This case was last updated from Los Angeles County Superior Courts on 01/08/2020 at 14:15:03 (UTC).

JESUS HERNANDEZ ET AL VS ALLOY COMPANY INC ET AL

Case Summary

On 03/05/2018 JESUS HERNANDEZ filed a Labor - Other Labor lawsuit against ALLOY COMPANY INC. This case was filed in Los Angeles County Superior Courts, Stanley Mosk Courthouse located in Los Angeles, California. The Judge overseeing this case is PATRICIA D. NIETO. The case status is Other.

Case Details Parties Documents Dockets

 

Case Details

  • Case Number:

    ****6746

  • Filing Date:

    03/05/2018

  • Case Status:

    Other

  • Case Type:

    Labor - Other Labor

  • Court:

    Los Angeles County Superior Courts

  • Courthouse:

    Stanley Mosk Courthouse

  • County, State:

    Los Angeles, California

Judge Details

Presiding Judge

PATRICIA D. NIETO

 

Party Details

Plaintiffs and Petitioners

HERNANDEZ JESUS

HERNANDEZ VIRGINIA

Defendants and Respondents

10849 CAMARILLO STREET LLC

LIM RIBKAH

13910 SHERMAN WAY LLC

DOES 1 TO 100

3 CHRYSLER LLC

LIM HANS

LIM DEWI

WEST CANOGA PROPERTIES LLC

6905 ETIWANDA LLC

14360 VOSE STREET LLC

ALLOY COMPANY INC.

EAST ALLOTT PROPERTIES LLC

Attorney/Law Firm Details

Plaintiff and Petitioner Attorneys

SIRMABEKIAN SAKO ESQ.

SIRMABEKIAN SARKIS ESQ.

Defendant and Respondent Attorneys

JAMES S. HAN ESQ.

HAN JAMES S

 

Court Documents

Notice of Ruling

11/7/2019: Notice of Ruling

Order - ORDER PROPOSED ORDER

5/6/2019: Order - ORDER PROPOSED ORDER

Ex Parte Application - EX PARTE APPLICATION EX PARTE APPLICATION (BY STIPULATION) TO CONTINUE TRIAL AND RELATED DATES

5/6/2019: Ex Parte Application - EX PARTE APPLICATION EX PARTE APPLICATION (BY STIPULATION) TO CONTINUE TRIAL AND RELATED DATES

Notice of Change of Address or Other Contact Information

3/27/2019: Notice of Change of Address or Other Contact Information

Request for Refund / Order

11/29/2018: Request for Refund / Order

NOTICE OF RULING RE: DEFENDANTS' MOTION TO STRIKE AND DEMURRER TO PLAINTIFFS' COMPLAINT

8/9/2018: NOTICE OF RULING RE: DEFENDANTS' MOTION TO STRIKE AND DEMURRER TO PLAINTIFFS' COMPLAINT

Minute Order -

7/31/2018: Minute Order -

NOTICE OF CASE REASSIGNMENT AND OF ORDER FOR PLAINTIFF TO GIVE NOTICE

6/21/2018: NOTICE OF CASE REASSIGNMENT AND OF ORDER FOR PLAINTIFF TO GIVE NOTICE

PLAINTIFFS' OPPOSITION TO DEFENDANTS' DEMURRER TO COMPLAINT, ETC

6/26/2018: PLAINTIFFS' OPPOSITION TO DEFENDANTS' DEMURRER TO COMPLAINT, ETC

NOTICE OF CASE MANAGEMENT CONFERENCE

4/25/2018: NOTICE OF CASE MANAGEMENT CONFERENCE

PROOF OF SERVICE SUMMONS -

3/27/2018: PROOF OF SERVICE SUMMONS -

PROOF OF SERVICE SUMMONS -

3/21/2018: PROOF OF SERVICE SUMMONS -

PROOF OF SERVICE SUMMONS -

3/21/2018: PROOF OF SERVICE SUMMONS -

PROOF OF SERVICE SUMMONS -

3/21/2018: PROOF OF SERVICE SUMMONS -

PROOF OF SERVICE SUMMONS -

3/21/2018: PROOF OF SERVICE SUMMONS -

PROOF OF SERVICE SUMMONS -

3/21/2018: PROOF OF SERVICE SUMMONS -

PROOF OF SERVICE SUMMONS -

3/21/2018: PROOF OF SERVICE SUMMONS -

ORDER ON COURT FEE WAIVER -

3/5/2018: ORDER ON COURT FEE WAIVER -

38 More Documents Available

 

Docket Entries

  • 01/07/2020
  • Docketat 08:30 AM in Department 24; Order to Show Cause Re: Dismissal - Not Held - Vacated by Court

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  • 12/04/2019
  • DocketRequest for Dismissal; Filed by Jesus Hernandez (Plaintiff)

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  • 11/07/2019
  • DocketNotice of Ruling; Filed by Jesus Hernandez (Plaintiff); Virginia Hernandez (Plaintiff)

