John DeLucie And His Rich People Restaurants Hit With Waitstaff Lawsuit
Celebrity wage-violation attorney Maimon Kirschenbaum, a year after his class-action suit against the Batali-Bastianich Hospitality Group, has just filed another massive suit against John DeLucie and his Crown Group Hospitality on behalf of his waitstaff.
Grub Street broke the news that Kirschenbaum, along with attorney Louis Pechman, are suing DeLucie’s group for wage violations — specifically, for unpaid overtime, unpaid minimum wage, and “misappropriated ‘service charges’ which, upon information and belief, defendants led their customers to believe were gratuities to be paid in their entirety to their service staff but which were actually retained by the house.” (This was the charge levied against Lidia Bastianich and dozens of other restaurants, too.)
While Kirschenbaum’s recovered nearly $40 million from high-end restaurants through his multiple class-action lawsuits (with the Batali-Bastianich lawsuit netting $5.25 million for his clients), this is the first time he’s taken on an entire restaurant group. With restaurants like the Crown, the Lion, and the famously-panned Bill’s Food and Drink, DeLucie’s spots have a reputation for catering to New York’s wealthiest (though maybe not most discerning) diners. Given that he’s infamous for charging $55 for a truffle mac ‘n’ cheese and $66 for a ribeye, and who knows how much his clientele spends on wine and liquor, this case could be Kirschenbaum’s biggest lawsuit yet.
The lawsuit in full can be found below.