Jul 16

Federal Court: Insurer Breaches Duty to Defend By Insisting it Owes Only a “Defense-Follows-Indemnity” Share of Defense Costs

In an insurance recovery case being handled by Payne & Fears partners Scott Thomas and Sarah Odia, an Arizona federal court, applying Nevada law, recently held that NGM Insurance Company breached its duty to defend its additional-insured homebuilder by refusing to pay more than a proportionate share of the builder’s defense costs based on what NGM called a “defense-follows-indemnity” formula.

The court rejected NGM’s argument that its duty to defend required it to pay only a small fraction of the builder’s defense costs proportionate to its named insured’s relatively small role...

Insurance Coverage

Sarah J. Odia, Scott S. Thomas

May 12

Payne & Fears Hits Another Home Run for Policyholder in Coverage Dispute

Payne & Fears’ insurance team partners Nate Cazier and Jared De Jong continued their winning streak on behalf of Rawlings Sporting Goods Co. in its dispute with Starr Indemnity & Liability Co. regarding coverage for an underlying class action lawsuit.

After months of litigation, culminating in summary judgment in favor of Rawlings, Payne & Fears secured payment for all of Rawlings’ unpaid legal fees...

Insurance Coverage

Jared De Jong, Nathan A. Cazier

Mar 18

At Payne & Fears’ Urging, Illinois Federal Court Dismisses Hostile Coverage Action

Payne & Fears (P&F) achieved another significant victory this week on behalf of a national homebuilder by securing the dismissal of a coverage action filed by its subcontractor and insurer in a hostile forum.

The client-homebuilder’s subcontractor’s liability insurer agreed to defend the client-homebuilder as an additional insured against a construction defect lawsuit pending Texas. The subcontractor filed a declaratory judgment action against its insurer in Illinois seeking a ruling that its insurer had no duty to defend the client-...

Insurance Coverage

Real Estate & Construction

Sarah J. Odia, Scott S. Thomas

Jan 27

Payne & Fears Hits a Home Run for Sporting Goods Company in Coverage Dispute

The Payne & Fears team of Nathan A. Cazier, Jared De Jong, and Blake A. Dillion secured a win for Rawlings Sporting Goods Co. in its coverage dispute with Starr Indemnity & Liability Co. 

Rawlings was sued in a consumer class action alleging that Rawlings...

Insurance Coverage

Blake A. Dillion, Jared De Jong, Nathan A. Cazier


Payne and Fears Achieves Summary Judgment in Disability Discrimination Case

Payne & Fears (P&F) achieved another significant victory this week on behalf of a national retail company by obtaining summary judgment against a former employee’s disability discrimination and wrongful termination claims.

The former employee’s lawsuit advanced claims of disability discrimination, retaliation, failure to accommodate, failure to engage in the interactive process, failure to prevent discrimination, and wrongful termination, all stemming from allegations that the employee was terminated the day after allegedly reporting an on-the-job injury. The company denied...

Labor and Employment Litigation, Discrimination & Harassment


Alejandro G. Ruiz, Andrew K. Haeffele, Megan A. Mackie


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...

Labor and Employment Litigation

Amy R. Patton, Matthew C. Lewis, 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