Wilcox v. Pour Decision, LLC et al
ORDER granting 33 Joint Motion to Dismiss Counts One and Two of the Complaint. Counts one and two are dismissed with prejudice, and the Court retains jurisdiction over counts three and four. Please see attached Order for details. Signed by Judge Sarah A. L. Merriam on 9/9/2020. (Katz, S.)
Case 3:20-cv-00207-SALM Document 35 Filed 09/09/20 Page 1 of 6
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
DISTRICT OF CONNECTICUT
POUR DECISION, LLC D/B/A
WATER WORKS BAR AND GRILL,
AND JOSHUA BEAUDRY
Case No. 3:20CV00207(MPS)
September 9, 2020
ORDER GRANTING JOINT MOTION FOR
PARTIAL DISMISSAL WITH PREJUDICE [Doc. #33]
Plaintiff Katelyn Wilcox (“plaintiff”) and defendants Pour
Decision, LLC D/B/A Water Works Bar and Grill and Joshua Beaudry
(“defendants”) have filed a joint motion for partial dismissal.
[Doc. #33]. For the reasons set forth below, the motion is
Plaintiff filed her Complaint on February 13, 2020,
bringing claims alleging violations of the Fair Labor Standards
Act, 29 U.S.C. §§201 et seq. (“FLSA”) and the Connecticut
Minimum Wage Act, Conn. Gen. Stat. §§31-58 et seq. (“CMWA”), as
well as state law tort claims for unjust enrichment and false
imprisonment. [Doc. #1].
On April 30, 2020, the parties filed the 26(f) Report,
which included a request that the matter be referred to a
Magistrate Judge for an early settlement conference. See Doc.
Case 3:20-cv-00207-SALM Document 35 Filed 09/09/20 Page 2 of 6
#16 at 4. On May 27, 2020, Judge Michael P. Shea referred the
case to the undersigned for a settlement conference. [Doc. #19].
On July 8, 2020, the parties participated in a settlement
conference with the undersigned, by Zoom videoconferencing.
[Doc. #25]. During the conference the parties reached an
agreement in principle to resolve the case pending a joint
motion to approve the settlement agreement. [Doc. #26]. On July
15, 2020, the parties consented to the jurisdiction of a United
States Magistrate Judge. [Doc. #27]. On July 16, 2020, the case
was transferred to the undersigned for further proceedings.
On August 3, 2020, the parties filed a “Joint Motion for
Final Approval of Settlement of FLSA Claims and Dismissal with
Prejudice,” requesting that the Court approve a written
settlement agreement and incorporate the terms of that agreement
into an Order of Dismissal.1 [Doc. #30]. On August 20, 2020, the
undersigned held a telephonic status conference with all counsel
to discuss the terms of the proposed settlement agreement. [Doc.
#32]. Following that conference, the parties filed a Joint
Motion for Partial Dismissal with Prejudice. [Doc. #33]. The
motion contains a typographical error, requesting that “Counts
The parties also requested that the Court retain jurisdiction
over this matter until the terms of the settlement had been
completed. See Doc. #30 at 4. However, during the August 20,
2020, Telephonic Status Conference, that request was withdrawn.
Case 3:20-cv-00207-SALM Document 35 Filed 09/09/20 Page 3 of 6
One and Two of the Complaint be dismissed with prejudice ... and
that the Court retain jurisdiction of the remaining Counts Two
and Three.” Doc. #33 at 1. The Court construes the motion as
requesting that the Court dismiss counts one and two, and that
it retain jurisdiction over counts three and four, given the
parties’ statements on the record during the aforementioned
telephonic status conference. [Doc. #32].
The parties seek dismissal of counts one and two pursuant
to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 41(a), which provides in
relevant part: “[A]n action may be dismissed at the plaintiff’s
request only by court order, on terms that the court considers
proper.” Fed. R. Civ. P. 41(a)(2). Here, the Court finds it
proper to dismiss counts one and two, the wage claims. This case
is in fact mainly focused on common law tort claims of unjust
enrichment and false imprisonment. During the course of the
settlement discussions, it became apparent that plaintiff’s
damages allegations center on these common law claims, which
arose, as a practical matter, out of the breakdown of a personal
relationship between the individual parties, rather than on
statutory wage claims. This focus is also clear from the
proposed settlement agreement, which allocates just four percent
of the total proposed payment to wages.
