Pettit Kohn Attorneys Prevail On Motion to Dismiss Certain Claims From Arbitration
Pettit Kohn shareholders Tom Ingrassia and Jenna Leyton-Jones and associate Cameron Flynn recently prevailed on a motion to dismiss certain claims from arbitration. The arbitrator’s order held that the plaintiff, who had filed a putative class action lawsuit, was only permitted to pursue her own individual claims in arbitration even though the arbitration agreement that she had previously signed was silent as to whether or not class claims were permitted.
The arbitrator also granted Pettit Kohn’s request for dismissal of certain claims brought under the Private Attorneys General Act (“PAGA”). In the past, a plaintiff was able to utilize the PAGA statute to pursue recovery of both “civil penalties” and “statutory damages” (i.e., unpaid wages) on behalf of himself/herself as well as other “allegedly aggrieved” employees. Relying on new case law, which was extensively briefed by the Pettit Kohn team, the arbitrator held that the plaintiff could only pursue recovery of “statutory damages” on her own behalf, not on behalf of other employees.
Pettit Kohn’s successful motion greatly reduced the client’s potential exposure and streamlined litigation, as the plaintiff’s class claims (and a large portion of the representative PAGA claim) were essentially defeated.