Catafago Fini LLP Defeats Class Certification of Meal Break and Wage…

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The law firm of Catafago Fini LLP scored a major victory in the New York State Supreme Court on September 16, 2020, in defeating a motion seeking class certification of purported meal break and overtime claims under New York Labor Law. The case is captioned Gang Li v. Wing Keung Enterprises, Inc., et al. Index No. 713860/2018 (N.Y. Supreme Court, Queens County).

The Plaintiff in the action, Gang Li, was a driver’s helper for Wing Keung Enterprises, Inc. Li claimed that, although he signed time records reflecting deductions for his daily 30-minute meal breaks, he was not able to take his full 30-minute meal break during his employment. In addition, the Plaintiff alleged that he worked more overtime hours than he was compensated for. Based on these and other alleged wage violations, Li sought to represent dozens of employees who he claimed were also allegedly deprived of wages.

In denying plaintiff’s motion for class certification, the New York State Supreme Court held that the Plaintiff failed to establish the elements of class certification. In particular, the Court held that the Plaintiff’s allegations were insufficient to demonstrate the numerosity element of class certification, including because Plaintiff failed to identify any other members of the putative class. In addition, the Court also held that the Plaintiff failed to establish the other elements of class certification, including whether a class action is superior to other methods adjudicating the controversy.

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