Desai Law Firm, P.C.

Published Cases

Published Cases

Mr.Desai’s Published Decisions in Class and Collective Actions Include:

  • Shook, et al. v. Indian River Transp. Co., 2014 U.S. District LEXIS 174395 (E.D. Cal. Dec. 16 2014) (holding that FAAAA does not preempt wage claims for either intrastate or interstate truck drivers).
  • Aguirre, et al. v. Genesis Logistics, SACV 12-00687 JVS (C.D. Cal. Dec. 30, 2013) (awarding largest PAGA judgment in California of $500,000 for paystub violations).
  • Cardenas v. McLane Foodservice, Inc., 796 F.Supp.2d 1246 (C.D. Cal. 2011) (granting truck drivers motion for summary judgment of pre and post-shift claims under California Labor Code where employer paid with piece rate wages; and denying defendant’s motion for preemption under FAAAA).
  • Parks v. Eastwood Ins. Services, 2005 WL 6007833 (C.D. Cal. 2005) (unpublished) (granting class counsel’s fee award of $2.1 million despite class only receiving $1.2 million in judgment in FLSA collective and UCL class action because defense counsel were overly aggressive).
  • Tomlinson v. Indymac Bank, F.S.B., 359 F.Supp.2d 898 (C.D. Cal. 2005) (holding that FLSA non-opt-ins were not barred from bringing opt-out class claims under the UCL).
  • Parks v. Eastwood Ins. Services, 2004 WL 5506689 (C.D. Cal. 2004) (unpublished) (granting plaintiff’s motion for summary judgment on FLSA liability claims for automobile sales agents under retail or service establishment exemption).
  • Delgado v. Ortho-McNeil, Inc., 2007 WL 2847238 (C.D. Cal. 2007) (unpublished) (granting pharmaceutical representatives’ motion for conditional class certification under the FLSA).
  • Cardenas v. McLane Foodservice Inc., 2011 WL 379413 (C.D. Cal. 2011) (unpublished) (allowing PAGA claims in federal court because these claims do not violate defendant’s due process rights).
  • McClendon v. Automobile Club of Southern California, 2011 WL 204606 (Jan. 24, 2011) (unpublished) (reversing denial of class certification for sub-class).
  • Lopez v. Nissan North America, Inc., — Cal.Rptr.3d –, 2011 WL 6016184 (2011) (clarifying standard for odometers tolerance standards even though class ultimately denied right to proceed).
  • Tomlinson v. Indymac Bank, F.S.B., 359 F.Supp.2d 891 (C.D. Cal. 2005) (holding that meal and rest breaks constitute wages not penalties for purposes of the UCL before Murphy).
  • Flint v. Tuesday Morning, Inc., 2005 WL 1668734 (July 18, 2005) (unpublished) (affirming approval of class action settlement over objections from companion action over same claims).
  • Parks v. Eastwood Ins. Services, 2002 WL 34370244 (C.D. Cal. 2002) (unpublished) (granting auto insurance salespersons’ motion for nationwide class certification under the FLSA).
  • Delgado v. Ortho-McNeil, Inc., 2009 WL 2781525 (C.D. Cal. 2009) (granting defendants’ motion for summary judgment holding pharmaceutical representatives are outside salespersons under FLSA) (writ to U.S. Supreme Court granted in related action).
  • Parks v. Eastwood Ins. Services, 240 Fed. Appx. 172 (May, 9, 2007) (Ninth Circuit ruling affirming substantial fee award in FLSA collective class action).
  • Parks v. Eastwood Ins. Services, 2003 WL 25682286 (C.D. Cal. 2003) (unpublished) (denying defendants § 1292 request to appeal grant of plaintiffs’ motion for summary judgment on liability for FLSA overtime claims).
  • Parks v. Eastwood Ins. Services, 2003 WL 25682285 (C.D. Cal. 2003) (unpublished) (granting plaintiffs FLSA calculation of wages despite the FWW and denying defendant’s motion to decertify class).
  • Rodriguez v. Penske Logistics, LLC, 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 9441 (E.D. Cal. Jan. 17, 2019) (granting final approval of $850,000 to compensate members for missed meal and rest breaks as well as inadequate wage statements and failure to pay minimum wage; also awarding $265,000 in fees and $3,000 incentive payment to class representative).
  • Cooley v. Indian River Transport Co., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 11694 (E.D. Cal. Jan. 24, 2019) (granting final approval of $1,400,000 settlement for failing to inform drivers of break laws and failing to pay for all non-driving time and inaccurate wage statements, following similar case by other drivers which went to bench trial and Ninth Circuit. Shook v. IRT, 236 F.Supp.3d 1165 (E.D. Cal. 2017), aff’d, 716 F.App’x 589 (9th Cir. 2018). Court also awarding $466,666 in fees noting class counsel “has extensive experience litigating class action” and “assumed a significant risk that they would not be compensated for this work.”)
  • Cook v. Coca-Cola Co. (In re Vitaminwater Mktg. & Sales Practice Litig.), 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 98570 (E.D.N.Y. July 10, 2013) (alleging deceptive labeling and marketing of defendant’s product “Vitaminwater” – resolving in injunctive relief and $1,200,000 in fees after years of litigation, including disputes over the FDA’s “jellybean rule”).
  • Towery v. State of California, 14 Cal.App.5th 226 (2017) (state prisoner who was African-American contracted coccidioidomycosis (“Valley Fever”) while incarcerated, sued government entities for “hate crime” under Bane Act to avoid immunity – after winning with trial court and making headlines, we ultimately we lost on appeal).
  • In re Oxycontin Antitrust Litig., 994 F.Supp.2d 367 (S.D.N.Y. 2014) (antitrust suit for third-party payors associated with the pain reliever OxyContin; plaintiffs alleged manufacturer Purdue violated Hatch-Waxman Act by delaying generics in an effort to keep up supra-competitive prices).

