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INDEX NO.

158205/2015

FILED: NEW YORK COUNTY CLERK 09/14/2015 04:53 PM


NYSCEF DOC. NO. 7

RECEIVED NYSCEF: 09/14/2015

SUPREME COURT OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK


COUNTY OF NEW YORK
SHAHISTA LALANI, individually and on
behalf of other persons similarly situated,

Index No.: 158205/2015

Plaintiffs,
-againstDUALSTAR ENTERTAINMENT GROUP
LLC; or any other related entities,

DEFENDANTS ANSWER AND


AFFIRMATIVE DEFENSES TO
PLAINTIFFS AMENDED
CLASS ACTION COMPLAINT

Defendant.

Defendant Dualstar Entertainment Group LLC (Dualstar), by and through its


undersigned attorneys, Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton LLP, hereby answers the
Amended Class Action Complaint, filed August 12, 2015 (the Amended Class Action
Complaint), by plaintiff Shahista Lalani (Named Plaintiff), herein as follows:
1.

Dualstar denies each and every allegation set forth in paragraph 1 of the Amended

Class Action Complaint and avers that Named Plaintiff purports to bring this action pursuant to
the New York Labor Law Article 19 650 et seq., the New York Labor Law Article 6 190 et
seq. (collectively, the NYLL) and 12 New York Codes, Rules and Regulations (NYCRR).
2.

Dualstar denies each and every allegation set forth in paragraph 2 of the Amended

Class Action Complaint.


3.

Dualstar denies each and every allegation set forth in paragraph 3 of the

Amended Class Action Complaint.


4.

The statements set forth in paragraph 4 of the Amended Class Action Complaint

constitute a summary of Named Plaintiffs claims in this action and do not require an answer.
However, to the extent a response is required, Dualstar denies each and every allegation set forth
in paragraph 4 of the Amended Class Action Complaint.
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THE PARTIES
5.

Dualstar lacks sufficient knowledge or information to form a belief as to the truth

of the allegations set forth in paragraph 5 of the Amended Class Action Complaint.
6.

Dualstar denies each and every allegation set forth in paragraph 6 of the Amended

Class Action Complaint and avers that Named Plaintiff interned at an entity other than Dualstar
for limited parts of May, June and July 2012.
7.

Dualstar admits the allegations set forth in paragraph 7 of the Amended Class

Action Complaint.
CLASS ALLEGATIONS
8.

Dualstar avers that the allegations set forth in paragraph 8 of the Amended Class

Action Complaint state a legal conclusion to which no response is required. Notwithstanding the
foregoing, to the extent that paragraph 8 of the Amended Class Action Complaint contains
factual allegations, Dualstar denies each and every allegation.
9.

Dualstar denies each and every allegation set forth in paragraph 9 of the Amended

Class Action Complaint and avers that Named Plaintiff purports to bring this action on behalf of
herself and other individuals.
10.

Dualstar denies each and every allegation set forth in paragraph 10 of the

Amended Class Action Complaint.


11.

Dualstar denies each and every allegation set forth in paragraph 11 of the

Amended Class Action Complaint.


12.

Dualstar avers that the allegations set forth in paragraph 12 of the Amended Class

Action Complaint state a legal conclusion to which no response is required. Notwithstanding the

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foregoing, to the extent that paragraph 12 of the Amended Class Action Complaint contains
factual allegations, Dualstar denies each and every allegation.
13.

Dualstar avers that the allegations set forth in paragraph 13 of the Amended Class

Action Complaint state a legal conclusion to which no response is required. Notwithstanding the
foregoing, to the extent that paragraph 13 of the Amended Class Action Complaint contains
factual allegations, Dualstar denies each and every allegation.
14.

Dualstar avers that the allegations set forth in paragraph 14 of the Amended Class

Action Complaint state a legal conclusion to which no response is required. Notwithstanding the
foregoing, to the extent that paragraph 14 of the Amended Class Action Complaint contains
factual allegations, Dualstar denies each and every allegation.
15.

Dualstar denies each and every allegation set forth in paragraph 15 of the

Amended Class Action Complaint with respect to Named Plaintiff and avers that it lacks
sufficient knowledge or information to form a belief as to the truth of the allegations set forth in
paragraph 15 of the Amended Class Action Complaint with respect to Named Plaintiffs counsel,
and on that basis denies them.
16.

Dualstar lacks sufficient knowledge or information to form a belief as to the truth

of the allegations set forth in paragraph 16 of the Amended Class Action Complaint, and on that
basis denies them.
17.

