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Medlock v. Taco Bell Corp.

United States District Court, E.D. California

May 22, 2014

SANDRIKA MEDLOCK, et al., Plaintiffs,
v.
TACO BELL CORP., et al., Defendants.

ORDER DENYING DEFENDANTS' MOTION TO STRIKE ECF NO.398

STANELY A. BOONE, Magistrate Judge.

On April 22, 2014, Defendants Taco Bell Corp. and Taco Bell of America, Inc. ("Defendants") filed a motion to strike the PAGA allegations in Plaintiffs' complaint. (ECF No. 398.)

The hearing on Defendants' motion took place on May 21, 2014. Matthew Theriault appeared in person on behalf of Plaintiffs. Tracy Kennedy and Morgan Forsey appeared in person on behalf of Defendants. Jerusalem F. Beligan (Plaintiffs), Monica Balderrama (Plaintiffs), Patrick Clifford (Plaintiffs) and Nora K. Stiles (Defendants) also appeared via telephone. For the reasons set forth below, the Court denies Defendants' motion to strike but sets a briefing schedule to determine which claims are given class treatment and which shall proceed on an individual basis.

I.

BACKGROUND

In these consolidated actions, Plaintiffs assert class claims against Defendants arising from the alleged violations of California's Labor Code relating to the payment of minimum wages and overtime and the provision of meal and rest breaks. The operative complaint is the First Amended Consolidated Complaint filed on May 17, 2011. (ECF No. 230.) One of the claims asserted in this action is under PAGA, which authorizes "aggrieved employees, acting as private attorneys general, to recover civil penalties for Labor Code violations..." Arias v. Superior Court , 46 Cal.4th 969, 980 (2009).

Defendants now request the Court to strike Plaintiffs' PAGA claims pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(f) on the grounds that a PAGA class action would be unmanageable.

II.

LEGAL STANDARDS FOR MOTIONS TO STRIKE

Motions to strike are governed by Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(f), which states:

(f) Motion to Strike. The court may strike from a pleading an insufficient defense or any redundant, immaterial, impertinent, or scandalous matter. The court may act:
(1) on its own; or
(2) on motion made by a party either before responding to the pleading or, if a response is not allowed, within 21 days after ...

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