We have litigated numerous class and collective actions throughout the years. Some examples follow:

Class Action/Mass Tort Cases

  • Burnham et al v. Ruan Transportation SACV 12-0068. This was an employment class action on behalf of 431 truck drivers. Plaintiffs asserted claims for violation of Labor Code Section 2699, unfair competition under Business and Professions Code Section 17200, and waiting time penalties under Labor Code Sections 201-203. The parties reached a $3.5 million settlement, which includes an award of $5,000 to each named plaintiff, $980,000 in attorney fees, and $18,411.25 in costs. Final approval of the settlement was granted on Feb. 4, 2016.
  • Rodriguez v. Penske Logistics 22:14-CV-02061-KJM-CKD, E.D. Cal. 2014. This was an employment class action on behalf of 723 truck drivers. The parties reached a settlement in the amount of $850,000 between Plaintiff, Charles Rodriguez, individually and as a representative of the Settlement Class. The parties were granted final approval on January 17, 2019.
  • Lindberg et al. v. Steve’s Towing, Riverside Superior Court of California, Case No. MCC1401549. This case was an employment class action on behalf of 89 tow truck drivers. The parties reached a settlement of $190,450. Final Approval was granted on May 5, 2017.
  • Luna et al. v. Hansen & Adkins Auto Transport, 8:17-CV-00990, C.D. Cal. June 6, 2017. This is a pending class action under the Fair Credit Reporting Act of 1970. Plaintiffs allege Defendant routinely obtains and uses information in consumer reports to conduct background checks on prospective employees and existing employees.
  • Ruiz et al. v. Shamrock Foods Co., 2:17-CV-06017, C.D. Cal. 2017. This is a pending class action under the Fair Credit Reporting Act of 1970. Plaintiffs allege Defendant routinely obtains and uses information in consumer reports to conduct background checks on prospective employees and existing employees.
  • Ellmore v. DiTech Funding, case number SACV-01-93. Filed in 1997, this was one of the first class and collective actions in Santa Ana federal court on behalf of loan officers and processors who were denied overtime wages under both the UCL and FLSA. We were co-lead counsel in this prosecution with Saperstein, Goldstein, Demchak & Baller. After a year of litigation, during which the case split into two parts, a global, combined settlement was reached for approximately $9.65 million. Judge David O Carter of the U.S. District Court of California issued final approval and the case is now over.
  • Toothman v. Pre-Paid Cellular, District Court, City and County of Denver Colorado, case number 01-CA-1142. This was a nationwide securities fraud class action on behalf of approximately 5,000 investors who were separated from $53 million as a result of a sophisticated con game involving a major, silk-stocking Chicago firm. The case was resolved and finally approved in Colorado District Court after the Denver Court of Appeals reversed a ruling denying class certification.
  • Aguirre et al. v. Genesis Logistics, et al, 12-CV-00687 (C.D. Cal., filed May 2, 2012). This was an employment class action on behalf of 665 truck drivers. A complicated case involving attempts by defense to pre-empt California labor laws by sending the case to federal court, where a district judge reversed himself, and a victory at bench trial on the PAGA claims before Judge James Selna, resulted in a mediated settlement. In 2017, Defendant agreed to a global settlement of $7 million, including $2.3 million in attorney fees and $1 million in PAGA penalties after 5 years of litigation and a trip to the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals.
  • Luna et al., v. Hansen & Adkins Auto Transport, Inc., SACV 17-0990-DOC (C.D. Cal. June 8, 2017). This is an ongoing class action under the Fair Credit Reporting Act of 1970. Plaintiffs allege Defendant routinely obtains and uses information in consumer reports to conduct background checks on prospective employees and existing employees. After losing at summary judgment on Article III standing and other substantive issues, Plaintiffs appealed this ruling to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. Luna v. Hansen and Adkins Auto Transport, Inc., No. 18-55808 (9th Cir. 2018) (fully-briefed and awaiting hearing date).
  • Velasquez, et al. v. USPlabs LLC and GNC Corp., Case No. 4:13-cv-00627-RH-CAS (N.D. Florida, Dec. 2013). USPlabs LLC and GNC Corp. agreed to settle a class action lawsuit alleging they made false and misleading statements about the lawfulness, safety and effectiveness of dietary supplements containing dimethylamylamine (DMAA) or aegeline. The parties reached a $2 million settlement. The supplement mislabeling class action lawsuit was initially filed on Nov. 13, 2013 by plaintiffs who alleged they relied on the statements on the products’ labels and advertisements regarding the lawfulness, safety and effectiveness of the USPlabs products.
