New York Team Obtains Denial of Motion to Certify Class in Trucking Company Suit


October 8, 2014

New York Attorneys Ted Eder, Nicole Markowitz, Joe DeFazio and Jennifer Budner defended Subcontracting Concepts, LLC (“ SCI”)  in a potential class action suit in which a Southern District of New York Judge denied the plaintiffs’ class action status on a Federal Labor Standards Act case. The SDNY court rarely denies class action in FLSA cases, creating an outstanding victory for the clients.

The class action alleged that drivers making deliveries for A-1 , who signed Independent Contractor Agreements with SCI, were wrongfully labeled as Independent Contractors and were in fact employees who were under-paid in contravention of the Fair Labor Standard Act. The team from Segal McCambridge was able to present evidence that showed that the group did not qualify for class action status for several reasons.  The plaintiff was unable to prove that a commonality existed on whether workers had a set schedule or were working at their own convenience, as driver’s schedules varied per individual. Also, some drivers reported that they had worked for competitive delivery companies during the designated time frame, making the standard of whether or not a worker was able to take up other employment unsuited for class action.

Because the plaintiff could not prove that the defendants treated all members of the potential class action in the same way, the court held that any common claims identified by plaintiff were insufficiently “dispositive ... of the degree of control that [Defendants] actually exercised over each of the putative class members,".  Accordingly, the court denied the creation of a class action for the 177 drivers in the case.

Mr. Eder is trial counsel for various corporate clients, including motor vehicle manufacturers, trucking companies, industrial equipment corporations and property owners. He has successfully defended these companies in personal injury, property damage, consumer fraud, workers compensation and commercial litigation lawsuits in both State and Federal Court.

Ms. Markowitz is an associate attorney representing clients in general litigation, products liability, construction matters, and toxic tort matters.  She has extensive experience in all facets of litigation, including conducting and defending depositions, drafting and arguing summary judgment motions, drafting pleadings and discovery, and trials. 

Mr. DeFazio has vast experience in representing clients in litigating employment cases, including single plaintiff and wage/hour class and collective actions. In addition, Mr. DeFazio serves as a member of national coordinating counsel teams for multiple Fortune 500 companies, and in this capacity, oversees the defense of products liability actions pending in many jurisdictions.

Ms. Budner is an experienced litigator and trial counsel currently representing defendants in a variety of products and general liability actions. She is also national co-coordinating counsel for a Fortune 500 company and in this capacity, oversees the defense of products liability actions pending in many jurisdictions.