Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

McBeth v. Gabrielli Truck Sales

August 5, 2010

KHALID MCBETH AND CARMINE CASCONE, INDIVIDUALLY AND ON BEHALF OF ALL OTHER PERSONS SIMILARLY SITUATED WHO WERE EMPLOYED BY GABRIELLI TRUCK SALES, LTD.; GABRIELLI TRUCK SALES OF CONNECTICUT, L.L.C.; GABRIELLI TRUCK SERVICE, INC.; AND GABRIELLI FORD TRUCK SALES & SERVICE INC.; AND/OR ANY OTHER ENTITIES AFFILIATED WITH OR CONTROLLED BY GABRIELLI TRUCK SALES, LTD.; GABRIELLI TRUCK SALES OF CONNECTICUT, L.L.C.; GABRIELLI TRUCK SERVICE, INC.; GABRIELLI FORD TRUCK SALES & SERVICE INC.; ARMANDO GABRIELLI, AND/OR AMEDEO GABRIELLI, PLAINTIFF,
v.
GABRIELLI TRUCK SALES, LTD.; GABRIELLI TRUCK SALES OF CONNECTICUT, L.L.C.; GABRIELLI TRUCK SERVICE, INC.; AND GABRIELLI FORD TRUCK SALES & SERVICE INC.; ARMANDO GABRIELLI; AMEDEO GABRIELLI; AND/OR ANY OTHER ENTITIES AFFILIATED WITH OR CONTROLLED BY GABRIELLI TRUCK SALES, LTD.; GABRIELLI TRUCK SALES OF CONNECTICUT, L.L.C.; GABRIELLI TRUCK SERVICE, INC.; GABRIELLI FORD TRUCK SALES & SERVICE INC.; ARMANDO GABRIELLI, AND/OR AMEDEO GABRIELLI, DEFENDANTS.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: E. Thomas Boyle United States Magistrate Judge

MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

Before the court is Plaintiffs' motion for leave to file a second amended complaint to allege an additional claim under New York Labor Law § 663(1) and to expand the allegations of the complaint to include another corporate location located in Dayton, New Jersey. Defendants oppose Plaintiffs' motion on the grounds that it is futile. For the following reasons, Plaintiffs' motion for leave to amend is granted.

FACTS

Plaintiffs, Khalid McBeth and Carmine Cascone ("Plaintiffs"), bring this action on their own behalf and on behalf of all other similarly situated individuals who are present or former employees of Defendants Gabrielli Truck Sales, Ltd., Gabrielli Truck Sales of Connecticut L.L.C., Gabrielli Truck Service Inc., and Gabrielli Ford Truck Sales & Service, Inc. (the "Corporate Defendants") from September 2003 through the present. (Proposed 2d Am. Compl. ¶ 15.) Defendants in this action are comprised of both corporate and individual defendants engaged in the automotive truck sales and service business. (Proposed 2d Am. Compl. ¶ 9-12.) Plaintiffs initially brought this action to recover unpaid overtime compensation allegedly owed to those persons presently or formerly employed by Defendants under the Fair Labor Standards Act ("FLSA"), 29 U.S.C. § 201 et seq., and Sections 142-2.2 and 2.4 of the New York Codes, Rules and Regulations. (Proposed 2d Am. Compl. ¶ 1.) Plaintiffs filed their original Complaint on September 23, 2009, commencing a collective action pursuant to the FLSA, 29 U.S.C. § 216(b), and a class action under Rule 23 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. (Proposed 2d Am. Compl. ¶ 16.) On January 8, 2010, prior to Defendants' service of a responsive pleading, Plaintiffs filed a First Amended Class Action Complaint.

Defendants Gabrielli Truck Sales, Ltd., Gabrielli Truck Service Inc., and Gabrielli Ford Truck Sales & Service, Inc. are organized under the laws of the State of New York and have their principal place of business in New York. (Proposed 2d Am. Compl. ¶ 11-12.) Defendant Gabrielli Truck Sales of Connecticut, LLC is organized under the laws of the State of Connecticut, with its principal place of business there. (Proposed 2d Am. Compl. ¶ 10.) The individual Defendants, Armando Gabrielli and Amedeo Gabrielli (the "Individual Defendants"), are the sole shareholders and officers of Gabrielli Truck Sales Ltd., Gabrielli Truck Services, Inc., and Gabrielli Truck Sales and Service Inc. (Proposed 2d Am. Compl. ¶ 29-30.) Both the Corporate Defendants as well as the Individual Defendants are currently or were in the past considered "employers" as defined by the FLSA, 29 U.S.C. §203(d). (Proposed 2d Am. Compl. ¶ 35-36.)

