A Federal Judge issued a decision that requires Mario Sbarro to produce the contents of his Trust Agreement in connection with a wage and hour collective action filed by former waitstaff of Long Island’s Burton & Doyle Steakhouse. The lawsuit filed in 2014, alleges that Mario Sbarro, the former chairman of Sbarro, Inc., was an owner of the now closed steakhouse, and responsible for the alleged wage and hour violations, including failure to pay minimum wage, overtime pay, and misappropriated gratuities.
Mario Sbarro argued that he was not an owner of the steakhouse, but rather a Trust, set up in his name, owned and operated the restaurant, and that the Trust Agreement did not grant him any operational authority to manage the restaurant. Moreover, Mario Sbarro claimed that the Trust Agreement was protected by attorney-client privilege and refused to disclose it. However, the Court found that Sbarro had used the attorney-client privilege as both a sword and a shield, thereby waiving any privilege and ordered that it be turned over.