• Posts by Adam Paine
    Headshot of Adam Paine

    An accomplished litigator with deep experience in commercial litigation, Adam Paine represents clients in a broad range of complex commercial matters.

    Adam assists clients—in industries such as health care and life sciences ...

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The Massachusetts appellate court decision in Tran v. Jennings Road Management, Corp., et al, gave the green light to an employee to pursue class action claims against her direct employer as well as a separate management company based on a finding that the two entities were “joint” employers. This decision, together with the 2021 Supreme Judicial Court case on which the appellate court relied, serves as a warning to employers that sharing administrative and human resources duties with “outside” consultants or other companies may expose both companies to unforeseen liability.

After granting the parties’ request to decide the sole issue of whether the management company could face potential liability, the trial court concluded that the plaintiff, Sakiroh Tran, was jointly employed by Herb Chambers BMW car dealership, her direct employer, as well as Jennings Road Management Corp., a management company owned and controlled by Herb Chambers himself. Late last week, the Massachusetts Appeals Court affirmed the trial court’s decision citing the “totality of the circumstances” test set forth in Jinks v. Credico (USA) LLC, 488 Mass. 691, 692 (2021). This ruling paves the way for plaintiff to litigate her class action claims against multiple defendants.

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Recently, a Georgia federal district court permitted an employer’s counterclaims against its former employee-whistleblower to proceed in a False Claims Act (“FCA”) lawsuit after determining that the employer’s amended counterclaims for breach of fiduciary duty and breach of contract were sufficiently independent from the underlying FCA claims to survive a motion to dismiss, despite significant factual overlap. The decision in U.S. ex rel. Cooley v. ERMI, LLC, et al.., a qui tam FCA action where the plaintiff, known as a “Relator,” brings the claim on behalf of the ...

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