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Case Name Rosiles-Perez v. Superior Forestry Service, Inc. IM-TN-0002
Docket / Court 1:06-cv-00006 ( M.D. Tenn. )
State/Territory Tennessee
Case Type(s) Immigration
Attorney Organization Legal Services/Legal Aid
Southern Poverty Law Center
Case Summary
On January 25, 2006, a group of migrant forestry workers admitted to the U.S. under the H-2B foreign worker program filed suit against their employer, Superior Forestry Service, Inc., in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Tennessee, alleging violations of the Fair Labor Standards ... read more >
On January 25, 2006, a group of migrant forestry workers admitted to the U.S. under the H-2B foreign worker program filed suit against their employer, Superior Forestry Service, Inc., in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Tennessee, alleging violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act, 29 U.S.C. §§ 201 et. seq., and the Migrant and Seasonal Agricultural Workers Protection Act ("AWPA"), 29 U.S.C. §§ 1801 et seq. Plaintiffs alleged that Superior and its officers failed to pay plaintiffs the statutory minimum wage and overtime wages and failed to maintain complete information on the terms and conditions of the plaintiffs' work as migrant workers as required by law. Attorneys with the Southern Poverty Law Center, the Immigrant Justice Project, Farmworker Justice, the Virginia Justice Center for Farm and Immigrant Workers, and private firms represented the plaintiffs.

Plaintiffs moved to proceed as a collective action and for class certification, but those motions were denied without prejudice by the Court pending further discovery. Later, on July 17, 2007, the District Court (Judge William J. Haynes, Jr.) ordered that the case could proceed as an FLSA collective action, and on July 30 it approved the collective action notice. Plaintiffs renewed their motion for class certification on their claims under the AWPA on August 21, and on March 28, 2008, the Court (Judge Haynes) ordered class certification under both Rule 23(b)(2) and 23(b)(3). Rosiles-Perez v. Superior Forestry Serv., Inc., 250 F.R.D. 332 (M.D. Tenn. 2008).

Meanwhile, on May 23, 2006, the District Court (Judge Haynes) had granted a motion by plaintiffs for a protective order, barring defendants from communicating with plaintiffs and prospective class members about the lawsuit and forbidding any type of retaliatory conduct. A month later, plaintiffs had moved for sanctions, alleging that defendants had violated the protective order by failing to completely and accurately inform their supervisory personnel as to its contents. The Court (Judge Haynes) had instructed the defendants to provide its supervisors with a copy of the Court's protective order and ordered the defendants to pay plaintiffs attorney's fees for the motion. Rosiles-Perez v. Superior Forestry Serv., Inc., 2007 WL 325784, 2007 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 8194 (M.D. Tenn. Jan 31, 2007). Over the course of the litigation, the Court went on to grant two more contempt motions by plaintiffs, accompanying each with progressively severe sanctions, including equitable tolling of the FLSA statute of limitations and two additional rounds of FLSA notice and extensions of the opt-in period, and culminating in a July 28, 2009 order that barred the defendants from contesting plaintiffs' proof of damages.

The court also dealt with significant discovery disputes, at one point appointing an expert to remedy defendants' incomplete disclosure and requiring the defendants to pay for the expert's services.

On February 10, 2010, the parties informed the court that they had come to a settlement and asked the court to approve their agreement. Under the terms of the settlement, defendants created a settlement fund totaling $2,200,000 plus interest to pay the claims of the named plaintiffs, the FLSA opt-in plaintiffs, and the AWPA class members. They also agreed to pay $550,000 plus interest in attorney's fees and $150,000 to cover the cost of administering the settlement fund. Defendants further agreed to abide by the AWPA and FLSA and to refrain from taking retaliatory action against plaintiffs.

The Court (Judge Haynes) granted its final approval of the settlement on March 26, 2010, and issued its final judgment order on July 7, 2010.

Christopher Schad - 07/10/2012


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Immigration
Employer sanctions
Employment
Temporary foreign workers program
Plaintiff Type
Private Plaintiff
Causes of Action Migrant and Seasonal Agricultural Workers Protection Act, 29 U.S.C. §§ 1801-1871
Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), 29 U.S.C. §§ 201-219
Defendant(s) Superior Forestry Service Inc.
Plaintiff Description All non-supervisory workers admitted as H-2B temporary foreign workers and who were employed by Superior Forestry Service, Inc. at any time from January 2000 to the present.
Indexed Lawyer Organizations Legal Services/Legal Aid
Southern Poverty Law Center
Class action status sought Yes
Class action status granted Yes
Prevailing Party Plaintiff
Public Int. Lawyer Yes
Nature of Relief Damages
Injunction / Injunctive-like Settlement
Source of Relief Settlement
Form of Settlement Court Approved Settlement or Consent Decree
Order Duration 2010 - n/a
Case Closing Year 2010
Case Ongoing No
Additional Resources
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Case Studies Threats to the Future of the Immigration Class Action
Washington University Journal of Law and Policy
By: Jill E. Family (Widener University School of Law)
Citation: 27 Wash. U. J.L. & Pol'y 71 (2008)
[ Detail ] [ External Link ]