Dualstar avers that the allegations set forth in paragraph 17 of the Amended Class

Action Complaint state a legal conclusion to which no response is required. Notwithstanding the
foregoing, to the extent that paragraph 17 of the Amended Class Action Complaint contains
factual allegations, Dualstar denies each and every allegation.

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18.

Dualstar denies each and every allegation set forth in paragraph 18 of the

Amended Class Action Complaint.


19.

Dualstar denies each and every allegation set forth in paragraph 19 of the

Amended Class Action Complaint.


20.

Dualstar denies each and every allegation set forth in paragraph 20 of the

Amended Class Action Complaint.


21.

Dualstar denies each and every allegation set forth in paragraph 21 of the

Amended Class Action Complaint.


ALLEGED FACTS
22.

Dualstar denies each and every allegation set forth in paragraph 22 of the

Amended Class Action Complaint.


23.

Dualstar denies each and every allegation set forth in paragraph 23 of the

Amended Class Action Complaint.


24.

Dualstar denies each and every allegation set forth in paragraph 24 of the

Amended Class Action Complaint.


25.

Dualstar denies each and every allegation set forth in paragraph 25 of the

Amended Class Action Complaint and avers that Plaintiff was properly classified as an intern
under applicable laws.
26.

Dualstar denies each and every allegation set forth in paragraph 26 of the

Amended Class Action Complaint.


27.

Dualstar denies each and every allegation set forth in paragraph 27 of the

Amended Class Action Complaint and avers that Dualstars interns were properly classified
under applicable laws.

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28.

Dualstar denies each and every allegation set forth in paragraph 28 of the

Amended Class Action Complaint.


29.

Dualstar denies each and every allegation set forth in paragraph 29 of the

Amended Class Action Complaint.


30.

Dualstar denies each and every allegation set forth in paragraph 30 of the

Amended Class Action Complaint.


31.

Dualstar denies each and every allegation set forth in paragraph 31 of the

Amended Class Action Complaint.


32.

Dualstar denies each and every allegation set forth in paragraph 32 of the

Amended Class Action Complaint.


33.

Dualstar denies each and every allegation set forth in paragraph 33 of the

Amended Class Action Complaint and avers that Dualstars interns were properly classified as
such under applicable laws.
FIRST CAUSE OF ACTION AGAINST DUALSTAR:
NEW YORK MINIMUM WAGE COMPENSATION
34.

Dualstar incorporates the responses made to paragraphs 1 through 33 of the

Amended Class Action Complaint as if fully set forth herein.


35.

Dualstar avers that the allegations set forth in paragraph 35 of the Amended Class

Action Complaint state a legal conclusion to which no response is required. Notwithstanding the
foregoing, to the extent that paragraph 35 of the Amended Class Action Complaint contains
factual allegations, Dualstar denies each and every allegation.
36.

Dualstar avers that the allegations set forth in paragraph 36 of the Amended Class

Action Complaint state a legal conclusion to which no response is required. Notwithstanding the

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foregoing, to the extent that paragraph 36 of the Amended Class Action Complaint contains
factual allegations, Dualstar denies each and every allegation.
37.

Dualstar avers that the allegations set forth in paragraph 37 of the Amended Class

Action Complaint state a legal conclusion to which no response is required. Notwithstanding the
foregoing, to the extent that paragraph 37 of the Amended Class Action Complaint contains
factual allegations, Dualstar denies each and every allegation.
38.

Dualstar avers that the allegations set forth in paragraph 38 of the Amended Class

Action Complaint state a legal conclusion to which no response is required. Notwithstanding the
foregoing, to the extent that paragraph 38 of the Amended Class Action Complaint contains
factual allegations, Dualstar denies each and every allegation.
39.

Dualstar avers that the allegations set forth in paragraph 39 of the Amended Class

Action Complaint state a legal conclusion to which no response is required. Notwithstanding the
foregoing, to the extent that paragraph 39 of the Amended Class Action Complaint contains
factual allegations, Dualstar denies each and every allegation.
40.

Dualstar avers that the allegations set forth in paragraph 40 of the Amended Class

Action Complaint state a legal conclusion to which no response is required. Notwithstanding the
foregoing, to the extent that paragraph 40 of the Amended Class Action Complaint contains
factual allegations, Dualstar denies each and every allegation.
41.

Dualstar avers that the allegations set forth in paragraph 41 of the Amended Class

Action Complaint state a legal conclusion to which no response is required. Notwithstanding the
foregoing, to the extent that paragraph 41 of the Amended Class Action Complaint contains
factual allegations, Dualstar denies each and every allegation.

