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Chen v. MLB Dismissal Opinion

Chen v. MLB Dismissal Opinion

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Published by ngrow9
Judge Koeltl's March 26, 2014 opinion dismissing the FanFest volunteer lawsuit.
Judge Koeltl's March 26, 2014 opinion dismissing the FanFest volunteer lawsuit.

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Published by: ngrow9 on Mar 27, 2014
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03/28/2014

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1
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF NEW YORK
 ─────────────────────────────────── 
 JOHN CHEN, Plaintiff, - against -  MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL, ET AL., Defendants.
 ─────────────────────────────────── 
 13 Civ. 5494 (JGK) OPINION AND ORDER JOHN G. KOELTL, District Judge:
Plaintiff John Chen brought suit against Defendants Major League Baseball Properties, Inc. and the Office of the
Commissioner of Baseball (collectively, “defendants” or “MLB”)
under the Fair Labor St
andards Act (“FLSA”), 29 U.S.C. §§
 201 et
seq., and the New York Labor Law (“NYLL”), §§ 190 et seq. & 650
et seq., claiming violations of his right to receive a minimum wage. The plaintiff alleges that he worked for MLB as an unpaid volunteer during the week of the July 2013 Baseball All Star Game at an installation for fans at the Javits Center in New York City, and that he is entitled to minimum wage compensation for this work. The plaintiff has moved this Court to grant conditional certification of, and provide court-authorized notice to, a proposed class of similarly situated plaintiffs pursuant to Section 16(b) of the FLSA, 29 U.S.C. § 216(b). Also
before the Court is the defendants’ motion to dismiss the
Case 1:13-cv-05494-JGK Document 43 Filed 03/26/14 Page 1 of 27
 
2
plaintiff’s First Amended
Class Action Complaint pursuant to Rule 12(b)(6) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure for failure to state a claim upon which relief can be granted. For
the reasons explained below, the defendants’ motion to dismiss is granted and the plaintiff’s motion for collective
certification and court-authorized notice is denied as moot. I. In deciding a motion to dismiss pursuant to Rule 12(b)(6), the allegations in the complaint are accepted as true, and all
reasonable inferences must be drawn in the plaintiff’s favor.
McCarthy v. Dun & Bradstreet Corp., 482 F.3d 184, 191 (2d Cir.
2007). The Court’s function on a motion to dismiss is “not to
weigh the evidence that might be presented at a trial but merely to determine whether the complaint itself is legally
sufficient.”
Goldman v. Belden, 754 F.2d 1059, 1067 (2d Cir. 1985). The Court should not dismiss the complaint if the
plaintiff has stated “enough facts to state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face.”
Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550
U.S. 544, 570 (2007). “A cla
im has facial plausibility when the plaintiff pleads factual content that allows the court to draw the reasonable inference that the defendant is liable for the
misconduct alleged.”
Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678
Case 1:13-cv-05494-JGK Document 43 Filed 03/26/14 Page 2 of 27
 
3 (2009). While the Court should construe the factual allegations
in the light most favorable to the plaintiff, “the tenet that a
court must accept as true all of the allegations contained in
the complaint is inapplicable to legal conclusions.”
Id. When presented with a motion to dismiss pursuant to Rule 12(b)(6), the Court may consider documents that are referenced in the complaint, documents that the plaintiff relied on in
bringing suit and that are either in the plaintiff’s possession
or that the plaintiff knew of when bringing suit, or matters of which judicial notice may be taken. See Chambers v. Time Warner, Inc., 282 F.3d 147, 153 (2d Cir. 2002); see also Winfield v. Citibank, N.A., 842 F. Supp. 2d 560, 564 (S.D.N.Y. 2012). II. The following allegations are accepted as true for the purposes of these motions. The July 2013 Baseball All Star Game took place at Citi Field in New York City. (See Am. Compl. ¶ 25.) In connection with the All Star Game, MLB put on a
series of “All Star Week festivities” throughout New York City,
including a race, a concert, a fantasy camp, a parade, and an
event called “FanFest.” (Am. Compl. ¶¶
 1-3.) FanFest took place at the Javits Center in New York City during the week of
Case 1:13-cv-05494-JGK Document 43 Filed 03/26/14 Page 3 of 27

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