$2.1 Million Settlement Reached in Class Action Suit Against Auto Dealerships


Attorneys Jeffrey Strom and John Regan reached a $2.1 million settlement on behalf of a class of sales employees working at several Massachusetts auto dealerships doing business as Central Auto Group (Central).

The Plaintiffs alleged that Central paid them and the Class on a commission-only basis, without separate and additional overtime and Sunday and holiday premium payments, in violation of Sullivan v. Sleepy’s decision.

The settlement came after nearly two years of vigorous litigation wherein the attorneys exchanged extensive written discovery, took eleven depositions, obtained multiple, favorable, discovery rulings, added claims against Central’s owners (individually), and obtained summary judgment on the merits of the case.

Mr. Regan and Mr. Strom also successfully sought sanctions against the Defendant, which the Court ordered to cease deleting potentially relevant documents and pay the Plaintiffs’ fees in connection with opposing an unsupported motion. The attorneys’ advocacy was critical in obtaining a favorable result for the Class. The settlement was reached roughly one month after the Court imposed those sanctions.

The multi-million dollar settlement will return significant sums back to workers across the Commonwealth once it is approved by the court. It represents roughly double what the class was actually owed as the attorneys were able to leverage the Court’s rulings in the Class’s favor and the triple damages provision of the Wage Act to secure multiple damages for the class.

The Central Auto Group altered its pay practices around the time the case was filed and began paying their salespeople 1.5 times minimum wage for all overtime, Sunday and holiday hours worked. Class Members remaining in Defendants’ employ therefore will not be subjected to further violations, the value of which will continue to accrue in perpetuity.

“We’re ecstatic that after significant litigation, including eleven depositions and substantial motion practice, we were able to come to resolve this matter favorably for the class. Now, workers who sometimes were working very long hours, will finally receive the money that they have been owed,” said Jeff Strom.

“This case is the classic example of aggressive litigation and litigators paying off,” continued Mr. Strom. “We were able to press our advantage and secure partial summary judgment and we continued to press the litigation aggressively, eventually leading to sanctions that helped resolve the case favorably for the class.”