fbpx Farmers Insurance Archives - Hey SoCal. Change is our intention.
The Votes Are In!
2023 Readers' Choice is back, bigger and better than ever!
View Winners →
Nominate your favorite business!
2024 Readers' Choice is back, bigger and better than ever!
Nominate →
Subscribeto our newsletter to stay informed
  • Enter your phone number to be notified if you win
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Home / Farmers Insurance

Ex-Farmers Insurance lawyer awarded $2.26M in attorneys’ fees

A former staff attorney for Farmers Insurance who accepted a reduced award of more than $20 million in compensatory and punitive damages in his employment suit against the company has been granted another $2.26 million in attorneys’ fees.

Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Ruth A. Kwan issued her ruling Friday. The judge had heard arguments on plaintiff Andrew Rudnicki’s motion for attorneys’ fees on Nov. 30, then took the case under submission.

Rudnicki’s lawyers had sought $6.6 million in attorneys’ fees, while Farmers’ attorneys maintained the plaintiff was entitled to no more than $1.05 million.

In his lawsuit filed in August 2016, Rudnicki alleged he was fired in 2016 because he was blamed for the adverse results of a gender inequity suit against Farmers and due to complaints about him to the human resources department, according to his court papers. Rudnicki was a witness in the gender case. His firing ended a 37-year career with the insurer.

In December 2021, a jury that had awarded Rudnicki $5.4 million in compensatory damages deliberated for a short time before issuing a punitive damages award to the 70-year-old plaintiff, ordering Farmers Insurance Exchange and Farmers Group Inc. to each pay $75 million.

The second phase of the trial to determine Rudnicki’s punitive damages was triggered when the jury concluded that an officer, director or managing agent of at least one of the defendants acted with malice, oppression or fraud against Rudnicki.

Last June, Rudnicki agreed to take a reduced punitive damages award of $18.9 million rather than allow Farmers to have a retrial of the case. Kwan had given Rudnicki the choice of the two options because the judge had found the $150 million in punitive damages to be excessive.

In a sworn declaration, Rudnicki said that after his firing he felt “crushed and experienced shock, depression and embarrassment for a long time thereafter. I also endured fitful sleep and loss of appetite for at least three or four months.”

In their court papers, Farmers attorneys argued the evidence was insufficient to prove Rudnicki’s claims. The insurer’s lawyers also maintained that the plaintiff’s attorneys “paraded a series of positive character references falsely portraying Rudnicki as a champion of women’s rights” while the Farmers attorneys “were forced to sit on the sideline.”

Skip to content