HLF Cases


HLF Profile

Practice Areas






he Hustead Law Firm started in 1996 and it's been win after win ever since. That's the product of a feverish devotion to pleasing clients, with relentless hard work and unique legal talent at the core, and truth and sincerity holding it all together like liquid nails. No surprise that the Firm has never lost a client.

What follows is a sample of the Firm's more high-profile cases, most of which had spectacular endings. There have been hundreds more. Our clients, all of whom deserve the Firm's gratitude for the opportunity to speak on their behalf, are in bold.

2019    2018    2017    2016    2015    2014    2013    2012    2011    2010     2009     2008     2007     2006     2005     2004     2003     2002     2001     2000     1999     1998     1997     1996


John Doe and Jane Doe v. Hotel, Colorado District Court (The names of the parties, specific jurisdiction, and case number have been intentionally omitted to maintain confidentiality required under a settlement agreement).  Patrick Hustead and Dane Mueller.  Plaintiffs were guests at a hotel and were attacked by a pit-bull on the hotel’s property.  Plaintiffs sustained substantial injuries in the attack and filed suit against the hotel.  Plaintiffs sought $250,000.00 in damages against the hotel.  Prior to the Firm’s involvement, Plaintiffs obtained a default judgment as to liability against the hotel.  The Firm, however, persuaded Plaintiffs’ counsel to vacate the judgment and proceed with litigation.  The Firm tracked down two former employees that provided critical testimony in favor of the hotel.  Plaintiffs ultimately realized their chances at succeeding on their claims against the hotel were minimal.  The Firm settled the case for a total of $5,500.00 in exchange for a dismissal with prejudice of all claims.


Brent Walker v. JTM Equipment, Inc., U.S. District Court for the District of Wyoming. Patrick Hustead and Aaron Bell.  Negligence and Products Liability Case involving allegations of severe injuries on an oil rig against the Firm’s client, a manufacturer of oil field equipment.  Plaintiff alleged that the Firm’s client defectively designed a tank battery stairway from which he allegedly fell.  After extensive discovery and more than a dozen depositions, the case culminated in a brutal two-week jury trial in Cheyenne against three law firms from three states.  The Plaintiff blackboarded six million in damages.  But after just two hours of deliberations, the jury returned with a full defense verdict.  A complete win for the Firm’s client.

HDR Constructors, Inc. v. The Hanover Insurance Company, Weld County District Court, Case No. 16cv30343.  Patrick Hustead and Connor Cantrell.  Performance Bond Surety Litigation.  The Firm represented Hanover in this performance bond dispute involving the infamous anerobic biogas facility near LaSalle, Colorado.  The general contractor alleged that Hanover’s principal, USA Tank, breached its subcontract and made a performance bond claim in excess of $4MM.  After months of discovery, the Firm developed and filed a motion for summary judgment arguing that the general contractor failed to follow conditions precedent in the bond, which exonerated the surety.  The court agreed and dismissed all claims against the surety. 

Jeffery Hutchins v. Colorado Mustang Specialists, et al., Adams County, Colorado District Court, Case 18CV30022.  Connor Cantrell and Tripp Dunn.  Traffic accident with spinal surgery.  In this insurance defense case, the Firm represented a local auto-parts retailer and its employee/driver.  Following a low-speed traffic collision, Plaintiff underwent lumbar fusion surgery, and his surgeon recommended another lumbar fusion and a cervical fusion.  Recognizing that Plaintiff was a classic malingerer tied up in the litigation injury finance game, the Firm rejected Plaintiff’s excessive $450,000++ settlement demands.  After a five-day jury trial, the jury agreed and awarded Plaintiff just his medical expenses and $25,001 in non-economic damages, for a total verdict of $151,501.93.  Another win by any metric. 

Dozier v. HCC Life Insurance CompanyEl Paso County, Colorado District Court, Case No. 2015CV33385; Colorado Court of Appeals Case No. 2017CA0170.  Patrick Hustead and Aaron Bell.  In this complex coverage and bad faith case the Firm represented HCC Life Insurance Co., an Indiana-based company that sold short-term medical insurance policies.  A Colorado insured purchased a policy from HCC after experiencing symptoms of what turned out to be cancer.  The insured’s claims were denied and HCC was sued for breach of contract and bad faith.  The Firm filed a motion for summary judgment based upon certain exclusions in the policy and, after extensive briefing on contract and evidentiary issues, HCC totally prevailed.  The insured appealed, and the Firm won again, establishing valuable precedent enforcing policy exclusion.

