Judicial Panel Grants Defense Request for Pretrial Coordination of Class Action Lawsuits Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1407, Unopposed by Class Action Plaintiffs, and Transfers Actions to Eastern District of Pennsylvania
Two class actions – one in New Jersey and one in Pennsylvania – were filed against Orleans Homebuilders and OHB Homes alleging violations of the federal Fair Labor Standards Act; specifically, the class action complaints allege “that defendants avoided paying overtime to employees classified as ‘community sales managers,’ ‘sales assistants,’ or ‘sales associates.’” In re Orleans Homebuilders, Inc., Fair Labor Standards Act Litig., ___ F.Supp.2d ___ (Jud.Pan.Mult.Lit. June 10, 2008) [Slip Opn., at 1]. Defense attorneys filed a motion with the Judicial Panel for Multidistrict Litigation (MDL) requesting centralization of the class actions pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1407 in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania; plaintiffs in both class actions supported the motion. Id. The Judicial Panel granted the motion to centralize the class action lawsuits and agreed that the Eastern District of Pennsylvania was the appropriate transferee court, particularly as it was “supported by all parties.” Id.