Posts tagged "1010513"

Cook v. Patient Edu, LLC, et al. (Lawyers Weekly No. 10-105-13)

NOTICE:  All slip opinions and orders are subject to formal revision and are superseded by the advance sheets and bound volumes of the Official Reports.  If you find a typographical error or other formal error, please notify the Reporter of Decisions, Supreme Judicial Court, John Adams Courthouse, 1 Pemberton Square, Suite 2500, Boston, MA 02108-1750;  (617) 557-1030; SJCReporter@sjc.state.ma.us     SJC‑11272   PETER G. COOK  vs.  PATIENT EDU, LLC, & others.[1]     Hampden.     February 5, 2013.  ‑  June 13, 2013. Present:  Ireland, C.J., Spina, Cordy, Botsford, Gants, Duffly, & Lenk, JJ.       Labor, Wages.  Statute, Construction.  Limited Liability Company.       Civil action commenced in the Superior Court Department on September 10, 2010.   A motion to dismiss was heard by Bertha D. Josephson , J.   The Supreme Judicial Court on its own initiative transferred the case from the Appeals Court.     Keith A. Minoff for the plaintiff. Marwan S. Zubi for the defendant. The following submitted briefs for amici curiae: Shannon Liss-Riordan & Stephen S. Churchill for Massachusetts Employment Lawyers Association. Martha Coakley, Attorney General, & Karla E. Zarbo, Assistant Attorney General, for the Commonwealth. John Pagliaro & Martin J. Newhouse for New England Legal Foundation & another. David R. Kerrigan & Joseph P. Calandrelli for Massachusetts Defense Lawyers Association.       DUFFLY, J.  We consider in this case whether managers of a limited liability company (LLC) may be held individually liable under the Massachusetts Wage Act, G. L. c. 149, §§ 148, 150 (Wage Act), for unpaid wages due to an employee.[2]  Peter G. Cook filed suit against the defendants, Patient Edu, LLC (Patient Edu), and two of its managers, Steven Graziano and Michael Schulman,[3] for failing to pay more than $ 68,000 in compensation he claimed was owed to him under an employment contract.  Concluding that G. L. c. 149, § 148, does not, by its plain language, impose individual liability on the managers of an LLC, a Superior Court judge granted the motion to dismiss filed by Patient Edu and Graziano, pursuant to Mass. R. Civ. P. 12(b)(6), 365 Mass. 755 (1974), and dismissed count one of the complaint against Graziano and Shulman.  Cook appealed from the dismissal and we transferred the case to this court on our own motion.  We conclude that a manager who “controls, directs, and participates to a substantial degree in formulating and determining” the financial policy of a business entity, see Wiedmann v. The Bradford Group, Inc., 444 Mass. 698, 711 (2005), may be a “person having employees in his service” under G. L. c. 149, § 148, and thus may be subject to liability for violations of the Wage Act. Background.  We review the allowance of a motion to dismiss de novo, accepting […]

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Posted by Massachusetts Legal Resources - June 14, 2013 at 7:37 am

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