Chaves v. Cogent Medical Laboratory, LLC

Western District of Texas, txwd-5:2019-cv-00861

Defendant Cogent Medical Laboratory, LLC's ANSWER to [1] Complaint. Attorney Michael V. Galo, Jr added to party Cogent Medical Laboratory, LLC(pty:dft) by Cogent Medical Laboratory, LLC.

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IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE WESTERN DISTRICT OF TEXAS SAN ANTONIO DIVISION § TONI CHAVES, § § Plaintiff, § v. § Civil Action No. 5:19-cv-00861-FB § COGENT MEDICAL LABORATORY, § LLC, § § Defendant. § ______________________________________________________________________________ DEFENDANT COGENT MEDICAL LABORATORY, LLC'S ORIGINAL ANSWER AND AFFIRMATIVE DEFENSES ______________________________________________________________________________ Defendant Cogent Medical Laboratory, LLC files this Original Answer and Affirmative Defenses to Plaintiff's lawsuit under the Fair Labor Standards Act and shows the following: Answer The allegations in Plaintiff's Original Complaint (hereinafter referred to as "Plaintiff's Complaint") are hereinafter answered in correspondingly numbered Paragraphs: 1.2 Defendant denies the allegations in Paragraph 1.2 of Plaintiff's Complaint. 2.1 Defendant admits the allegations in Paragraph 2.1 of Plaintiff's Complaint. 2.2 Defendant admits the allegations in Paragraph 2.2 of Plaintiff's Complaint. 3.1 Defendant admits the allegations in Paragraph 3.1 of Plaintiff's Complaint. 3.2 Defendant admits the allegations in Paragraph 3.2 of Plaintiff's Complaint. 3.3 Defendant admits the allegations in Paragraph 3.3 of Plaintiff's Complaint. 4.1 Defendant denies the allegations in Paragraph 4.1 of Plaintiff's Complaint. 4.2 Defendant admits the allegations in Paragraph 4.2 of Plaintiff's Complaint. Page 1 of 5 4.3 Defendant admits the allegations in Paragraph 4.3 of Plaintiff's Complaint. 4.4 Defendant admits the allegations in Paragraph 4.4 of Plaintiff's Complaint. 4.5 Defendant admits the allegations in Paragraph 4.5 of Plaintiff's Complaint. 4.6 Defendant admits the allegations in Paragraph 4.6 of Plaintiff's Complaint. 5.1 Defendant admits the allegations in Paragraph 5.1 of Plaintiff's Complaint. 5.2 Defendant admits the allegations in Paragraph 5.2 of Plaintiff's Complaint. 5.3 Defendant admits the allegations in Paragraph 5.3 of Plaintiff's Complaint except that Defendant denies that Plaintiff worked overtime hours. 5.4 Defendant denies the allegations in Paragraph 5.4 of Plaintiff's Complaint. 5.5 Defendant admits the allegations in Paragraph 5.5 of Plaintiff's Complaint. 5.6 Defendant denies the allegations in Paragraph 5.6 of Plaintiff's Complaint. 5.7 Defendant admits the allegations in Paragraph 5.7 of Plaintiff's Complaint. 5.8 Defendant admits that Plaintiff's seeks compensation in this lawsuit, but denies that Plaintiff is entitled to any. 5.9 Defendant denies the allegations in Paragraph 5.9 of Plaintiff's Complaint. 5.10 Defendant denies the allegations in Paragraph 5.10 of Plaintiff's Complaint. 5.11 Defendant denies the allegations in Paragraph 5.11 of Plaintiff's Complaint. 5.12 Defendant denies the allegations in Paragraph 5.12 of Plaintiff's Complaint. 6.1 Defendant re-asserts its admissions and denials to Paragraphs 1.1 to 5.12 supra. 6.2 Defendant admits that Plaintiff would have been entitled to an overtime premium for hours actually worked over forty each workweek. Defendant denies that Plaintiff worked over forty hours in any week. Defendant also denies the remaining allegations in Paragraph 6.2 of Plaintiff's Complaint. Page 2 of 5 6.3 Defendant denies the allegations in Paragraph 6.3 of Plaintiff's Complaint. 6.4 Defendant denies the allegations in Paragraph 6.4 of Plaintiff's Complaint. 6.5 Defendant denies the allegations in Paragraph 6.5 of Plaintiff's Complaint. 7.1 Defendant admits that Plaintiff has requested a trial by jury. 8.1 Defendant denies the allegations in Paragraph 8.1 of Plaintiff's Complaint. Affirmative Defenses In addition to the factual and legal denials stated above, Defendant sets forth the following Affirmative Defenses and other defenses to the allegations contained in the Original Complaint. Plaintiff's claims are barred, in whole or in part, by the following: 1. Defendant asserts the good faith defenses under 29 USC Sections 259 and 260. 2. At all times, Defendant acted in good faith and had reasonable grounds for believing that its actions were in compliance with the FLSA. 3. If Plaintiff is ultimately determined to be entitled to wages or other compensation, Defendant is entitled to offset all compensation that Plaintiff was not entitled to. In this regard, Defendant has learned from its employees that Plaintiff 4. Plaintiff's claims are barred to the extent that they are seeking compensation for time that was not "work" within the meaning of the FLSA and the Portal-to-Portal Act. 5. Plaintiff's claims are estopped by the submission of her own time records, for which Defendant compensated her for all hours worked. 6. Plaintiff's action is barred to the extent that she seeks to recover for time that is de minimus work time and thus not compensable under the FLSA. 7. Plaintiff's claims are barred under the doctrines of estoppel, ratification, and unclean hands. Page 3 of 5 8. Plaintiff's claim is barred—or the damages flowing therefrom reduced—because Plaintiff failed to notify Defendant of the alleged statutory violations at the time such violations allegedly occurred, which prevented Defendant from taking action to remedy such alleged violations. 9. Plaintiff failed to avail herself of administrative processes implemented by Defendant to prevent uncompensated work and to resolve any alleged claims regarding uncompensated work. Defendant reserves the right to assert additional affirmative defenses based upon further discovery. Conclusion Defendants prays that, upon final hearing, Plaintiff take nothing and that Defendant be awarded all relief available. Respectfully submitted, /s/ Michael V. Galo, Jr. Michael V. Galo, Jr. State Bar No. 00790734 Galo Law Firm, P.C. 4230 Gardendale, Bldg 401 San Antonio, Texas 78229 Telephone: (210) 616-9800 Facsimile: (210) 616-9898 mgalo@galolaw.com ATTORNEY FOR DEFENDANT Page 4 of 5 CERTIFICATE OF SERVICE I hereby certify that a true and correct copy of the above and foregoing has been served on the following counsel of record through the Court's electronic filing system, in accordance with the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure on this 22nd day of August, 2019. Mr. Chris R. Miltenberger The Law Office of Chris R. Miltenberger, PLLC 1340 N. White Chapel, Suite 100 Southlake, Texas 76092 via Email: chris@crmlawpractice.com and Electronic Filing System /s/ Michael V. Galo, Jr. MICHAEL V. GALO, JR. Page 5 of 5