Hanson Bridgett scores trial victory for Leprino Foods in wage-and-hour class action


A team from Hanson Bridgett LLP successfully defended Leprino Foods Company, the world’s largest mozzarella cheese maker and top producer of whey protein and dairy ingredients, in a class action in which the plaintiffs sought more than $100 million for alleged non-compliant meal and rest breaks at the company’s largest plant in Lemoore, California. After a four-week jury trial in federal court in Fresno, California, the jury returned a unanimous defense verdict after just over an hour of deliberations.

“It was gratifying to be able to show the jury who Leprino Foods is and all that the company does for its employees,” said lead partner Sandra Rappaport. “Leprino Foods not only complies with the law but goes well beyond what the law requires to make their environments great places to work.”

Background on the Case

The lawsuit was filed in 2017, alleging a number of wage and hour claims relating to Leprino Foods’ Lemoore West plant. The court granted class certification for one of the plaintiffs’ claims in March 2020 – an allegation that the company’s policies and practices effectively put its hourly employees on call during meal and rest breaks. The plaintiffs sought wages and penalties for 1540 class members over a seven-year time period. The result was a complete victory for Leprino Foods Company.

The Hanson Bridgett trial team, led by partner Sandra Rappaport, included partner Lisa Pooley and associate Winston Hu.

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