Lawsuit filed against companies allegedly associated with Ruby Tequila's

Lawsuit filed against companies allegedly associated with Ruby Tequila's

LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) - It's a story we followed closely as it all unfolded at the end of July.

Ruby Tequila's in both Lubbock and Amarillo shut their doors without any notice or any explanation to the employees.

Now, seven people are suing individuals and companies allegedly associated with Ruby Tequila's.

The lawsuit was filed in Amarillo but the list of plaintiffs includes Ruby Tequila's employees from Amarillo and Lubbock, including an employee of Fired Up Holding Company, the company that allegedly owned Ruby Tequila's at the time this all happened.

"There is a long, long line of people who have really been devastated by this and I think it should make anybody pretty angry to see what got done to them without any warning and no good reason," said Amarillo Attorney Jeff Blackburn.

Blackburn held a news conference to discuss the lawsuit on Thursday.

He represents the seven plaintiffs who are filing to sue Fired Up Holding Company, Richard Kevin Foote, Magdalena Baier, R Tequila Acquisition, Chalak Mitras Group, and Gurdev and Rajeev Gill of Gill Holdings.

The lawsuit claims that the defendants closed down all four locations of Ruby Tequila's on July 26, failing to pay hundreds of employees for several weeks of work prior to the closing.

It says some employees lost their homes or face eviction, are unable to pay bills and can't get unemployment benefits because their employer failed to pay their unemployment taxes.

The lawsuit alleges that Fired Up Holdings Company purchased Ruby Tequila's locations from R Tequila Acquisition on May 1, and claims that the sale was never closed.

But it claims that even so, Kevin Richard Foote and Magdalena Baier began to take responsibility for some day to day operations.

The lawsuit claims that the defendants violated the Fair Labor Standards Act by failing to pay the employees for all hours worked.

It also alleges that the defendants violated the WARN Act, the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act.

The lawsuit claims that this situation is considered a "Mass Layoff" under the WARN Act, as it states more than 50 employees were affected.

In the lawsuit, it says that under the WARN Act, employees should have received 60 days advance written notice from the defendants of the upcoming layoffs.

It says the employees did not receive a statement as to whether this was expected to be permanent or temporary and were not given direction on who to contact for further information.

They are asking for back pay, benefits, and any damages caused by the layoffs.

We did hear from the lawyer for the Gills, Ben Davidson, who gave us this comment:

"The case against the Gills is ridiculous. The Gills are commercial real estate developers through Gill Holdings. They are not employers, operators or managers of any restaurants, including Ruby Tequila's. They had absolutely nothing to do with Ruby Tequila's. This suit makes as much sense as saying I'm responsible for paying the employees because I ate fajitas at Ruby Tequila's a few months ago."

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