Gregg Whelen v. Maritsa Gonzales and Juan C. Vazquez, District Court for the City and County of Denver, Colorado, Case No. 2018CV30647.  Patrick Hustead and Dane Mueller.  In this insurance defense case, the Firm represented two homeowners sued under Colorado’s Premises Liability Act for a slip and fall that occurred on the sidewalk adjacent to the Defendant’s household.  Plaintiff sought over $100,000.00 in medical expenses and an untold amount for non-economic damages.  Shortly after the case was filed, the Firm demonstrated that the case was legally invalid, and the Plaintiff was forced to voluntarily dismiss its case.  A total success!

Stanley J. Maday v. CBM Food Services, et al, United States District Court for the Southern Division of South Dakota, Case No. 17-CV-4168. Patrick Hustead, Connor Cantrell, and Dane Mueller.  The Firm represented CBM in a case filed by an inmate at the Mike Durfee State Prison in Springfield, South Dakota.  The inmate alleged violations of the Americans with Disabilities Act based on CBM allegedly failing to provide Plaintiff with a sufficient diet for Plaintiff’s diabetes and other disorders.  Plaintiff sought over $400,000 in damages.  The Firm conducted a prompt and detailed investigation into the matter and fully briefed a Motion to Dismiss for Failure to State a Claim. The Firm also successfully filed a motion for protective order preventing the inmate from bombarding CBM with discovery while the Court analyzed the arguments.  The Court agreed with the Firm’s position and dismiss the claims against CBM outright.

Rudolfo Castillo Jr. v. CBM Food Services, Mesa County, Colorado County Court, Case 2018C149.  Patrick Hustead and Jordan Quick.  Claim for violation of Eighth Amendment rights for cruel and unusual punishment regarding an inmate’s alleged inadequate diet.  After a careful review of the Complaint and the appropriate constitutional law, the Firm was able to prove that the inmate had not alleged sufficient facts to prove that his rights had been violated and that he was merely unsatisfied with his prison meals.  Accordingly, the Firm filed a successful Motion for Judgment on the Pleadings and the case was dismissed.


Michael D. Casper v. Platinum Supplemental Insurance, Inc., Pueblo County, Colorado District Court, Case 12CV740 and American Arbitration Association.  Patrick Hustead and Connor Cantrell.  Complex bad faith indemnity case settled during Arbitration.  In this insurance defense case, the Firm represented Platinum, an Iowa-based company that marketed and sold supplemental insurance policies throughout the Midwest.  A Colorado insured purchased a policy and filed suit against Platinum and the insurance company when the insurer denied a valid claim.  The Firm, sensing significant liability when the insured disclosed a terminal cancer diagnosis during litigation, negotiated an early settlement for less than the cost it would have taken to defend the case.  The Firm’s prescience was fortunate, as the insured took the case to trial and obtained a bad faith verdict against the carrier in excess of $5MM.  The insurance company then brought an indemnity claim against Platinum that proceeded to hearing before a 3-member panel at the American Arbitration Association in Chicago.  The Firm, up against Reed Smith and Kirkland & Ellis, two of the 30 biggest law firms in the world, persuaded the insurance company to settle after just opening statements and a two-day cross-examination of their star witness.  They saw the writing on the wall – the Firm was ready to go to battle and likely to prevail.  Another major victory for the Firm and its clients.

Robinwood Condominium Assoc. v. Certain Underwriters at Lloyd’s, London.  U.S. District Court, District of Colorado, 16-cv-01576.  Patrick Hustead and Aaron Bell.  Claim for bad faith denial of insurance benefits arising out of hail damage to a condominium complex.  Through careful use of expert and eyewitness testimony, the Firm was able to prove that the majority of the insured’s claimed damage pre-dated the hail event at issue.  Armed with that knowledge, the Firm was able to settle the matter for far less than the insured’s claim.    

Westcor Land Title Insurance Company v. Empire Title North, LLC, Adams County, Colorado District Court, Case No. 15CV32084.  Patrick Hustead and Connor Cantrell.  Complex professional liability case.  The Firm represented Empire Title, a local title agent that sold Westcor title insurance policies.  The facts of the case were complicated and disputed.  Westcor issued title policies for a real estate transaction involving, among other things, a like-kind exchange under 26 USC Sec. 1031 of the U.S Tax Code.  Despite never tendering the dispute to Empire, Westcor paid the claim after years of litigation and appeals to the Colorado Court of Appeals.  Westcor sought indemnity from Empire, and the Firm employed an aggressive litigation strategy that involved the use of local experts and a 30-page dispositive motion.  The litigation threatened the very existence of Empire Title, a staple of the Denver real estate community.  The Firm’s efforts resulted in a settlement for far less than Westcor’s demands and allowed Empire Title to survive.  

