Producer Sean Garrett has been shut down in his attempt to overturn the $130k judgement he was hit with in the legal battle with his former bodyguard, with the Federal Appeal Court denying his plea to lower the amount he is to pay his ex-employee over unpaid wages.
Here’s the backstory: A man named Everitte Quarles filed a federal lawsuit against Garrett back in 2010. The man explains he worked as the producers personal security guard from 2005-2009. The bodyguard said that Garrett had him on call 24/7 and often worked 70 hours plus a week without a day off. He filed suit accusing Garrett of never paying him overtime and when he confronted him about it, Garrett fired him as his bodyguard. Quarles demanded the entire overtime he is owed, damages for the labor law violations and any other monetary award the court sees fit.
Garrett fired back claiming Quarles never had a written contract with him and he denied he violated any federal labor laws, he asked the court to dismiss the entire lawsuit.
The two have been battling in court for over 4 years. The bodyguard explained in his deposition that Garrett demanded so much from him — he didn’t even care when he interrupted his honeymoon because he said he had gotten robbed.
Also, Garrett allegedly only allowed Quarles 13 days off in 2007 and often he was required to work with Garrett in the studio from 2am to 2am the next day. The bodyguard was made to accompany him to meetings with Beyonce and Jay Z but also made to accompany him to Office Depot, the Apple store and Pet Smart.
Quarles says that as a result of the demanding schedule, he began developing health problems and started passing out regularly, which his doctor said was due to his job.
Last year, the case went to trial with a jury hearing both sides in the courtroom. Following 3 days in court the jury came back with its decision and they sided with the bodyguard.
They found that Garrett did indeed screw over his former employee by not paying him overtime during June 2008 – the end of 2009. They awarded Quarles a total of $65,497.50 in unpaid wages plus costs and interest since 2009.
Then months later, the judge came back with his decision for punitive damages in the case. He stated that Garrett’s testimony in the trial had credibility issues and he didn’t convince the jury or the judge that he hired the bodyguard as an independent contractor.
The order said that Garrett clearly did not occasionally use Quarles but rather the man was to be on call for travel and time in the studio at ALL times. Therefore, the judge decided to award the bodyguard a total of $65,497.50 in liquidated damages on top of the compensatory damages in the same amount the jury awarded for a grand total of $130,995 that Garrett is to pay his former employee. Shortly after the decision, Garrett headed back to Federal Court and filed an appeal of the decision demanding the judgement be overturned.
He continued to claim the bodyguard was an independent contractor and not his employee along with his belief that he shouldn’t have to pay any liquidated damages and also that the judge had awarded excessive attorney fees to the bodyguard following the jury verdict.
Here’s the latest: On June 10th, the Appeals Court came back and shut down the rapper’s attempt to overturn the $130k judgement. The court explains that the original court had ample basis to find that Garrett did not act in good faith with his bodyguard and paying his wages. Further, they state that the judge had ample basis to find that the rapper did not meet his burden as the employer. They denied his appeal and affirmed the original decision, meaning he will have to cough up the $130k to his former bodyguard ASAP.