California Wal-Mart Litigation: Savaglio, et al. v. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., et al., Case No. C-835687-7 (Superior Court of California, County of Alameda)
On December 22, 2005, after a three and a half month jury trial in Alameda County Superior Court, THE FURTH FIRM LLP obtained a class action verdict on behalf of 115,919 California hourly Wal-Mart workers. The jury awarded $57,268,673 in statutory penalties for Wal-Mart's failure to provide meal breaks, and $115 million in punitive damages. The firm is the sole counsel for the plaintiffs in this litigation
The National Law Journal, in its issue dated February 20, 2006, ranked this verdict as the tenth largest of 2005 and the largest verdict in an employment case in 2005. Legal commentators have described the verdict as "stunning," "ground breaking," "important," and "influential."
This groundbreaking verdict, believed to be the largest in history against Wal-Mart, and the first time a California jury awarded punitive damages in a wage and hour class action, was reported around the world. The precedent-setting verdict was covered by news organizations such as the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, the Los Angeles Times, the Washington Post, the San Francisco Chronicle, the Taipei Times, Reuters India, Agence France-Presse, the North Korea Times and the Irish Examiner. Numerous national and local television and radio programs interviewed the firm’s attorneys including CNN, The Today Show, Good Morning America, CBS Early Show, National Public Radio, and Mornings on 2.
THE FURTH FIRM LLP subsequently conducted a bench trial on the issue of injunctive relief, and the litigation is continuing. The firm also is pursuing a separate class action on behalf of California Wal-Mart hourly employees for alleged "time shaving" practices by which employees' time records were secretly altered to subtract wages they had earned.
Massachusetts Wal-Mart Litigation: Salvas, et al. v. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., Civ. Action No. 01-03645 (Superior Court of Massachusetts, Middlesex County)
THE FURTH FIRM LLP is plaintiffs’ lead counsel in a class action on behalf of Massachusetts Wal-Mart hourly employees. Plaintiffs allege that Wal-Mart deprived its hourly workers of earned wages in a variety of ways similar to the allegations in the firm’s California cases. The firm obtained certification of a class of Massachusetts hourly workers, and is proceeding towards trial.
Multi-State Wal-Mart Litigation: In re Wal-Mart Wage and Hour Employement Practice Litigation, Case No. 01-3645 (D. Nev.) (Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation No. 1735)
THE FURTH FIRM LLP is co-lead counsel for the plaintiffs in these coordinated proceedings brought on behalf of Wal-Mart hourly employees in eleven states. On February 16, 2006, the firm obtained an order from the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation transferring these actions to the District of Nevada for coordinated pretrial proceedings. See 416 F.Supp.2d 1356 (JPML Feb. 16, 2006). As the Judicial Panel noted,
"the actions share questions of fact arising out of similar allegations that defendants systematically failed, through various means, to pay its hourly employees for all of their time worked. Plaintiffs claim, among other things, that defendants: 1) altered employee records to make it appear as if the employees' workdays ended one minute after their meal period concluded, effectively denying employees their pay for the three or four hours of work that they performed after the meal period; 2) deleted overtime hours that employees worked in excess of 40 hours; 3) deleted employee time clock punches so that employees would not be paid for an entire day or afternoon of work; and 4) altered employee time records, which made it appear as if employees took meal periods when in fact they did not, resulting in unauthorized deductions from employees' paychecks in the amount of 30 or 60 minutes per occurrence."Id. at 1357.