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Sunday, May 19, 2024 | Back issues
Courthouse News Service Courthouse News Service

Alarming Work Complaint Lacks Clarity

SAN FRANCISCO (CN) - A federal judge dismissed with leave to amend a class action accusing an East Bay Lexus manager of payroll fraud and making death threats against an employee.

Lead plaintiff Robert Brock Jr., six others and two of their wives sued Concord Automobile Dealership, Lexus of Concord and Toyota Motor Sales in April 2014.

Also sued were dealership owner Hank Torian, general sales manager Patrick Miliano and general manager Greg James.

Brock et al. claimed that Miliano filed false bonus forms in their names, for more than they actually received, then pocketed the extra cash - stealing from them and increasing their tax liabilities.

They also complained that Miliano used racial slurs, brought guns and swords to work and threatened them with violence. Brock claimed that after he told the general manager about the payroll fraud, Miliano threatened to kill him and his family.

U.S. District Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers found on Jan. 29 that the plaintiffs' amended complaint was "not a model of clarity."

She ruled that the plaintiffs "failed to define properly the relevant parties in all instances," among other muddled details.

Rogers said that the court "will not waste judicial resources to analyze in detail all of the legal issues raised by defendants when doing so would require making assumptions."

She gave the plaintiffs 14 days to correct the deficiencies.

The plaintiffs are represented by Charles Bonner in Sausalito, and the defendants by Michael Pott, with Porter Scott in Sacramento.

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