  • Ambriz et al v. Matheson Tri-Gas, LACV 14-04546. This was an employment class action on behalf of 151 truck drivers. The parties reached a $1.3 million settlement, which includes an award of a total amount of $7,700.00 to the named plaintiffs, $384,681.25 in attorney fees, and $6,169.92 in costs. Final approval of the settlement was granted on March 3, 2016.
  • Gamez et al. v. Tom’s of Maine Inc., 14-cv-60604. USDC Florida, Sep. 9, 2015. Six individuals filed a class action against Tom’s of Maine Inc. For alleged false advertisements. Defendant allegedly advertised their products as natural when they actually contained chemical products. Plaintiffs alleged defendant purposefully mislabeled its products. Tom’s agreed to settle for $4.5 million.
  • United States, et al., ex rel. Monique Gipson v. Pathway Genomics Corporation, 14-CV-1919-LAB. On August 26, 2014 the federal government, joined by several states, including California, filed a complaint against a San Diego based medical diagnostics laboratory, Pathway Genomics Corp., for allegedly paying kickbacks to doctors. Pathway employee Monica Gipson initiated the whistleblower action. Plaintiff accused defendants of paying doctors kickbacks for referring patients to the facility for genetic testing, in violation of the False Claims Act, the Anti-Kickback Statute, and various state laws. Pathway agreed to settle the matter for $4 million. Whistleblower Gipson will receive $686,225 of the settlement amount.
  • Silva v. Domino’s Pizza, 18-cv-02145-JVS. This is a pending employment class action filed on behalf of over 100 truck drivers. Plaintiffs asserted claims for violation of Labor Code Section 2699, unfair competition under Business and Professions Code Section 17200, and waiting time penalties under Labor Code Sections 201-203.
  • Cooley v. Indian River Transport, 18-cv-00491-WBS. This was an employment class action on behalf of 2,000 truck drivers. The parties reached a settlement in the amount of $1.4 million dollars between Plaintiff, Charles Cooley, individually and as a representative of the Settlement Class. The parties were granted final approval on May 5, 2019.
  • Parks v. Eastwood Insurance Services, Inc., Case No. SACV 02-0507. This was a collective class action under the FLSA for unpaid overtime wages on behalf of sales agents who were employed by Eastwood Insurance. After three and one-half years of vigorous litigation, this action resolved for $1.2 million for the class members. The defendants, however, would not agree to our fee application, thereby forcing comprehensive law and motion work on this issue. On July 2005, the Honorable Gary L. Taylor (Ret.) issued a ruling awarding my firm approximately $2.1 million in attorneys’ fees, in addition to the $1.2 million obtained on behalf of the class members. The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed this ruling. Parks v. Eastwood Insurance, Inc., 240 Fed. Appx. 172 (9th Cir. 2007).
  • Dzierlatka v. Bristol-Meyer Squibb, case number BC076039. This was a nationwide antitrust action charging Bristol-Meyer Squibb of illegal efforts to block generic rivals to its cancer treatment drug Taxol. This case resulted in a nationwide settlement for third-party payors of approximately $115 million. I served as coordinating counsel for the California class members. The case was given final approval several years ago.
  • Robinson v. MJM Investigations, case number SACV08-496 JVS (RNBx). This was a nationwide wage and hour suit on behalf of field Investigators. After three years of litigation, two separate lawsuits, discovery battles, and one trip to the Ninth Circuit, MJM agreed to a global resolution of over $2.5 million. Judge James Selna approved of the settlement and seemed pleased with the results and conduct of the parties.
  • Cardenas et al v. McLane Food Service Inc., SACV 10-0473. This was an employment class action on behalf of 450 truck drivers who were deprived of adequate wages. The issues were novel and the result was precedent for many trucking cases in California. Cardenas v. McLane Food Service, Inc., 796 F.Supp.2d 1246 (C.D. Cal. 2011) (before Bluford, establishing that piece-rate compensation that does not separately pay for non-productive time violated California law). Indeed, after almost two years of contentious litigation, and several published opinions in my favor, Defendants agreed to a global settlement of $5.5 million. Judge David O. Carter granted final approval and approved my request for fees and costs in full. This case, which was one of the first to establish liability in the trucking industry, has been the subject of several “case studies” and seminars on how to litigate PAGA and trucking cases.
  • Burnham et al. Ruan Transportation, SACV-12-0068. This was an employment class action on behalf of 431 truck drivers. Plaintiffs asserted claims for violation of Labor Code Section 2699, unfair competition under Business and Professions Code Section 17200, and waiting time penalties under Labor Code Sections 201-203. The parties reached a $3.5 million settlement, which includes an award of $5,000 to each named plaintiff, $980,000 in attorney fees, and $18,411.25 in costs. Final Approval of the settlement was granted on Feb. 4, 2016.