parties to accept the New Jersey Workmen's Compensation Law, N.J.S.A. 34:15-1 et seq. It amounts to no more than an action against an employer for personal injuries or the contraction of an occupational disease incurred by employees in the course of their employment.
The motion for leave to amend must be denied for both reasons discussed.
Sur Motion for Summary Judgment
The motion is granted, for the reasons set forth in the part of the foregoing discussion concluding that the New Jersey statute does not create a private remedy.
In addition, the Court is without jurisdiction over the second cause of action as pleaded in the original complaint. The question here is whether, in a case based upon diversity of citizenship in a non-federal cause of action, the jurisdictional amount is in controversy. Answering the defendant's fourth interrogatory which was 'State the amount of money claimed as damages by each Plaintiff adding up to the total of 'approximately $ 250,000.', as alleged in Paragraph 13 of the Complaint.', the plaintiffs stated 'Approximately $ 1,445 per plaintiff * * *.'
Obviously, this is not a true class action but a spurious one -- a permissive joinder of a number of entirely separate and distinct claims ( Pentland v. Dravo Corp., 3 Cir., 152 F.2d 851). As such, the plaintiffs' several demands cannot be aggregated in order to make up the jurisdictional amount.
The only remaining question is whether in the case of each plaintiff the rule laid down by the Supreme Court in Hurn v. Oursler, 289 U.S. 238, 53 S. Ct. 586, 77 L. Ed. 1148, would permit the federal cause of action properly pleaded under the Fair Labor Standards Act to support the non-federal cause of action based on diversity but lacking the jurisdictional amount. That depends upon whether the complaint pleads two distinct grounds in support of a single cause of action or whether it pleads two separate and distinct causes of action. In the first case federal jurisdiction exists. In the second case it does not. 'The distinction to be observed is between a case where two distinct grounds in support of a single cause of action are alleged, one only of which presents a federal question, and a case where two separate and distinct causes of action are alleged, one only of which is federal in character. In the former, where the federal question averred is not plainly wanting in substance, the federal court, even though the federal ground be not established, may nevertheless retain and dispose of the case upon the nonfederal ground; in the latter it may not do so upon the nonfederal cause of action.' Hurn v. Oursler, supra, 289 U.S. at page 246, 53 S. Ct. at page 589.
The cause of action based on the New Jersey statute does not depend for its establishment upon the plaintiffs' proving that they worked more than 40 hours in any one week. Nor do the other items claimed, such as work clothing, medical examinations, etc., have anything to do with the hours worked. The Fair Labor Standards Act is concerned solely with hours worked in excess of 40 per week and wages therefor and does not include any items of expense. These are clearly separate and distinct causes of action and not separate grounds pleaded in support of one single cause of action.
Orders in accordance with the foregoing may be submitted.
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