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.

Hunt v. Interactive Medical Specialists, Inc.

United States District Court, N.D. West Virginia

December 4, 2019

ANN HUNT, Plaintiff,
v.
INTERACTIVE MEDICAL SPECIALISTS, INC. and JALEH EBRAHIMI, Defendants.

          MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER CONCLUDING THE PLAINTIFF HAS STANDING, THE COURT HAS PERSONAL JURISDICTION AND VENUE, AND SETTING A SECOND SCHEDULING CONFERENCE

          IRENE M. KEELEY UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.

         I. BACKGROUND

         On January 25, 2019, the plaintiff, Ann Hunt (“Hunt”), filed a complaint alleging that the defendants, Interactive Medical Specialists, Inc. and Jaleh Ebrahimi (collectively, “the Defendants”), violated the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 (“FLSA”) by failing to pay her, and others similarly situated, not less than the federal minimum wage for work performed during the most recent federal government shutdown, which began on December 22, 2018, and ended 35 days later on January 25, 2019 (Dkt. No. 1). She later amended her complaint on March 13, 2019 (Dkt. No. 4). The Defendants answered the amended complaint on May 15, 2019 (Dkt. No. 10).

         II. DISCUSSION

         A. The Court has subject matter jurisdiction.

         Although the Court has federal question jurisdiction under 28 U.S.C. § 1331, Hunt has the burden of establishing Article III standing. Lujan v. Defenders of Wildlife, 504 U.S. 555, 561 (1992) (noting that “[t]he party invoking federal jurisdiction bears the burden of establishing” Article III standing).

         “Article III of the Constitution limits the jurisdiction of federal courts to ‘Cases' and ‘Controversies.'” Wikimedia Found. v. Nat'l Sec. Agency, 857 F.3d 193, 207 (4th Cir. 2017) (quoting U.S. Const. art. III, § 2). “The doctrine of standing gives meaning to these constitutional limits by ‘identifying those disputes which are appropriately resolved through the judicial process.'” Susan B. Anthony List v. Driehaus, 573 U.S. 149, 157 (2014) (cleaned up) (quoting Lujan, 504 U.S. at 560).

         “To establish standing, a plaintiff must show: (1) an injury in fact; (2) a sufficient causal connection between the injury and the conduct complained of; and (3) a likelihood that the injury will be redressed by a favorable decision.” Wikimedia Found., 857 F.3d at 207 (citation omitted). “To establish injury in fact, a plaintiff must show that he or she suffered ‘an invasion of a legally protected interest' that is ‘concrete and particularized' and ‘actual or imminent, not conjectural or hypothetical.'” Spokeo, Inc. v. Robins, 136 S.Ct. 1540, 1548 (2016) (quoting Lujan, 504 U.S. at 560). “For an injury to be particularized, it must affect the plaintiff in a personal and individual way.” Id. (cleaned up).

         Here, Hunt has satisfied her burden of establishing each element. First, the parties do not dispute that Hunt sufficiently alleged an injury in fact by alleging that the Defendants willfully paid her, and others similarly situated, less than the minimum wage for work performed during three pay periods amidst the recent Government shutdown (Dkt. Nos. 20, 21, 23). Although the Defendants eventually paid these wages, other courts have held that employers violate the FLSA by failing to pay minimum wages on time during a budget impasse.[1] See, e.g., Biggs v. Wilson, 1 F.3d 1537 (9th Cir. 1993) (holding that California violated the FLSA by not timely paying state highway maintenance workers their minimum wages during the 1990 budget impasse), cert. denied, 510 U.S. 1081 (1994); Caldman v. California, 852 F.Supp. 898, 900 (E.D. Ca. 1994) (holding that California violated the FLSA by not timely paying plaintiffs their minimum wages during the 1992 budget impasse).

         Second, it is undisputed that Hunt's injury is fairly traceable to the challenged actions of the Defendants (Dkt. Nos. 20, 21, 23). The Defendants employed Hunt and caused her injury by failing to timely pay her, and others similarly situated, not less than the minimum wage due for work performed during three pay periods. Third, it is undisputed that Hunt's injury will be redressed by a favorable decision (Dkt. Nos. 20, 21, 23). If she succeeds on the merits, she would be entitled to damages under 29 U.S.C. § 216(b), which includes, among others, liquidated damages for violations of 29 U.S.C. § 207 (minimum wage provision). See also Brooklyn Sav. Bank v. O'Neil, 324 U.S. 697, 707 (1945) (noting that the liquidated damages provision of the FLSA recognizes that the “failure to pay the statutory minimum on time may be so detrimental to maintenance of the minimum standard of living ‘necessary for health, efficiency, and general well-being of workers' and to the free flow of commerce, that double payment must be made in the event of delay in order to insure restoration of the worker to that minimum standard of well-being”).

         B. The Court has personal jurisdiction.

         1. The Defendants waived their defense of lack of personal jurisdiction.

         Although not addressed by the parties' briefs (Dkt. No. 20, 21, 23), the Court concludes that the Defendants waived their defense of lack of personal jurisdiction under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(h)(1) by failing to raise it by motion under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(2) or by asserting it in their Answer to the Amended Complaint.

         Parties may raise a defense of lack of personal jurisdiction by filing a motion to dismiss under Rule 12(b)(2). Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(2). However, “[a] party waives any defense listed in Rule 12(b)(2)-(5) by: (A) omitting it from a motion in the circumstances described in Rule 12(g)(2); or (B) failing to either: (i) make it by motion under this rule; or (ii) include it in a responsive ...


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.