James Livingstone and John Regan Secure Jury Verdict in Overtime Case


Attorneys James Livingstone and John Regan recently obtained a jury verdict on behalf of two of their clients who were not being paid overtime by their employers, Mercedes Benz of Burlington and Bernie Moreno.

The Defendants claimed that the two salesmen never worked any overtime and so none was due. After a four-day trial in Suffolk County Superior Court, the jury came back in less than half an hour and awarded the Plaintiffs $21,500 and $32,000. After trebling and interest, the clients’ judgments equaled $64,500 and $96,000, respectively. The total judgment including attorneys’ fees and interest came to $416,160.

Prior to trial, the Defendants were sanctioned for the spoliation of evidence, including documents relating to the number of hours each plaintiff worked. The honorable Judge Michael Riciutti, now Chief Justice of the Superior Court, agreed with Mr. Livingstone and Mr. Regan and found “… whether negligently or intentionally, the Defendants lost or destroyed evidence that they were required to preserve and which they knew or should have known was relevant.”

Judge Riciutti further found, “the Court … will be prepared to instruct the jury that [they] may be entitled to draw an adverse inference from the loss of records.” The Court ultimately did issue an adverse inference instruction to the jury that they could use the Defendants’ loss or destruction of evidence against them.

“This case illustrates why employees can and should pursue claims for unpaid overtime even if their employer has not been tracking their hours,” said John Regan. “The law very clearly places a high burden on employers. In this case, the failure to keep adequate records came up several times during testimony and ultimately was reinforced in the judge’s jury instruction. We believe this made the matter quite simple for the jury, who ultimately awarded our clients nearly everything they asked for.”

By filing – and winning – pretrial motions, the attorneys effectively positioned the case for trial, and helped to secure the most desirable outcome possible by ensuring that the Defendant’s failure to keep adequate records could be leveraged to the utmost at trial.

“We’re accustomed to dealing with employers who have flouted their timekeeping obligations and will aggressively litigate a case to ensure a successful outcome,” said John Regan. “We’ve collectively tried more than 100 cases to jury verdict. If an obstinate defendant refuses to settle in good faith, we won’t hesitate to take that case to trial to achieve justice.”