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Chambers v. Precision Pipeline Solutions, LLC

United States District Court, D. New Jersey, Camden Vicinage

July 29, 2019

RALPH CHAMBERS, et al., Plaintiffs,
v.
PRECISION PIPELINE SOLUTIONS, LLC, Defendant.

          WALL & LONDON, LLC By: Zachary R. Wall, Esq. Counsel for Plaintiffs

          OGLETREE, DEAKINS, NASH, SMOAK & STEWART, P.C. By: Eric C. Stuart, Esq. Michael Nacchio, Esq. Counsel for Defendant

          OPINION

          BUMB, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE:

         Plaintiffs Ralph Chambers, Jeffrey Edmiston, Jr., and John Tomes bring this suit against their former employer, Defendant Precision Pipeline Solutions, LLC (hereafter “PPS”), primarily asserting that PPS failed to pay them the prevailing wage required under the New Jersey Prevailing Wage Act, N.J.S.A. § 34:11-56.25 et seq. (“NJPWA”). Plaintiffs further assert that the alleged failure to pay the correct prevailing wages also resulted in a failure to pay the correct amount of overtime, in violation of both the Fair Labor Standards Act, 29 U.S.C. § 201 et seq. (“FLSA”), and the New Jersey Wage and Hour Law, N.J.S.A. § 34:11-56a et seq. (“NJWHL”).[1] PPS moves, pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(6), to dismiss the Second Amended Complaint, asserting that the facts pled do not support a plausible conclusion that PPS violated the NJPWA, and therefore all three claims fail. The Court agrees; therefore PPS' Motion to Dismiss will be granted.

         I. FACTS

         The Court has sifted through the many vague and marginally relevant allegations to ascertain the specific and concrete facts alleged to support the Plaintiffs' claims. The following recitation of facts is the result of the Court's efforts in that regard.

         All three Plaintiffs-- Ralph Chambers, Jeffrey Edmiston, Jr., and John Tomes-- are pipefitters. (S.A.C. ¶¶ 7-9) All three are alleged to have worked for PPS on the “Rockford Eclipse Valves Replacement” project “during 2015 and 2016.” (Id. at ¶ 25-26) PPS is alleged to have “entered into a blanket contract” with “public utility” South Jersey Gas “for service agreement [sic] in which PPS was to provide supervision, labor, and equipment” in connection with the Rockford Eclipse Valve Replacement project. (Id. at ¶¶ 11, 23) The project is alleged to “consist of replacing 8, 000 RE Valves over a two-year period.” (Id. ¶ 25) The Rockford Eclipse Valve Replacement Project is alleged to be “state funded and/or state-incentivized.” (Id. ¶ 28)

         Plaintiffs allege that in connection with this work, PPS paid Plaintiffs “approximately $15.00 per hour to $23.69 per hour” when “the correct and mandatory prevailing wage rate” was “approximately $46.00 to 63.53 per hour.” (S.A.C. ¶¶ 48-49)

         II. MOTION TO DISMISS STANDARD

         To withstand a motion to dismiss under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6), “a complaint must contain sufficient factual matter, accepted as true, to ‘state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face.'” Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009) (quoting Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 570 (2007)). “A claim 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.” Id. at 663. “[A]n unadorned, the defendant-unlawfully-harmed me accusation” does not suffice to survive a motion to dismiss. Id. at 678. “[A] plaintiff's obligation to provide the ‘grounds' of his ‘entitle[ment] to relief' requires more than labels and conclusions, and a formulaic recitation of the elements of a cause of action will not do.” Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555 (quoting Papasan v. Allain, 478 U.S. 265, 286 (1986)).

         In reviewing a plaintiff's allegations, a district should conduct a three-part analysis:

First, the court must take note of the elements a plaintiff must plead to state a claim. Second, the court should identify allegations that, because they are no more than conclusions, are not entitled to the assumption of truth. Third, when there are well-pleaded factual allegations, a court should assume their veracity and then determine whether they plausibly give rise to an entitlement for relief.

Malleus v. George, 641 F.3d 560, 563 (3d Cir. 2011) (internal citations, quotations, and modifications omitted) (quoting Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 675, 679).

         III. ...


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