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Estate of Harrington v. Marten Transp.

United States District Court for the Central District of California

November 6, 2017, Decided; November 6, 2017, Filed

Case No. CV 15-1419-MWF (ASx)

Opinion

CIVIL MINUTES—GENERAL

Proceedings (In Chambers): ORDER RE DEFENDANT'S MOTION TO DISMISS [95]

Before the Court is Defendant Marten Transport, Ltd.'s Motion to Dismiss (the "Motion"), filed on September 22, 2017. (Docket No. 95). Plaintiffs filed their Opposition on October 2, 2017. (Docket No. 97). Defendant filed a Reply on October 6, 2017. (Docket No. 99). The Court has read and considered the papers filed in connection with this Motion and held a hearing on October 23, 2017.

For the reasons set forth [*2]  below, the Motion is GRANTED. As the Court stated at the hearing, in the absence of clear guidance on this issue from the California Supreme Court or the Ninth Circuit, the Court is persuaded by existing law. Under that existing law, Donald Harrington's claim under the Private Attorneys General Act does not survive his death and may not be transferred to or maintained by the newly named Plaintiffs. Nor have Plaintiffs timely complied with the administrative exhaustion requirements of the Private Attorneys General Act statute such that they can maintain a new claim under the statute.

I. BACKGROUND

Plaintiff Donald Harrington was employed by Defendant Marten Transport as a truck driver from April 2012 to January 2014. (Opp. at 1). On November 25, 2014, Harrington notified the California Labor & Workforce Development Agency ("LWDA") and Defendant of his claims against Defendant for violations of the California Labor Code. (Id. at 2). Harrington then commenced this class action on December 1, 2014 in Los Angeles Superior Court. (Notice of Removal (Docket No. 1)). Defendants removed the action to federal court on February 27, 2015. (Id.).

Harrington amended his original Complaint to add a claim for civil penalties [*3]  under California's Private Attorneys General Act ("PAGA"). The First Amended Complaint ("FAC"), filed on August 17, 2015, alleged eight causes of action related to Harrington's employment as a truck driver for Defendant: (1) failure to provide meal periods; (2) failure to provide rest periods; (3) failure to pay all wages; (4) failure to provide accurate wage statements; (5) failure to timely pay all final wages; (6) unfair competition; (7) violations of the Fair Credit Reporting Act; and (8) civil penalties under PAGA. (Docket No. 21).

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2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 192220 *

The Estate of Donald Harrington v. Marten Transport, Ltd.

CORE TERMS

notice, aggrieved employee, labor code, class action, violations, statute of limitations, exhaust, tolling, Plaintiffs', civil penalty, allegations, administrative remedy, one year, Courts, required to exhaust, original complaint, claim for relief, civil action, qui tam, parties