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CASE NAME:Victor Zavala v. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.
ALL PLAINTIFFS:Victor Zavala, Eunice Gomez, Antonio Flores, Octavio Denisio, Hipolito Palacios, Carlos Alberto Tello, Maximiliano Mendez, Arturo Zavala, Filipe Condado, Luis Gutierrez, Daniel Antonio Cruz, Petr Zednek, Teresa Jaros, Jiri Pfauser, Hana Pfauserova, Pavel Kunc, Martin Macak
ALL DEFENDANTS:Wal-Mart Stores Inc.
CITATION:
DOCKET NUMBER:2:03-cv-05309-GEB -MCA, 2:10-cv-05301-GEB -MCA
SOURCE:Bloomberg, Lexis Search, News Article
TYPE OF CASE:Civil
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TYPE OF COURT:Federal
STATE:New Jersey
FEDERAL DISTRICT:District Court
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AGE OF VICTIM(S):Adult
NUMBER OF VICTIMS:50 +
GENDER OF VICTIM(S):Female and Male
VICTIM'S COUNTRY OF ORIGIN:Mexico, Czech Republic, Poland, Slovakia
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NUMBER OF DEFENDANT(S):1
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TYPE OF INDUSTRY:Labor
CASE CATEGORIZATION:Retail Industry
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FIRST CLAIM:RICO/Involuntary Servitude
FIRST CLAIM US/STATE CODE CITATION:18 U.S.C. § 1584
FIRST CLAIM RESULT:Dismissed
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SECOND CLAIM:Conspiracy to Violate Civil Rights
SECOND CLAIM US/STATE CODE CITATION:42 USC 1985(3)
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THIRD CLAIM:FLSA
THIRD CLAIM US/STATE CODE CITATION:29 USC 255(a)
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FOURTH CLAIM:False Imprisonment
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SUMMARY:Plaintiffs filed class action lawsuit, Zavala I, on behalf of undocumented immigrant janitors working at Wal-Mart stores.  Some of the plaintiffs had been arrested in ICE's 2003 Operation Rollback raids of Wal-Mart stores.  Plaintiffs alleged that Wal-Mart and its janitorial contractors had conspired to exploit undocumented janitors by engaging in the following activities: forcing them to work in excess of the statutory maximum; denying them lawful pay and benefits under FLSA; denying them sick leave, meals or breaks; hiding them from law enforcement by threatening them with deportation or locking them in the stores during their shifts; in some cases physically beating them.  The allegation about locking the workers in the stores forms the basis of plaintiffs' involuntary servitude RICO claim, which was dismissed because the judge found that locking the store doors at night and requiring janitors to find a manager with a key to let them out failed to state claim for involuntary servitude.  The judge refused to certify the class, but allowed the case to continue with the 17 named plaintiffs.  In response, Zavala II was filed, on behalf of 42 undocumented janitors, alleging similar complaints.  As of 1/17/11 neither case has gone to trial.
Approval Status:Approved
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