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  • 11/06/2019
  • Docketat 08:30 AM in Department 24; Hearing on Motion - Other (Court approval on PAGA Motion) - Held - Motion Granted

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  • 11/06/2019
  • DocketMinute Order ( (Hearing on Motion - Other Court approval on PAGA Motion)); Filed by Clerk

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  • 08/27/2019
  • DocketMotion re: (Court approval on PAGA Settlement); Filed by Jesus Hernandez (Plaintiff); Virginia Hernandez (Plaintiff)

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  • 06/04/2019
  • Docketat 10:00 AM in Department 24; Jury Trial - Held - Continued

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  • 05/23/2019
  • Docketat 09:30 AM in Department 24; Final Status Conference - Held - Continued

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  • 05/07/2019
  • DocketNotice ( of Order Continuing FSC and Trial Dates); Filed by Alloy Company, Inc. (Defendant); East Allott Properties, LLC (Defendant); West Canoga Properties, LLC (Defendant) et al.

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  • 05/06/2019
  • Docketat 08:30 AM in Department 24; Hearing on Ex Parte Application ( (By Stipulation) To Continue Trial and Related Dates) - Held

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79 More Docket Entries
  • 03/05/2018
  • DocketRequest to Waive Court Fees; Filed by Plaintiff/Petitioner

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  • 03/05/2018
  • DocketORDER ON COURT FEE WAIVER

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  • 03/05/2018
  • DocketRequest to Waive Court Fees; Filed by Plaintiff/Petitioner

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  • 03/05/2018
  • DocketComplaint; Filed by Jesus Hernandez (Plaintiff); Virginia Hernandez (Plaintiff)

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  • 03/05/2018
  • DocketSUMMONS

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  • 03/05/2018
  • DocketCOMPLAINT FOR: 1. FAILURE TO PAY MINIMUM WAGE (CAL. LAB. CODE 1197); ETC

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  • 03/05/2018
  • DocketORDER ON COURT FEE WAIVER

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  • 03/05/2018
  • DocketRequest to Waive Court Fees

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  • 03/05/2018
  • DocketRequest-Waive Court Fees

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  • 03/05/2018
  • DocketRequest to Waive Court Fees

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Tentative Rulings

Case Number: BC696746    Hearing Date: November 06, 2019    Dept: 24

Plaintiffs Jesus and Virginia Hernandez’s motion for settlement approval is GRANTED.

On May 5, 2018, Plaintiffs Jesus and Virginia Hernandez, husband and wife, commenced this employment action alleging nineteen causes of action for their purported employment with ten Defendants: (1) Failure to Pay Minimum Wage (Lab. Code §1197); (2) Failure to Compensate for All Hours Worked (Lab. Code §1198); (3) Failure to Pay Overtime Compensation (Lab. Code §1198); (4) Failure to Pay Meal Period Compensation (Lab. Code §226.7); (5) Failure to Pay Rest Period Compensation (Lab. Code §226.7); (6) Failure to Furnish Accurate Wage and Hour Statements (Lab. Code §226); (7) Failure to Maintain Accurate Payroll Records (Lab. Code §§226(a), 1174(d), 1198, et. seq.); (8) Failure to Pay Wages Upon Discharge (Lab. Code §201); (9) Statutory Penalties (Lab. Code §§203, 558); (10) Unfair Competition (Bus. & Prof. Code §17200); (11) Retaliation (Govt. Code §§ 12490(h), 12563; Lab. Code § 1102.5); (12) Discrimination for Exercise of Rights (Labor Code §98.6); (13) Wrongful Termination in Violation of Public Policy; (14) Wrongful Termination - FEHA; (15) Failure to Prevent or Investigate Violation of FEHA; (16) Misclassification of Employees, Violation of Labor Code §226.8(a)(1); (17) Hostile-Abusive Work Environment; (18) IIED; and (19) Violation of the Private Attorneys General Act of 2004 (Labor Code §2698 et seq.).

The complaint alleges that Defendants Hans Lim and Dewi Lim, husband and wife, were owners of about 9 apartment buildings. Defendant Ribkah Rita Lim was the supervisor/manager of the apartment buildings. Mr. Hernandez was employed for Defendants as a maintenance worker for three and a half years until his employment was terminated as of December 31, 2016. Mrs. Hernandez was an apartment administrator for one building, from November 2007 until October 25, 2017. Her main duties were to collect rent, clean the building by hosing and sweeping, and collect complaints from tenants. Plaintiffs lived in the apartment building owed by Defendants Hans and Dewi Lim.

