Exotic Dancers Represented by Nichols Kaster, PLLP Win Over $10 Million in Damages

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The Court also denied Rick’s request to decertify the class, denied Rick’s request to exclude Plaintiffs’ economic expert and found that Rick’s was not entitled to any offset for amounts the dancers received from customers

“We are very pleased with the Court’s well-reasoned and thorough decision, and are confident that we will prevail at trial and secure an even greater monetary judgment”

On November 14, 2014, a certified class of over 2,000 exotic dancers who worked at Rick’s Cabaret in New York City won summary judgment on damages of approximately $10.8 million dollars. The decision came over five years into the litigation, after Plaintiffs had prevailed on class certification and summary judgment on their being misclassified as independent contractors.

In a fifty-plus page ruling, Federal District Court Judge Paul A. Engelmayer found that no reasonable jury could conclude the class was owed anything less than $10.8 million, and scheduled trial to determine whether they were owed an additional amount of at least $8 million, plus liquidated damages. The Order stated that a trial date will be set “shortly.” The Court also denied Rick’s request to decertify the class, denied Rick’s request to exclude Plaintiffs’ economic expert and found that Rick’s was not entitled to any offset for amounts the dancers received from customers. According to the Court’s opinion, Plaintiffs sought a total amount in excess of $18 million, and will seek an even higher total amount at trial.

“We are very pleased with the Court’s well-reasoned and thorough decision, and are confident that we will prevail at trial and secure an even greater monetary judgment,” stated Plaintiffs’ attorney Anna P. Prakash. “The Court’s decision reflects that exotic dancers are entitled to the same legal protections as other employees, and is a resounding victory for a group whose voices are all too often ignored.”

Plaintiffs are represented by E. Michelle Drake, Steven. Andrew Smith and Anna P. Prakash from Nichols Kaster, PLLP in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

Defendants are represented by Jeffrey A. Kimmel, Raquel Weintraub and Howard Davis of Meister, Seelig and Fein in New York City, New York.

The case is entitled, Sabrina Hart, et.al. v. Rick’s Cabaret International, et.al.., No.: 09-cv-03043-PAE-RLE (Southern District of New York).

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E. Michelle Drake
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