IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE NORTHERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA
August 3, 2012
GOPI VEDACHALAM AND KANGANA BERI, ON BEHALF OF THEMSELVES AND ALL OTHERS SIMILARLY SITUATED, PLAINTIFFS,
TATA CONSULTANCY SERVICES, LTD, AN INDIAN CORPORATION; AND TATA SONS, LTD, AN INDIAN CORPORATION,
The opinion of the court was delivered by: Claudia Wilken United States District Judge
ORDER DENYING WITHOUT PREJUDICE PLAINTIFFS' MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT AND GRANTING DEFENDANTS' MOTION PURSUANT TO RULE 56(D) (Docket Nos. 281 and 288) AND SETTING FURTHER CASE MANAGEMENT CONFERENCE
Plaintiffs Gopi Vedachalam and Kangana Beri move for partial summary judgment on behalf of the National and California classes 14 against Defendants Tata Consultancy Services, Ltd., and Tata Sons, 15 Ltd. Defendants move to stay or deny Plaintiffs' motion for 16 partial summary judgment pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil 17 Procedure 56(d). 18
Having considered the parties' papers, the Court GRANTS Defendants' Rule 56(d) motion and DENIES Plaintiffs' motion for 20 partial summary judgment without prejudice to re-filing when both 21 parties are prepared to file cross-motions for summary judgment. 22
Rule 56(d) "should be applied with a spirit of liberality" to 23 prevent injustice to the party facing summary judgment. Buchanan 24 v. Stanships, Inc., 744 F.2d 1070, 1074 (5th Cir. 1984). Here, 25 Defendants have identified certain extrinsic evidence that may be 26 relevant to show whether the contract is reasonably susceptible of 27 the meaning that they urge, which the Court must provisionally 28 receive under California law. See First Nat'l Mortg. Co. v. Fed. Realty Inv. Trust, 631 F.3d 1058, 1067 (9th Cir. 2011). 2
Defendants have also identified evidence which may be relevant to 3 their affirmative defenses. While discovery has been underway in 4 this case for a period of time and discovery was not formally 5 bifurcated, it is reasonable that the parties focused first on 6 discovery relevant to class certification prior to the Court's 7 resolution of that issue, and shifted their focus to merits 8 discovery after the Court issued its order certifying classes to 9 prosecute certain claims in this case. 10
Further, the Court notes that, were it to consider the merits 11 of Plaintiffs' motion for partial summary judgment at this time, the state of the record at this time would incline the Court to 13 deny the motion, at least in part. While Plaintiffs assert that 14 Defendants' "practice was to deduct the amount of the employees' 15 Indian salary from their gross U.S. compensation every month," 16
Mot. at 6, there appears to be a material dispute of fact as to 17 whether Defendants deducted employees' Indian salary from their 18 gross United States compensation or from their total gross 19 compensation, and whether the latter practice was authorized by 20 the employment contracts. 21
The Court sets a further case management conference for August 29, 2012 at 2:00 p.m. to set the remaining dates in this 23 case. 24
IT IS SO ORDERED.
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