BOSTON, Nov. 21, 2006 – Yesterday Middlesex County Superior Court Judge Thomas Murtagh unsealed the full text of his Nov. 7 decision granting Wal-Mart’s motion to decertify the class in a class action suit alleging missed breaks that was brought against Wal-Mart by Elaine Polion and Crystal Salvas. The judge also entered an order striking the plaintiffs’ expert testimony of Dr. Martin Shapiro, on the basis that it is unreliable and based on faulty methodology.
Wal-Mart recently filed a motion to decertify the class on the basis that each associate’s situation is different in significant respects, making cases such as this inherently “uncertifiable” for class treatment. In addition, Wal-Mart moved to exclude the plaintiffs’ expert testimony on the basis that his data was flawed and defective and unreliable for the purpose of proving violation of wage-and-hour law.
“We think the judge made the right decision,” said Neal Manne of the law firm Susman Godfrey LLP, which represented Wal-Mart in the case. “Other courts around the country also have concluded that wage and hour lawsuits such as this simply cannot be handled fairly as class actions and, we believe, more courts will agree on this point.”
The suit was certified by the trial court as a class action on Dec. 30, 2004, and consisted of 51,273 current and former hourly associates at Massachusetts Wal-Mart stores and Sam’s Clubs.
About Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.
Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. operates Wal-Mart discount stores, supercenters, Neighborhood Markets and Sam’s Club locations in the United States. The Company operates in Argentina, Brazil, Canada, China, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Japan, Mexico, Nicaragua, Puerto Rico and the United Kingdom. The Company’s securities are listed on the New York Stock Exchange and NYSE Arca, formerly the Pacific Stock Exchange, under the symbol WMT.
More information about Wal-Mart can be found by visiting www.walmartfacts.com. Online merchandise sales are available at www.walmart.com.
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