Villalobos v. North Carolina Growers Ass'n Inc., No. CIV.97-1589(JAG).

CourtU.S. District Court — District of Puerto Rico
Writing for the CourtGarcia-Gregory
PartiesMaximo VILLALOBOS, et als. Plaintiffs v. NORTH CAROLINA GROWERS ASSOCIATION, INC., et als. Defendants
Docket NumberNo. CIV.97-1589(JAG).
Decision Date10 September 2002

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252 F.Supp.2d 1
Maximo VILLALOBOS, et als. Plaintiffs
v.
NORTH CAROLINA GROWERS ASSOCIATION, INC., et als. Defendants
No. CIV.97-1589(JAG).
United States District Court, D. Puerto Rico.
September 10, 2002.

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COPYRIGHT MATERIAL OMITTED

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COPYRIGHT MATERIAL OMITTED

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Julio M. Lopez-Keelan, P.R. Legal Services, Migrant Workers Division, San Juan, PR, Mary Lee Hall, Lori Elmer, Alice Tejada, Legal Services North Carolina, Raleigh, NC, for Maximo Villalobos, Teodoro Cabrera, Carlos Enrique Perez, Efrain Flores, Jose Enrique Lugo, Domingo Colon, George Acosta, Radames Pacheco, Manuel Aponte, Clayton Maldonado, Edson Cupeles, Nelson Sanabria, Juan Garcia, Luis Hernandez, Israel Martinez, Alfredo Nazario, Ricardo Matos, Jaime Nazario, Juan Nieves, Carlos Perez, Hector Soto, Jose Ponce, Israel Rivera, Richard Rivera, Enrique Rivera, Jose Soto, Hector Perez, Rafael Velez, Juan Velez, Enrique Velez, Justino Acevedo, Heriberto Alvarez, Efrain Alvarez, Daniel Alvarez, Luis Angel Alvarez, Jesus Barreto, Miguel Camacho, Edison Camacho, Heriberto Cruz, Edwin Echevarria, Edwin Febus, Felix Felicier, Abraham Garayua, Louis

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Gonzalez, Juan Gonzalez, Wilfredo Gonzalez, Jose Lopez, Santiago Lopez, Flor Lugo, Saturnino Medina, Heriberto Muriel, David Orengo, Ismael Ramirez, Israel Reyes, Jesus Rivas, Luis Rivera, Alberto Rivera, William Rodriguez, Ramon Rodriguez-Valentin, Pedro Sanchez, Carlos Santiago, Orlando Serrano, Jose Luis Vasquez, Manuel Vega, Baltazar Ortiz, Roberto Christian, Martin Hernandez, Wilson Morales, Roberto Rosa.

Ivonne M. Olmo-Rios, Corpus Christi, TX, for Luis Bassatt.

Ivonne M. Olmo-Rios, Corpus Christi, TX, Ricardo Alfonso-Garcia, Civil Action and Education Corporation, San Juan, PR, for Carlos Ruben Rios.

Mary Lee Hall, Lori Elmer, Alice Tejada, Legal Services North Carolina, Raleigh, NC, Ivonne M. Olmo-Rios, Corpus Christi, TX, Ricardo Alfonso-Garcia, Civil Action and Education Corporation, San Juan, PR, for Jose Raul Rios.

Julio M. Lopez-Keelan, P.R. Legal Services, Migrant Workers Division, San Juan, PR, Mary Lee Hall, Lori Elmer, Alice Tejada, Legal Services North Carolina, Raleigh, NC, Ricardo Alfonso-Garcia, Civil Action and Education Corporation, San Juan, PR, for Dario Llantin.

Armando Cardona-Acaba, Puerto Rico Legal Services, Inc., San Juan, PR, Julio M. Lopez-Keelan, P.R. Legal Services, Migrant Workers Division, San Juan, PR, for All plaintiffs.

