District Court (N.D. Cal.) denies motion for class certification in wage & hour suit against Crab Addison, Inc.

United States District Court Judge Phyllis J. Hamilton (Northern District of California) denied plaintiff's motion to certify a class action against the famous defendant, Crab Addison, Inc. (which was responsible for the state appellate decision regarding class member contact information).  Washington v. Joe's Crab Shack, 2010 WL 5396041 (N.D. Cal. Dec. 23, 2010).  The order suggests that the defendant opposed every aspect of certification, even challenging the adequacy of class counsel, which isn't a major issue in most certification motions:

Crab Addison also asserts that plaintiff's counsel are not adequate, claiming that they “neglected” the case and repeatedly missed critical deadlines. The court finds, however, that plaintiff's counsel are experienced in class actions, including employment-related class actions. The record submitted by Crab Addison does not support a finding that plaintiff's counsel do not satisfy the requirements of Rule 23(a)(4).

Slip op, at 8.  Instead, the Court focused on the predominance requisite, finding that individualized issues predominated.

District Court decertifies class of customer service representative employed by Safety-Kleen Systems, Inc.

United States District Court Judge Phyllis J. Hamilton (Northern District of California) granted Defendant Safety-Kleen Systems, Inc.'s motion to decertify a class of "customer service representatives."  Wamboldt v. Safety-Kleen Systems, Inc., 2010 WL 3743925 (N.D. Cal. Sept. 20, 2010).  The CSRs had duties extending well beyond what one might expect from the job title, including customer sales, client collections, and various telephone responsibilities, as well as on-site servicing of equipment, transportation of hazardous waste, and driving of company vehicles in order to perform customer service calls.  The hazardous waste transportation and the occasional use of large vehicles (in excess of 30,000 lbs. gross vehicle weight) were the primary culprits underlying the motion to decertify.