February 2017

Gessner et al. v Pacific Bell Tel. Co.

United States - California

In February 2017, FaegreBD achieved a total defense verdict in a three-week jury trial in northern California state court for client AT&T. This is the latest victory in a long-running dispute between AT&T and hundreds of technicians who alleged that they were not provided a “duty free meal break” as required by California law. 

The first case was brought as a state wide class action, which George Stohner successfully defended. Following the class action, the state labor board (the DLSE) advised AT&T that it intended to hold hearings on hundreds of wage claims although it had not previously provided notice of the claims. A team of Faegre Baker Daniels lawyers filed a complaint against the DLSE and obtained a rare emergency stay preventing it from proceeding, after which hundreds of cases were settled for nominal amounts. The recent trial represents the third stage of litigation -  the first of nine progeny cases filed by technicians who either were not part of, or declined to participate in, the DLSE settlement. The FaegreBD team was able to win a total defense verdict on all claims in this important bellwether case.

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