parent company running the Wal-Mart distribution center in southern California. The suit was filed in 2011 and relates to complaints and actions that dated back to 2001, according to documents. According to the dockworkers, they weren't properly paid by the company for work performed.

The company named in the suit -- Schneider Logistics -- is one of the top ten logistics companies in North America. The company, which is based in another state, contracted work to two other logistics companies. Those companies hired lumpers to work at the southern California location. It was those workers who filed the legal action.

The suit, which grew to encompass 1,800 workers, reportedly ended in a settlement of $21 million. The notice for a proposed settlement was reportedly filed in a U.S. District Court on May 13. The notice was signed by attorneys for the plaintiffs as well as Wal-Mart Stores and Schneider Logistics.

The notice of settlement may be a welcome action for the dockworkers, but it doesn't put a cap on legal activity in the case. According to one attorney, the settlement must go through final arrangements. She said it could be the end of 2014 or even the beginning of 2015 before the settlement is finalized and money is released. According to results, the settlement was reached in a separate city through nonbinding mediation between parties.

Class action lawsuits are often large, complex legal actions with many moving parts. Out-of-court settlements can be preferable to all parties, but protecting the interests of those involved is always a concern. Even after settlements are reached, appropriate legal action is required to see the issue through to a desired conclusion.

Source: Transport Topics, "Schneider Logistics to Pay $21 Million to Dockworkers in Class-Action Lawsuit" Jonathan S. Reiskin, May. 22, 2014

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