Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Calixto v. Coughlin

Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts, Middlesex

December 28, 2018

JILLIAN CALIXTO[1] & another[2]
v.
HEATHER COUGHLIN & others.[3]

          Heard: November 8, 2018.

Civil action commenced in the Superior Court Department on October 11, 2016. A motion to dismiss was heard by Maynard M. Kirpalani, J.

The Supreme Judicial Court granted an application for direct appellate review.

Nicholas J. Rosenberg for the plaintiffs.

          David G. Thomas (Mian R. Wang also present) for the defendants.

         The following submitted briefs for amici curiae:

          Christopher H. Lindstrom & Matthew P. Ritchie for Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce.

          Ben Robbins & Martin J. Newhouse for New England Legal Foundation.

          Arthur P. Murphy & Geoffrey P. Wermuth for Murphy, Hesse, Toomey & Lehane, LLP.

          Present: Gants, C.J., Gaziano, Lowy, Budd, Cypher, & Kafker, JJ.

          KAFKER, J.

         The primary issue presented is the interplay, if any, between two employee protection statutes: G. L. c. 149, § 148 (Wage Act), and the Federal Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act, 29 U.S.C. §§ 2101-2109 (2018) (WARN Act) . The defendant corporate officers (officers)[4] directed ISIS Parenting, Inc. (company), where the plaintiff employees (employees) worked until it abruptly ceased operations and terminated its entire workforce. Alleging a WARN Act violation for failure to provide them with sixty days' advance notice of the company's shutdown, the employees brought a class action lawsuit against the company in Federal court and received a nearly $2 million default judgment. Subsequently, the employees brought a putative class action lawsuit against the officers in State court under the Wage Act, claiming that the $2 million WARN Act damages constitute wrongfully withheld "earned wages" for which the officers are individually liable. In addition, the employees argue that the officers committed a breach of fiduciary duties that they owed to the company by allowing the company to violate the WARN Act. Because we conclude that WARN Act damages are not "earned wages" under the Wage Act, and that the employees have not asserted a viable claim for breach of fiduciary duties, we affirm the dismissal of the employees' case.[5]

         1. Background.

         We review the allowance of a motion to dismiss de novo, accepting all well-pleaded facts in the complaint as true, and taking into account any attached materials. See Cookv.Patient Edu, LLC, 465 Mass. 548, 549 (2013). The employees were among the more than 200 people who worked at the company, which operated for more than a decade and had several stores in the Boston area.[6] At some point the company ran into financial difficulties, and its management decided to stop operating. On January 14, 2014, without any prior warning, ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.