Flores et al v. Stio Construction and Roofing, L.L.C. et al
ORDER granting 25 Motion for Attorney Fees(Written Opinion). See Order for details. Signed by Judge Patrick J. Schiltz on March 23, 2017. (CLG)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
DISTRICT OF MINNESOTA
EUSTACIO FLORES and FREDRIC A.
Case No. 15‐CV‐3878 (PJS/TNL)
STIO ROOFING AND
CONSTRUCTION, L.L.C., a limited
liability company organized under
Chapter 322B of the Minnesota Statutes
and Sued within one year of its
termination under Minn. Stat. § 322B.863;
and CARMJOHN DESTEFANO, an
individual and sole owner, manager, and
operation of STIO Roofing and
Peter J. Nickitas for plaintiffs.
Plaintiffs Eustacio Flores and Fredric Wilson are former sales representatives for
defendant Stio Roofing and Construction, L.L.C. (“Stio”). Plaintiffs brought this action
under 42 U.S.C. § 1981, alleging that Stio and its owner and manager, defendant
Carmjohn DeStefano, discriminatorily terminated their contracts and failed to pay them
Defendants are in default. ECF No. 19. The Court earlier granted plaintiffs’
motion for default judgment as to Flores’s claims but deferred entry of judgment to
allow Wilson additional time to submit evidence in support of his damages claims. ECF
No. 24. Wilson has now submitted such evidence, ECF No. 28, and plaintiffs have also
moved for attorney’s fees and costs, ECF No. 25.
Having reviewed plaintiffs’ submissions, the Court finds that Wilson has
submitted sufficient evidence to support his claim for unpaid commissions in the
amount of $81,753.77 and emotional‐distress damages in an equal amount. Although
direct evidence of the extent of Wilson’s emotional‐distress damages is thin, the Court
found Flores’s testimony with respect to such damages convincing and the Court can
reasonably infer that Wilson suffered similar emotional distress. As with Flores,
however, the Court finds insufficient support for an award of punitive damages. See
Sayger v. Riceland Foods, Inc., 735 F.3d 1025, 1034 (8th Cir. 2013) (to recover punitive
damages under 42 U.S.C. § 1981, a plaintiff must show that the defendant acted with
malice or reckless indifference to the plaintiff’s federally protected rights). Finally, the
Court finds that, under 42 U.S.C. § 1988(b), plaintiffs are entitled to attorney’s fees and
costs in the requested amount of $3,435.
Based on the foregoing, and on all of the files, records, and proceedings herein,
IT IS HEREBY ORDERED THAT:
Plaintiffs’ motion for attorney’s fees and costs [ECF No. 25] is GRANTED.
Defendants are jointly and severally liable for the following:
To plaintiff Eustacio Flores for unpaid commissions in the amount
To Flores for emotional‐distress damages in the amount of
To plaintiff Fredric Wilson for unpaid commissions in the amount
To Wilson for emotional‐distress damages in the amount of
For attorney’s fees of $2,950 and costs of $485.
LET JUDGMENT BE ENTERED ACCORDINGLY.
Dated: March 23, 2017
s/Patrick J. Schiltz
Patrick J. Schiltz
United States District Judge
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