Docket(s)
1:06-cv-00006 (M.D. Tenn.) 07/07/2010
IM-TN-0002-9000 PDF | Detail
PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Plaintiff's Memorandum of Law in Support of their Motion for Class Certification 03/27/2006
IM-TN-0002-0001 PDF | Detail
Protective Order 05/23/2006 (M.D. Tenn.)
IM-TN-0002-0002 PDF | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order [Denying Defendant's Motion to Stay and Awarding Plaintiffs Attorney Fees] 09/27/2006 (M.D. Tenn.)
IM-TN-0002-0003 PDF | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Memorandum [and Order Granting Plaintiffs' First Contempt Motion] 01/31/2007 (2007 WL 325784 / 2007 U.S.Dist.LEXIS 8194) (M.D. Tenn.)
IM-TN-0002-0004 PDF | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order [Provisionally Certifying the Case as a Collective Action Under the FLSA] 07/17/2007 (M.D. Tenn.)
IM-TN-0002-0005 PDF | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Memorandum [and Order Certifying Class] 03/28/2008 (250 F.R.D. 332) (M.D. Tenn.)
IM-TN-0002-0006 PDF | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order [Requiring Defendants to Pay Expert Fees] 07/25/2008 (M.D. Tenn.)
IM-TN-0002-0007 PDF | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Memorandum [and Order Granting Plaintiffs' Second Contempt Motion] 09/05/2008 (M.D. Tenn.)
IM-TN-0002-0008 PDF | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Second Amended Complaint — Class Action 12/09/2008
IM-TN-0002-0009 PDF | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order [Awarding Plaintiffs Attorney Fees] 02/27/2009 (M.D. Tenn.)
IM-TN-0002-0010 PDF | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Memorandum [and Order Granting Plaintiffs' Third Contempt Motion] 07/28/2009 (652 F.Supp.2d 887) (M.D. Tenn.)
IM-TN-0002-0011 PDF | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Stipulation of Class Action Settlement Agreement 02/10/2010
IM-TN-0002-0012 PDF | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order [Granting Joint Motion for Final Approval of Settlement] 03/26/2010 (M.D. Tenn.)
IM-TN-0002-0013 PDF | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Final Judgment Order 07/07/2010 (M.D. Tenn.)
IM-TN-0002-0014 PDF | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Judges Haynes, William Joseph Jr. (M.D. Tenn.) [Magistrate]
IM-TN-0002-0002 | IM-TN-0002-0003 | IM-TN-0002-0004 | IM-TN-0002-0005 | IM-TN-0002-0006 | IM-TN-0002-0007 | IM-TN-0002-0008 | IM-TN-0002-0010 | IM-TN-0002-0011 | IM-TN-0002-0013 | IM-TN-0002-0014 | IM-TN-0002-9000
Monitors/Masters None on record
Plaintiff's Lawyers Bauer, Mary C. (Alabama)
IM-TN-0002-0001 | IM-TN-0002-0009 | IM-TN-0002-9000
Briley, Clifton David (Tennessee)
IM-TN-0002-0001
Freilich, Tim A (Virginia)
IM-TN-0002-0001 | IM-TN-0002-0009 | IM-TN-0002-0012 | IM-TN-0002-9000
Goldstein, Bruce Nevin (District of Columbia)
IM-TN-0002-9000
Graunke, Kristi L (Alabama)
IM-TN-0002-0001 | IM-TN-0002-9000
Gulotta, Alex Ross (Virginia)
IM-TN-0002-9000
Karsh, Joshua (Illinois)
IM-TN-0002-0001 | IM-TN-0002-0009 | IM-TN-0002-9000
Knoepp, James Melvin (Virginia)
IM-TN-0002-0001 | IM-TN-0002-0009 | IM-TN-0002-0012 | IM-TN-0002-9000
Piers, Matthew J. (Illinois)
IM-TN-0002-9000
Rosenbaum, Jennifer J. (Alabama)
IM-TN-0002-9000
Ruiz, Virginia (District of Columbia)
IM-TN-0002-9000
Tennent, Richard L. (Tennessee)
IM-TN-0002-0009 | IM-TN-0002-9000
Trodden, Erin Margaret (Virginia)
IM-TN-0002-9000
Turner, Andrew Hess (Alabama)
IM-TN-0002-0009 | IM-TN-0002-9000
Willenson, Marni (District of Columbia)
IM-TN-0002-0001 | IM-TN-0002-0009 | IM-TN-0002-0012 | IM-TN-0002-9000
Defendant's Lawyers Bissinger, Frederick J. (Tennessee)
IM-TN-0002-0012 | IM-TN-0002-9000
DeGostin, Kelly M. (Arkansas)
IM-TN-0002-9000
Dorminey, Elizabeth K. (Georgia)
IM-TN-0002-9000
Escobar, Ana L. (Tennessee)
IM-TN-0002-0012 | IM-TN-0002-9000
Everett, John C. (Arkansas)
IM-TN-0002-9000
Griffin, John J. Jr. (Tennessee)
IM-TN-0002-9000
Joslyn-Gaul, Danette (Georgia)
IM-TN-0002-9000
King, Andrew (Arkansas)
IM-TN-0002-9000
Miller, Marie-Bernarde (Arkansas)
IM-TN-0002-9000
Oliver, Paul (Georgia)
IM-TN-0002-9000
Pinkley, T. Harold (Tennessee)
IM-TN-0002-0012 | IM-TN-0002-9000
Pulliam, Janet L. (Arkansas)
IM-TN-0002-9000
Shea, Kara E. (Tennessee)
IM-TN-0002-9000
Sloan, Michael J. (Georgia)
IM-TN-0002-9000
Stine, James Larry (Georgia)
IM-TN-0002-9000
Weathersby, J. Roy (Georgia)
IM-TN-0002-9000
Other Lawyers None on record

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