Case Results

Ponzi Scheme – $15.6 Million

In 2016, a Los Angeles Superior Court jury awarded $15.6 million to a grandmother who lost her life savings in a bogus investment fund that was offered by a MetLife insurance agent. After an eight-week trial, the jury unanimously found that MetLife and two of its subsidiaries, New England Life Insurance Co. and New England Securities, and a former managing partner, Tony Russon, were liable on four civil counts including aiding and abetting violation of California securities laws, negligence, and aiding and abetting deceit and financial elder abuse. Christine Ramirez was represented by Richard E. Donahoo of Donahoo & Associates PC, who was co-lead counsel with Thomas Foley, a founding partner in Foley Bezek Behle & Curtis LLP. Read more about the MetLife Ponzi Scheme case.

Wrongful Death – $7.4 Million

In 2014, following a three week jury trial, attorneys Richard E. Donahoo and Judith Camilleri of Donahoo & Associates received a $7.431 Million jury verdict against the County of Orange and a negligent driver in a motor vehicle accident.  The plaintiff and her daughter were struck in an Orange County crosswalk that the jury found was a dangerous condition.   The County made no offer of settlement.  The verdict:  12-0 in favor of plaintiff.  “We are pleased that our client was willing to take on a powerful government agency and that the jury compensated her for her injuries and loss.  We are looking forward to seeing her get the care and treatment she needs.  The jury got it right.” said Richard E. Donahoo.

FLSA Overtime Case- $17.95 Million

In 2013 Donahoo & Associates concluded the 7-year litigation of a Fair Labor Standards Act overtime case, recovering $17.95 million on behalf of 851 former employees of a national fitness chain. The FLSA case sought recovery of unpaid overtime for personal trainers and club managers. The United States District Court approved the settlement which was reached after litigation in 21 separate federal districts across the country.

Wrongful Termination / Non-Payment of Prevailing Wages- $675,000

In 2013 Donahoo & Associates recovered $675,000 on behalf of two individuals employed as Field Soils and Material Testers on a public works project in San Diego, California. The employees alleged the company failed to comply with the Labor Code when it paid a fraction of the required wage rates on public works and wrongfully terminated them in retaliation for their wage complaints.

Aiding and Abetting Fraud / Ponzi Scheme- $6.325 Million

In 2012 Donahoo & Associates recovered over $6.325 million on behalf of 70 individuals who invested in a private investment program which was the subject of a SEC Investigation which exposed a fraudulent Ponzi scheme. The investors sued a national life insurance company who issued collateral assignments used by the investment company, Diversified Lending Group, Inc. to “guarantee” the private investments. Donahoo & Associates brought claims against the life insurance company for “aiding and abetting” the perpetrators of the Ponzi scheme.

ERISA / ESOP Fraud- $5.125 Million

In 2012 Donahoo & Associates recovered $5.125 million on behalf of 198 former employees of a construction company who were participants in an Employee Stock Ownership Plan (“ESOP”). The workers alleged that the construction company had inflated the value of the company in connection with the sale of the company to the ESOP. The wrongdoing was uncovered by Donahoo & Associates while litigating employment claims for individual employees employed on a public work. The workers filed a federal case against the trustees in the ESOP transaction for breach of fiduciary duties in violation of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) a federal law that sets minimum standards for pension plans in private industry. ERISA gives participants the right to sue for benefits and breaches of fiduciary duty.

Wage and Hour Class Action- $ 12 Million

In 2010 Donahoo & Associates recovered $12 million in the settlement of a wage and hour class action on behalf of truck drivers and other California employees. The Los Angeles Superior Court granted final approval of the class action settlement, which was reached after submission of hundred of declarations and depositions taken throughout California.

Non-Payment of Prevailing Wages- $400,000

In 2010 Donahoo & Associates completed litigation on behalf of two former employees of a contractor employed on a public works project at Los Angeles International Airport. The employees alleged they were misclassified and that the employer failed to pay the required wages on the project.

Non-Payment of Prevailing Wages- $550,000

In 2009 Donahoo & Associates recovered $550,000 for a group of carpenters employed on a City of Los Angeles Housing project in Wilmington, California. The contractor allegedly failed to pay wages and overtime to the workers and allegedly falsified payroll records to conceal the wrongful conduct. Donahoo & Associate obtained evidence to prove the non-payment and falsification.

