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Dharia v. Marriott Hotel Services, Inc.

United States District Court, D. Hawaii

May 3, 2019

JATIN DHARIA, Plaintiff,
v.
MARRIOTT HOTEL SERVICES, INC. d/b/a WAIKIKI BEACH MARRIOTT RESORT & SPA, Defendant.

          FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDATION TO GRANT DEFENDANT MARRIOTT HOTEL SERVICES, INC. d/b/a WAIKIKI BEACH MARRIOTT RESORT & SPA'S MOTION TO ENFORCE SETTLEMENT AGREEMENT [1]

          Richard L. Puglisi United States Magistrate Judge.

         Before the Court is Defendant Marriott Hotel Services, Inc. d/b/a Waikiki Beach Marriott Resort & Spa's Motion to Enforce Settlement Agreement (“Motion”). ECF No. 67. Defendant requests that the Court enforce a settlement agreement allegedly entered into between the parties following private mediation on October 4, 2018. Id. Plaintiff filed his Opposition to the Motion on April 1, 2019. ECF No. 78. Defendant filed its Reply on April 8, 2019. ECF No. 79. An evidentiary hearing on this matter was held on April 11, 2019, at 10:00 a.m. Sharon V. Lovejoy, Esq., T. Reid Coploff, Esq., by telephone, and Sara L. Faulman, Esq., by telephone, appeared on behalf of Plaintiff. Eileen C. Zorc, Esq. appeared on behalf of Defendant. Following the hearing, the Court directed the parties to submit supplemental declarations, which were filed on April 17, 2019, and April 24, 2019. ECF Nos. 85, 88. After careful consideration of the submissions of the parties, the arguments of counsel, and the record established in this action, the Court FINDS AND RECOMMENDS that Defendant's Motion be GRANTED.

         FINDINGS OF FACT

         Based on the evidence submitted by the parties, the Court makes the following findings of fact.

         In this action, Plaintiff asserts individual claims for violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”) and individual and collective claims under the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”). See ECF No. 1. The parties engaged in private mediation on October 4, 2018. See ECF No. 67-2, Decl. of Eileen C. Zorc, ¶ 2; ECF No. 78-1, Decl. of T. Reid Coploff, ¶ 3. The parties did not reach an agreement during the mediation session, but the mediator indicated that she would send a proposal to both parties and that both parties would have an opportunity to accept the proposal. Zorc Decl. ¶ 3; Coploff Decl. ¶ 4. The mediator emailed counsel for both parties on October 14, 2018, with a proposal. Zorc Decl. ¶ 4; Coploff Decl. ¶ 5. The proposal, excluding the specific dollar amounts, contained the following “global settlement” terms:

● for the ADA claim, $[] to Mr. Dharia and $[] for attorney's fees and costs;
● for the [FLSA]/Wage class claim, $[] for qualified claimants and $[] for attorney's fees and costs; the time period covered by these payments for qualified claimants, shall be January 5, 2012 to January 4, 2018;
● Marriott shall pay for any medical or pension shortfall in Mr. Dharia's accounts caused by their failure to make payments while Mr. Dharia was not working;
● Marriott shall be responsible and pay for the claims administration of the [FLSA]/Wage class claim;
● Payment for the ADA settlement will be made no later than 30 days after execution of a settlement agreement that will be initially drafted by Marriott; and
● the settlement agreement shall include
○ confidentiality
○ non-disparagement
○ any other normal settlement provisions including releases and indemnifications.
If BOTH of you agree to the terms above, I will let you know collectively that you have a settlement. If any one of you indicates NO agreement, I will let you know collectively that you do not have a settlement. I will not disclose any parties' position unless you BOTH respond ‘yes.'

ECF No. 67-3 at 1-2.

The mediator then sent an email to counsel for both parties on October 18, 2018, with clarifications to her first email. ECF No. 67-4. The clarifications were as follows:
The ‘qualified claimants' to whom I referred included Supervisors and GSAs who did not get paid for ‘linger longer' and ‘upgrade' bonuses.
___ the settlement agreement for the ADA case, should also include ‘no admissions re ...

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