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Li v. Dong

United States District Court, S.D. New York

March 31, 2017

CHANGXING LI, GUOMIN LI, JIAN LI, YUXIANG WANG, and MIN ZHANG, Plaintiffs,
v.
KAI XIANG DONG, LING LIN, IRON SUSHI THIRD AVENUE, INC. d/b/a IRON SUSHI, IRON SUSHI LOVE, INC. d/b/a IRON SUSHI, IRON SUSHI FUSION, INC. d/b/a IRON SUSHI, Defendants.

          MEMORANDUM DECISION AND ORDER

          GEORGE DANIELS UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.

         Plaintiffs, former employees of the Iron Sushi restaurant, brought this action against their former employers alleging, inter alia, violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act ("FLSA"), 29 U.S.C. § 201 et seq., and the New York Labor Law ("NYLL"). (Am. Compl., ECF No. 29, at 1-2.)[1] On December 16, 2016, Plaintiffs moved for default judgment in the amount of $669, 922.75. (Pls.' Mot. Default J., ECF No. 51); (Decl. of David Yan, ECF No. 53, Ex. O.)[2]

         Before this Court is Magistrate Judge Andrew J. Peck's March 7, 2017 Report and Recommendation ("Report, " ECF No. 54), recommending that a default judgment be entered against all Defendants, holding them jointly and severally liable in the amount of $379, 677.71, plus continuing prejudgment interest.[3] (Id. at 47.) This Court adopts that recommendation.

         I. LEGAL STANDARD

         This Court "may accept, reject, or modify, in whole or in part, the findings or recommendations" set forth within a magistrate judge's report. 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1). The Court must review de novo the portions of a magistrate judge's report to which a party properly objects. Id. Portions of a magistrate judge's report to which no or merely perfunctory objections have been made are reviewed for clear error. See Edwards v. Fischer, 414 F.Supp.2d 342, 346-47 (S.D.N.Y. 2006). Clear error is present only when "upon review of the entire record, [the court is] left with the definite and firm conviction that a mistake has been committed." Brown v. Cunningham, No. 14-CV-3515, 2015 WL 3536615, at *4 (S.D.N.Y. June 4, 2015) (internal citations omitted).

         Magistrate Judge Peck advised the parties that failure to file timely objections to the Report would constitute a waiver of those objections on appeal. (Report at 47-48.) No objection to the Report has been filed.

         Default occurs "[w]hen a party against whom a judgment for affirmative relief is sought has failed to plead or otherwise defend." Fed.R.Civ.P. 55(a). Where a defendant has defaulted, the district court must accept as true the well-pleaded allegations of the complaint. Finkel v. Romanowicz, 577 F.3d 79, 84 (2d Cir. 2009). To determine the amount of damages that should be awarded on a default judgment, Rule 55(b)(2) "leaves the decision of whether a hearing is necessary to the discretion of the district court." Fustok v. ContiCommodily Servs., Inc., 873 F.2d 38, 40 (2d Cir. 1989); see also Lenardv. Design Studio, 889 F.Supp.2d 518, 527 (S.D.N.Y. 2012).

         II. DEFAULT JUDGMENT

         Defendants have never appeared in this action, responded to Plaintiffs' Complaint or to the motion for a default judgment, or otherwise contacted this Court to request an extension to submit any responses. Nor have Defendants filed any objections to the Report. Accordingly, this Court finds that a default judgment is appropriate in this action. The Report also properly determined that a hearing on damages is not required because Plaintiffs' submissions establish their damages to a reasonable degree of certainty. (Report at 7-8.)

         III. JOINT AND SEVERAL LIABILITY

         The Report correctly found that Plaintiffs have sufficiently alleged that Kai Xiang Dong and Ling Lin are employers under the FLSA and NYLL. (Id. at 45-46.) In light of their default, Defendants are jointly and severally liable along with Iron Sushi. (Id. at 46.)

         IV. DAMAGES UNDER THE FLSA AND NYLL

         a. Statute of Limitations

         The Report properly found that a six-year statute of limitations applies to Plaintiffs' NYLL claims and a three-year statute of limitations applies to their FLSA claims. (Id. at 8-9.) Accordingly, Plaintiffs are entitled to FLSA damages from September 24, 2012 (three years before they ...


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