United States District Court, S.D. Indiana, Evansville Division
MARCUS E. CRAWFORD, individually and on behalf of similarly situated individuals, Plaintiffs,
PROFESSIONAL TRANSPORTATION, INC. and RONALD D. ROMAIN, individually and as president and secretary of PROFESSIONAL TRANSPORTATION, INC., Defendants.
ENTRY ON PLAINTIFF'S MOTION TO RECONSIDER AND
PLAINTIFF'S MOTION FOR 2ND STAGE COLLECTIVE CLASS
RICHARD L. YOUNG, JUDGE
Crawford,  the Plaintiff herein, filed a Complaint
for “overtime compensation and minimum wages for work
activity performed by over the road [OTR] drivers”
employed by Defendant, Professional Transportation, Inc.
(“PTI”) pursuant to the Fair Labor Standards Act
(“FLSA”), 29 U.S.C. § 216(b).
April 10, 2014, the court conditionally certified this matter
as a collective action pursuant to the parties'
stipulation. The conditional class is defined as all current
and former employees of PTI who worked as OTR drivers at any
time from February 11, 2011 to present with outstanding
claims for wages. (Filing No. 33, Order).
18, 2016, Defendants filed the present Motion to Decertify
Collective Action. On March 22, 2017, having considered the
parties' oral argument and reviewed their submissions,
the designated evidence, and the applicable law, the court
issued an entry granting Defendants' Motion to Decertify
Collective Action. Briefly, the court found, inter
alia, that the class definition was fatally overbroad,
and that the Plaintiff's and the Opt-In Plaintiffs'
claims based on Defendants' Pre-Trip Inspection
Policycovering two time periods-the period before
the introduction of the End-of-Trip Inspection Policy
(February 11, 2011 to April 30, 2013) and after (May 1, 2013
to present)-raised inherently individualized issues not
appropriate for class treatment. Plaintiff now moves the
court (1) to reconsider its decision and (2) for an order
that this case may be maintained as a collective action under
the FLSA. For the reasons set forth below, Plaintiff's
Motion for Reconsideration is DENIED and his
Motion for 2nd Stage Collective Class Certification is also
Motion for Reconsideration
Standard of Review
“Motions for reconsideration serve a limited function:
to correct manifest errors of law or fact or to present newly
discovered evidence.” Caisse Nationale de
Credit Agricole v. CBI Indus., Inc., 90 F.3d
1264, 1269 (7th Cir. 1996) (internal quotation marks and
citation omitted). A motion to reconsider is appropriate when
“‘the Court has patently misunderstood a party,
or has made a decision outside of the adversarial issues
presented to the Court by the parties, or has made an error
not of reasoning but of apprehension.'” Bank of
Waunakee v. Rochester Cheese Sales, Inc., 906 F.2d 1185,
1191 (7th Cir. 1990) (quoting Above the Belt, Inc. v. Mel
Bohannan Roofing, Inc., 99 F.R.D. 99, 101 (E.D. Va.
1983)). Whether to grant a motion to reconsider is committed
to the sound discretion of the district court. Caisse
Nationale, 90 F.3d at 1270.
Minimum Wage and Overtime Claims
first argues that, by decertifying the entire class, the
court decided issues outside of the adversarial process.
Specifically, he asserts the “Defendants made the
strategic decision not to pursue or brief the issues of
minimum wages and overtime compensation” in their
motion to decertify, even though those issues were a part of
the case. (Id. at 14). Plaintiff therefore asks the
court, upon reconsideration, to certify for trial a
collective action of “3, 447 opt-in plaintiffs who were
not paid minimum wage and/or overtime compensation for all
hours worked in weeks in which they drove in OTR
service” and “a sub-class of OTR drivers who
performed pre-trial inspections under defendants'
admitted company policy prior to May 2013.” (Filing No.
345, Brief in Support at 1).
argument is contrary to the parties' briefing, the record
in this case, and the court's March 22 decision.
Defendants' brief in support of their motion to decertify
explained the seven different theories supporting
Plaintiff's claims for minimum wages and overtime
compensation and summarized all of those claims. Defendants
argued that Plaintiff had abandoned the majority of those
claims. In his Response, Plaintiff denied that he had
abandoned most of his theories of liability and again
represented that he was, indeed, seeking minimum wage and
overtime claims-the same claims asserted in Matthews v.
PTI, No. 3:11-cv-97-RLY-WGH-and a pre-trip inspection
claim. (Filing No. 296, Response at 46). Plaintiff, however,
did not otherwise identify the claims for minimum wage and
overtime compensation that he believed he and the Opt-Ins
possessed other than under a pre-trip vehicle inspection
theory, or offer any evidence to support such claims. By
offering no evidence and no argument, he failed to carry his
burden of showing that he and the Opt-Ins were similarly
situated with respect to any other alleged minimum wage and
overtime compensation claims. See, e.g., Strait v. Belcan
Eng'g Grp., Inc., 911 F.Supp.2d 709, 718 (N.D. Ill.
2012) (“Plaintiffs bear the burden of demonstrating
that they are ‘similarly situated.'”).
addition, the court also provided Plaintiff with the
opportunity to explain what other claims for minimum wages
and overtime he believed he and the Opt-Ins were pursuing in
this litigation in addition to any pre-trip inspection
claims. Although he contended vaguely during oral argument
that he and the Opt-Ins did have such claims, he did not
explain the basis of the claims or provide evidence to
substantiate them. The court therefore finds that it did not
misapprehend the parties' arguments or decide any issues
outside of the adversarial process.
Plaintiff argues the court erred by not conditionally
certifying a “subclass of OTR drivers who performed
pre-trip inspections under defendants' admitted company
policy prior to May 2013.” In its March 22 decision,
the court found the Opt-Ins pre-trip inspection claims raised
inherently individualized issues which doom Plaintiff's
quest for class certification. (Filing No. 339, Entry on