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42.

Dualstar denies each and every allegation set forth in paragraph 42 of the

Amended Class Action Complaint.


43.

Dualstar denies each and every allegation set forth in paragraph 43 of the

Amended Class Action Complaint.


44.

Dualstar denies each and every allegation set forth in the WHEREFORE clause

following paragraph 43 of the Amended Class Action Complaint, and denies that Plaintiff is
entitled to any relief whatsoever from Dualstar.
AFFIRMATIVE DEFENSES
FIRST AFFIRMATIVE DEFENSE
45.

The Amended Class Action Complaint fails to state a claim upon which relief

may be granted.
SECOND AFFIRMATIVE DEFENSE
46.

The claims are barred, in whole or in part, by the applicable statute of limitations.
THIRD AFFIRMATIVE DEFENSE

47.

The claims are barred, in whole or in part, by the equitable doctrine of laches.
FOURTH AFFIRMATIVE DEFENSE

48.

The claims are barred, in whole or in part, by the equitable doctrine of waiver.
FIFTH AFFIRMATIVE DEFENSE

49.

The claims are barred, in whole or in part, by the equitable doctrine of estoppel.
SIXTH AFFIRMATIVE DEFENSE

50.

The claims are barred, in whole or in part, by the equitable doctrine of unclean

hands.

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SEVENTH AFFIRMATIVE DEFENSE


51.

Named Plaintiff and others who are purportedly similarly situated to Named

Plaintiff have failed to mitigate their damages, if any.


EIGHTH AFFIRMATIVE DEFENSE
52.

Named Plaintiff and others who are purportedly similarly situated to Named

Plaintiff were properly classified as interns under applicable laws.


NINTH AFFIRMATIVE DEFENSE
53.

Plaintiff does not state facts sufficient to certify a class action under New York

Civil Practice Law and Rules 901.


TENTH AFFIRMATIVE DEFENSE
54.

The purported class is not so numerous that joinder of all members is

impracticable.
ELEVENTH AFFIRMATIVE DEFENSE
55.

There are no questions of law or fact that are common to the purported class that

predominate over any questions affecting only individual members.


TWELFTH AFFIRMATIVE DEFENSE
56.

The purported claims or defenses of Named Plaintiff are not typical of the

purported claims or defenses of the other members of the purported class.


THIRTEENTH AFFIRMATIVE DEFENSE
57.

Named Plaintiff will not fairly and adequately protect the interest of the purported

class.
FOURTEENTH AFFIRMATIVE DEFENSE
58.

Named Plaintiff is an inadequate class representative.

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FIFTEENTH AFFIRMATIVE DEFENSE


59.

A class action is not superior to other available methods for the fair and efficient

adjudication of the controversy.


SIXTEENTH AFFIRMATIVE DEFENSE
60.

The claims are barred, in whole or in part, because at no time did Dualstar act in a

willful, wanton, reckless and/or malicious manner.


SEVENTEENTH AFFIRMATIVE DEFENSE
61.

Named Plaintiff has failed to state facts sufficient to constitute claims for statutory

penalties because Dualstar acted, at all times, in good faith and had reasonable grounds for
believing its conduct complied with applicable laws and regulations.
RESERVATION OF RIGHTS
Dualstar reserves the right to assert additional affirmative defenses as Named Plaintiffs
claims and the claims of the purported class are clarified in the course of this litigation.
WHEREFORE, Dualstar seeks judgment against Named Plaintiff:
(a)

Dismissing the entire Amended Class Action Complaint against it with prejudice;

(b)

Awarding Dualstar its costs and disbursements associated with this action,

including reasonable attorneys fees; and

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(c)

Awarding Dualstar such other and further relief as this Court deems just and

proper.
Dated: New York, New York
September 14, 2015

Respectfully submitted,
SHEPPARD, MULLIN, RICHTER & HAMPTON LLP

By:

/s/ Eric Raphan


Eric Raphan
30 Rockefeller Plaza
New York, New York 10112
Tel.: (212) 653-8700
Fax: (212) 653-8701
Email: eraphan@sheppardmullin.com
Michael Heimbold, Esq. (pro hac vice admission pending)
1901 Avenue of the Stars, Suite 1600
Los Angeles, CA 90067
Tel.: (310) 228-3700
Fax: (310) 228-3701
Email: mheimbold@sheppardmullin.com
Attorneys for Defendant
Dualstar Entertainment Group, LLC

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