Jul 10

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...

Practice areas: Labor and Employment Litigation, ERISA Litigation

Attorneys: Andrew K. Haeffele, Eric C. Sohlgren

Jun 30

Payne & Fears LLP Obtains Victory for Client SpaceX

Ben Nix, Scott Luskin, and Robert Matsuishi of 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. 

In Phoenix Mechanical Pipeline, Inc. v. Space Exploration Technologies Corp., No. B269186 (2017 WL 2544856) (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...

Practice areas: Business Litigation, Appellate Law (Business)

Attorneys: Benjamin A. Nix, Robert T. Matsuishi, Scott O. Luskin

Jun 09

$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...

Practice areas: Business Litigation

Attorneys: C. Darryl Cordero, Leilani L. Jones, Philip K. Lem, Scott O. Luskin

Mar 10

Payne & Fears Secures Win in New Jersey Appellate Court

Payne & Fears obtained a major victory in the Travelers insurance collection litigation in a decision released by the New Jersey Appellate Division on March 10, 2017. The appellate court completely reversed a 2015 trial court dismissal of claims by former shareholders of Clarendon Insurance Group in their attempt to collect a $92 million Bermuda judgment. The court rejected the insurers' arguments that the shareholders were bound by a default rescission judgment Travelers had obtained in Bermuda in an attempt to avoid paying the shareholders' own Bermuda judgment. The court then...

Practice areas: Insurance Coverage, Appellate Law (Business)

Attorneys: C. Darryl Cordero, Jared De Jong, Scott O. Luskin

2016

Payne & Fears Recovers 100% of Costs in High-Exposure Construction Defect Lawsuit

Irvine office partner Scott S. Thomas, and associate Sarah J. Odia of the Las Vegas office, recovered more than $2 million dollars from a group of additional-insured carriers for a major home builder in reimbursement of costs incurred to defend a high-exposure construction defect lawsuit, plus 100% of Payne & Fears LLP's costs incurred pursuing the litigation. By utilizing their connections within the insurance industry, and by employing creative legal strategies - including early case evaluation and mediation - Payne & Fears LLP was able to recover the entire amount uncommonly...

Practice areas: Insurance Coverage

Attorneys: Sarah J. Odia, Scott S. Thomas

2016

Payne & Fears LLP Obtained Major Win in Widely Publicized Class Action

In late July, the Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit ended a 23-year bid by a retired employee of the world's largest aerospace company to force the company's pension plan to retroactively recalculate decades of pension benefits she and other retirees commenced while working. The plaintiff, one of the original "Rosie the Riveters" who riveted planes during WWII, and who recently retired from making C-17s at the age of 95, claimed that her and other participants' pension benefits had been underpaid since at least 1989. In 2015, Payne & Fears LLP prevailed on a summary judgment...

Practice areas: Labor and Employment Litigation, Class Action Defense, Appellate Law (Labor), ERISA Litigation

Attorneys: Eric C. Sohlgren

2015

Payne & Fears Obtains Summary Judgment in Multiple-Claim Wrongful Termination Case in Idaho

Payne & Fears obtained complete summary judgment on claims brought by a former employee in federal court in Idaho. The employee, a former truck driver, alleged that she was discriminated against due to her gender and due to a disability resulting from a work-related injury, and in retaliation for filing a workers’ compensation claim arising from the injury. She brought seven claims under Idaho and federal law. The employer, a mining company, argued that the employee was accommodated by placing her in an office position, and that she was laid off due to economic difficulties because...

Practice areas: Labor and Employment Litigation

Attorneys: James R. Moss, Jr.

2015

Payne & Fears Successfully Defends Dismissal of Discrimination Claim at 10th Circuit and Supreme Court

Payne & Fears LLP defeated a race discrimination case brought to federal court in Salt Lake City, Utah for a large hotel and hospitality company. The employee alleged that his hours were reduced because of his race, and that he was ultimately was terminated because the employer hired an employee who was not African American and assigned him all of his work. Payne & Fears obtained complete dismissal of the case at the pleading stage in district court. The employee appealed to the 10th Circuit, which affirmed the district court’s decision in full. Finally, the employee filed a...

Practice areas: Labor and Employment Litigation

Attorneys: James R. Moss, Jr.

2015

Judge Grants Dismissal of Insurers' Equitable Reimbursement Claim

Members of the Payne & Fears Insurance Group were written up in the May 2015 edition of the "Mealey's Litigation Report: California Insurance" when commercial general liability insurers failed to assert any claims for breach of the cooperation clause of the insurance agreement or for equitable reimbursement. A California federal magistrate judge granted a dismissal of claims against additional insureds regarding a defense in an underlying construction defects case in Travelers Property Casualty Company of America, et al. v. Centex Homes, et al.

Practice areas: Insurance Coverage

Attorneys: J. Kelby Van Patten, Jared De Jong, Nathan A. Cazier

2015

Judge Dismisses Insurers' Breach of Contract Claim Against Insured as Moot

Members of the Payne & Fears Insurance Group were written up in the April 2015 edition of the "Mealey's Litigation Report: California Insurance" for a California federal judge dismissing an insurers' breach of contract claim against insureds regarding an insurance policy's potential coverage for an underlying construction defects case because the insureds are not pursuing coverage under that policy in Travelers Property Casualty Company of America, et al. v. Centex Homes, et al.

Practice areas: Insurance Coverage

Attorneys: J. Kelby Van Patten, Jared De Jong