Press & Decisions

Press Articles of Interest

Reuters: September 29, 2021
Release in arena operator’s wage settlement too broad – appeals court
A California state appeals court has ruled that an “unwieldy monstrosity” of a release in the $2.2 million settlement of a wage-and-hour class action was too broad and a judge must reconsider her approval of the deal, agreeing with an objector who had filed a separate, similar lawsuit. For the objector: Richard Donahoo of Donahoo & Associates.

NAPA: National Association of Plan Advisors – January 3, 2020
Pending Insurance Funding, ESOP Suit Parties Come to Terms
Noting that “The Parties wish to conserve their and the Court’s resources during the period of time necessary to finalize insurance funding of the settlement,” a settlement has been struck in a case involving an ESOP where the stock price… rose….

Law360 – January 3, 2020
Wawa Settles Class Suit Over Booting Workers Off Stock Plan
Wawa and a class of former employees have told the Third Circuit they’ve settled a lawsuit accusing the convenience store chain of violating the Employee Retirement Income Security Act by forcing former workers to leave the employee stock ownership plan….

Law360 – March 19, 2019
Ex-Wawa Workers Urge Cert. In Suit Over Forced Stock Sale
A group of former employees at convenience store chain Wawa Inc. has asked a Pennsylvania federal judge for class certification in their suit accusing the company of violating the Employee Retirement…

Capital & Main – March 12, 2018
Why 24 Hour Fitness is Going to the Mat Against Its Own Employees,” Jessica Goodheart.

Bloomberg BNA, January 2, 2018
Wawa Inks $25M Deal in Challenge to Forced Stock Sell-Off“, Jacklyn Wille.
Wawa Inc. agreed to pay $25 million to settle a lawsuit accusing the convenience store and gas station chain of forcing employees to sell their company stock at an unfair price. The settlement will benefit about 2,300 current and former Wawa employees who invested their retirement savings in the privately held company’s stock.

Courtroom View Network, December 30, 2016
“CVN’s Top 10 Plaintiff Verdicts of 2016”
Punitive damage awards in any jury trial are rare, but a punitive award against insurance giant MetLife in a trial that ended with compensatory damages in the comparatively small amount of $230,000 is what earned this case the number 5 spot on our list.

Santa Barbara Independent – September 12, 2016
Santa Barbara Attorney Wins $15.6 Million from MetLife,” Yamamura, Jean.
Plaintiff Had Invested Life Savings in Worthless Securities Promoted by Managing Partner.

Insurance Journal – September 2, 2016
California Granny Who Lost Life Savings Awarded $15M in Case Against Insurers,” Melley, Brian.
“I am so grateful to the jurors for seeing through MetLife’s finger-pointing argument that they weren’t responsible for the loss of my retirement savings,” Ramirez said in a statement issued by her lawyers.

Christine RamirezLos Angeles Times, September 1, 2016
Years after falling victim to a Ponzi scheme, Simi Valley retiree wins $15.6-million judgment,” Koren, James Rufus.
Years after losing her retirement savings to a Ponzi scheme run by a Sherman Oaks money manager, Christine Ramirez could soon get it back — and much, much more.


Los Angeles Business Journal, Sept. 1, 2016
Simi Valley Ponzi scheme victim awarded $15M, MetLife held responsible,” Stych, Anne.
A Los Angeles Superior Court jury on Wednesday awarded $15.4 million in damages to a Simi Valley woman for losses she suffered in a Ponzi scheme and found insurance company MetLife liable for the losses.

Northern California Record, September 1, 2016
Unanimous verdict sides with plaintiff in suit against MetLife, awards $15.6 million,” Phaneuf, Taryn.
The jury has awarded the plaintiff $15.6 million in the lawsuit against MetLife, its subsidiaries and a former managing partner, holding the insurance giant responsible for the losses of a woman who invested in what turned out to be a Ponzi scheme.

CVN, September 1, 2016
BREAKING: Jury Slams MetLife with $15M Punitive Verdict Over Elderly Investor’s Losses in Ponzi Scheme,” Siegel, David.

