Posts tagged "Logistics"

Chambers, et al. v. RDI Logistics, Inc., et al. (Lawyers Weekly No. 10-187-16)

NOTICE:  All slip opinions and orders are subject to formal revision and are superseded by the advance sheets and bound volumes of the Official Reports.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-12080   TIMOTHY P. CHAMBERS[1] & another[2]  vs.  RDI LOGISTICS, INC., & another;[3] DEE & LEE, LLC, & another,[4] third-party defendants.       Bristol.     October 5, 2016. – December 16, 2016.   Present:  Gants, C.J., Botsford, Lenk, Hines, Gaziano, Lowy, & Budd, JJ.     Independent Contractor Act.  Federal Preemption.  Statute, Federal preemption, Severability.  Practice, Civil, Summary judgment, Standing.  Employment, Retaliation.  Protective Order.       Civil action commenced in the Superior Court Department on September 20, 2013.   An emergency motion for a protective order was considered by Richard T. Moses, J.; a motion for reconsideration was considered by him; and the case was heard by him on motions for summary judgment.   The Supreme Judicial Court granted an application for direct appellate review.     Harold L. Lichten (Peter M. Delano with him) for the plaintiffs. Michael T. Grant (Andrew J. Fay with him) for the defendants.     LENK, J.  We are called upon in this case chiefly to consider whether G. L. c. 149, § 148B, the independent contractor statute, is preempted by the Federal Aviation Administration Authorization Act of 1994 (FAAAA), 49 U.S.C. § 14501(c).  The plaintiffs, who contracted with the defendants through small corporations that the plaintiffs apparently formed for this purpose, performed services in Massachusetts as furniture delivery drivers.  They brought this putative class action against the defendants under the independent contractor statute, asserting that they had been misclassified as independent contractors.  Following the addition of other claims and counterclaims, summary judgment entered for the defendants dismissing the plaintiffs’ claims on the ground that they were preempted by the Federal statute. We conclude that, while a portion of the independent contractor statute is preempted by the FAAAA, the remainder is severable and remains applicable to the plaintiffs’ misclassification claim.  Nor is summary judgment dismissing that claim warranted on the separately asserted basis that the plaintiffs lack standing as individuals to assert claims for misclassification under the statute.  Material issues of disputed fact preclude the entry of summary judgment on either basis.  We conclude similarly that the dismissal, without explanation, of the claim of retaliation that Timothy Chambers individually asserts under G. L. c. 149, § 148A, was improper. Finally, we review the denial of the plaintiffs’ request for a protective order, brought in the wake of the defendants’ communications with putative class members in which they were offered payments in exchange for signed releases.  […]

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Posted by Massachusetts Legal Resources - December 17, 2016 at 1:22 am

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