Monday, 20 April 2015 00:00

G&C Attorney Daniel Beck Responds to Charges

Daniel Beck is the attorney defending G & C Auto Body and is the managing partner of Beck Law, P.C. in Santa Rosa, CA. When Ed Attanasio spoke to Beck regarding the charges against G&C Auto Body, Beck said he is confident that the shop can successfully defend this action, as the plaintiffs have not suffered any financial damages as they are alleging in their complaint.

“This is a case of unbridled greed. Five former independent contractors claim that they were employees of G&C, although they knew very well that they were independent contractors operating their own businesses. Each one of the plaintiffs/ claimants signed contract agreements each year they were contracting with G&C, stating and confirming that they were independent contractors and not employees. There were no gray areas there, and their roles were spelled out to them time and time again. Their company names were Lippard Enterprises, Vaughn Mederios Auto Body, etc.—and they had the ability to hire people to assist them in the repair jobs, and several of them did. They had individual business licenses that were issued through cities in which they were operating; and they used all of their own tools, materials and equipment in repairing vehicles at G&C Auto Body. They were small businesses operating completely separate from the rest of the company.

The plaintiffs are now trying to take advantage of the new trend in litigation; labor cases alleging misclassification and then damages for unpaid breaks and overtime. In the case here, the Plaintiffs and claimants should not be allowed to reap the rewards of having their own businesses, and then later claim they are entitled to any unpaid wages, and compensation for missed lunches and breaks. In fact, when they were contracting for G&C Auto Body they were making way more than they would have as an employee of G&C. Joseph Lippard made more than $350,000 annually during several of the years for which he worked with G & C, and the other plaintiffs all made much more than they would have made as employees.

The plaintiffs in this case want to get paid twice. They were already paid handsomely for their work and now they want to 'double-dip' for money they have already received. Based on the evidence that we have, we’re fairly confident that any judge and jury will be able to see that their case has no merit, there are no damages, and the plaintiffs/claimants are greedy by trying to take advantage of a successful business.

Joseph Lippard worked with G&C Auto Body for seven years, and he often bragged to people that being an independent contractor allowed him to make more money, while controlling his hours and income without the restrictions of being an employee," according to Beck.

In September 2011, Joseph Lippard provided comments for an article in Auto Body Repair News (ABRN) titled “Outspoken Entrepreneur Succeeds by Stressing Excellence and Value” by James E. Guyette, written about G & C Auto Body and its owner Gene Crozat. In that article, Joseph Lippard confirms he is an independent contractor and that he is the owner of Lippard Enterprises. Lippard has had as many as six people working for him within the facility, where he rents two stalls. Some crews work day and night on big jobs. According to Lippard, he was very happy as an independent contractor, and he claimed “I never want to work hourly again,” acknowledging that he grosses $4,000 to $6,000 a week in the ABRN article.

On April 14, 2012 Joseph Lippard posted on Facebook: “…Another Saturday at the shop!!! I love having free reign to work as much as I can!!!”

"Actual damages are paid for actual losses, but these plaintiffs lost nothing. In fact, they made many times more than what they could have possibly made as employees of G&C, and they enjoyed the lifestyle that came with owning and operating their own businesses.”

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