Luis D. Ortiz-Abreu, Goldman Antonetti & Cordova, San Juan, PR, Amy M. Habib, McGuiness, Norris & Williams, LLP, Washington, DC, for Brad Newsome, North Carolina Growers Association, Inc., Phillip Aycock, Aycock Brothers, Inc, Doyle Cromer, Larry Eason, Robert Farmer, Moses Farmer, Bob Hendrix, Kevin Newsome dba Newsome Brothers, Neil Newsome dba Newsome Brothers, John Mclnnis, Larry Butner, Tommy Dalrymple dba Dalrymple Brothers Farms, Jeffrey Upchurch dba Upchurch Farms, Jimmy Ross, Nelson Phillips, Jarvis McDonald dba Carter Farms, Lela M. Carter dba Carter Farms, Erwin Wood, Larry Riggs, David Godwin dba Godwin & Son Farm, Hursel Johnson dba Johnson Brothers, R.D. Lee dba R.D. Lee Farms, Inc., Robert Tyndall dba Spring Branch Farms, Miles Jackson, Dennis Smith, Albert Slaughter, Bruce Robertson, Morris Murphy, Bobby Ham, Bobby Ham, Inc., Wayne Kelly, Ernest Evans, Chester Pilson, Steve Grady, L.C. Honeycutt, Double H Farms, Inc., Jack Strader dba S & S Farms, Steve Thomas, Kerry Venable, Leonard Wester dba Wester Farms, Ricky Carter dba Hill's Horn of Plenty, Bert Dixon dba Dixie Greene Farms, O.G. Douglas, G.C. Douglas, Paul Douglas, Kent Bennett dba Bennett Farms, Gregg Bennett dba Bennett Farms, Dean Moore, Daniel Lee Nelson, Ann Farrington Nelson, Marcus Thigpen, Roger Vaughn, Randy Rosser, Cabell Early, Raymond Foster dba Edwards and Foster Farm, Ted West, Circle W Farms, Inc., Ken Troxler, Terry Neal dba Neal Farms.

Monte B. Lake, Guinnes & Williams, Washington, DC, Luis D. Ortiz-Abreu, Goldman Antonetti & Cordova, San Juan, PR, Amy M. Habib, McGuiness, Norris & Williams, LLP, Washington, DC, W. Randolph Loftis, Constangy, Brooks & Smith LLD, Winston-Salem, NC, for All defendants.

MEMORANDUM AND ORDER

GARCIA-GREGORY, District Judge.


Pending before the Court are defendants' objections to Magistrate Judge Justo Arenas' Report and Recommendation. (Docket No. 187.) The Magistrate Judge recommends that defendants' motion for

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partial summary judgment be DENIED (Docket No. 115) and that co-plaintiff Jose Enrique Lugo's claim for retaliation be DISMISSED. All parties previously have been furnished copies of the Report and Recommendation and have been afforded an opportunity to file objections pursuant to Section 636(b)(1), Title 28, United States Code.

The Court shall, therefore, make a de novo review of the Report and Recommendation. Upon consideration, of the Magistrate Judge's extensive Report and Recommendation, all objections thereto filed by the parties and upon the Court's independent examination of the record, the Court ADOPTS the Magistrate Judge's Report and Recommendation and incorporates it by reference in this Order. Defendants' motion for partial summary judgment be DENIED (Docket No. 115) and that co-plaintiff Jose Enrique Lugo's claim for retaliation be DISMISSED.

IT IS SO ORDERED.

MAGISTRATE JUDGE'S REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION
I. Factual Background

This matter is before the court on a multifaceted and voluminous motion for partial summary judgment filed by defendants on June 30, 2000. (Docket No. 115.) The plaintiffs filed a response to the motion on August 21, 2000. (Docket No. 141.)

II. Legal Standard for Partial Summary Judgment

The standard for partial summary judgment is identical to that for summary judgment under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 56(c). SCHS Assoc. v. Cuomo, 139 F.Supp.2d 238, 244 (D.R.I.2001). For the purposes of summary judgment, the moving party always has the initial burden of showing the absence of a genuine issue concerning any material fact. Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 411 U.S. 317, 325, 106 S.Ct. 2548, 91 L.Ed.2d 265 (1986); Morrissey v. Boston Five Cents Sav. Bank, 54 F.3d 27, 31 (1st Cir.1995). Summary judgment is appropriate when the pleadings, depositions, answers to interrogatories, and admissions on file, together with the affidavits, show there is no issue as to any material fact and the moving party is entitled to judgment as a matter of law. Fed. R.Civ.P. 56(c). See Celotex Corp., 411 U.S. at 323, 327, 106 S.Ct. 2548; Blackie v. Maine, 75 F.3d 716, 721 (1st Cir.1996); Garside v. Osco Drug, Inc., 895 F.2d 46, 48 (1st Cir.1990).

