University of Michigan Law School
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Case Name Sheehan v. Fedex Corporation EE-IN-0130
Docket / Court 3:05-CV-00531 ( N.D. Ind. )
State/Territory Indiana
Case Type(s) Equal Employment
Case Summary
On May 26, 2005, four former delivery drivers at Fed Ex Ground Package System, Inc. (Fed Ex) filed this class action lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts on their own behalf and on behalf of a nationwide group of all others similarly situated who have worked as ... read more >
On May 26, 2005, four former delivery drivers at Fed Ex Ground Package System, Inc. (Fed Ex) filed this class action lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts on their own behalf and on behalf of a nationwide group of all others similarly situated who have worked as delivery drivers for Fed Ex. The case was assigned to Judge Richard G. Stearns. The Plaintiff sued Fed Ex under the Declaratory Judgment Act (28 U.S.C. § 2201), ERISA, and state law. The plaintiffs, represented by private counsel, sought injunctive relief, declaratory judgment, and monetary damages. The plaintiffs alleged that in classifying them as independent contractors and not employees, Fed Ex violated statutory and common law that stemmed from the misclassification. Specifically, they claimed that Fed Ex engaged in acts of behavioral and financial control over the drivers that demonstrate that the Plaintiffs should have been classified as employees and not independent contractors:
- Fed Ex required every driver to sign a Standard Contractor Operating Agreement that established the terms and conditions of employment of Fed Ex drivers. However, none of the drivers were able to negotiate for different terms and conditions, resulting in Fed Ex unilaterally setting the compensation to be paid to the drivers.
- Despite the language in the Agreement, Fed Ex restricted the freedom of the drivers from selling their routes.
- Fed Ex required the drivers to purchase vehicles and uniforms and required them to put Fed Ex’s logo on them.
- Fed Ex had almost total control of the driver’s working hours and number of packages to deliver.
On June 16, 2005, Fed Ex answered the complaint. On August 8, 2005, this case was transferred from the District Court of Massachusetts to the District Court of Northern Indiana for pretrial proceedings under Judge Richard L. Miller Jr.. Discovery ensued and on March 25, 2005, Judge Miller granted the Plaintiff’s motion for class certification for in cases involving drivers from 18 of the 27 states. On October 22, 2010, Judge Miller remanded the case back to the District Court of Massachusetts.

On April 4, 2011, the Plaintiffs filed a seventh amended complaint. This complaint increased the total number of named Plaintiffs to 189. It also sought additional reliefs: (1) rescission of the Operating Agreement and awarding restitution compensating for the reasonable value of the benefit provided to the Defendant and (2) punitive damages.

On April 7, 2011, Judge Richard Stearns approved the Confidential Settlement Agreement and dismissed the case. The plaintiffs were awarded an undisclosed amount of monetary damages.

Lisa Koo - 02/16/2019


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Discrimination-area
Other Conditions of Employment (including assignment, transfer, hours, working conditions, etc)
Pay / Benefits
General
Pattern or Practice
Plaintiff Type
Private Plaintiff
Special Case Type
Multi-District Litigation (MDL)
Causes of Action Declaratory Judgment Act, 28 U.S.C. § 2201
Defendant(s) FedEx
Plaintiff Description 189 named Plaintiffs on behalf of a Class of similarly situated persons who have worked as delivery drivers for FedEx Ground in the state of Massachusetts for Defendant.
Class action status sought Yes
Class action status granted Yes
Filed Pro Se No
Prevailing Party Plaintiff
Public Int. Lawyer No
Nature of Relief Damages
Source of Relief Settlement
Form of Settlement Private Settlement Agreement
Filing Year 2005
Case Closing Year 2011
Case Ongoing No
Docket(s)
1:05-cv-10936-RGS (D. Mass.)
EE-IN-0130-9001.pdf | Detail
Date: 04/07/2011
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
3:05-cv-531 (N.D. Ind.)
EE-IN-0130-9000.pdf | Detail
Date: 05/06/2011
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Class Action Complaint [ECF# 1]
EE-IN-0130-0001.pdf | Detail
Date: 05/06/2005
Amended Complaint [ECF# 2]
EE-IN-0130-0002.pdf | Detail
Date: 05/26/2005
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Seventh Amended Class Action Complaint [ECF# 2227]
EE-IN-0130-0003.pdf | Detail
Date: 04/04/2011
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order Approving the Settlement and Dismissing the Action with Prejudice [ECF# 2229] (D. Mass.)
EE-IN-0130-0004.pdf | Detail
Date: 04/07/2011
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
show all people docs
Judges Nuechterlein, Christopher A. (N.D. Ind.) [Magistrate] show/hide docs
EE-IN-0130-9000
Stearns, Richard Gaylore (D. Mass.) show/hide docs
EE-IN-0130-0004 | EE-IN-0130-9001
Plaintiff's Lawyers Agostino, Peter J. (Indiana) show/hide docs
EE-IN-0130-9000
Lichten, Harold L. (Massachusetts) show/hide docs
EE-IN-0130-0003 | EE-IN-0130-9001
Liss-Riordan, Shannon E. (Massachusetts) show/hide docs
EE-IN-0130-0001 | EE-IN-0130-0002 | EE-IN-0130-0003 | EE-IN-0130-9000 | EE-IN-0130-9001
Russell, Ian O. (Massachusetts) show/hide docs
EE-IN-0130-9001
Defendant's Lawyers Abely, James P. (Massachusetts) show/hide docs
EE-IN-0130-9001
Becker, Evelyn L. (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
EE-IN-0130-9000
Chused, Wesley S. (Massachusetts) show/hide docs
EE-IN-0130-9001
Efkeman, Edward J. (Tennessee) show/hide docs
EE-IN-0130-9000
Nuzum, Elianna J. (Massachusetts) show/hide docs
EE-IN-0130-9001
Puma, Michael J. (New York) show/hide docs
EE-IN-0130-9000
Rehnquist, James (Massachusetts) show/hide docs
EE-IN-0130-9000 | EE-IN-0130-9001
Smirnoff, Marcey D. (Massachusetts) show/hide docs
EE-IN-0130-9000
Smith, Bradford J. (Massachusetts) show/hide docs
EE-IN-0130-9000

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