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Gomez-Ortega v. Deja Vu-San Francisco LLC

United States District Court, N.D. California, San Francisco Division

May 7, 2018

ELAINE P. GOMEZ-ORTEGA, Plaintiff,
v.
DEJA VU - SAN FRANCISCO, LLC, et al., Defendants.

          ORDER STAYING PROCEEDINGS RE: ECF NOS. 30, 31

          LAUREL BEELER, United States Magistrate Judge

         INTRODUCTION

         This action is a labor dispute brought as a putative class action under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 23. Plaintiff Elaine Gomez-Ortega, who brings claims on behalf of herself and other putative class members, is an exotic dancer who is suing the companies that managed the nightclubs where she worked.

         The defendants - Deja Vu - San Francisco, LLC (“DV San Francisco”), Deja Vu Services, Inc. (“DV Services”), Deja Vu Showgirls of San Francisco, LLC (“DV Showgirls San Francisco”), and Deja Vu Showgirls-Sacramento LLC (“DV Showgirls Sacramento”)[1] - have moved to stay the proceedings or dismiss Ms. Gomez-Ortega's complaint on the grounds that her claims are covered by three earlier-filed collective and class actions - Roe v. SFBSC Entertainment, LLC, No. 3:14-cv-03616-LB (N.D. Cal. filed Aug. 8, 2014), Doe v. Deja Vu Services, Inc., No. 2:16-cv-10877-SJM-PTM (E.D Mich. filed Mar. 10, 2016), and Predmore v. Stockton Enterprises, Inc., 2:17-cv-01091-MCE-GGH (E.D. Cal. filed May 24, 2017) - brought by exotic dancers against various combinations of the same defendants against whom Ms. Gomez-Ortega brings her claims.[2] Settlements have been entered in both the Roe action and the Doe action (both settlements are on appeal). Roe v. SFBSC Mgmt., LLC, No. 14-cv-03616-LB, 2017 WL 4073809 (N.D. Cal. Sept. 14, 2017), appeal filed, No. 17-17079 (9th Cir. filed Oct. 16, 2017); Doe v. Deja Vu Services, Inc., No. 2:16-cv-10877, 2017 WL 2629101 (E.D. Mich. June 19, 2017), appeal filed, No. 17-1827 (6th Cir. filed July 19, 2017). Ms. Gomez-Ortega is a member of the settlement class in both the Roe and Doe actions, and much of what she claims against the defendants here would be released by the Roe and Doe settlements should they become final.

         The court can decide the defendants' motion without a hearing. N.D. Cal. Civ. L.R. 7-1(b). After considering the relevant factors, the court determines that a stay of the proceedings is warranted. The court stays this action pending resolution of the appeals in the Roe and Doe actions.

         STATEMENT

         1. The Roe Action

         The Roe action is a putative collective action under the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”) and a putative class action under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 23. Roe, 2017 WL 4073809, at *1. The plaintiffs are or were exotic dancers suing the companies that managed the nightclubs where they worked, which included (for the purposes of settlement) DV San Francisco and DV Showgirls San Francisco. Id. On September 14, 2017, the court approved a collective- and class-action settlement agreement. Id. As relevant here, the settlement provided that class members who did not submit an FLSA claim form and did not exclude themselves from the settlement would release all claims that are or could have been asserted against the defendants in that action from August 8, 2010 through April 14, 2017, except for claims under the FLSA. Id. at *5. The defendants assert, and Ms. Gomez-Ortega does not deny, that Ms. Gomez-Ortega was a member of the Roe settlement class and did not exclude herself from the settlement.[3]

         The Roe settlement is currently on appeal before the Ninth Circuit.

         2. The Doe Action

         The Doe action is a putative collective action under the FLSA and a putative class action under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 23. Doe, 2017 WL 2629101, at *1. The plaintiffs are or were exotic dancers suing the companies that managed the nightclubs where they worked, which included DV Services and (for the purposes of settlement) DV Showgirls Sacramento.[4] On June 19, 2017, the Doe court approved a collective- and class-action settlement agreement. Doe, 2017 WL 2629101, at *1. As relevant here, the settlement provided that class members who opted in to the settlement would release all FLSA claims and all state-wage-and-hour claims against the defendants from the class member's first interaction with the defendants in that action through the “Effective Date, ” defined as seven days after the judgment in that case becomes final.[5] The defendants assert, and Ms. Gomez-Ortega does not deny, that Ms. Gomez-Ortega affirmatively opted into the Doe settlement.[6] The Doe court also entered a preliminary injunction staying all related cases and claims against any Deja Vu-affiliated nightclub. Doe v. Deja Vu Services, Inc., No. 2:16-cv-10877, 2017 WL 530434, at *2 (E.D. Mich. Feb. 9, 2017), amended, slip op. (E.D. Mich. Feb. 28, 2017), ECF No. 36.

         The Doe settlement is currently on appeal before the Sixth Circuit.

         3. The Predmore Action

         The Predmore action is a putative collective action under the FLSA and a putative class action under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 23.[7] The plaintiffs are or were exotic dancers suing the companies that managed the nightclubs where they worked, which included DV Showgirls Sacramento.[8] The Predmore court stayed all proceedings in that case until judgment in the Doe case is final. ...


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