Penn Millers Insurance Company v. Pierce Elevator, Inc., et al, U.S. District Court for the District of Nebraska.  Patrick Hustead and Connor Cantrell.  Commercial Surety and Indemnity Claim.  After the financial demise of a grain operator in Pierce, Nebraska, the Nebraska Public Service Commission made claims against the Surety’s Grain Dealer Bond and Public Grain Warehouse Bond.  After negotiating with the PSC, the Surety paid several claims and sought recovery against the principal and indemnitors.  The Firm’s efforts, including making claims in Federal Court, Bankruptcy Court, and novel efforts to garnish proceeds of a malpractice case related to the demise of the principal, resulted in a significant recovery for the Surety.

University of Nebraska, Lincoln v. Auto-Owners Insurance Company.  Patrick Hustead and Connor Cantrell.  Contract Surety Dispute.  The Firm represented the Surety in disputes related to the construction of several new buildings at the University of Nebraska, Lincoln.  The Surety received and paid several payment bond claims, and the Firm was involved in extensive negotiations with the University regarding a potential performance dispute.  The Firm employed an aggressive yet cooperative approach with the University to avoid litigation and allow the projects to be completed through a sister company of the Surety’s principal.  The Firm’s efforts resulted in everyone walking away happy: the work was completed on time and in accordance with the plans and specs, and the Surety obtained 100% reimbursement for its losses by virtue of the Surety negotiating for change orders and the payment of contract funds to the Surety.

Orozco v. American Modern Insurance Group Patrick Hustead and Aaron Bell.  No suit filed.  The Firm represented the insurer in connection with a claim for a property destroyed by fire.  Through quick detective work, the Firm was able to prove that the claim was fraudulent and persuaded the insured to drop the claim.  As a result, the Firm’s client incurred no exposure.  A total win for the insurer.


Vigil v. Aguilera, Pueblo District Court.  Patrick Hustead and Aaron Bell.  Premises liability and negligence case involving allegations of serious injuries and impairment against the Firm’s client.  Following extensive discovery, the Firm filed a motion for summary judgment and the Court agreed, granting the Defendant’s motion in full. The result was a complete victory.

John Doe v. Joe A. LLC, CORE Consulting, and Northern Oil & Gas, Inc., U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado. Patrick Hustead and Aaron Bell.  In this breach of contract and misrepresentation action, the Plaintiff lessor filed suit against the Firm’s client, an oil and gas broker, and against the intended lessee, an oil development company.  The Firm’s client the broker and the intended lessee subsequently filed cross-claims against each other.  The Firm, through aggressive discovery efforts and motion practice, was able to secure a settlement in which its co-defendant paid the overwhelming share of the Plaintiff’s claim.

In Re Empire Lath & Plaster, Inc., U.S. Bankruptcy Court, District of Montana, No. 15-60603 (Great American Insurance Group).  Patrick Hustead and Connor Cantrell.  Contract Surety and Indemnity Claim.  The Firm defended the surety on what originated as a performance bond claim arising out of the construction of the Cheyenne River Health Center on the Cheyenne River Indian Reservation in Eagle Butte, South Dakota.  After conducting an extensive investigation, the surety denied the claim and persuaded the obligee not to pursue it.  The Firm then represented the surety in pursuing reimbursement from the principal and indemnitors, which involved negotiating and drafting multiple notes and security instruments in several states.  The Firm also represented the surety throughout the principal’s convoluted Chapter 11 and Chapter 7 bankruptcy proceedings.  The Firm’s efforts on behalf of the surety led to the surety completely avoiding liability to the obligee and recovering 100 percent of its loss adjustment expense.  A total win for the surety.

Andrade v. Jeffery, San Miguel County, New Mexico District Court, 4th Judicial District, No. d-412-civ-16-059.  (Certain Underwriters at Lloyd’s London).  Patrick Hustead and Connor Cantrell.  Landlord-Tenant Dispute.  In this insurance defense case, the Firm defended the owners and operators of an apartment complex in Las Vegas, New Mexico from claims by a tenant for wrongful eviction and conversion.  The tenant alleged that the Firm’s client wrongfully locked the tenant out of his apartment and lost or misplaced the tenant’s personal possessions.  The Firm’s client disputed the claim.  After an aggressive defense and meeting with several witnesses, the Firm persuaded the tenant to dismiss his claims for what amounted to nothing more than a nuisance value settlement.

U.S. Department of Agriculture, U.S. Forest Service v. Merchants Bonding Company (Mutual).  Patrick Hustead and Connor Cantrell.  No Suit Filed.  The Firm represented the Surety in this construction dispute arising out of the renovation of a campground at Fremont Lake in the Bridger-Teton National Forest.  The dispute gained local notoriety due to the year-plus closure of the beloved campground while the dispute festered.  The Forest Service complained that the principal was in default based on a hyper-technical interpretation of the contract specifications.  The principal disputed the claim and made its own affirmative claims for an equitable adjustment to the contract.  After extensive investigations, retention of experts, and a lengthy pre-suit mediation, the Firm persuaded the parties to settle their disputes outside of court.  Critically, the Firm convinced the Forest Service to dismiss its claims, pay additional funds to the principal, and even recovered a large reimbursement payment on behalf of the surety.  Another practical yet economically successful result for the Firm’s clients.  


