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Thursday, May 16, 2013

Convergent Outsourcing, Inc. v. Zinni: Supreme Court Declines to Hear Follow-Up to Genesis Healthcare on Effect of Settlement Offer to Representative Plaintiff

Thank you to Andrew Frisch of the FLSA Overtime Law Blog for noting that the Supreme Court has denied a petition for certiorari in Convergent Outsourcing, Inc. v. Zinni:  
On the heels of last month’s Genesis Healthcare Corp. v. Symczyk, the Supreme Court had the chance to decide a case which actually would help define the true parameters of the mootness doctrine, vis a vis cases where the plaintiff claims finite (and typically relatively small) individual damages, but seeks to represent a putative class. However, as in Symczyk, the Supremes left some observers scratching their heads and declined to answer the question posed to it. Although the Zinni case was a case brought under the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) and not the FLSA, the issue presented is common in FLSA cases. Specifically, the issue presented by the Zinni case was: 
Does an offer to provide a plaintiff with all of the relief he has requested, including more than the legal amount of damages plus costs and reasonable attorney’s fees, fail to moot the underlying claim because the defendant has not also offered to agree to the entry of a judgment against it? 
As noted in the Eleventh Circuit's decision below, Zinni v. ER Solutions, Inc., 692 F.3d 1152 (11th Cir. 2012) (available here), there is a split among the Circuit Courts of Appeals on the question presented.  

The SCOTUSblog page for the case is here.  

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