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Federal judge approves settlement in Vista lawsuit

LORDSTOWN — A settlement between a defunct window maker and its former employees who sued after they were abruptly locked out is final.

A federal court judge in Youngstown has approved the agreement between Vista Window Company and more than 100 ex-workers in a class-action lawsuit against the company that calls for it to pay $682,289.

An earlier ruling in the case that OK’d a preliminary settlement called the agreement “reasonable and cost-effective.”

Vista on Jan. 14 closed its production facility at 1707 Henn Parkway. A notice stating it had “ceased all operations” was posted on the entrance. Condie Stell of Austintown filed a lawsuit Jan. 25 claiming Vista violated the federal Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification (WARN) Act’s requirement of giving its employees at least 60 days advanced written notice of the mass layoff.

Vista filed the notice Jan. 14 with the state, claiming it was a “faltering company” that was trying to attract new capital or business in order to remain open and “giving notice would have ruined” those efforts.

The agreement calls for Stell to receive $5,000 as a service payment for being a class representative; the attorneys to receive one-third of the gross amount minus any member who opts-out, Stell’s payment and expenses, which are capped at $5,000; and the balance to be distributed to the other members.

The net settlement represents pay and benefits, plus interest, for the 60-day period less time they may have worked and their share of other lawsuit fees and taxes.

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