The case of the day is House v. S.P. Richardson Corp. (S.D. Tex. 2014). Karl House was a truck driver. He delivered a container to S.P. Richards, and when he arrived to make the delivery, he unsealed the container and opened its doors. He claimed that when he opened the doors, a file cabinet fell out of the container and struck him.
House sued S.P. Richards in the Texas state court. S.P. Richards removed the case to the federal court, and House then added Empren S. de R.L. de C.V. and EDN Mexico, S. de R.L. ce C.V. as defendants; these two Mexican entities’ role in the case is not clear in the opinion. House sent the summons and complaint to the Mexican defendants by mail, and without a Spanish translation. The Mexican defendants moved to dismiss for insufficient service of process.
The case of the day is Martinez v. Aero Caribbean (N.D. Cal. 2014). Lorenzo Mendoza Martinez and others were the survivors of the victim of an airplane crash in Cuba. They sued Aero Caribbean, Empresa Aerocaribbean S.A., and Cubana De Aviacion S.A., which allegedly owned and operated the airplane and had their places of business in Cuba, for negligence and wrongful death.
The case of the day is Plata v. Darbun Enterprises, Inc. (Cal. Ct. App. 2014). Plata was an employee of Soluciones Tecnologicas de Mexico, S.A. de C.V., a Mexican firm. He brought a claim before the Number One Special Local Labor Relations and Conciliation and Arbitrage Local Authority of the City of Tijuana, claiming that his wages had not been paid. Darbun Enterprises, a California firm, was a defendant, because it was “part of a production unit responsible for paying wages to Soluciones employees.” Darbun had notice of the action and appeared and defended. The Board entered a judgment in Plata’s favor, and it awarded damages, including 20 days salary for each year worked, three months’ salary, vacation pay for past years, a vacation pay bonus, a seniority bonus, payment equal to 30 days of Plata’s last salary, and payment of all unpaid salaries from the date of the action until the judgment was satisfied. This last item seems unusual: according to Plata, under Mexican law “an employee is not deemed to have been effectively terminated until the employee has been paid all back wages, sick pay and vacation pay.”