United States District Court, D. Massachusetts
ORDER CONCERNING SANCTIONS FOR DEFENDANTS'
CONTEMPT OF COURT
Dennis Saylor IV, United States District Judge
good cause shown, and after a hearing, the following
sanctions are entered against defendants Skinner Services,
Inc. d/b/a Skinner Demolition and Thomas Skinner
(“Defendants”) for violating the Court's
September 15, 2017 protective order, subject to the
conditions set forth below.
shall pay $4, 046.33 in back pay to plaintiff Manuel
Goncalves. That amount represents wages payable to Goncalves
from the date of his discharge to the date of the hearing
($9, 352.33) less amounts earned working at other positions
($5, 306.00). That amount shall be subject to interest
accruing from the date of the violation to the date of this
shall pay $21, 329.88 in front pay to Goncalves. That amount
represents wages that would have paid to Goncalves for a
period of six months going forward had he not been
terminated. Although plaintiffs have requested front pay for
a two-year period, such a period is longer than necessary or
appropriate under the circumstances. The purpose of this
portion of the award is to compensate him for his losses
arising from the violation, not to provide him a windfall.
The front pay award will provide for a period of transition
to other employment without providing excess compensation.
Timing of Payments.
payments to Goncalves shall be made on or before December 31,
2018; provided, however, that at plaintiffs' option, the
payments may be made in part in 2018 and in part in 2019,
provided that the full amount shall be paid no later than
January 31, 2019. The Court takes no position as to whether
the back-pay and front-pay payments are subject to federal or
state tax withholding.
Emotional Distress Damages.
has requested emotional distress damages. Because such
damages are not available for civil contempt violations, the
Court will not make such an award. See Coleman v.
Yeutter, 955 F.2d 571, 577 (8th Cir. 1992); In re
Walters, 868 F.2d 665, 670 (4th Cir. 1989).
Attorney's Fees and Expenses.
have requested $85, 122.19 in attorneys' fees and $4,
522.67 in expenses, totaling $89, 644.86. Defendants contend
that counsel's hourly rates are unreasonable, and that
the billing records contain a significant amount of
duplicative, excessive, or unnecessary work which should be
reduced and discounted.
Court agrees that the certain of the hourly rates charged are
excessive under the circumstances, particularly those of the
more junior attorneys (including attorney Shockey, who
apparently is not yet admitted to the bar). It ...