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Meyers Nave Achieves Defense Verdict in Alleged $2.8 Million Employment Termination Case After Seven Years of Litigation

Attorneys Janice Brown, Arlene Yang, and Nicole Ries Fox of the law firm of Meyers Nave have prevailed in a recent decision by the Superior Court of California, County of San Diego, in an employment litigation case in which the plaintiff sought more than $2.8 million, plus punitive damages. Following seven years of litigation and a ten-day bench trial, Judge Eddie C. Sturgeon ruled in favor of the defendants on all counts, a rare occurrence in employment law cases. The case, Horner v. Leone, concerned a former executive of Mr. Copy, Inc., dba MRC Smart Technology Solutions, Inc., who alleged that his former employer, and its founder and former President, Robert Leone, constructively terminated his employment, discriminated against him based on his age, retaliated against him, and promised to employ him for his working life, and failed to pay him wages, sales commissions, and reimbursements.

At trial, witness testimony highlighted the fact that the plaintiff had actually accepted a new job for more pay before he resigned, that he had years of poor performance, and that he sought commissions for accounts that he stopped managing months earlier. The Court concluded that the plaintiff did not prove that Mr. Copy or Mr. Leone breached any employment agreement; defrauded him; discriminated against him based on his age; retaliated against him; constructively terminated his employment; or failed to pay his wages, commissions, and reimbursements.

Janice Brown, Principal in Meyers Nave’s Labor and Employment Practice, Workplace Investigations Practice and Commercial Litigation Practice, noted, “We tried multiple times to resolve this case without trial, but could not reach agreement. In the end, the Court agreed that our clients’ position was meritorious, and we prevailed on all counts. We thank the Court and the Honorable Eddie C. Sturgeon for his diligence and patience in overseeing this seven-year case. Arlene, Nicole, and I recognize the challenge of receiving such a favorable ruling for the defendants in an employment law case. We’re particularly pleased for the founder of Mr. Copy, Inc., Robert Leone, who was the executive who hired Mr. Horner, and who felt the weight of this action. He feels vindicated and deservedly so.”

Why Meyers Nave

Since 1986, Meyers Nave helps clients resolve their most nuanced, challenging, and complex transaction, litigation, and regulatory compliance issues. We are known for our outstanding track record of successful outcomes as well as the creativity we bring to solving high-stakes precedent-setting matters. A highly regarded leader in our founding practice of municipal and special district law, we are also go-to counsel for our wide-ranging experience in land use, environmental law, construction, public contracts, eminent domain, First Amendment law, commercial litigation, labor and employment, workplace investigations, trial and litigation, crisis management, public finance, real estate, and housing, among many other key disciplines. Meyers Nave offers the statewide reach of a California firm with the client service flexibility of a medium-size team. For more information about Meyers Nave, please visit https://www.meyersnave.com/.