Wal-Mart Class Action Earns Plaintiff's Attorneys $45.7 Million

3 Views
After a five-year-long legal battle, Wal-Mart was ordered to pay $187,648,589 to plaintiffs in Hummel v. Wal-Mart Stores Inc. who were not compensated for missed rest breaks and work performed off the clock. (This award did not, however, apply to missed meal breaks.) The original verdict of $78.5 million, awarded for compensatory damages, was thereafter increased by $62 million in statutory damages as a result of the Wage Payment and Collection Law. According to this law, employees who are not paid for earned wages are also entitled to liquidated damages as well as statutory. In total the class comprised 187,000 current and former Wal-Mart employees.

During the trial Wal-Mart's lead attorney, Neal Manne of Susman Godfrey, asked that the jury only award $7 million to the plaintiffs, citing what he believed to be problems with data used by the plaintiffs' counsel. Additionally, Wal-Mart's counsel argued at the time that employees chose to skip their breaks.



Soon after the verdict was read, Wal-Mart's attorneys indicated that they would appeal. They subsequently filed several post-trial motions.

In the case's most recent development, Judge Mark I. Bernstein, who presided over the trial, said that the plaintiffs' attorneys demonstrated that the time and effort put into the case justified the nearly $46 million in compensation, which will be divided among the 26 attorneys and 17 paralegals who contributed to the case.

Responding to the decision, lead class counsel Michael Donovan of Donovan Searles said, "We were gratified by the fact that he recognized that we were as capable professionally and as worthy of a fair fee award as...the defense counsel were in their defense."

"The contingency factor in this complex case justifies an award of at least one-third of the recovery. Plaintiffs' counsel has a high degree of success in this case. Plaintiffs won a verdict of $151,164,277.35 on a claim that was actively and zealously contested on every discovery, trial, and post-trial issue," Bernstein said in his opinion.

"Plaintiffs' high degree of success has benefited 186,000 class members, restoring them to earnings they had earned. Plaintiffs' success has delivered a message to employees and employers across the commonwealth, which proclaims that work without pay is not tolerated in Pennsylvania," he added.

In addition to awarding the plaintiffs' counsel hefty compensation, Bernstein also rejected all of Wal-Mart's post-trial motions.



Featured Testimonials

With so many facilities in one place, LawCrossing is the best place to search for a job.
Rhys


Facts

LawCrossing Fact #78: Those who use LawCrossing are more likely to find jobs than those who don’t because the site has the most up-to-date job listings on the Internet.


Date
Location
Job Title
May 02, 16
SG-SINGAPORE(GENERAL)- Singapore
Attorney in Singapore, SINGAPORE(GENERAL)
Law Firm, Min 5 yrs required
Legal Project Manager, Asia Pacific Duties: Reporting to Global Pricing and Legal ...
May 02, 16
CY-LEFKOSAILCESI- Nicosia
Corporate Attorney in Nicosia, LEFKOSAILCESI
In-House, 8-10 yrs required
Relationship Manager The candidate will have the following key responsibilities: Ove...
Apr 27, 16
US-IN-Mishawaka
Banking Attorney / Bankruptcy Attorney in Mishawaka, IN
In-House, 3-5 yrs required
Organizational Privacy Officer/Contract Specialist Duties: Assists in providing le...
Job of the Day

Corporate Attorney in New York City, NY

USA-New York City

Attorney The candidate will join the company’s Legal team and help to cover a wide spectrum of fund and adviser-relat...

Employer: Two Sigma Investments, LLC

Job Search Tip

You may be unemployed six months or more depending upon where you live, type of job, salary, age, and experience. Don't make any major purchase until you've secured your next job.