United States District Court, D. Idaho
MEMORANDUM DECISION AND ORDER
B. LYNN WINMILL, Chief District Judge.
The Court has before it Defendant's Motion for Partial Summary Judgment (Dkt. 42) and Plaintiff's Renewed Motion for Equitable Tolling (Dkt. 43). The motions were argued on March 31, 2015, and taken under advisement. For the reasons explained below, the Court will grant in part and deny in part Defendant's Motion for Partial Summary Judgment. The Court will grant Plaintiff's Renewed Motion for Equitable Tolling.
Plaintiff Lisa Gomley was a named plaintiff in a collective action brought against her former employer, defendant Crossmark, Inc., alleging violations of the wage and overtime provisions in the Fair Labor Standards Act ("FLSA"). The action was originally filed on February 9, 2011 in the District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania. During an oral argument on plaintiffs' collective action certification motion, the Pennsylvania court tolled the claim from February 9, 2011. The Pennsylvania court ultimately denied certification on November 14, 2012, but the presiding judge did not set a deadline for individual plaintiffs to refile their individual complaints.
On January 24, 2013, 71 days after the court denied certification, Gomley filed her individual complaint in Pennsylvania, alleging the same FLSA violations. Additionally, Gomley filed a motion to equitably toll the statute of limitations from the date of the filing of her opt-in form, February 9, 2011. The Pennsylvania court transferred Gomley's action to this Court, and denied the motion for equitable tolling without prejudice.
Gomley has since renewed her motion for equitable tolling and amended her complaint. She seeks damages for unpaid wages, as well as liquidated damages. Crossmark asks for summary judgment on the following claims: (1) morning commute time; (2) evening commute time; (3) unpaid straight-time wages (gap time); and (4) liquidated damages. Crossmark also argues that Gomley's claims are partially barred by the statute of limitations.
Summary judgment is appropriate where a party can show that, as to any claim or defense, "there is no genuine dispute as to any material fact and the movant is entitled to judgment as a matter of law." Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(a). One of the principal purposes of the summary judgment "is to isolate and dispose of factually unsupported claims...." Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 323-24 (1986). It is "not a disfavored procedural shortcut, " but is instead the "principal tool[ ] by which factually insufficient claims or defenses [can] be isolated and prevented from going to trial with the attendant unwarranted consumption of public and private resources." Id. at 327. "[T]he mere existence of some alleged factual dispute between the parties will not defeat an otherwise properly supported motion for summary judgment." Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 247-48 (1986). There must be a genuine dispute as to any material fact - a fact "that may affect the outcome of the case." Id. at 248.
The evidence must be viewed in the light most favorable to the non-moving party, and the Court must not make credibility findings. Id. at 255. Direct testimony of the non-movant must be believed, however implausible. Leslie v. Grupo ICA, 198 F.3d 1152, 1159 (9th Cir. 1999). On the other hand, the Court is not required to adopt unreasonable inferences from circumstantial evidence. McLaughlin v. Liu, 849 F.2d 1205, 1208 (9th Cir. 1988).
The moving party bears the initial burden of demonstrating the absence of a genuine dispute as to material fact. Devereaux v. Abbey, 263 F.3d 1070, 1076 (9th Cir. 2001)(en banc). To carry this burden, the moving party need not introduce any affirmative evidence (such as affidavits or deposition excerpts) but may simply point out the absence of evidence to support the nonmoving party's case. Fairbank v. Wunderman Cato Johnson, 212 F.3d 528, 532 (9th Cir. 2000).
This shifts the burden to the non-moving party to produce evidence sufficient to support a jury verdict in her favor. Deveraux, 263 F.3d at 1076. The non-moving party must go beyond the pleadings and show "by her [ ] affidavits, or by the depositions, answers to interrogatories, or admissions on file" that a genuine dispute of material fact exists. Celotex, 477 U.S. at 324.
1. Summary ...