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Greene v. Jacob Transportation Services, LLC

United States District Court, D. Nevada

September 19, 2017

ROBERT GREENE, THOMAS SCHEMKES, and GREGORY GREEN on behalf of themselves and all others similarly situated, Plaintiffs,
v.
JACOB TRANSPORTATION SERVICES, LLC, a Nevada Corporation doing business as executive Las Vegas; JAMES JIMMERSON, an individual, CAROL JIMMERSON, an individual, and Does 1 through 50, inclusive, Defendants.

          ORDER

          GLORIA M. NAVARRO, CHIEF JUDGE UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         Pending before the Court is the Motion for Class Certification, (EFC No. 230), filed by Plaintiffs Robert Greene (“Robert Greene”), Thomas Schemkes, and Gregory Green (“Gregory Green”) (collectively “Plaintiffs”). Defendants Jacob Transportation Services, LLC (“Jacob Transportation Services”), James Jimmerson, and Carol Jimmerson (the “Jimmersons”) (collectively “Defendants”) filed two separate Responses, (ECF No. 231, ECF No. 237), and Plaintiffs filed a Reply, (EFC No. 234). For the reasons discussed below, Plaintiffs' Motion for Class Certification is GRANTED.[1]

I. BACKGROUND

         This case arises out of limousine drivers claiming that Defendants failed to pay them minimum wage and overtime payments. On March 10, 2009, Gregory Green initiated this case alleging state law minimum wage claims and federal claims under the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”). (See generally Compl., ECF No. 1). Specifically, Plaintiffs assert that “Defendants extracted additional work from its employees without having to pay them for the work being performed, ” and that Defendants required employees to “perform work activities before, after, and in-between picking up and dropping off clients ‘off-the-clock' for which they were not compensated.” (See, e.g., Mot. to Certify 7:3-7, ECF No. 230).

         Following a series of motions, the Court previously dismissed Gregory Green's state law claims, which he appealed. (See Order, ECF No. 16); (see also Notice of Appeal, ECF No. 163). On January 27, 2015, the Ninth Circuit issued the Memorandum reversing and remanding the case back to this Court. (See Mem. Op., ECF No. 170).

         On, September 28, 2015, the Court ordered the consolidation of Plaintiffs' cases and on November, 18, 2015, Plaintiffs filed their consolidated Complaint. (Order, ECF No. 200); (Am. Compl., ECF No. 204). Plaintiffs' Amended Complaint, (ECF No. 204), alleges FLSA violations, and various state law violations pursuant to Nevada Constitution, art. XV, § 16, and NRS §§ 608.100(1)(b), 608.016, 608.100(2), and 608.020. (See Am. Compl. ¶¶ 32-99). On September 6, 2016, Plaintiffs filed the instant Motion for Class Certification. (ECF No. 230).

         II. LEGAL STANDARD

         Class actions are governed by Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 23 (“Rule 23”). In attempting to certify a class, the party seeking class certification bears the burden of demonstrating that the requirements of Rule 23(a) and (b) are met. Conn. Retirement Plans & Trust Funds v. Amgen. Inc., 660 F.3d 1170, 1175 (9th Cir. 2011). “Rule 23 does not set forth a mere pleading standard.” Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. v. Dukes, 131 S.Ct. 2541, 2551 (2011). Rather, “[a] party seeking certification must affirmatively demonstrate his compliance with the rule, ” and a trial court should only certify a class if it “is satisfied, after a rigorous analysis that the prerequisites of Rule 23(a) have been satisfied.” Id. (citing Gen. Tel. Co. of Sw. v. Falcon, 457 U.S. 147, 161 (1982)).

         In order to successfully move to certify a class under Rule 23, Plaintiffs must satisfy two sets of criteria. First, Plaintiffs must show each of the following:

(1) the class is so numerous that joinder of all members is impracticable;
(2) there are questions of law or fact common to the class;
(3) the claims or defenses of the representative parties are typical of the claims or defenses of the class; and
(4) the representative parties will fairly and adequately protect the interests of the class.

Fed. R. Civ. P. 23(a)(1)-(4); see Rodriguez v. Hayes, 591 F.3d 1105, 1122 (9th Cir. 2010). These requirements are commonly referred to as: (1) numerosity, (2) commonality, (3) typicality, and (4) adequacy. See, e.g., Hanlon v. Chrysler Corp., 150 F.3d 1011, 1019 (9th Cir. 1998). Second, plaintiffs must show at least one of the following:

(1) prosecuting separate actions by or against individual class members would create a risk of:
(A) inconsistent or varying adjudications with respect to individual class members that would establish incompatible standards of conduct for the party opposing the class; or
(B) adjudications with respect to individual class members that, as a practical matter, would be dispositive of the interests of the other members not parties to the individual adjudications or would substantially impair or impede their ability to protect their interests;
(2) the party opposing the class has acted or refused to act on grounds that apply generally to the class, so that final injunctive relief or corresponding declaratory relief is ...

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