Plaintiffs were not paid for all hours worked, were not paid for overtime worked, were not paid at least minimum wage, were frequently required to work more than 8 hours a day and more than 40 hours per week, were routinely deprived of statutorily mandated rest breaks and meal breaks, were not compensated for those missed rest and meal breaks, were not provided with complete and accurate wage statements, were not paid all wages earned upon termination of their employment, were not provided with written notice of the material terms of their employment. Defendants failed to maintain accurate payroll records for Plaintiffs showing gross wages earned, total hours worked, deductions made, net wages earned, the name and address of the legal entity employing them, all applicable hourly rates in effect during each pay period, and corresponding hours worked by Plaintiffs. Additionally, Defendants retaliated against Plaintiffs for refusing to go to court to falsely testify in a court proceeding.

On July 31, 2018, the Court sustained Defendants’ demurrer to the 18th cause of action without leave to amend. On August 13, 2018, Defendants answered.

On August 27, 2019, Plaintiffs moved for court approval on the PAGA settlement. Plaintiffs represent that they have settled their claims, including the PAGA causes for $1,000.00. No opposition was filed.

Legal Standard

Lab. Code section 2699(l)(2) states, “The superior court shall review and approve any settlement of any civil action filed pursuant to this part. The proposed settlement shall be submitted to the agency at the same time that it is submitted to the court.” The court has discretion to approve any penalty amount, even $0.00. (See Nordstrom Commission Cases (2010) 186 Cal.App.4th 576, 589.) A PAGA claim is a form of a qui tam action. (Iskanian v. CLS Transportation Los Angeles LLC (2014) 59 Cal.4th 348, 382.) As such, the court looks to the standards in evaluating a qui tam settlement in evaluating this settlement, i.e. that the settlement is “fair, adequate, and reasonable.” (Cf. Cal. Govt. Code § 12652 [In a qui tam action a state or political subdivision may settle the action with the defendant notwithstanding the objections of the qui tam plaintiff if the court determines, after a hearing providing the qui tam plaintiff an opportunity to present evidence, that the proposed settlement is fair, adequate, and reasonable under all of the circumstances.].) While PAGA actions are distinct from class actions, the class action standard (fair, reasonable, and adequate settlement) is adopted for these reasons. However, unlike traditional class action settlements, PAGA has no notice requirements for unnamed aggrieved employees, nor may such employees opt out of a PAGA action. (Sakkab v. Luxottica Retail North America, Inc.

“[C]ivil penalties recovered by aggrieved employees shall be distributed as follows: 75 percent to the Labor and Workforce Development Agency for enforcement of labor laws and education of employers and employees about their rights and responsibilities under this code, to be continuously appropriated to supplement and not supplant the funding to the agency for those purposes; and 25 percent to the aggrieved employees.” (Lab. Code, §2699(i).)

Discussion

If approved, the settlement would allocate the $80,000.00 settlement as follows: i) $4,000.00 to each named Plaintiff; ii) $1,000.00 for the PAGA claims to be distributed per Lab. Code § 2699(i); and iii) $71,000.00 to Plaintiffs’ counsel’s trust account.

The settlement agreement sets out that the PAGA funds will be distributed to: "all apartment managers and handymen employed by or otherwise performing services for any of the named Defendants within the statutory period (March 5, 2017 to the present).” (Sirmabekhian Decl., Ex. A [the “Settlement Agreement”] p. 1.) Plaintiffs represent that the PAGA class consists of ten apartment managers and/or handymen who were employed by or otherwise performed services for Defendants.

To prevent fraud, collusion or unfairness, settlement or dismissal of a class action, or a cause of action in a class action, or a party requires court approval after hearing. (Dunk v. Ford Motor Co. (1996) 48 Cal.App.4th 1794, 1800-1801 [court must determine settlement is fair, adequate and reasonable].) A class action settlement is presumed fair where “the settlement is reached through arm’s-length negotiation, investigation and discovery that are sufficient to allow counsel and the court to act intelligently, counsel is experienced in similar litigation, and the percentage of objectors is small.” (In re Microsoft I-V Cases (2006) 135 Cal.App.4th 706, 723.) Intra-class differences in the amounts received from the settlement raise an inference of unfairness, but this inference may be rebutted by a showing that differences in treatment are “rationally based on legitimate considerations.” (7-Eleven Owners for Fair Franchising v. Southland Corp. (2000) 85 Cal.App.4th 1135, 1162.)

Here, the court is uncertain whether the presumption of fairness applies. Counsel does not explain whether the settlement was the result of arms-length negotiations. Counsel does not explain what the investigations and discovery in the case revealed, e.g. how discovery supported such a settlement. Counsel does not explain whether they are experienced in similar litigation. Further, there is no indication whether there are any objectors.

That said, the terms of the settlement also appear to be reasonable. Plaintiffs note that the PAGA class consists of only approximately ten apartment managers and handymen. Plaintiffs considered these claims ancillary to their FEHA employment claims because the violations were only for approximately one month of violations. Given the relatively low number of violations and aggrieved employees, the Court finds the $1,000.00 settlement reasonable. Accordingly, Plaintiffs’ motion is GRANTED.

Moving party is ordered to give notice.