Successes

2017

Unlicensed Contractor Agrees to Drop Million Dollar Suit Against SpaceX

Payne & Fears LLP recently obtained a victory in favor of their client, SpaceX, before the California Court of Appeal which upheld the dismissal of certain claims against SpaceX by an unlicensed contractor seeking to collect on what it claimed were over $1 million in unpaid invoices. 

In Phoenix Mechanical Pipeline, Inc. v. Space Exploration Technologies Corp., No. B269186 (Cal. Ct. App. June 13, 2017), a published opinion, the Court of Appeal for the Second Appellate District ruled that plaintiff’s claims for contracting services were barred by ...

Business Litigation, Appellate Law (Business)

Benjamin A. Nix, Robert Tadashi Matsuishi, Scott O. Luskin

2017

Payne & Fears LLP Granted Final Approval of $11.75 Million Class Settlement in TCPA Litigation

Payne & Fears LLP secured a victory on behalf of client Craftwood Lumber Company in a Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) litigation in Illinois state court. The Lake County Circuit Court granted final approval of the $11.75 million class settlement that the Firm secured for recipients of faxes announcing price changes for Hardware Resources products. The court noted that none of the 26,000 class members had objected to the settlement, and only nine class members had opted out.

Business Litigation

C. Darryl Cordero, Leilani E. Jones, Scott O. Luskin

2017

Final Approval of $25M TCPA Lawsuit Granted

Payne & Fears LLP received a major victory in the RehabCare Group Telephone Consumer Protection Act ("TCPA") litigation in the Eastern District of California.

Judge Dale A. Drozd released his decision granting final approval of the $25 million class settlement the Firm had obtained for recipients of "Polaris Group" junk faxes. In its 24-page decision, the court concluded that the settlement easily qualified as "fair, reasonable, and adequate."

Over the course of several years, long-term care facilities across the country had been blanketed with faxes promoting Polaris...

Business Litigation

C. Darryl Cordero, Leilani E. Jones, Scott O. Luskin

2017

Recovered More Than $2.75 Million On Behalf of a Homebuilder

Irvine partners Scott Thomas, Nathan Cazier, and Jared De Jong recovered more than $2.75 million from several primary and excess insurers on behalf of a homebuilder, reimbursing the homebuilder for defense costs it shouldered after the insurers denied coverage and refused to defend the homebuilder in several construction defect lawsuits. 

Payne & Fears negotiated favorable settlements with all but one insurer.  After the trial court granted summary judgment in favor of the remaining insurer, the homebuilder appealed.  After the appeal was briefed, the hold-out...

Insurance Coverage

Real Estate & Construction

Jared De Jong, Nathan A. Cazier, Scott S. Thomas

2017

Statewide PAGA Claim Eliminated

Payne & Fears obtained an order striking the representative PAGA claims from a statewide wage-and-hour action, thus reducing size of the case from over 250,000 members to a mere handful of individual claims.

Five former employees sued Payne & Fears’ client, a large multistate retailer, for meal and rest period violations and related causes of action.  Plaintiffs sought to certify a class of over 250,000 current and former employees, and also sought to maintain claims for PAGA penalties on behalf of the same population.  The...

Labor and Employment Litigation, Wage-and-Hour Litigation, Class Action Defense

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

2017

Court Denies De Novo Review in Favor of Request for Abuse of Discretion Standard

In a case brought in federal court under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) against our client, a national retailer, and its group health insurance plan for denial of an expensive surgery as not medically necessary, the court ordered briefing on the appropriate standard of court review. In ERISA cases, the standard of review is very important to determine whether the court will defer to the plan’s determination. Plaintiff filed a motion arguing for de novo review based on a California Insurance Code section he claimed negated the plan’s language requiring abuse of...

Labor and Employment Litigation, ERISA Litigation

Andrew K. Haeffele

2017

Individual Releases Secured Low Settlement

We were retained as lead counsel in addition to insurance panel counsel to defend two related wage and hour class actions brought against an Orange County car wash owner.  We mounted an aggressive strategy to reduce potential damages, including an audit of payroll and timekeeping records, individual interviews with over 60 putative class members to obtain declarations and releases in exchange for individual settlement payments, and training for all managers and supervisors.  After sharing some information with plaintiff’s counsel, we were able to settle the case at mediation with...

Labor and Employment Litigation, Wage-and-Hour Litigation, Class Action Defense, Employment Advice & Counseling

Financial Institutions

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Health Care

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Real Estate & Construction

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Technology & Startups

Alejandro G. Ruiz

2017

$3 Million "Fax Blast" Settlement Reached for Client Craftwood Lumber Co.

Payne & Fears client Craftwood Lumber Co. struck a $3 million settlement with Senco Brands Inc. over alleged violations of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act and the Junk Fax Protection Act.

In 2014, Craftwood, a regional hardware and lumber chain, sued power tool manufacturer, Senco, in the Northern District of Illinois claiming that between 2010 and 2014 it had been targeted in a “fax blasting” campaign advertising Senco’s air compressors, nail guns and other tools. The cover page of the fax contained the message “Attention Senco Dealers!! NEW!!!!!!!! AIR COMPRESSOR AND 3...

Business Litigation

C. Darryl Cordero, Leilani E. Jones, Scott O. Luskin

2017

"Regular Rate" Class Action Settlement

After being threatened with a class action, we assisted an Orange County company in performing a confidential internal audit of its overtime regular rate calculations.  We determined that the company had not properly considered bonuses in the regular rate for overtime pay.  This resulted in substantial liability for unpaid wages and penalties.  After receiving a pre-litigation demand, we negotiated a tolling agreement and agreed to mediation.  The amount due to employees was relatively simple to calculate and undisputed.  The employer chose to pay...

Labor and Employment Litigation

Financial Institutions

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Health Care

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Real Estate & Construction

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Religious Organizations

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Technology & Startups

Amy R. Patton

2017

Statewide Settlement of Class Action on Individual Basis

We represented an Orange County company in a class action lawsuit filed by a former inside sales representative, claiming that he and over 100 other individuals were misclassified as exempt from the overtime requirement.  Given a significant risk of misclassification, and without timekeeping records, we worked with the company to conduct an analysis of any records that would show the hours sales representatives worked, including digital phone records, parking lot transponders, and company holiday schedules.  Based on these records, we assisted the company in...

Labor and Employment Litigation, Wage-and-Hour Litigation, Class Action Defense, Employment Advice & Counseling