Sad news from Seattle today: Paseo is closed. Both locations. Terrible.
In the wake of the news, some have speculated that the sudden shuttering is linked to a lawsuit filed back in September by former Paseo employees. In the Complaint, the plaintiffs allege that (1) Paseo illegally withheld overtime wages to which they were entitled and (2) treated them unfairly because of their race or ethnicity. For its part, Paseo answered and denied the allegations, insisting that the workers were treated fairly and paid in connection with a tip-sharing system. A reminder that until there’s a judicial finding or an admission, the allegations in the Complaint are just that—allegations.
There may be a link between the September lawsuit and the sudden closure; there may not be a link. Here’s what we know now: The case docket does not show any recent progress in the case—no recent adverse decision, no recent motion, no settlement, etc. Just a basic complaint and answer.
Based on dates, it seems like the case should be in a pretty non-controversial stage of the litigation at this point. Folks should be exchanging document requests, gathering information, etc. Nothing that would usually lead to an abrupt “win” for one side.
Curious, I reached out to the plaintiffs’ attorney, Trevor D. Osborne at Davies Pearson. He was nice enough to get back to me and told me that the closure was news to him as well. (In fact, he found out via Twitter while eating his lunch today.) According to him, there have been no significant developments in the case recently: no settlement, no motion practice, nothing other than the usual sorts of things like document discovery.
I reached out to Paseo’s attorneys as well, but they’ve yet to get back to me. Obviously, they’d be the ones with the best information on why their client closed its doors. But based on the case docket, the pleadings, and the plaintiffs’ attorney, at this point any speculation about a link to the pending case is just that—speculation.