Category Archives Judge Murguia

In an interesting opinion, United States District Judge Carlos Murguia disposed of Defendant Defenbaugh Disposal, Inc.’s Motion for Reconsideration which questioned compatibility of the District Court’s order certifying a class of consumers charged an “environmental/fuel charge” and an “administrative fee,” and a concurrent order denying summary judgment against the sole putative class representative based on the voluntary payment doctrine.  Defenbaugh naturally questioned, among other less ripe issues, how the District Court could junk their summary judgment motion against Whitton as being too “heavily fact-dependent” to adjudicate at the summary judgment stage while concurrently certifying a class action.  In his order denying reconsideration, Judge Murguia defended his orders as compatible because the summary judgment issue was decided only with respect to the putative class representative, Mr. Whitton, “meaning that only Mr. Whitton’s actions or knowledge were relevant to defendants’ motion for summary judgment,” while “predominance is analyzed in terms of all…

In an interesting case of first impression, the District Court of Kansas held that the United States Supreme Court's recent decision in Genesis HealthCare Corp. v. Symczk, 133 S.Ct. 1523 (2013) (which we discussed back in April), does not allow defendants to moot an FLSA claim by making an offer of judgment to a representative plaintiff pursuant to Fed. R. Civ. P. 68.  In Michaels v. City of McPherson, Kansas, 2013 WL 3895343 (D. Kan., July 29, 2013), the City/Defendant served an offer of judgment on the lone plaintiff asserting an FLSA claim while the motion for conditional certification was pending (and of course before any class members were able to opt into the class).  The Defendant then opposed Plaintiff's motion to amend the complaint to add a new representative plaintiff on the grounds that amendment was futile, asserting that the offer of judgment mooted the Plaintiff's claims under Genesis…

In this case, Judge Murguia made it clear that a plaintiff seeking to certify a FLSA class need not plead either the number of hours worked, or the amount of uncompensated overtime, so long as the complaint makes clear from the context the grounds upon which the claim rests.  Noting a split in the federal courts on this issue, Judge Murguia denied a motion to dismiss and held that Rule 8(a) was satisfied without any particular quantification so long as the complaint in issue made clear that the alleged FLSA violation was based on requiring the putative class representative and the class to perform certain tasks before and after their shifts without compensation.

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