The court must view the entire record, including the opposing party's probative evidence, in the light most hospitable to the non-moving party, indulging all reasonable inferences in that party's favor. United States v. One Parcel of Real Prop. With Bldgs., etc., 960 F.2d 200, 204 (1st Cir.1992); Griggs-Ryan v. Smith, 904 F.2d 112, 115 (1st Cir.1990). If reasonable minds could differ as to the significance of the evidence, summary judgment should be denied. See Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 411 U.S. 242, 250-51, 106 S.Ct. 2505, 91 L.Ed.2d 202 (1986); Boston Five Cents Sav. Bank v. Secretary Dep't of Housing & Urban Dev., 768 F.2d 5, 8 (1st Cir.1985).

Subsequent to the moving party's fulfillment of its initial showing, the burden shifts to the non-movant to establish the existence of at least one fact issue which is both "genuine" and "material." Griggs-Ryan v. Smith, 904 F.2d at 115; Garside v. Osco Drug, Inc., 895 F.2d at 48. A factual dispute is "genuine," and precludes the granting of summary judgment, if a reasonable trier of fact could resolve the disagreement in favor of the non-moving party. Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 411 U.S. at 248, 106 S.Ct. 2505; United States v. One Parcel of Real Prop. With

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Bldgs., etc., 960 F.2d at 204. A "material" fact is one which has the potential to change the outcome of the suit under the governing substantive law, if found favorable to the non-movant. See, e.g., Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. at 248, 106 S.Ct. 2505; Martinez v. Colon, 54 F.3d 980, 984 (1st Cir.), cert, denied, 516 U.S. 987, 116 S.Ct. 515, 133 L.Ed.2d 423 (1995); United States v. One Parcel of Real Prop. With Bldg., etc., 960 F.2d at 204; Griggs-Ryan v. Smith, 904 F.2d at 115.

Where the non-moving party will bear at trial the burden of proof of such a "genuine" and "material" fact, it must, in its response, make a sufficient showing establishing the existence of a factual dispute requiring the trier of fact to resolve the parties' differing versions of truth at trial. Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, All U.S. at 323, 106 S.Ct. 2548; First Nat'l Bank of Arizona v. Cities Serv. Co., 391 U.S. 253, 288-89, 88 S.Ct. 1575, 20 L.Ed.2d 569 (1968); United States v. One Parcel of Real Prop. With Bldg., etc., 960 F.2d at 204. Failure to do so would mandate the entry of summary judgment. Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. at 322, 106 S.Ct. 2548.

III. Application

A) Statute of Limitations

The Migrant and Seasonal Agricultural Workers Protection Act (hereinafter AWPA)1 itself does not provide for a statute of limitations. In such cases, the courts have traditionally deferred to the most analogous state statute and borrowed its corresponding limitations period. Barajas v. Bermudez, 43 F.3d 1251, 1255 (9th Cir.1994); Rivera v. Anaya, 726 F.2d 564, 567 (9th Cir.1984); Medrano v. D'Arrigo Bros. Co. of California, 125 F.Supp.2d 1163, 1168 (N.D.Cal.2000).

The defendants' first ground for summary judgment is based on their contention that prior to plaintiffs' filing of the complaint, the cause of action had prescribed. In particular, they argue that plaintiffs' claims arising from the defendants' allegedly misleading and/or false disclosures made during their recruitment period are governed by the three-year statute of limitations of article 1867 of the Puerto Rico Civil Code. 31 P.R. Laws Ann. §...

