Posts tagged "Colonial"

Malebranche, et al. v. Colonial Automotive Group, Inc., et al. (Lawyers Weekly No. 09-028-17)

1 COMMONWEALTH OF MASSACHUSETTS SUFFOLK, ss. SUPERIOR COURT Civ. No. 2016-3479-BLS2 DJHON MALEBRANCHE, WISKINDA LAMANDIER, NICHOLAS PEZZANO, and CHRISTOPHER FARIAS, on behalf of themselves and all others similarly situated, Plaintiffs vs. COLONIAL AUTOMOTIVE GROUP, INC.; GORDON CHEVROLET, INC. f/k/a GORDON CHEVROLET GEO, INC.; COLONIAL NISSAN OF MEDFORD, INC.; GORDON VOLKSWAGEN, INC.; COLONIAL DODGE, INC; and LAWRENCE GORDON, Defendants MEMORANDUM OF DECISION AND ORDER ON DEFENDANTS’ AMENDED MOTION TO DISMISS This is a putative class action against a family of automotive dealerships and their parent company, Colonial Automotive Group, Inc. (CAG), alleging a failure to pay car sales employees compensation due under the Massachusetts wage and overtime laws. G.L.c. 149 §§ 148, 150. Plaintiffs Djhon Malebranche, Wiskinda Lamandier, Nicholas Pezzano, and Christopher Farias were employed as such salespersons. The First Amended Class Action Complaint (the Complaint) asserted both statutory violations (Counts I through V) and common law claims (Counts VI through IX). Defendants CAG and Gordon Chevrolet, Inc. (Gordon Chevrolet) moved to dismiss pursuant to Rule 12(b) (6), Mass.R.Civ. P. By the time of the motion hearing, the plaintiffs had voluntarily dismissed the common law claims, leaving only Counts I through V. As to those claims, CAG and Gordon Chevrolet contend that the Complaint fails to 2 allege facts sufficient to show that either of them ever employed plaintiffs.1 For the reasons set forth below, this Court concludes that the Motion must be Denied. BACKGROUND The Complaint sets forth the following allegations, which this Court assumes as true for purposes of this Motion. CAG is a domestic corporation that manages and controls the business operations and employment matters for all of the sixteen automotive dealerships that comprise the “Colonial Automotive Group,” including Gordon Chevrolet, Colonial Nissan, Colonial Dodge, and Gordon Volkswagen. ¶¶ 5, 15. Gordon Chevrolet (formerly known as Gordon Chevrolet Geo) is a foreign corporation with a principal office in Acton, Massachusetts. ¶ 5. Colonial Nissan, Colonial Dodge, and Gordon Volkswagen are all domestic corporations with principal offices in Medford, Hudson, and Westborough, Massachusetts, respectively. ¶¶ 6-9. As sub-corporations or subsidiaries of CAG, the dealerships function as CAG’s agents. ¶ 36. CAG and the dealerships all do business under the Colonial Automotive Group umbrella, and regularly sell cars to members of the public. ¶¶ 15-16, 34, 41. CAG controls, operates, oversees, and/or directs both the business and employment operations for the dealerships, including hiring and firing, creating and implementing payroll policies, overseeing employee performance, maintaining personnel and employment records, and controlling work schedules. ¶ 33. CAG also operates a general website for all of the dealerships, representing the group “as a single ‘dealership’ that actively employs over 600 employees.” ¶ 34. 1 Defendants also contended that the plaintiffs did not […]


Posted by Massachusetts Legal Resources - November 3, 2017 at 7:33 am

Categories: News   Tags: , , , , , , ,

Mullins v. Colonial Farms Ltd., et al. (Lawyers Weekly No. 12-077-17)

1 COMMONWEALTH OF MASSACHUSETTS SUFFOLK, ss. SUPERIOR COURT CIVIL ACTION NO. 2013-04375 BLS1 JOSEPH R. MULLINS, on behalf of nominal defendants CMJ MANAGEMENT COMPANY and CMJMC, INC. vs. COLONIAL FARMS LTD., & others1 FINDINGS OF FACT AND CONCLUSIONS OF LAW FOLLOWING JURY WAIVED TRIAL ON DAMAGES INTRODUCTION As reflected in the court’s earlier Memorandum of Decision and Order on the Parties’ Cross-Motions for Summary Judgment (the Decision, capitalized terms shall have the same meaning in this memorandum as in the Decision), it is undisputed that, at Corcoran’s direction, the Partnerships ceased making payment of the Incentive Management Fees to CMJ Management under the Supplemental Agreements in January, 2010. Further, the termination of these payments would constitute a breach of each of the Supplemental Agreements, unless Corcoran (on behalf of the Partnerships) proved at trial that (i) Corcoran, Jennison and Mullins had all agreed that the Supplemental Agreements were to be cancelled as part of the transaction in which each of them repurchased their interests in the Partnerships from Paine Webber in 1999, and (ii) this cancellation was not reflected in the 1999 transaction documents as a consequence of a mutual mistake. Following a jury trial, on March 1, 2017, the jury answered the single 1 Fawcett’s Pond Apartments Company (Fawcett), Holbrook Apartments Company (Holbrook) Marvin Gardens Associates (Marvin) Quaker Meadows Apartments Company (Quaker), Joseph E. Corcoran, and Gary A. Jennison and CMJ Management Company and CMJMC, Inc., nominal defendants. 2 question put to them in a special verdict slip concerning the existence of such a mutual mistake2: “NO.” The parties had previously agreed that if the jury found that no mutual mistake had occurred, they would submit the question of how much should have been paid to CMJ Management by the Partnerships to the court for its decision, jury-waived. The court heard evidence on this issue on March 3, 2016 (as a supplement to the evidence presented during the jury trial). Three witnesses testified and an additional six exhibits were admitted in evidence. Thereafter, the parties submitted proposed findings of fact and conclusions of law. FINDINGS OF FACT/CONCLUSIONS OF LAW Findings and Conclusions Addressing the Manner in which the Incentive Management Fees are Calculated During Years in which there were no Regulatory/Loan Restrictions on Distributions The Supplemental Agreements for four of the Partnerships—Colonial, Marvin, Quaker, and Fawcett all provided that, “to the extent funds are available for [their] payment”: The Incentive Management Fee shall be an annual, non-cumulative fee payable out of cash available therefor . . . in an amount equal to, for each year, 40% of the amount, if any, by which Cash Flow for such year exceeds one half of the maximum amount of distributable cash flow […]


Posted by Massachusetts Legal Resources - July 1, 2017 at 2:08 am

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