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Machado, et al. v. System4 LLC, et al. (Lawyers Weekly No. 10-143-13)

NOTICE:  All slip opinions and orders are subject to formal revision and are superseded by the advance sheets and bound volumes of the Official Reports.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‑11175a   EDSON TELES MACHADO & others[1]  vs.  SYSTEM4 LLC & another.[2]     August 1, 2013.     Massachusetts Wage Act.  Contract, Arbitration.  Arbitration, Waiver, Damages.  Public Policy.  Federal Preemption.  Practice, Civil, Class action.         In Machado v. System4 LLC, 465 Mass. 508 (2013) (Machado), we applied our holding from Feeney v. Dell Inc., 465 Mass. 470 (2013) (Feeney II), that, following the United States Supreme Court’s decision in AT&T Mobility LLC v. Concepcion, 131 S. Ct. 1740 (2011), a court may properly invalidate a class waiver in an arbitration agreement if a plaintiff “can demonstrate that he or she effectively cannot pursue a claim against [a] defendant in individual arbitration according to the terms of the agreement.”  Machado, supra at 513, quoting Feeney II, supra at 472.  In applying that holding to the facts of the case, we concluded that the plaintiffs could not make such a demonstration, and accordingly reversed the decision of a judge in the Superior Court invalidating that class waiver on public policy grounds.  Machado, supra at 516-517.  Following the release of the Supreme Court’s decision in American Express Co. v. Italian Colors Restaurant, 133 S. Ct. 2304 (2013) (Amex), which called into question the viability of our holding in Feeney II, we stayed the rescript in Machado and invited the parties to submit their views on the impact, if any, of Amex on our decision in Machado.  The plaintiffs did not submit a timely response.  The defendants submitted a response expressing their view that Amex had in fact abrogated our decision in Feeney II, but did not directly affect our holding in Machado because we ultimately declined to invalidate the class waiver in that case.  We agree with the defendants that Amex abrogates so much of our analysis in Machado as relies on our decision in Feeney II.  See Feeney v. Dell Inc., ante 1001,      (2013).  Our analysis on the issue of the waiver of multiple damages, as well as our ultimate holding, remain sound.  The case is hereby remanded to the Superior Court for further proceedings consistent with this opinion.   So ordered.     The case was submitted on briefs. Eric H. Karp for the defendant.          [1] Jocilene da Silva, Poliane Santos, Luiz Santos, Stenio Ferreira, and Glaucea de Olivera Santos.      [2] NECCS, Inc., […]

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Posted by Massachusetts Legal Resources - August 1, 2013 at 6:26 pm

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