Pearson v. Colt Oilfield Services, LLC et al

Western District of Texas, txwd-5:2018-cv-01029

Unopposed MOTION to Excuse re [45] Sealed Motion filed, [46] Order on Sealed Motion, Unopposed MOTION to Stay re [45] Sealed Motion filed, [46] Order on Sealed Motion by Roy E Aguilar, Colt Oilfield Services, LLC.

Interested in this case?

Current View

Full Text

UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT WESTERN DISTRICT OF TEXAS SAN ANTONIO DIVISION DOUGLAS PEARSON and JAMES § ADKINS, Individually And On Behalf § Of All Others Similarly Situated Under§ 29 U.S.C. §216(b), § PLAINTIFFS, § § V. § Civil Action No. 5:18-CV-1029-OLG § COLT OILFIELD SERVICES, LLC, and § ROY E. (EDDIE) AGUILAR, § DEFENDANTS. § DEFENDANTS' UNOPPOSED MOTION TO STAY AND EXCUSE DEFENDANTS FROM THEIR OBLIGATIONS AS TO OPT-IN FRANCISCO RODRIGUEZ Defendants Colt Oilfield Services, LLC ("Colt") and Roy E. (Eddie) Aguilar (collectively "Defendants") file this Unopposed Motion to Stay and Excuse Defendants from Their Obligations as to Opt-In Francisco Rodriguez and respectfully show the following: 1. On or about October 1, 2018, Plaintiffs filed an Original Collective Action Complaint against Defendants under the Fair Labor Standards Act ("FLSA") alleging that Defendants failed to pay them overtime compensation for hours worked in excess of forty (40) in a workweek. [Dkt. No. 1]. On or about December 9, 2018, Plaintiffs filed their Second Amended Class and Collective Action Complaint. [Dkt. No. 16]. 2. Defendants filed their First Amended Answer and Affirmative Defenses to Plaintiffs' Second Amended Class and Collective Action Complaint on December 11, 2018 [Dkt. No. 18]. 1 3. On January 15, 2019, the Court signed an Agreed Stipulation and Order Regarding Notice to Potential Plaintiffs ("Stipulation and Order"). Pursuant to said Stipulation and Order, Defendants were required to provide the names, last known email addresses, and addresses of certain current and former non-supervisory Operators, Field Operators, Hydrostatic Operators, and Completion Operators employed by Colt Oilfield Services, Inc. for a specific time period. [Dkt. No. 25]. 4. On or about February 12, 2019, Defendants timely complied with the Stipulation and Order. One of the persons on the list was "Frank Rodriguez III" with a P.O. Box address in Big Lake, Texas ("Former Employee Rodriguez"). Former Employee Rodriguez's email address was unknown; therefore, no email address was provided to Plaintiffs' counsel. 5. On March 4, 2019, Plaintiffs filed a Notice of Sending Notices, which provided that the approved Notices were sent to the potential plaintiffs via Mail and Electronic Mail on February 26, 2019. [Dkt. No. 27]. 6. On March 13, 2019, Plaintiffs filed a Notice of Filing Additional Consent signed by a Francisco Rodriguez ("Opt In Francisco Rodriguez"). [Dkt. No. 31 and 31-1]. 7. Thereafter, the Court stayed this lawsuit and the parties engaged in informal discovery. Defendants produced payroll data and records reflecting the dates worked and the time worked (to the extent such records were maintained by Defendants) regarding, inter alia, Former Employee Rodriguez. 8. On September 23, 2019, Plaintiffs and Defendants filed a Joint Motion for Leave to File a Sealed Document, which the Court granted. [Dkt. 44 and 45 (sealed)]. 2 9. On October 1, 2019, the parties were notified that on September 27, 2019, the Court signed an Order Granting the parties' Joint Motion to Approve Confidential Settlement, including a settlement related to Opt-In Francisco Rodriguez. See Exhibit 1 and Dkt. No. 46. 10. Shortly thereafter on that same date, Plaintiffs' counsel provided W-9 forms for the Plaintiffs and Opt-In Plaintiffs to defense counsel. 11. Notably, later that evening, counsel for Defendants, Melissa Morales Fletcher ("Fletcher"), determined that the social security number on the W-9 form provided by Opt-In Francisco Rodriguez did not match the social security number Defendants had for Former Employee Rodriguez. Fletcher began making efforts to determine the reason for the discrepancy. 12. On October 2, 2019, Fletcher notified Plaintiffs' Attorney, Travis Hedgpeth ("Hedgpeth"), about the concern and discrepancy. Counsel for both parties made efforts to determine the reason for the discrepancy. 