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PAGA Claims

Posted by Eric Kingsley | Nov 14, 2013 | 0 Comments


How much is allocated to the State of California in PAGA claims?  In a recent case handled by Kingsley & Kingsley, a case settled for $1,500,000 and over $400,000 of the claim was allocated to PAGA (Private Attorney General Act).  The PAGA claim pursuant to statute has to allocate 75% of the proceeds or over $300,000 to the Labor Workforce Development Agency, a branch of the State of California.  This was a very large amount, but the nature of the claim was such that a large portion of the exposure flowed through the PAGA exposure, as such it seemed appropriate to allocate the dollars in this way.  Have other plaintiff's firms paid such large amounts or even greater amounts to the state?  As PAGA claims become a new reality in light of Brown v. Ralph'sand a hopeful reversal in Iskanian v. CLS, plaintiff's firms may be forced to allocated 100% of the funds to PAGA which could mean some large checks to the state.  In such cases, the plaintiff's bar will become what the law intended, private attorney generals working for the State of California.  In the past many cases settled with token amounts being allocated to PAGA, there may be change here and there is very little data to compare these settlements to which creates difficulties on both sides in evaluating the likely results if the cases go to trial.  Our perception is the defense bar has not caught up with the fear of PAGA and some big verdicts will need to come down before companies begin taking PAGA penalties seriously.  I expect that in the next couple years we will begin to see some of those verdicts play out.

About the Author

Eric Kingsley

In practice since 1996, attorney and firm co-founder Eric B. Kingsley has litigated complex cases and authored numerous appellate briefs in both state and federal court on behalf of the California law firm of Kingsley & Kingsley, including over 150 class actions. Mr. Kingsley concentrates his pra...


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