BOLANOS VS. PRIORITY BUSINESS SERVICES, INC.
In a unanimous decision, on March 9, 2018, Division 4 of the Second District Court of Appeal affirmed the jury verdict in the disability discrimination/failure to accommodate case of Rene Bolanos v. Priority Business Services, Inc. on all points, and further affirmed the attorney’s fee award of $231,470.50, which included a 1.2 multiplier.
Despite this being a low damages case, throughout the litigation, Priority refused to engage in good faith settlement negotiations, and forced this case to proceed to week-long jury trial. The jury awarded Bolanos 100% of the modest economic damages he was requesting, plus emotional distress at a 1:1 ratio of the economic damages. Bolanos was willing to accept $65,000 (inclusive of attorney’s fees) to resolve the case and, on the even of trial, was even willing to accept $55,000, but Priority scoffed. The total verdict plus fees totaled $271,437.34, nearly five times what Bolanos would have accepted just before trial commenced. The Court of Appeal’s ruling will also entitle Bolanos to seek additional attorney’s fees, most likely in another 6-figure amount.
The significance of this case is less in the results achieved and more in how it showcases the willingness and diligence of Younessi Law to fight for the rights of its clients, even those with low damages, to ensure that justice is achieved, either through a fair settlement or, if one cannot be achieved, through verdict. Congratulations to the Younessi Law trial and appellate team on a job well done!
Read the Court's opinion here.