SAN FRANCISCO — The California First District Court of Appeal recently decided to deny a motion brought by American Medical Response West (AMR), an ambulance service provider, that sought to dismiss an appeal by its employees, who allege that they were not given time to eat or rest. 

The Alameda County Superior Court had previously ruled in favor of American Medical Response West in Laura Bartoni et al vs. American Medical Response West when employees had sought class certification.

In its April 25 decision, the appeals court the case originated when Laura Bartoni, a dispatcher for AMR; emergency medical technicians Cameron Francis, Heather Murray and efferson Todd Willhoyte brought a lawsuit against American Medical Response West for the company's alleged lunch and break policies in violation of the California Labor Code.

The appeals court said in its decision that the plaintiffs also accused American Medical Response West of not paying the plaintiffs overtime but that those allegations were thrown out.

The appeals court said in its decision that the plaintiffs had suggested that their case was appropriate for a class-action suit, which would have included dispatchers, paramedics, nurses and drivers.

The appeals court said that "after a hearing and after receiving further supplemental briefing from AMR, the trial court denied class certification for plaintiffs’ causes of action under the Labor Code."

The appeals court ordered the superior court to vacate the portion of its order denying class certification for plaintiffs’ claims under the Labor Code and sent the case back to the superior court for more litigation.

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