United States District Court, S.D. New York
YONG KUI CHEN, ZU GUANG ZHU, HAO CHEN, SHUI BING ZHU, GUO REN HUANG and YOU HUANG ZHU, on behalf of themselves and others similarly situated, Plaintiffs,
WAI ? CAFE INC. and WAI YIN CHAN, Defendants.
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
C. FRANCIS IV UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.
case is on remand for consideration of the plaintiffs'
New York Labor Law ("NYLL") claims, following the
dismissal of all federal claims. Defendant Wai Yin Chan has
moved under Rule 12(b)(1) of the Federal Rules of Civil
Procedure for the case to be dismissed without prejudice to
refiling in state court pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1367(c).
For the reasons set forth below, the defendant's motion
plaintiffs in this case filed suit in September 2010. Each
plaintiff claimed that, he had been employed as a delivery
person by defendant Wai ? Cafe Inc. ("Wai ? Cafe")
for some period of time between 2004 and 2010 and worked over
forty hours per week and often more than ten hours per day.
(Complaint (“Compl.”), ¶¶ 19-42). They
further alleged that Wai ? Café had failed to pay them
properly under the Fair Labor Standards Act
(“FLSA”) and the NYLL. (Compl., ¶¶
43-45). Accordingly, they sought damages for unpaid minimum
wages, overtime wages, and spread of hours pay, and, in
addition, sought liquidated and punitive damages. (Compl. at
response, the defendants denied any liability. (Answer,
¶¶ 1-2). As an affirmative defense, the defendants
claimed that the first named plaintiff, Yong Kui Chen, had
never been employed by Wai ? Café. (Answer,
¶¶ 35-38). They further alleged that the other five
named plaintiffs had entered into a contract with Wai ?
Café in February 2010 that precluded the claims
because it provided the plaintiffs with additional
compensation and altered the nature of their relationship to
Wai ? Café by giving them a stake in the sale of the
business. (Answer, ¶¶ 39-48). The defendants then
asserted a counterclaim against the plaintiffs for allegedly
accepting a payment pursuant to the contract with no
intention of honoring the agreement. (Answer, ¶¶
trial was held on February 6 and 7, 2012. Yong Kui Chen
v. Wai? Café Inc., No. 10 Civ. 7254, 2012 WL
997004, at *1 (S.D.N.Y. March 26, 2012), aff'd in
part, rev'd in part sub nom. Yong Kui Chen v. Wai Yin
Chan, 615 F. App'x 10 (2d Cir. 2015).
Defendants' counsel was relieved shortly before trial;
Mr. Chan proceeded pro se, and Wai ? Café was
held to be in default for failing to appear by counsel.
Id. I dismissed the claims of plaintiff Yong Kui
Chen as he did not attend the trial, but the claims of
another plaintiff not named in the Complaint, Jian Hui Lin,
were submitted to the jury after he filed a form indicating
his consent to sue under the FLSA. Id.
the course of trial, Mr. Chan sought to introduce documents
into evidence that the plaintiffs objected to, including a
purported contract between the parties and records indicating
additional payments to the plaintiffs. (Trial Transcript
(“Tr.”) at 80, 109). I deemed these documents to
be precluded from admission at trial because plaintiffs'
counsel represented to me that they had not been turned over
in discovery. (Tr. at 84, 110-12).
on the plaintiffs' failure to show that Wai ? Café
had gross receipts exceeding $500, 000.00, the FLSA claims
were dismissed. Yong Kui Chen, 2012 WL 997004, at
*1. I retained supplemental jurisdiction over the
plaintiffs' NYLL claims, however, because the case had
already been tried and substantial resources had been
expended in preparation. Id.; see generally
Motorola Credit Corp. v. Uzan, 388 F.3d 39, 56 (2d
Cir. 2004). On those claims, the jury found the defendants
liable for minimum wage, overtime, and spread of hours pay,
but not for liquidated damages as Mr. Chan had not acted
willfully. Yong Kui Chen, 2012 WL 997004, at *2.
parties were invited to propose damage calculations after
trial, but only the plaintiffs did so. Id. Following
their submission, I determined the damages owed to each
plaintiff. Id. Judgment was entered against the
defendants Wai ? Café and Mr. Chan accordingly.
Id. at *3.
issued my decision, Mr. Chan filed a motion for
reconsideration of damages, which I denied. Yong Kui Chen
v. Wai? Café Inc., No. 10 Civ. 7254, 2012 WL
1506174, at *1 (S.D.N.Y. April 30, 2012). Mr. Chan also filed
an appeal with the United States Court of Appeals for the
Second Circuit. (Notice of Appeal in a Civil Case dated April
24, 2012, ECF No. 27). On appeal, counsel was appointed for