Awards & Recognitions

Daily Journal Names Locke Lord’s Jury Verdict in Favor of Farmers Insurance One of Top Verdicts of 2023

February 21, 2024

A Locke Lord team led by Nina HuertaEric Herzog (both of Los Angeles) and Regina McClendon (San Francisco) that secured a 10-2 defense verdict in favor of Farmers Insurance Exchange and certain affiliated entities (Farmers) in a closely watched jury trial involving claims of age discrimination brought by California-based former insurance agents under the California Fair Employment and Housing Act has been honored by the Daily Journal for earning one of the Top Verdicts of 2023. The Daily Journal’s annual feature acknowledges the largest and most significant verdicts and appellate reversals in California.

Following an eight-week trial and just two days of deliberation, the jury ultimately agreed with Farmers that the former insurance agents were independent contractors and were therefore not subject to the employment laws at issue in the case. The trial team also included these key players: Randy HackBrian Hays (both of Chicago), Jonevin SabadoDavid Rutan (both of Los Angeles), Lindsey Kress (San Francisco) and Akilah Craig (Houston).

Huerta, a member of Locke Lord’s Executive Committee and Managing Partner of the Firm’s Los Angeles office, on the significance of the case: “The case boiled down to the evidence in their contracts, which identified the agents as independent contractors, and the way they ran their agencies, hiring their own employees. It looked like a duck and walked like a duck, and the jury saw that.”

Read the Daily Journal’s Top Verdicts of 2023 (subscription may be required).