Stuart Kane Wins Appeal In Wage and Hour Class Action

The Firm won an important victory in the California Court of Appeal in a wage and hour class action lawsuit where we successfully defended a large electronics manufacturer based in Orange County.  On August 29, 2013, the Court of Appeal upheld a decision by the Complex Civil Panel of the Orange County Superior Court that denied class certification of claims on behalf of a class of salaried and hourly employees seeking overtime pay and meal and rest period premiums.

This was actually the first of two motions for class certification that Stuart Kane defeated in the lawsuit.  On the first motion, we pulled together a mountain of evidence showing that our client had complied with the overtime and meal and rest period requirements, and that the plaintiff’s claims were not typical or common to any class of employees.  We also showed that the plaintiff was not a suitable class representative.

Plaintiff’s counsel then recruited a second plaintiff and tried another motion for class certification.  We defeated that by invoking a little known rule that once a trial court issues an appealable decision on a class certification motion, it cannot consider the same motion again unless the first one is reversed on appeal.

With this decision by the Court of Appeal, we reduced a lawsuit by more than a thousand employees seeking millions in back pay and penalties, to a lawsuit by just two employees.  The Company intends to proceed to trial against the two individuals, and we expect to prevail completely.

Oral argument in the Court of Appeal was held on the morning of July 22, which was the very day on which Stuart Kane LLP opened its doors.  Bruce May was lead counsel in the case, with support from Don Hamman, Eve Brackmann, and Peter Wucetich.

The attorneys in our Employment Group have an enviable record in wage and hour class actions, having prevailed on the vast majority of motions for class certification in a variety of wage and hour cases involving restaurant chains, health care providers, manufacturing companies, and other employers.  We also have had great success in negotiating favorable settlements of class action cases that serve to immunize the employer from further claims of the same type.

The Employment Group includes attorneys Bob Kane, Bruce May, Don Hamman, Eve Brackmann, and Peter Wucetich, and paralegals Colita McCullough and Tiffany Jung.