EXCLUSIVE: Just 11 days after wanting to get in to the potential class action against the Lionsgate-distributed and Debmar-Mercury-produced daytime talker, Danielle Minch now wants out – to some extent. “Please take notice that the individual named below hereby withdraws her consent to join form to participate in the Fair Labor Standards Act portion of this lawsuit,” says a February 15 filing by attorney Lloyd Ambinder for the former intern on The Wendy Williams Show (read it here). “The individual reserves the right to participate in the New York Labor Law component of this lawsuit as a potential class member.”
On February 4, Minch had filed a consent request in federal court in NYC for her to join the FLSA part of the collective action seeking unpaid wages instigated by another ex-TWWS intern Anthony Tart on October 3 last year. NYC-based Virginia & Ambinder LLP are and continue to represent Tart in the matter. In late November, Lionsgate responded to Tart’s complaint with the distinct suggestion it be tossed out. Virginia & Ambinder did not respond today to requests for comment on Minch’s withdraw.
Maybe that’s because this is the second time in less than a year that the firm of Virginia & Ambinder LLP has had a client walk away from an intern case. Last September, Mallory Musallam had the law firm drop her class action against CBS Broadcasting, CBS Corp. and David Letterman’s Worldwide Pants less than a week after it was filed. In a separate letter to Letterman, Musallam, who interned at his Late Show for four months in late 2008, said that “lawsuit hungry” attorneys found an online profile of her that showed she had been an intern at the show and “coerced” her to file the action. At the time CBS said “this lawsuit is part of a nationwide trend of class action lawyers attacking internship opportunities provided by companies in the media and entertainment industry.”
CBS and Virginia & Ambinder LLP are facing off again in another intern lawsuit that the firm filed on January 26 for Camille Demere against CBS Corporation and CBS Radio. Filed in New York Supreme Court, the complaint is demanding a jury trial – unless someone drops out.