13. In this regard, Hedgpeth contacted his client and confirmed that the social security number on the W-9 form provided by Opt-In Francisco Rodriguez was the correct social security number for Opt-In Francisco Rodriguez. Moreover, Hedgpeth later provided information related to Opt-In Francisco Rodriguez' date of birth and address. 14. Thereafter, Fletcher confirmed with her client that no person with the date of birth provided by Hedgpeth or the social security number provided on the W-9 form by Opt-In Francisco Rodriguez worked for Colt from 2017 to the present. 3 15. Moreover, Fletcher obtained a copy of the W-4 Form signed by Former Employee Rodriguez and it had a social security number that did not match the social security number provided by Opt-In Francisco Rodriguez on his W-9. 16. Based on the information obtained, Fletcher determined that Opt-In Francisco Rodriguez, represented by Hedgpeth and Jack Siegel, was not the same person as Former Employee Rodriguez. 17. Thus, Fletcher contacted Former Employee Rodriguez and first asked whether he was represented by any attorneys with regard to an overtime lawsuit against Defendants. After Former Employee Rodriguez affirmed that he was not represented by any attorneys, Fletcher confirmed that Former Employee Rodriguez had not signed any paperwork related to opting in to the subject lawsuit and that he had not signed any settlement agreement related to Defendants. While on the phone with Former Employee Rodriguez, Fletcher obtained his email address so that she could send him a copy of Docket No. 31-1, the Consent to Join filed by Opt-In Francisco Rodriguez. Former Employee Rodriguez confirmed that the signature on the document was not his signature. 18. Fletcher contacted Hedgpeth to notify him of her findings and that Defendants would be filing the subject motion as to Opt-In Francisco Rodriguez. 19. Moreover, Fletcher sent Hedgpeth, by Federal Express, the documents required by Sealed Motion/Docket No. 45, Exhibit A, Paragraph 3. a. and b. (page 2 of 16), save and except those relating to Opt-In Francisco Rodriguez. 4 20. Additionally, Fletcher has notified Defendants that they will need to reissue the documents required by Sealed Motion/Docket No. 45, Exhibit A, Paragraph 3. c. (page 3 of 16), to exclude the amounts attributable to Opt-In Francisco Rodriguez in Column C (page 13 of 16). Hedgpeth notified Fletcher that he is in agreement with this directive and has provided the pertinent information necessary for the documents to be reissued. 21. For the reasons discussed, Defendants respectfully request that the Court stay these final proceedings as they relate to Opt-In Francisco Rodriguez and to excuse Defendants from their obligations as to Opt-In Francisco Rodriguez. Hedgpeth notified Fletcher that he is in agreement with this request and that Plaintiffs' counsel will not be seeking any monies or relief with regard to Opt-In Francisco Rodriguez. Defendants anticipate that Plaintiffs' counsel will be filing a motion requesting a withdrawal of the Consent to Join filed by Opt-In Francisco Rodriguez. 22. Fletcher has conferred with Hedgpeth regarding this Motion and he stated that he is unopposed to the Motion. 23. This Motion is filed in the interest of justice and not for delay. Defendants respectfully request that the Court grant this Motion; and for all other relief to which they are entitled. 5 Respectfully submitted, /s/ Melissa Morales Fletcher Melissa Morales Fletcher Of Counsel State Bar No. 24007702 Email: Melissa@themoralesfirm.com THE MORALES FIRM, P.C. 6243 W. Interstate 10, Suite 132 San Antonio, Texas 78201 Telephone: (210) 225-0811 Facsimile: (210) 225-0821 GOODE CASSEB JONES RIKLIN CHOATE & WATSON, P.C. KYLE WATSON Watson@goodelaw.com Texas Bar No. 20971100 Jenna C. Castleman castleman@goodelaw.com Texas Bar No. 24105583 2122 N. Main Avenue San Antonio, Texas 78212 Tel: (210) 733-6030 Fax: (210) 733-0330 ATTORNEYS FOR DEFENDANTS CERTIFICATE OF CONFERENCE As noted in Paragraphs 20 and 21 above, I do hereby certify that I conferred with Plaintiffs' attorney Mr. Hedgpeth and he stated that he is unopposed to this Motion. /s/ Melissa Morales Fletcher Melissa Morales Fletcher CERTIFICATE OF SERVICE I do hereby certify that on 10/3/19, I electronically filed the foregoing with the Clerk of the Court using the CM-ECF system, which will send notification of such filing to the following: Jack Siegel Travis Hedgpeth Kyle Watson Jenna Castleman /s/ Melissa Morales Fletcher Melissa Morales Fletcher 6