SDNY Wage/Hour $3+ Million Attorney Fee Award

This week Judge Crotty awarded plaintiffs $3,415,450.00 in attorneys’ fees and $442,609.85 in costs in a lawsuit brought by employees of Gristede’s for violations of the federal Fair Labor Standards Act and the New York Labor Law.  The court held that “[i]n light of the purposes underlying fee-shifting statutes, fees sought pursuant to the FLSA are not to be linked to the dollar value of the claim.”

As to the number of hours expended, it observed that “much of the work performed by Plaintiffs was due to Defendants’ choice of litigation tactics” and that “[g]iven the Defendants’ vigorous approach to litigating this case, they cannot now complain as to the amount that Plaintiffs were forced to expend in response.”

The decision is here and the complaint (filed in 2004) is here.

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