Case 3:20-cv-00207-SALM Document 35 Filed 09/09/20 Page 4 of 6
“Although the FLSA places strict limits on an employee’s
ability to waive claims for fear that employers would otherwise
coerce employees into settlement and waiver, these concerns are
not as relevant when the plaintiff no longer works for the
defendant, as is the case here[.]” Ansari v. 1/0 Capital, LLC.,
No. 16CV03494(JMF), 2017 WL 10436077, at *1 (S.D.N.Y. Feb. 24,
2017) (citation and quotation marks omitted). Plaintiff in this
case no longer works for or with defendant. As is the case here,
in Ansari, the plaintiff’s FLSA claims comprised “only a minor
portion” of plaintiff’s “overall case against Defendants, which
hinged primarily on allegations of age discrimination[.]”
Ansari, 2017 WL 10436077, at *1. It is apparent to the Court,
based on the discussions in the settlement conference and the
terms of the proposed settlement agreement, that the parties
here are focused primarily on the resolution of counts three and
four, the common law tort claims, as opposed to the wage claims.
It is true that “[n]otices of dismissal ... should not be
used in FLSA cases as a mechanism to effect an end-run around
the policy concerns articulated in Cheeks[ v. Freeport Pancake
House, Inc., 796 F.3d 199, 206 (2d Cir. 2015).]” Gallardo v. PS
Chicken, Inc., 285 F. Supp. 3d 549, 552 (E.D.N.Y. 2018)
(citation and quotation marks omitted). Here, however, the
parties have no apparent motive to evade judicial review of the
resolution of the wage claims. The settlement agreement has been
Case 3:20-cv-00207-SALM Document 35 Filed 09/09/20 Page 5 of 6
provided to the Court, and the Court will review the proposed
settlement agreement for fairness in spite of the dismissal of
the wage claims, to ensure that no such evasion occurs. Thus,
the Court finds it proper to dismiss counts one and two of the
III. Retention of Jurisdiction Over Counts Three and Four
The parties also request that the Court retain jurisdiction
over the common law claims in counts three and four. See Doc.
#33 at 1.
[I]n any civil action of which the district courts have
original jurisdiction, the district courts shall have
supplemental jurisdiction over all other claims that are
so related to claims in the action within such original
jurisdiction that they form part of the same case or
controversy under Article III of the United States
28 U.S.C. §1367(a). “[A] federal court should consider and weigh
in each case, and at every stage of the litigation, the values
of judicial economy, convenience, fairness, and comity in order
to decide whether to exercise jurisdiction over a case brought
in that court involving pendent state-law claims.” CarnegieMellon Univ. v. Cohill, 484 U.S. 343, 350 (1988). “[A] district
court should not decline to exercise supplemental jurisdiction
unless it also determines that doing so would not promote the
values articulated in [Utd. Mine Workers of Am. v. Gibbs, 383
U.S. 715, 726 (1966)]: economy, convenience, fairness, and
comity.” Jones v. Ford Motor Credit Co., 358 F.3d 205, 214 (2d
Case 3:20-cv-00207-SALM Document 35 Filed 09/09/20 Page 6 of 6
Cir. 2004); see also Catzin v. Thank You & Good Luck Corp., 899
F.3d 77, 85 (2d Cir. 2018) (“Nor does the record lend itself to
an understanding as to how convenience or fairness was served by
setting backwards the course of a case the parties had
vigorously litigated for nearly two years and causing them to
expend who knows how much time, legal fees, and distraction
starting over in state court.”).
Here, the parties have been litigating for the better part
of the year and have now reached a resolution that is acceptable
to both sides. It would not serve the principles of judicial
economy, convenience, fairness, and comity to force the parties
to start over in state court, when the matter has been fully
resolved here in federal court. Thus, the Court finds it
appropriate to retain jurisdiction over the remaining common law
For the reasons set forth herein, the parties’ Joint Motion
for Partial Dismissal with Prejudice [Doc. #33] is GRANTED.
Counts one and two are dismissed with prejudice, and the Court
retains jurisdiction over counts three and four.
SO ORDERED at New Haven, Connecticut, this 9th day of
HON. SARAH A. L. MERRIAM
UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
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