Riggs v. Hull et al
MEMORANDUM OPINION signed by Senior Judge Charles R. Simpson, III on 11/29/2017, re 44 FINDINGS OF FACT AND CONCLUSIONS OF LAW AND RECOMMENDATION by Magistrate Judge Dave Whalin concerning damages. cc: Counsel; Defendants, pro se (RLK)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
WESTERN DISTRICT OF KENTUCKY
CIVIL ACTION NO. 3:13CV-1230-CRS
JOHN JEFF HALL, et al.
This matter was referred to the United States Magistrate Judge for findings of fact,
conclusions of law, and recommendation concerning damages in this action. The complaint of
the plaintiff, Alicia Riggs, sought compensatory and punitive damages from the defendants, Jeff
and Becky Hull and JEFBEK, Inc. based on statutory claims for forced labor, involuntary
servitude, and human trafficking.
Riggs successfully pursued these claims on summary
judgment. The defendants did not oppose Riggs’ damages evidence.
The magistrate judge reviewed the evidence offered by Riggs and recommended that
damages in the sum of $1,450.00 and attorney fees in the sum of $6,573.00 for a total award of
Riggs requested the sum of $1,450.00, representing the applicable minimum wage of
$7.25 per hour for a total of 400 hours (25 eight-hour days of involuntary servitude). She
expressly waives any additional amounts for compensatory or punitive damages. The magistrate
judge found that Rigs’ calculation fell “squarely within the proper methodology set out in the
Trafficking Victims Protection Act.”
The magistrate judge reduced the requested sum of
$16,432.50 in attorney fees to $6,573.00, representing a 60% reduction in the amount claimed.
He determined that an award of reasonable attorney fees should not include substantial time
billed for one attorney’s review of another attorney’s work, and should reflect limited success by
the plaintiff, in a tangible sense, as Riggs abandoned emotional distress, punitive, and additional
compensatory damage claims. We note, again, that the defendants did not respond to the
damages evidence, and there were no objections filed by any party to the magistrate judge’s
report and recommendation.
We conclude that the magistrate judge’s decision concerning damages is sound, and we
will accept and adopt the magistrate judge’s report in its entirety.
A separate order and judgment will be entered this date in accordance with this opinion.
IT IS SO ORDERED.
November 29, 2017
C al R Smpo I , ei J d e
h r s . i sn I Sno u g
U i dSae Ds i C ut
nt tt ir t o r
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