FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE - December 17, 2003
Klehr Harrison Lawyers Obtain $2.6 Million Class Action Settlement
Charles A. Ercole and Steven K. Kortanek, partners with the law firm of Klehr, Harrison, Harvey, Branzburg & Ellers LLP were lead counsel representing 1,100 employees in a class action lawsuit against Oakwood Homes Corporation arising out of Oakwood Homes’ failure to give notice of layoffs under the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act (WARN).
Ercole and Kortanek (and co-counsel Mills, Cullar & McLeod of Waco, Texas) were retained directly by over 400 employees who had been laid off at two plants in Texas without any notice on November 14, 2002. Simultaneously with the layoff, Oakwood filed for bankruptcy protection in Delaware. The class action was pursued in the bankruptcy court and litigated throughout 2003. On October 30, 2003, on the eve of the deposition of Oakwood’s CEO, Myles Standish, the parties reached a settlement.
On Monday, December 15, 2003, Bankruptcy Judge Peter Walsh approved a $2.6 million settlement. Under the settlement, the average amount received by each laid off employee is $1,600. Klehr, Harrison and Mills, Cullar shared a one-third contingency fee.
Ercole and Kortanek were aided primarily by Klehr Harrison associate Julie Holland, Jennifer Scoliard, Mary Halfpenny and Ron Woodman and paralegal Sally Oh.