Plaintiffs allege that Defendants engaged in the regular practice of requiring employees to work in excess of 40 hours per week, without providing overtime compensation as mandated by the applicable federal and state laws. (Proposed 2d Am. Compl. ¶ 23.) Specifically, Plaintiffs, and members of the putative class, allege that they were required by Defendants to work ten or more hours per day, five or more days per week, and that they did in fact work such hours. (Proposed 2d Am. Compl. ¶ 25.) Plaintiffs further allege that Defendants failed to maintain accurate and complete payroll records, as required by both the FLSA and state law. (Proposed 2d Am. Compl. ¶ 26.) Thus, Plaintiffs claim that Defendants are liable to members of the putative class in an amount to be determined at trial, plus liquidated damages equal to twenty-five percent (25%) of the amount of unpaid wages, as well as interest, attorney's fees, and costs. (Proposed 2d Am. Compl. ¶ 48.)

THE PROPOSED AMENDMENT

Plaintiffs now seek to amend the First Amended Class Action Complaint to include an additional claim under New York Labor Law § 663(1). This claim was omitted from Plaintiff's previous Complaints because, at the time, it was inconsistent with a Second Circuit decision that held that Section 901(b) of the New York Civil Practice Law and Rules, which prohibits certain lawsuits from being brought as a class action, was a substantive rule of state law that applied in federal court. See Shady Grove Orthopedic Assoc., P.A. v. Allstate Ins. Co., 549 F.3d 137 (2d Cir. 2008), rev'd,130 S.Ct. 1431 (2010). However, on March 31, 2010, the Supreme Court reversed the Second Circuit decision and held that a suit seeking penalties or statutory minimum damages under state law may proceed in federal court as a class action under Rule 23 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. See id. at 1438. Thus, Plaintiffs contend that they should now be permitted to amend their Complaint to seek liquidated damages under New York law. (Pl. Mem. Of Law 3.)

In addition, the Proposed Second Amended Complaint contains a more precise description of Defendants' business and includes an additional corporate facility located in Dayton, New Jersey (the "Dayton facility"), which Plaintiffs allege to be owned and operated as another place of business by Defendants. (Proposed 2d Am. Compl. ¶ 22.) Defendants object to the addition of the Dayton facility, arguing that the facility is "not owned by any Corporate Defendant." (Def. Mem. Of Law in Opp'n. 4.)

DISCUSSION

I. Legal Standard

Rule 15(a) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure governs the amendment of pleadings before trial and provides, in pertinent part, that leave to amend a pleading shall be freely given "when justice so requires." Fed. R. Civ. P. 15(a)(2). The decision whether to grant or deny leave to amend is within the sound discretion of the district court. See Foman v. Davis, 371 U.S. 178, 182 (1962).

The Supreme Court has interpreted Rule 15(a)(2) to allow a plaintiff an opportunity to test his claim on the merits if the underlying facts or circumstances relied upon may be a proper subject of relief. See Foman, 371 U.S. at 182. Under Foman, leave should be "freely given" in the absence of any apparent or declared reason, such as undue delay, bad faith, or dilatory motive on the part of the movant, repeated failure to cure deficiencies by amendments previously allowed, undue prejudice to the opposing party by virtue of allowance of the amendment, or futility of the amendment. See id. The Second Circuit has also liberally interpreted Rule 15(a), finding that "if the party seeking to amend has at least colorable grounds for relief, justice requires that its motion be granted." Randolph Rand Corp. v. Tidy Handbags, No. 96-1829, 2001 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 17625, at *16 (S.D.N.Y. October, 24, 2001) (citing Ryder Energy Distrib. Corp. v. Merrill Lynch Commodities, Inc., 748 F.2d 774, 783 (2d Cir. 1984)). Moreover, amendments seeking to assert or correct matters about which parties should have known, but did not know, are plainly within the scope of Rule 15(a). See Hanlin v. Mitchelson, 794 F.2d834, 841 (2d Cir. 1986).

Here, Plaintiffs allege that the Dayton facility is one of several truck sales and service locations where Defendants employ individuals. (Proposed 2d Am. Compl. ΒΆ 22.) Defendants deny ownership of the Dayton Facility and argue that there is no factual basis to expand the lawsuit to include a facility in New Jersey operated by a non-party. (Def. Mem. Of Law in Opp'n. 2.) Thus, Defendants conclude that the complete absence of any facts to support a claim against the New ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.