SFMS Announces Decision Denying Home Depot’s Motion For Summary Judgment

March 7th, 2008

Shepherd, Finkelman, Miller & Shah (“SFMS”) is pleased to announce that on February 20, 2008, the Superior Court for the State of California, San Francisco County, the Hon. A. James Robertson II presiding, denied the Motion for Summary Judgment or in the Alternative for Summary Adjudication filed by Defendant, Home Depot USA, Inc. ( “Home Depot”), in the action captioned, Rafael Gonzalez et al. v. S.P. Carpet Pros, Inc. and Home Depot USA, Inc., Case No. CGC-05-446984. The case was brought on behalf of plaintiffs, Rafael Gonzalez and Manuel Zamudio (“Plaintiffs”), who are carpet installers and allege that they were improperly classified as independent contractors while in the employ of Home Depot and S.P. Carpet Pros, Inc. (“Carpet Pros”), thereby resulting in the wrongful denial of overtime compensation, compensation for meal periods and rest breaks and reimbursement for expenses related to their employment. Plaintiffs assert claims individually and collectively under the California Labor Code §§ 203, 204, 206.5, 216, 218, 226.7, 510, 512,1021.5, 1194, 1197.1, 1198, 2698, 2699 and 2802, the California Civil Code §§ 3294 and 3336, the Unfair Competition Law, Business and Professions Code § 17200 et seq., and for unjust enrichment.

On August 20, 2007, Home Depot brought a Motion for Summary Judgment or in the Alternative for Summary Adjudication. Home Depot argued that it does not hire and fire employees of Carpet Pros, it does not train them, and does not pay them directly. Home Depot further argued that it did not evaluate the work of the Carpet Pros and therefore should be entitled to summary judgment. The Court ruled that in light of the evidence presented by Plaintiffs, there is a triable issue of material fact as to whether Home Depot controlled the means, manner and methods of the work of the Carpet Pros' employees. The Court found that Plaintiffs submitted sufficient evidence to show that Home Depot did evaluate the work of Carpet Pros by, among other things, visiting Carpet Pros' installation 21 times in a week period. Accordingly, the Court denied Home Depot’s Motion for Summary Judgment or in the Alternative for Summary Adjudication.

SFMS congratulates Nathan Zipperian and James Miller on this decision and for their work in this matter.