Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Brady v. Autozone Stores, Inc.

United States District Court, W.D. Washington, Seattle

July 23, 2018

MICHAEL BRADY, et al., Plaintiffs,
v.
AUTOZONE STORES, INC., and AUTOZONERS LLC, Defendants.

          ORDER

          The Honorable Richard A. Jones United States District Judge

         I. INTRODUCTION

         This matter comes before the Court on the parties' submissions regarding the impact of a Washington Supreme Court Advisory Opinion on this Court's Class Certification Order, which denied Plaintiff Michael Brady's (“Mr. Brady” or “Plaintiff”) Motion for Class Certification. Dkt. ## 80-85. After consideration of the parties' briefing, the Opinion from the Washington Supreme Court, the record and pleadings in this case, and this Court's previous Orders, this Court declines to amend its prior Class Certification Order. Based on the record before it, the Court finds that Mr. Brady still has not met his burden to show that common issues of law or fact predominate to make class action the superior vehicle.

         Accordingly the Court will not disturb its prior Order denying class certification. This Order also concludes with a deadline for the parties to issue another joint statement on a schedule for trying Mr. Brady's individual claims.

         II. BACKGROUND

         In September 2013, Plaintiff Michael Brady filed an Amended Class Action Complaint in state court seeking unpaid wages for meal breaks that Defendants allegedly withheld from employees. Dkt. # 1. In response, Defendants sought removal to a federal venue pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1332(d). Id. Mr. Brady later moved this Court to certify a class. Dkt. # 23. Mr. Brady moved to certify the following two classes:

Class 1: All former and current hourly-paid AutoZone store employees who worked more than five hours in a day but did not receive a meal break within five hours of the start of their shifts, for the period of September 25, 2010, to the date of the Class Notice.
Class 2: All former and current hourly-paid AutoZone store employees who worked more than five hours after the conclusion of a meal break but did not receive a second meal break within five hours after the conclusion of the first meal break, for the period of December 12, 2009, to the date of the Class Notice.

Id. Mr. Brady relied primarily on establishing a classwide basis for liability through the use of certain AutoZone time-card data, which would track whether an employee punched out after a period of five hours. See, e.g., Dkt. # 23 at 10-13. After a thorough review of the relevant law and record before it, the Court concluded that Mr. Brady had failed to carry his burden under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 23(b)(3) to show that (1) common questions of law and fact predominated over questions affecting individual members, and (2) that a class action was superior to other means to adjudicate the controversy. Dkt. # 62. The Court expressly denied the notion that Washington has adopted a strict liability approach to the taking of meal breaks, as Mr. Brady suggested. Id. at 9. In doing so, the Court found that class certification would be inappropriate considering the individuality component and unique fact scenarios associated with each potential violation of the meal break statute. Id. at 11. Accordingly, the Court denied Mr. Brady's motion for class certification. Id.

         Mr. Brady sought review of this denial in the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, but that court would not permit Mr. Brady to appeal the decision. Dkt. ## 63, 67. Instead of moving forward with his individual claims, Mr. Brady moved to certify two questions to the Washington Supreme Court: (1) whether monetary damages are available for violations of WAC 296-126-092; and (2) whether a plaintiff must show the reason for why he did not receive a timely meal break in order to prove a violation of WAC 296-126-092. Dkt. # 68.

         This Court granted Mr. Brady's motion to certify in part, but certified two different questions for the Washington Supreme Court:

1. Is an employer strictly liable under WAC 296-126-092?
2. If an employer is not strictly liable under WAC 296-126-092, does the employee carry the burden to prove that his employer did not permit the employee an opportunity to take a meaningful break as required by WAC 296-126-092?

Dkt. # 73. The Washington Supreme Court ruled that the answer to the first question was “no, ” because employees may waive their meal breaks. Brady v. AutoZone Stores, Inc., 188 Wn.2d 576, 582 (2017). As to the second question, the Washington Supreme Court stated that “an employee asserting a meal break violation under WAC 296-126-092 can meet his or her prima facie case by providing evidence that he or she did not receive a timely meal break.” Brady, 188 Wn.2d at 584. Once this happens, ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.