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Patterson v. Infinity EMS, LLC

United States District Court, S.D. Texas, Houston Division

February 21, 2018

Recartor Patterson, Plaintiff,
v.
Infinity EMS L.L.C., et al., Defendants.

          FINDINGS OF FACT AND CONCLUSIONS OF LAW

          Stephen Wm. Smith United States Magistrate Judge

         This case brought under the Fair Labor Standards Act, 29 U.S.C. § 201, etseq., (FLSA) was tried to the court on November 6, 2017. The parties consented to the jurisdiction of this magistrate judge for all purposes, including final judgment.

         I. INTRODUCTION

         This case arises under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). Patterson contends that defendants[1] violated the FLSA by not paying him overtime. Defendant Antoine J. Joseph contends that he was not Patterson's employer; Patterson is exempt from the overtime requirements of the FLSA; and Patterson did not work any unpaid overtime hours. Defendant Infinity EMS, LLC contends Patterson did not work any unpaid overtime hours. Defendant James R. Chaney did not appear at trial. Based on the evidence presented at trial, arguments of counsel[2], and applicable law, the court makes the following findings of fact and conclusions of law.[3]

II. DEFAULT JUDGMENT

         Findings of Fact

         1. Defendant James R. Chaney, having been properly noticed, did not appear for trial on November 6, 2017. Dkt. 54.

         2. Chaney also did not appear at the final pretrial conference on November 2, 2107. Dkt. 50.

         3. Counsel who filed an answer on the part of Chaney conceded he was no longer in contact with his former client; that Chaney is living out of the country; and that he had no reason to believe Chaney intends to return to defend this action.

         Conclusions of Law

         1. A default judgment may be entered against a person who fails to appear at trial or otherwise fails to defend an action. Fed.R.Civ.P. 55; Seven Elves

         2. Plaintiff has met his burden to show that a default judgment against James R. Chaney is appropriate.

         3. Plaintiff is entitled to default judgment based on the allegations in the complaint as to liability against James R. Chaney. See Wooten v. McDonald Transit Assoc, Inc., 788 F.3d 490, 496 (5th Cir. 2015).

         4. Despite entry of default judgment as to liability, plaintiff must prove the amount of damages at trial. Id.; see FSLA Claim Conclusions of Law 14-16, infra.

         II. FLSA CLAIM

         Findings of Fact

         1. Recartor Patterson worked as an ambulance driver and Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) for Infinity EMS, LLC from August 2013 through August 2015. Tr.

         2. Patterson testified that he did not work for any other company from August 2013 through August 2015. Tr. 105-06. Patterson's Linked In resume states that he worked for Nurse Management and Tadeo's EMS during parts of this same time period. Patterson testified that he ...


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