Aug 13

Payne & Fears Secures Victory for Client - Court Rejects Common PAGA Abuses

On August 13, 2020, Payne & Fears attorneys secured a victory on behalf of Southern Counties Oil Co. in a published opinion from the California Court of Appeal, First District in the case, Robinson v. Southern Counties Oil Company.


Richard Robinson worked as a truck driver for Southern Counties Oil Co. from February 4, 2015 through June 14, 2017. In August 2018, Robinson filed a complaint under the California...

Labor and Employment Litigation

Amy R. Patton, Matthew C. Lewis, Raymond J. Nhan, Sean A. O’Brien


Payne & Fears LLP Obtains $10,000 Judgment Against Unsuccessful Plaintiff in Sexual Harassment and Retaliation Case

After a lengthy and contentious 2 ½-year court battle, Payne & Fears secured for its client a payment of $10,000 from a Plaintiff as part of a judgment in a case involving severe allegations of sexual harassment and retaliation. In the complaint, the Plaintiff alleged multiple instances of sexual harassment by a coworker over an eight-year period, and subsequent retaliation by the client’s human resources department. Throughout the case, however, the client consistently maintained that the coworker and the Plaintiff had been involved in a consensual 8-year relationship. Over the course...

Labor and Employment Litigation

Alejandro G. Ruiz, Jeffrey K. Brown


Payne & Fears Wins Summary Judgment in Disability Discrimination Case

Payne & Fears LLP secured complete summary judgment and a voluntary dismissal on behalf of a client in two separate cases filed by the client’s former employee. The employee filed one action alleging that she was discriminated and retaliated against due to a disability that put her out of work indefinitely, and that she was not reasonably accommodated for this disability. The employee filed a second action styled as a wage and hour class action alleging she and other similarly situated employees were denied overtime pay, meal periods, and rest breaks, among other things. In the...

Labor and Employment Litigation

Alejandro G. Ruiz, Jeffrey K. Brown, Tyler B. Runge


Court of Appeal Affirms Complete Victory in Class Action/PAGA Case

The California Court of Appeal has affirmed a complete victory by Payne & Fears’ client, Safeway, Inc., over a certified class of wage-and-hour plaintiffs. Esparza v. Safeway Inc., et al., B287927 (Los Angeles County Super. Ct. No. BC369766, June 10, 2019).

Plaintiffs filed the Esparza action in 2007, alleging (among other claims) that Safeway failed to provide meal periods to its retail employees throughout California, and failed to pay one-hour premiums to those employees who did not receive meal periods. Plaintiffs stated claims directly under Labor Code 226.7,...

Labor and Employment Litigation

James L. Payne, Jeffrey K. Brown, Ray E. Boggess


Payne & Fears LLP Obtains Significant Win on Behalf of Compounding Pharmacy Client Against Pharmaceutical Giant Allergan

On May 16, 2019, a federal jury handed down a huge win for a compounding pharmacy, Imprimis Pharmaceuticals, Inc., in its defense of efforts by pharmaceutical giant Allergan USA, Inc. to put it out of business.

On September 7, 2017, Allergan sued Imprimis, a San Diego company operating compounding pharmacies that sell unique, compounded drugs in all 50 states. Allergan alleged that Imprimis had violated the Lanham Act and other laws by making false statements in its product advertisements. Allergan sought more than $7,000,000.00 in direct damages and...

Business Litigation

Health Care

Daniel L. Rasmussen, David A. Grant


Payne & Fears Represents Builder in Largest Recovery in Firm History

Payne & Fears represented a publicly-traded home builder in a complex, high-stakes insurance coverage dispute that was resolved in the builder’s favor. Although the terms of the settlement are confidential, the homebuilder was “thrilled” with the settlement. And the Payne & Fears partner that handled the matter calls the settlement a “once in a lifetime” victory.

The odyssey that led to this recovery began in 2011, when the builder sued two of its liability insurers for denying several claims that, together, totaled more than $50,000,000. Had the case gone to trial, the...

Insurance Coverage

Real Estate & Construction

Blake A. Dillion, J. Kelby Van Patten, Jared De Jong, Nathan A. Cazier, Scott S. Thomas


Won Five-Year Battle on Behalf of Client Medway Plastics Corporation

Payne & Fears LLP won a five-year battle on behalf of client Medway Plastics Corporation, ending with the California Court of Appeal upholding dismissals by the arbitrator and trial court.

Two former employees of Medway filed their complaint in 2013.  We moved swiftly to compel arbitration, which the trial court denied. We appealed, and the Court of Appeal agreed with us and ordered arbitration.

When Plaintiffs waited more than a year to file their complaint in arbitration, we moved to dismiss their claims as untimely.  This argument was accepted by the...

Labor and Employment Litigation, Appellate Law (Labor)

Blake A. Dillion, Daniel F. Fears, Laura Fleming


Recovered More Than $1.65 Million on Behalf of Homebuilder in Insurance Coverage Case

Irvine partner Scott Thomas and associate Kevin Brantley recovered more than $1.65 million from several insurers on behalf of a homebuilder, reimbursing the homebuilder for all defense costs it had incurred, or would incur in the future, after the insurers denied coverage and refused to defend the homebuilder in a single-home construction defect action.

After being rebuffed by the insurers for more than five years, the homebuilder retained Payne & Fears to recover roughly $1 million in past defense costs and negotiate a going-forward defense-funding arrangement. After Payne...

Insurance Coverage

Real Estate & Construction

Scott S. Thomas


Won TRO Against Former E*TRADE Employee

Payne & Fears LLP client E*TRADE was granted a temporary restraining order by the federal district court in Chicago, barring a former employee—a financial consultant—from using confidential information to solicit E*TRADE’s clients away from the provider and to her new employer, Morgan Stanley. 

In the case E*TRADE Financial Corp. v. Pospisil, evidence showed that the former employee accessed E*TRADE’s customer data shortly before she left the firm. The court deemed it reasonable to infer that she accessed it in order to use the information in her new job after...

Labor and Employment Litigation, Trade Secret and Unfair Business Practices, Business Litigation, Intellectual Property

Financial Institutions

Alejandro G. Ruiz, Blake A. Dillion


Recovered Almost $1,000,000 in Insurance Proceeds for a Fortune 500 Homebuilder

Irvine office partner Scott S. Thomas and Las Vegas partner Sarah J. Odia recently recovered almost $1,000,000 in insurance proceeds for a Fortune 500 homebuilder. Several liability insurers that insured the homebuilder as an additional-insured under policies issued to the homebuilder’s subcontractors refused to defend the homebuilder in two multi-plaintiff construction defect actions in Clark County, Nevada. One of the insurers filed a motion to dismiss the homebuilder’s insurance recovery complaints, citing the “ongoing operations” language in its additional insured...

Insurance Coverage

Real Estate & Construction

Sarah J. Odia, Scott S. Thomas