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Williams v. Comcast Corporation

United States District Court, N.D. California

September 6, 2017

JASON WILLIAMS, et al., Plaintiffs,
v.
COMCAST CORPORATION, et al., Defendants. GREGORY PETERS, et al., Plaintiffs,
v.
COMCAST CORPORATION, et al., Defendants. FRANCISCO FLORES, et al., Plaintiffs,
v.
COMCAST CORPORATION, et al., Defendants. JOSEPH JOSHUA DAVIS, et al., Plaintiffs
v.
COMCAST CORPORATION, et al., Defendants. HERNAN PAEZ, et al., Plaintiffs
v.
COMCAST CORPORATION, et al., Defendants. KEVIN HUFFMAN, et al., Plaintiffs
v.
COMCAST CORPORATION, et al., Defendants. Dkt. Nos. 84, 110, 72, 76, 75, 80

          ORDER DENYING DEFENDANT'S MOTION TO DISMISS AND ORDER TO SHOW CAUSE

         Now before the Court is the motion to dismiss filed by Comcast Cable Communications Management, LLC (“Comcast”). The Court has considered the parties' papers, relevant legal authority, and the record in this case, and the Court finds the motion suitable for disposition without oral argument. See N.D. Civ. L.R. 7-1(b). The Court hereby DENIES Comcast's motion to dismiss but ORDERS that Plaintiff Richard Pridmore sit for a deposition no later than October 6, 2017. In addition, the Court ORDERS Plaintiffs Leon Gibson, Francisco Flores, Rick Alexander, Robert Crawford, Bobby Holland, Aaron Arrington, Carlos Estrada, Joseph Williams, and Gilbert Bacio to SHOW CAUSE why their actions should not be dismissed for failure to prosecute.

         BACKGROUND

         Plaintiffs in these actions are current or former Comcast communications technicians. In each action, Plaintiffs allege that Comcast failed to provide legally compliant meal and rest breaks and also failed to pay Plaintiffs for all hours worked. These individual actions were filed at the end of 2014 following the decertification of the Fayerweather v. Comcast, No. Civ MSC09-01470, case that had been proceeding in California state court.

         The deadline for fact discovery in these actions was June 5, 2017. (See, e.g., Williams v. Comcast Corp., No. 15-cv-4732, Dkt. No. 52[1]). On March 30, 2017, the parties submitted to Magistrate Judge Vadas a discovery letter brief indicating that dozens of Plaintiffs in the various individual actions had not sat for deposition. (Dkt. No. 70, at 1). In this discovery letter brief, Comcast stated:

It is essential that Comcast be allowed to depose all Plaintiffs before the close of discovery in order to be able to defend itself in this litigation. In addition, it is equally essential that Comcast know which Plaintiffs are actually real litigants who are intent on pursuing their allegations. Accordingly, Comcast seeks an order compelling the following individuals to sit for deposition prior to the close of fact discovery or dismiss their claims . . . .

(Id. at 2.) On April 11, 2017, Judge Vadas ordered: “No later than April 25, 2017, Plaintiffs are to provide Defendants with a list of dates and times for the depositions of the remaining Plaintiffs.” (Dkt. No. 74.)

         On June 5, 2017-the day fact discovery closed pursuant to this Court's scheduling order-Plaintiff filed a letter brief before Judge Vadas seeking additional time to complete the depositions for Plaintiffs Flores, Bacio, Arrington, Alexander, Estrada, Crawford, Gibson, Holland, and Williams. (Dkt. No. 78, at 1.) Plaintiffs' counsel wrote:

For some inexplicable reason, Plaintiffs' counsel have been unable to contact and confirm deposition dates for these 9 plaintiffs listed above despite numerous efforts to locate them. . . .
The efforts to locate Plaintiffs has been [sic] extensive. Plaintiffs' counsel have called, e-mailed, telephoned, mailed, and skip-traced the above plaintiffs. Despite these efforts, Plaintiffs' counsel have received no response and have been unable to locate them. Plaintiffs' counsel does not know if any attempts to contact them have been received. We are now working to notify next of kin to see if we can track these 9 people down through family.

(Dkt. No. 78, at 2.) As a result, Plaintiffs' counsel requested “an extension to July 5 to allow counsel additional time to locate the nine plaintiffs referenced above.” Id. In addition, as to Plaintiff Richard Pridmore, Plaintiffs' counsel indicated that Mr.Pridmore's career as a truck driver had impeded his ability to sit for a deposition and requested relief from the June 5, 2017 fact discovery deadline. (Id.) Counsel stated that “Plaintiff [Mr. Pridmore] agrees to sit for a deposition in the near future.” (Id.)

         The following day, Judge Vadas denied Plaintiffs' discovery letter brief. (Dkt. No. 79.) Judge Vadas recognized that “[a]ny request for a change to the court's scheduling order must be addressed to the presiding judge, District Judge Jeffrey S. White.” (Id. at 1.) Plaintiffs never filed a motion or otherwise sought relief from the fact discovery deadline from this Court.

         On July 31, 2017, Comcast filed the instant motion to dismiss.

         ANALYSIS

         A. Applicable ...


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