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ESPINAL v. RAMCO GENERAL STORES

August 26, 2005.

DEYANIRA ESPINAL, ANGELA BERISE, PERALTA FRITMAN and MARIA ARACELI GONZALES FLORES, Plaintiffs,
v.
RAMCO GENERAL STORES, INC., d/b/a RAMCO and/or NATIONAL DISCOUNT STORE; RAMCO GENERAL STORE INC 2, d/b/a RAMCO and/or NATIONAL DISCOUNT STORE; and ALBERT PALACCI, Defendants.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: THOMAS GRIESA, Senior District Judge

OPINION

Plaintiffs, former employees at defendant stores, claim that they were denied the compensation required under the Fair Labor Standards Act, 29 U.S.C. §§ 201 et seq. ("FLSA") and the New York Labor Law §§ 190 et seq. They also assert claims for various forms of wrongdoing under New York statutes and common law.

The federal claim under FLSA was disposed of by plaintiffs' acceptance of an offer of judgment and dismissal of this claim. The state law compensation claims were also covered by this dismissal.

  Pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P. Rule 12(b)(1), defendants move to dismiss the remaining causes of action, which assert the other state law claims. Defendants contend that the court should decline further supplemental jurisdiction over these state law claims. The motion is denied.

  Plaintiffs have filed a motion to obtain the attorneys' fees provided for in the offer of judgment. That motion is not dealt with in this opinion.

  BACKGROUND

  In view of the nature of the motion, the relevant facts relate mainly to the procedures that have occurred thus far in the course of litigation.

  Plaintiffs are three women who worked in the defendant retail stores, Ramco and National Discount Store, located on Dyckman Street in upper Manhattan. Defendant Albert Palacci is the owner of these stores.

  The action was commenced on May 4, 2004. In addition to the compensation claims under the FLSA and the New York Labor Law, the complaint alleged sexual harassment and related wrongdoing in violation of New York statutes and common law.

  In July 2004 the parties engaged in initial disclosures and plaintiffs served their first request for production of documents.

  On August 5, 2004 defendants made an offer of judgment to plaintiffs pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P. Rule 68. The offer was for:
(a) Judgment for the plaintiffs in the total amount of $60,712.00 as respects the First, Second and Third Causes of Action; and
(b) in accordance with F.R.C.P. 23, 5 U.S.C. § 501 or other statute, reasonable attorneys' fees as determined by the Court to be incurred up through the date of this Offer.
The first cause of action was brought under the FLSA. The second and third causes of action were under the New York Labor Law. These were the compensation claims.

  A pre-trial conference was held on August 6, 2004. Plaintiffs served their second request for production of documents and first set of interrogatories on the same day.

  Plaintiffs accepted the offer of judgment on August 16, 2004. The $60,712 was paid on September 15, 2004. On October 21, 2004, the court entered an order dismissing the first, second, and third causes of action with prejudice.

  The state law claims relating to sexual harassment were not disposed of and remained to be litigated. Also, the issue about attorneys' fees, which was part of the ...


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