Dallas, TX (August 1, 2022) – Casey Erick and Bill Siegel successfully obtained a take-nothing jury verdict after a two-day trial where our clients, a husband, and wife, were sued by their nanny for allegedly failing to pay her all wages owed and for failing to keep any records of the hours she worked.  (Cause No. 3:21-cv-01455-M; Jaswinder Kaur vs. Avneet Gill and Birinder Pannu; filed in the U.S. Northern District Court, Dallas Division, Texas.)

Background
After several incidents including one where the nanny, focused on her phone, failed to notice the gas stove had been left on and that gas had built up in the downstairs area of the house, and a final situation that resulted in the couple’s daughter falling in the bathtub (which the nanny denied despite noticeable injuries to the child) – the parents chose to terminate the relationship. The nanny subsequently sued for 1) violation of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), 2) forced labor/trafficking, 3) breach of contract, 4) promissory estoppel, 5) quantum meruit, 6) intentional infliction of emotional distress (IIED), and 7) fraud. A central issue brought by Plaintiff was the lack of any records regarding the hours she worked.

Trial
The Plaintiff voluntarily dismissed the forced labor/trafficking and fraud claims at the pre-trial conference. At the close of the Plaintiff’s case, Attorney Erick moved for a directed verdict which the court granted, in part, thereby dismissing the breach of contract claim against the husband, and the promissory estoppel and IIED claims.
On the second day of trial, Bill Siegel assisted Erick and played a key role in arguing the correct form of the jury charge. At the close of the full trial, the FLSA, breach of contract (against the wife), and the quantum meruit claims went to the jury.
Prior to trial, the Plaintiff claimed she was entitled to damages in excess of $500,000.00, in addition to all attorney’s fees incurred on her behalf. After 30 minutes of deliberations, the jury unanimously found in favor of the Defendants on all of the claims. Based on the jury’s verdict, the court entered a take-nothing judgment in favor of the Defendants, with all taxable court costs to be paid by the Plaintiff.

Casey Erick
Casey Erick is a Shareholder with Cowles Thompson where he focuses on Commercial Litigation and Employment Law. He has represented clients in both litigation and transactional matters that span across commercial law, labor and employment law, real estate, consumer protection, and general litigation – including, but not limited to: breach of contract, corporate trade secret theft, tortious interference, defamation, personal injury, fraud, and various other kinds of civil litigation. He has represented high-profile clients as well as defended against high-profile national and global entities in matters related to commercial litigation, defamation, privacy, negligence, the Stored Communications Act, the Texas Harmful Access by Computer Act, Texas identity Theft Enforcement and Protection Act, and the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act.

Bill Siegel
William L. (Bill) Siegel is a Shareholder and Section Head of the Cowles Thompson Bankruptcy & Creditors’ Rights Practice Group as well as a member of the Corporate and Business Law Practice Group. His experience includes representing individuals and business entities in their corporate and transactional affairs, including drafting and negotiating agreements of all types, and representing individuals and business entities in disputes that may arise in litigation in State and Federal Courts. He also represents debtors, creditors, Trustees, and Committees in bankruptcy matters in Chapter 7 liquidations and Chapter 11 reorganizations. His clients include small and medium-sized businesses, start-up technology companies, and partnerships.

Cowles & Thompson, PC is a full-service law firm with offices in Dallas and Plano, Texas. Established in 1978, the firm has long served the Dallas-Fort Worth region, Texas, and the nation. Cowles Thompson attorneys strive to provide effective, creative, efficient solutions for their clients’ most complex problems, including areas of critical litigation and appeals, employment law, business formation and transactions, creditor’s rights, immigration, and family law.

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