On March 23, 1994, an African-American employee of the Texaco Incorporated filed a lawsuit under 42 U.S.C. § 1981, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, 42 U.S.C. § 2000e et. seq., and Section 296 of the New York Human Rights Law, N.Y. Exec. Law § 296, against Texaco Incorporated in the United States District Court of the Southern District of New York.
The plaintiff, represented by private counsel, asked the court for both monetary damages and injunctive relief, alleging that Texaco Incorporated, by certain employment policies and practices, engaged in conduct that had a disparate impact upon and abridged the rights of salaried African-American employees of Texaco in promotions, compensation, and the terms and conditions of their employment, including training and job assignments.
On June 30, 1994, the plaintiffs filed an amended complaint, adding claims on behalf additional plaintiffs. On May 15, 1995, the plaintiffs moved for class certification.
In August 1996, plaintiffs moved to add Title VII claims to the Class motion. A right-to-sue letter, containing class allegations, was received from the United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission ("EEOC"). Relying thereon, plaintiffs' counsel sought to expand the class beyond the scope of the right-to-sue letter. Texaco opposed, noting that it was seeking reconsideration before the EEOC. On September 27, 1996, the court (Judge Brieant) heard counsel and scheduled a hearing for December 6, 1996 on the class certification motions.
On March 21, 1997, the court (Judge Brieant) approved the class settlement. Roberts v. Texaco, Inc. 1997 U.S. Dist. Westlaw 979 F.Supp. 185 (S.D. NY. 1997). In sum, the settlement provided that:
1. Plaintiffs' counsel receive (a) for legal services rendered prior to the entry of judgment a fee award payable out of the escrow fund (and without interest) upon approval by the Court in the amount of $19,154,144.62 (or 5.5 times the lodestar of $3,482,571.75), plus (b) a further payment out of the escrow fund and covering services to be rendered in the aggregate amount of $1,000,000 payable (without interest) over a five-year period in bi-annual installments, or in such other sum as the Court may direct, upon bi-annual application to and approval by the Court. Attorney's fees amounted to twenty-five percent of the $115 million cash settlement, or $28,750,000.
2. Plaintiff Roberts received, in addition to whatever sums she might receive as a member of the Class or otherwise, the sum of $85,000;
3. Plaintiff Chambers received, in addition to whatever sums he might receive as a member of the Class or otherwise, the sum of $50,000;
4. Plaintiffs Williams, Harris, and Hester received, in addition to whatever sums they might receive as a member of the Class or otherwise, the sum of $25,000; and
5. Plaintiff Shinault received, in addition to whatever sums she might receive as a member of the Class or otherwise, the sum of $2,500.
Defendants' stockholders appealed. On September 14, 1999, the 2nd Circuit (Judge Miner) reversed the judgment of the district court and remanded for the entry of judgment denying counsel fees.
On January 8, 2003, the district court order that the court's supervision on the Settlement Agreement be terminated because it had been fulfilled.Keri Livingston - 04/01/2008