Tyco’s SimplexGrinnell Gets Initial Approval to Settle Suit

Tyco International Ltd.’s SimplexGrinnell unit received initial court approval for a $5.5 million settlement in a lawsuit over workers’ wages.

The case was filed in 2007 on behalf of more than 600 current and former SimplexGrinnell employees who handled New York state and municipal fire alarm and sprinkler projects. Magistrate Judge Steven M. Gold in Brooklyn, New York, granted the preliminary approval in an order filed today.

The Boca Raton, Florida-based safety system company was accused of failing to pay appropriate wages and benefits to workers and laborers on projects for the New York State Office of Mental Health.

Under the settlement, SimplexGrinnell will pay $5.5 million to plaintiffs in addition to funds that would cover an employer’s share of payroll taxes, according to a memorandum filed on behalf of the plaintiffs.

The case was “on the eve of trial when the settlement was reached,” Gold said in the order. “By that time, the parties had engaged in extensive discovery that was more than sufficient to allow counsel to make a well-informed decision about the fairness of the settlement.”

Chris Woodcock, a SimplexGrinnell spokesman, and David Copus, a lawyer for the company, didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment on the settlement.

The case is Ramos v. SimplexGrinnell, 1:07-cv-00981, U.S. District Court, Eastern District of New York (Brooklyn).

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