Lafayette & Kumagai has substantial experience handling class action matters, including wage and hour, consumer, privacy and regulatory class actions. The firm has represented companies such as Shell Oil Company, Xerox Corporation, Conduent, Inc., PBF Energy, Pacific Gas and Electric Company and Viacom, Inc. in these types of matters.
Class Actions – Representative Cases
Saliani, et al. v. Bay Area Toll Authority, et al. – Lafayette & Kumagai LLP successfully tried three consolidated class actions where plaintiffs sued for restitution and injunctive relief in a trial that lasted over four weeks – two weeks live in the court room before the COVID-19 shut down and two weeks remote and virtual during the COVID-19 shut down. Plaintiffs sued claiming the firm’s client, a Fortune 500 computer processing company, deprived them of due process rights and violated statutory laws in the way it processed tolls, penalties and fees for vehicles crossing the Golden Gate Bridge. The trial followed more than 6 years of vigorous litigation and multiple attempts at settlement. In an exhaustive opinion, the court ruled against plaintiffs on all class claims. The decision is final and will not be appealed. The case was the first matter to be tried virtually in the Superior Court for the City and County of San Francisco. 2021.
Guyette, et al. v. Viacom, Inc., et al. – The firm was retained to try this case on behalf of Defendant Viacom after the Superior Court granted Plaintiff’s motion for class certification and after a failed mediation in which Plaintiff demanded more than $78 million. In this consumer class action plaintiff sought entitlement to tax rebates accorded Viacom in connection with its cable television franchise. The case settled three months later for $13 million.
Wales, et al. v. Shell Oil Company, et al. – Lafayette & Kumagai, partnering with Reed Smith, successfully defeated Plaintiffs’ Motion for Class Certification in June 2010, for a class in excess of 18,000 employees, some of whom Plaintiffs alleged were misclassified as managers. The firms also defeated Plaintiffs’ joint employment claim under which Plaintiffs sought to hold Defendant liable for alleged violations regarding employees of other entities.
Ivy, et al. v. Jiffy Lube International Inc., et al. – Lafayette & Kumagai successfully defeated Plaintiffs’ Motion for Class Certification in August 2010, in Alameda County Superior Court. Plaintiffs alleged that Defendant misclassified employees as managers. Judge Steven A. Brick found that the evidence does not suggest that any misclassification was more than an isolated, sporadic incident and that common questions of law and fact do not predominate.
Henderson v. Equilon Enterprises, LLC, et al. – Rebecca Kimura and Gary Lafayette of Lafayette & Kumagai LLP won summary judgment in what started as a putative class action alleging joint employment of station managers. Lafayette & Kumagai initially got the court to stay the action, under the theory of exclusive concurrent jurisdiction which led to Plaintiff dismissing his class claims. In an exhaustive opinion, the court granted summary judgment, finding the firm’s client was not the joint employer of Plaintiff. 2017.
Labor Commissioner, et al. v. Advantica Restaurant Group, Inc., et al. – The firm was retained to represent Defendant Denny’s Inc. regarding a dispute with the California Department of Labor Standards Enforcement about whether or not Defendant’s vacation plan was a qualified ERISA plan and subject to California labor laws. The matter was successfully resolved two months later. Defendant had previously been represented by an out-of-state firm and another firm in California. Lafayette & Kumagai was retained after Defendant’s attempt to collaterally attack California enforcement in another jurisdiction proved unsuccessful.
Conley, et al. v. Pacific Gas and Electric Company – The firm was retained to try this misclassification case after Plaintiff’s Motion for Class Certification was granted. Lafayette & Kumagai worked with co-counsel Ogletree Deakins in defending Plaintiff’s Motion for Summary Judgment and negotiating a favorable settlement.
Williams v. San Francisco Housing Authority – In a class action brought by Sidney Wolinsky of Disability Rights Advocates and Laurence Paradis of Miller, Starr & Regalia, handicapped individuals sued for discrimination and violation of Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act. Lafayette & Kumagai was instrumental in resolving the matter without proceeding to costly litigation and without the San Francisco Housing Authority having to pay damages to each class member.