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4 practice notes
  • De Leon-Granados v. Eller & Sons Trees, Inc., No. 1:05-CV-1473-CC.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 11th Circuit. United States District Courts. 11th Circuit. Northern District of Georgia
    • October 7, 2008
    ...the AWPA, including the right to be paid wages when due. See 29 U.S.C. § 1856; see also Villalobos v. North Carolina Growers Ass'n, 252 F.Supp.2d 1, 10 (D.P.R.2002); Maldonado v. Lucca, 636 F.Supp. 621, 624 (D.N.J.1986). Consequently, to the extent that Defendants argue that workers were aw......
  • Gonzalez v. MCS Life Ins. Co. (In re Gonzalez), CASE NO. 10-05375 (ESL)
    • United States
    • United States Bankruptcy Courts. Tenth Circuit. U.S. Bankruptcy Court — District of Puerto Rico
    • November 2, 2012
    ...322-323 (1986); Pagan-Torres v. House of Representatives, 858 F. Supp. 2d 172, 179 (D.P.R. 2012); Villalobos v. N.C. Growers Ass'n, 252 F. Supp. 2d 1, 6 (D.P.R. 2001) (analyzing the standard for partial summary judgments). The 2010 amendments to Fed. R. Civ. P. 56(a) provide express authori......
  • Alfaro-Huitron v. WKI Outsourcing Sols., LLC, No. CV 15-210 JCH/JHR
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 10th Circuit. District of New Mexico
    • January 22, 2018
    ...and comprehensively appraised of his or her prospective working arrangements." Villalobos v. North Carolina Grower's Ass'n Inc., 252 F. Supp. 2d 1, 9 (D.P.R. 2002) (citing Bueno v. Mattner, 829 F.2d 1380, 1384 (6th Cir.1987)). "[D]isclosure requirements cannot be satisfied by simply publish......
  • Fulford v. Daughtry, NO. 4:11-CV-103-FL
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 4th Circuit. Eastern District of North Carolina
    • June 6, 2013
    ...crops workers would be paid a piece rate, but never less than $5.38 per hour." Villalobos v. North Carolina Growers Ass'n. Inc., 252 F.Supp.2d 1, 19 (D. P.R. 2002) (denying defendants' motions for summary judgment). In Villalobos, the defendants also passed out a listing of over twenty-five......
4 cases
  • De Leon-Granados v. Eller & Sons Trees, Inc., No. 1:05-CV-1473-CC.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 11th Circuit. United States District Courts. 11th Circuit. Northern District of Georgia
    • October 7, 2008
    ...the AWPA, including the right to be paid wages when due. See 29 U.S.C. § 1856; see also Villalobos v. North Carolina Growers Ass'n, 252 F.Supp.2d 1, 10 (D.P.R.2002); Maldonado v. Lucca, 636 F.Supp. 621, 624 (D.N.J.1986). Consequently, to the extent that Defendants argue that workers were aw......
  • Gonzalez v. MCS Life Ins. Co. (In re Gonzalez), CASE NO. 10-05375 (ESL)
    • United States
    • United States Bankruptcy Courts. Tenth Circuit. U.S. Bankruptcy Court — District of Puerto Rico
    • November 2, 2012
    ...322-323 (1986); Pagan-Torres v. House of Representatives, 858 F. Supp. 2d 172, 179 (D.P.R. 2012); Villalobos v. N.C. Growers Ass'n, 252 F. Supp. 2d 1, 6 (D.P.R. 2001) (analyzing the standard for partial summary judgments). The 2010 amendments to Fed. R. Civ. P. 56(a) provide express authori......
  • Alfaro-Huitron v. WKI Outsourcing Sols., LLC, No. CV 15-210 JCH/JHR
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 10th Circuit. District of New Mexico
    • January 22, 2018
    ...and comprehensively appraised of his or her prospective working arrangements." Villalobos v. North Carolina Grower's Ass'n Inc., 252 F. Supp. 2d 1, 9 (D.P.R. 2002) (citing Bueno v. Mattner, 829 F.2d 1380, 1384 (6th Cir.1987)). "[D]isclosure requirements cannot be satisfied by simply publish......
  • Fulford v. Daughtry, NO. 4:11-CV-103-FL
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 4th Circuit. Eastern District of North Carolina
    • June 6, 2013
    ...crops workers would be paid a piece rate, but never less than $5.38 per hour." Villalobos v. North Carolina Growers Ass'n. Inc., 252 F.Supp.2d 1, 19 (D. P.R. 2002) (denying defendants' motions for summary judgment). In Villalobos, the defendants also passed out a listing of over twenty-five......

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