Storage & Moving LLC – A Lawsuit Against SP&S
The recent media attention on the world of professional athletes has caused many Americans to consider Shleppers Moving & Storage, Inc. (SP&S). SP&S is a large nationwide chain of over one hundred and sixty-five full-service moving warehouses. Many Americans who live in the Southwestern part of the United States are accustomed to having long-time friends or relatives in this company. Unfortunately, there have been numerous complaints in the past few months regarding the treatment of employees by SP&S. Hopefully this article can shed some light on whether or not this nationwide moving corporation poses a legal problem for those who are currently or previously employed by SP&S.
Shleppers Moving and Storage Lawsuit
First, the legal issue. There is a current lawsuit being contested right now in California involving former employees of Shleppers moving and storage. On October 6th, 2021, Joseph Garcia was severely beaten while working at an SP&S warehouse. He subsequently filed a personal injury lawsuit against the company and subsequently obtained additional compensation from both parties.
An SUV tractor-trailer transporting goods to a SP&S warehouse (which is located in Sacramento, California) became overcrowded and was stopped on the freeway. Several forklifts belonging to SP&S employees were damaged or stolen during the crash. An unidentified Hispanic man, who was operating one of the forklifts, subsequently assaulted Joseph Garcia in the melee. A surveillance video showed that the employees assisting the loading process for the trucker had engaged in verbal abuse directed at the driver of the tractor trailer, which caused the accident.
An investigation by the S.F.T.C. discovered that SP&S did not have any policies in place governing the hiring or firing of its drivers.
(The employer, SP&S, was notified of the lawsuit on October 6th.) An inspector visited the warehouse shortly thereafter and interviewed several of the employees on duty that day. Two of the slappers stated that they had advised the company’s general manager, Steve Holman, of their intent to complain about the working conditions and that he had told them to speak with the local S.F.T.C. He denied knowing anything about the incident.
One of the shleppers, identified as Casebolt, then contacted a San Francisco attorney named Paul Lovinko, who specializes in labor and employment litigation.
Mr. Lovinko began preparing a lawsuit for his clients, stating that he had several clients who were willing to come forward and provide information to assist in the case. On October 7th, three other plaintiffs called the attorney and provided similar information to assist in the case. Mr. Lovinko’s client began to interview SP&S’s counsel, whom he met in the office. During this meeting, Mr. Lovinko learned that the general manager of the warehouse had received an award of $3 million from a major medical and pharmaceutical company in January, which was being held in a warehouse owned by SP&S.
When counsel presented the case to the general manager, he denied knowing anything about the incident, stating that the warehouse manager had been informed that two employees had complained about unsafe working conditions and the company’s insurance covered the matter.
The general manager also stated that he would speak to the insurance company of the deceased employee’s co-workers and that he would ensure that all safety procedures would be followed. After reviewing the company’s policies, Mr. Lovinko informed the general manager of the lawsuit that if the company was not able to prove that its employees were not exposed to a hazardous condition, that the lawsuit could proceed. A week later, the company was served with a complaint in the state of California, asking for a temporary restraining order.