Shahzad Khan on Behalf of Himself and Others Similarly Situated
East Coast Critical, LLC et al.  No. 135807
May 31, 2016
ORDER ON MOTION TO DISMISS OF DEFENDANTS CORAM, LLC,
CORAM HEALTHCARE CORPORATION OF MASSACHUSETTS, AND CORAM
ALTERNATE SITE SERVICES, INC.'S MOTION TO DISMISS
PLAINTIFF'S CLASS ACTION COMPLAINT
Douglas H. Wilkins, Justice
a putative wage and hour class action brought by Shahzad Khan
on behalf of himself and others similarly situated ("
Plaintiffs") against East Coast Critical, LLC ("
ECC"), Coram Healthcare Corporation of Massachusetts
(" CHCM") and Coram Alternate Site Services, Inc.
(" CASS") (collectively " Coram" or
" Coram Defendants"), as well as Apria Healthcare
Group, Inc. The Coram Defendants have filed the " Motion
To Dismiss of Defendants Coram, LLC, Coram Healthcare
Corporation of Massachusetts and Coram Alternate Site
Services, Inc.'s Motion to Dismiss Plaintiff's Class
Action Complaint" (" Motion"), which the
plaintiffs have opposed. After hearing, for the reasons set
forth below, the Motion is DENIED .
Khan alleges that he worked as a delivery driver for the
defendants and maintained, insured and fueled a motor vehicle
that he used to make deliveries. He alleges that he received
compensation from ECC, but did not receive the benefits that
the defendants' employees received. In Count I, he claims
that all of the defendants misclassified him and other
drivers as independent contractors in violation of the
Massachusetts Independent Contractor Statute, G.L.c. 149,
upon his alleged status as an employee, he also alleges
violation of the wage and hour statute, G.L.c. 149, §
148 (Count II); violation of the state overtime wage law,
G.L.c. 151, § 1A (Count III) and unjust enrichment
Coram Defendants assert that the complaint fails to state a
claim, " because the Massachusetts Independent
Contractor Statute as applied to delivery drivers working for
courier companies like ECC has been deemed to be preempted
by" the Federal Aviation Administration Authorization
Act of 1994, 49 U.S.C. § 14501(c)(1) ("
FAAAA"). Def. Mem. at 3.
this early stage of the proceeding, the only question is
whether the challenged counts and the facts incorporated
therein plausibly suggest that the plaintiff is entitled to
relief. Iannacchino v. Ford Motor Co., 451 Mass.
623, 636, 888 N.E.2d 879 (2008). The court takes the
well-pled facts in the complaint as true only for purposes of
decision on the Motion. Galiastro v. Mortg. Elec. Regis.
Sys., 467 Mass. 160, 171, 4 N.E.3d 270 (2014). The court
also reviews documents attached to or specifically referenced
in the pleadings for purposes of Mass.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(6). See
generally Schaer v. Brandeis Univ., 432 Mass. 474,
477, 735 N.E.2d 373 (2000).
here, the rules of pleading do not require naming specific
statutes and legal theories, as opposed to the facts
underlying those theories. Pontremoli v. Spaulding
Rehabilitation Hosp., 51 Mass.App.Ct. 622, 626 n.4, 747
N.E.2d 1261 (2001), quoting Whitinsville Plaza, Inc. v.
Kotseas, 378 Mass. 85, 89, 390 N.E.2d 243 (1979) ("
It is not fatal to the complaint that [the statute in
question] was not specifically pleaded . . .'[A]
complaint is not subject to dismissal if it would support
relief on any theory of law'") (emphasis in
preemption of the Massachusetts received extensive discussion
in Schwann v. FedEx Ground Package System, Inc., 813
F.3d 429, 432 (1st Cir. 2016), which held:
We find that the express preemption provision of the Federal
Aviation Administration Authorization Act of 1994 ("
FAAAA"), 49 U.S.C. § 14501(c)(1), preempts the
application of [G.L.c. 149, § 148B(a)(2) (" Prong
2")] to FedEx. We also find that the preempted
requirement is severable from the two remaining requirements
of the Massachusetts Statute, and we remand for further
consideration of whether Plaintiffs may prevail on their
claims under Massachusetts law by relying on either of those
See also Massachusetts Delivery Ass'n v.
Coakley, 769 F.3d 11 (1st Cir. 2014). However, the FAAAA
does not preempt " state laws that have only a
'tenuous, remote or peripheral' impact on prices,
routes, or services. Id. at 436, quoting Rowe v.
N.H. Motor Transp. Ass'n, 552 U.S. 364, 371, 128
S.Ct. 989, 169 L.Ed.2d 933 (2008). The First Circuit found
that Prong 2 did not meet this test. Schwann, 813
F.3d at 440. This court follows that ruling in this case.
court also follows the First Circuit's statements on two
crucial issues in this case. First, the court adopts that
Court's statement ( id., ) that " state
laws that are more or less nationally uniform, and therefore
pose no patchwork problem, or that have less of a reference
to and effect on a carrier's service and routes pose
closer questions than that presented" by Prong 2. Prongs
1 and 3 of § 148B(a) on their face adopt wide-spread and
apparently nationally uniform tests for determining the
employer/employee relationship, including the degree of
control and the employee's investment in the business.
See, e.g., Commonwealth v. Savage, 31 Mass.App.Ct.
714, 583 N.E.2d 276 (1991). The complaint alleges sufficient
facts to show an ...