Wrongful Termination – $587,000

Donahoo & Associates recently recovered $587,000 for an individual who was wrongfully terminated from a health care facility as a result of his cooperation in a Los Angeles County investigation at the facility. Donahoo & Associates assisted in recovery of back wages, projected future earnings, and general damages.

Class Action Labor Dispute – $6 Million Settlement During Trial

Donahoo & Associates recovered $6 million on behalf of over 600 construction workers who worked on a California public works project in Adelanto, California. Richard E. Donahoo represented plaintiffs in a class action trial in Victorville, California and before the California Court of Appeal. The suit involved the construction of a prison built on behalf of the California Department of Corrections. On appeal Donahoo and Associates successfully defended the trial court’s ruling granting class certification.

Construction Defect Litigation – $7.1 Million

In 2008 Donahoo & Associates completed litigation involving a homeowners association and individual homeowners whose homes suffered damage from soil movement and defective construction. Donahoo & Associates represented the homeowners to obtain recovery for the damages. In settlements with the builders and insurers the association and individual homeowners recovered over $7.1 million.

Wrongful Death – Settlement Amount Confidential

Donahoo & Associates represented a family of a construction laborer killed in a scaffolding collapse in Los Angeles, California. Donahoo and Associates brought suit against the property owners for negligence and successfully resolved the case on behalf of the family.

Employment Dispute – $350,000

In 2008 Donahoo & Associates completed an employment case on behalf of four individuals against their employer and insurance companies for violations of the California Labor Code. At the Court of Appeal, Donahoo and Associates successfully reversed a trial court ruling that had dismissed the case. The appellate victory by Donahoo and Associates was upheld by the California Supreme Court and later by the United States Supreme Court. Plaintiffs recovered $350,000 in a settlement with the employer and insurers.

Catastrophic Personal Injury – Settlement Amount Confidential

In 2006 Donahoo & Associates represented a woman who suffered catastrophic personal injuries resulting from an accident at a hotel resort involving an employee of the resort. Donahoo and Associates represented the woman and successfully resolved the case before trial.

Individual Employment Disputes – $4.1 Million Settlement

Donahoo & Associates recovered $4.1 million for 46 employees who worked for a public works contractor and were not paid their required compensation. The case was the result of litigation against two bonding companies who guaranteed payment on public works projects. The employees were employed by a company specializing in the construction and installation of modular buildings in California.

Unfair Business Practices – $2 Million Settlement After Trial Verdict

Donahoo & Associates represented employees of an electrical company in a case involving fraud and unfair business practices. After a five month jury trial with a verdict in favor of the plaintiffs, the employees recovered $2 million in a post-verdict settlement.

Non-Payment of Prevailing Wages – $900,000 Settlement

In 2008 the Los Angeles Superior Court preliminarily approved a settlement of $900,000 to pay workers who performed work on a City of Pasadena project who were not paid the required prevailing wages. The plaintiffs’ employer claimed a legal exemption from the pay requirements. Donahoo & Associates challenged the employer’s arguments and won a ruling in the workers’ favor.

Non-Payment of Prevailing Wages – $500,000 Settlement

In 2008 the Orange County Superior Court preliminarily approved a settlement of $500,000 to pay workers who performed work on an Orange County public works project who were misclassified and paid in a lower classification.

Construction Defects – $3 Million

Donahoo & Associates represented homeowners suffering from construction defects, including moisture intrusion into the plaintiffs’ residences. The case sought damages against the builder and subcontractors for defective concrete foundations that caused property damage. Donahoo and Associates recovered $3 million on behalf of the homeowners.

Class Action – Condominium Purchasers Settlement

In 2007 Donahoo & Associates was designated by the United States District Court to act as class counsel to represent 265 purchasers who entered into agreements to purchase condominiums in a luxury condominium project. The developer was sued after cancelling the project.

Employment Discrimination – Settlement Amount Confidential

In 2007 Donahoo & Associates represented a woman who was the victim of employment discrimination. Donahoo and Associates successfully resolved the case before trial in a confidential settlement.

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