Philip Petrone, et al. v. Werner Enterprises, Inc., et al.

United States District Court for the District of Nebraska
Docket No. 2011-cv-401; 2012-cv-307

Counsel:Justin Swidler, Richard Swartz, Daniel Horowitz

This is a certified collective action under the FLSA lawsuit and a certified class action pursuant to Rule 23(b)(3) under Nebraska state wage and hour law. The opt-in period for the FLSA collective action has expired. More information regarding this lawsuit is available below.

December 31, 2015 Case Status Update

This year has been a very big year in the Werner Student Driver Lawsuit! In August of this year, the Court held that, as a matter of law, the Werner drivers are entitled to compensation for the long hours (beyond 8 per day) they spent in a truck’s sleeper berth each day during training as well as for short rest breaks they took throughout the day. The Court further held that damages under Nebraska law could be computed in a manner which is more favorable to class members than under federal law. A copy of the legal decision is available here.

After the decision, Werner filed a motion for reconsideration, seeking the Court change its mind and hold that the time at issue was non-compensable. In the alternative, Werner sought the Court grant it leave to petition the Appeals Court to consider an appeal of the case prior to the case concluding. The District Court denied the motion for reconsideration, but permitted Werner leave to file an appeal, and stayed the trial, which was otherwise scheduled to start in September of 2015. The Appeals Court denied Werner’s petition for leave to appeal, and the case was sent back to the trial court in Nebraska for resolution.

Since then, a few other motions have been filed which must be resolved prior to the trial. First, Plaintiffs have requested the Court enter a monetary judgment for the drivers based upon the driver logs and pay records Werner produced in the case. Werner’s opposition to that motion is due early next year. Werner has also filed a second motion for reconsideration, which Plaintiffs have opposed. That motion remains pending as of this date (December 31, 2015).

As is true in all class litigation, it takes time for these cases to move through the Court system. However, we do believe that this case will reach a resolution, at least at the trial level, in 2016. It is anticipated that appeals may follow, and those appeals may take an additional year or longer to conclude. We ask that you remain patient throughout this process. We will continue to update our site every few months with updates on the case.

About the LawsuitLegal NoticePer Diem Program
Four over-the-road truck drivers (“the Drivers”) have brought suit against Werner Enterprises, Inc. and Drivers Management, LLC (collectively referred to as “Werner”) in the United States District Court of the District of Nebraska. The Drivers assert that Werner paid them and other truck drivers less than legally required by the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”) during the 6-8 week initial training period following hire (“the Student Driver Program”). The Drivers contend that their pay in the Student Driver Program amounted to less than the federal minimum wage.

On December 19, 2012, the Court conditionally certified this action as a “collective action” under the FLSA. By virtue of the Court’s Order, any person who was employed by Werner and participated in the Student Driver Program since June 29, 2009 may join the lawsuit by submitting a Consent Form.

Swartz Swidler, LLC represents the Drivers in this action. If you would like more information regarding the lawsuit, please call us today or email us at truckingattorney@swartz-legal.com.

In addition to the claims being asserted in this lawsuit, we have also filed a separate lawsuit asserting violations of federal wage law with respect to Werner’s Per Diem program. You may be eligible to join the Per Diem lawsuit if you were employed by Werner and participated in the Per Diem program within the last three years. You may file a Consent Form to join the Per Diem lawsuit here. Please note that joining the Per Diem lawsuit does not opt you into the Student Driver lawsuit, nor does opting into the Student Driver Lawsuit join you to the Per Diem lawsuit. If you are eligible and would like to join both lawsuits, you must submit Consent Forms for both cases.