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Construction workers win unpaid wages and damages in longstanding case

November 29, 2023

After five years of fighting for their unpaid wages, eleven construction workers have scored a significant victory in a lawsuit against their employers. A federal judge ruled in late October that both the general contractor and subcontractor were liable for paying the workers their wages, plus double damages, almost $95,000 in total, for several weeks they worked without any compensation on the construction of a fitness facility in Riverdale, Maryland. The Public Justice Center is proud to represent the workers in the case, Aguilar et al. v. David E. Harvey Builders, Inc. et al.

The workers’ pursuit of justice culminated in a week-long federal trial in May 2023, at which each of the plaintiffs provided compelling direct testimony and withstood forceful cross-examination from two sets of defendants. In the court’s decision, the judge credited and relied on the workers’ testimony and adopted our central legal arguments.

Congratulations to the plaintiffs for this hard-earned win: Angella Aguilar, Luis Baires, Carlos Chavarria, Blanca Ferrer, Jacinto Garcia, Fabricio Marroquin, Antonio Martinez, Wilson Panozo, Freddy Veizaga Prado, Jose Feliciano Revelo, and Jose Antonio Torres. We honored their courage and persistence with the John P. Sarbanes Courage Award this fall.

Thank you to the many current and former staff who worked on this case, including attorneys Monisha Cherayil, Lucy Zhou, Sally Dworak-Fisher, and Tyra Robinson; Legal Director Debra Gardner; and paralegals Emily Woo Kee, Kelsey Carlson, and Lena Yeakey. Thank you also to attorneys David Rodwin and Diana Jarek, managing paralegal Carolina Paul, paralegal Gabriela Dickson La Rotta, and intern Isabel Restall for their assistance.