RamirezNew York Times, September 1, 2016
Retiree Awarded $15.6 Million in Reported Ponzi Scheme Tied to MetLife“, Finkle, Victoria.
A Los Angeles jury late Wednesday said MetLife and two of its affiliates should pay $15.6 million to a woman who said she was swindled in a reported Ponzi scheme that had links to a MetLife insurance agent.

Law360, August 31, 2016
MetLife, Units Hit With $15M in Punitives for Ponzi Scheme,” Salvatore, Cara.

MetLife verdictLos Angeles Times, August 31, 2016
Simi Valley woman awarded $15.4 million after investing in Ponzi scheme pushed by insurance salesman“, Koren, James Rufus.
A Simi Valley retiree was awarded $15.4 million in damages Wednesday after insurance giant MetLife was found liable for losses she suffered in an investment that turned out to be a Ponzi scheme., August 31, 2016
Grandma Who Lost Savings Wins $15 Million in Case Against Insurers,” Melley, Brian.
A California grandmother who lost her life savings in a real estate investment scam offered by an insurance agent was awarded more than $15 million Wednesday in a lawsuit against MetLife and two subsidiaries, attorneys said.

financial fraud, August 31, 2016
Ponzi Scheme Verdict
Christine Ramirez told Fox 11 News reporters in a video published August 31, 2016 that justice was done in a recent financial fraud case against MetLife. The Los Angeles Superior Court jury awarded almost $16 million to Ramirez in the case. Watch the video now. Attorneys Richard Donahoo of Donahoo & Associates, PC and Thomas Foley of Foley Bezek Behle & Curtis LLP were co-lead counsel for the case.

Courtroom View Network, July 25, 2016
Attorney Chokes Up During Emotional Opening At Trial Over MetLife’s Alleged Role in $216M Ponzi Scheme
Richard Donahoo of Donahoo & Associates choked up shortly after he began telling jurors how his client, 75-year-old Christine Ramirez, lost hundreds of thousands of dollars after a MetLife agent convinced her to invest in an alleged scam operation called the Diversified Lending Group.

Law360, July 20, 2016
MetLife Owes for Agents’ Role in $216M Ponzi Scam, Jury Told,” Lowrey, Brandon.
A woman who was among hundreds of investors claiming MetLife agents tricked them into buying unregistered securities from an alleged $216 million Ponzi scheme urged a California jury Wednesday to find the insurer liable for her losses, saying MetLife allowed its agents to solicit investors for the scheme.

CVN, July 20, 2016
Harthshorne, et al. v. MetLife Inc., et al. Video of a portion of opening arguments case against MetLife,

Northern California Record, August 28, 2016
Attorneys make final arguments in MetLife lawsuit,” Phaneuf, Taryn.

New York Times, May 30, 2016
MetLife Suit Raises Questions of Extent of Corporate Liability,” Finkle, Victoria.

Orange County Register, October 20, 2014
Jury awards $7.4 million to mother injured in crosswalk crash,” Salazar, Denisse.

The, September 19, 2014
California Workers Sue Red Light Camera Firm Over Poor Pay, Conditions“.
A red light camera vendor may be forced to pay millions in back pay to its employees. A number of them have taken their claim to a San Mateo County courtroom with the dispute creating a rift between American Traffic Solutions (ATS) and the cities that are its customers.

Wall Street Journal, June 22, 2014
“U.S. Increases Scrutiny of Employee-Stock-Ownership Plans,” Simon, Ruth and Needleman, Sarah E.

Los Angeles Daily Journal, January 20, 2014
Plaintiffs’ attorneys deluge defendants with arbitration cases,” Hautala, Laura.

Anaheim Small Business Examiner, October 12, 2011
Public Works and Prevailing Wages: A Primer,” Cooks, Kato.

Law360, May 1, 2009
LA Contractor Can’t Force Arbitration: Calif. Court,” Lipman, Melissa.

California Lawyer, August 2010
Wage Wars,” Berg, Emmett.

Published Court of Appeal Decisions

Flores v Axxis – “petition to compel arbitration” April 30, 2009

Reyes v. Van Elk, Ltd., 148 Cal. App. 4th 604 (2007), review denied, cert denied;
Violante v. Communities Southwest Development and Const. Co., 138 Cal. App. 4th 972 (2006)

Landeros v. Department of Corrections, 99 Cal. App. 4th 271 (2002)