John Doe v. Joe A. & Bar, Denver District Court.   Plaintiff Premises Liability & DRAM Shop case resulting in personal injury to client. Our client was initially injured when an intoxicated patron physically attacked him, without warning or provocation. He was then severely and permanently injured to a substantially greater degree by the brute force of the untrained bouncers, and the manner and methods they employed in handling the situation. The Firm, through aggressive discovery efforts, use of the foremost medical experts, locating and obtaining testimony and affidavits of key independent eye-witnesses, and by obtaining pertinent video evidence, was able to negotiate a substantial settlement of the client’s lawsuit against all defendants.

Safe Streets Alliance and New Vision Hotels Two, LLC v. Merchants Bonding Company (Mutual), U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado. Patrick Hustead and Connor Cantrell. Surety Case. In one of the strangest claims the Firm has handled in years, the Firm defended a surety who had issued license bonds for the principal’s operation of retail and medical marijuana stores. The Plaintiff, the owner of a hotel located next to the marijuana stores, was funded by a national anti-drug organization and brought claims against the surety, the principal, and several others alleging violations of the federal Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO). The case received widespread publicity in the press. The Firm filed a motion to dismiss the RICO claims on behalf of the surety and ultimately negotiated a reasonable settlement to remove the surety from unwanted publicity and exposure – unfounded though it was – for alleged violations of federal drug laws.

Campbell County Cemetery District v. Construction Dynamics, LLC, Campbell County, Wyoming District Court, 6th Judicial District (United Fire and Casualty). Patrick Hustead and Connor Cantrell. Contract Surety Claim and Indemnity Case. The Firm defended the surety on what started as a fairly standard performance bond dispute related to the principal’s construction of a new storage facility for a cemetery district in northern Wyoming. The Firm employed an aggressive defense and discovery strategy that included multiple depositions and a dispositive motion, which ultimately led to a settlement for fractions of the Plaintiff’s initial demands. What distinguishes this case and shows the breadth of the Firm’s knowledge and experience in the construction world, the Firm negotiated a settlement with the principal’s insurance carrier that included not only payment of the underlying claim, but substantial reimbursement of the surety’s attorney’s fees and costs. The surety paid almost nothing in another near total victory for the Firm’s surety clients.

Berkley Regional Insurance Company v. EPC Corporation, et al, Denver County, Colorado District Court, Case No. 2015CV31028. Patrick Hustead and Connor Cantrell. Surety Indemnity Case. The surety issued several contract bonds for a modular home project in Durango. After years of litigation in state and federal court regarding the underlying bond claims, the claims were ultimately resolved by the principal, with the surety incurring only legal expenses. The Firm then sued the indemnitors to recover its expenses. The principal asserted counterclaims against the surety, arguing the surety wrongfully failed to return premiums to the principal. The Firm sought and obtained dismissal of the counterclaims based on language in the indemnity agreement. The principal and indemnitors were left with no choice but to settle the claim and pay the surety’s fees and costs.

Harold Simpson, Inc. v. Roofmasters Roofing & Sheet Metal Co., Inc., U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado, Case No. 15-cv-0032 (United Fire and Casualty). Patrick Hustead and Connor Cantrell. Patent Infringement Defense. In another case showing the scope of the Firm’s capabilities, the Firm defended the Plaintiff’s claims that Roofmasters’ construction of retro-fit roofing assemblies in Colorado and Kansas violated the Plaintiff’s patents. Few firms are equipped like us to handle anything that comes an insurer’s way. The Firm immediately interviewed the key players and became experts in the patentability of retro-fit roofs. Armed with the necessary knowledge, the Firm was able to quickly settle the Plaintiff’s claims for pennies on the dollar.


Northern Arapaho Tribal Housing v. Hall-Irwin Corporation and Travelers Casualty & Surety Co. of America - Shoshone and Arapaho Tribal Court - Civil Case No. CV-11-0094. Patrick Hustead. Bond claim in Tribal Court. Numerous parties sued the Surety in the furtherance of performance and payment bonds claims on the Wind River Reservation in Wyoming. The claims were denied by the Surety based on the terms of the Principal’s contract, the bonds and facts indicating the Principal was entitled to additional funds from the owner. The Firm defended the Surety for several years in Tribal Court, and the case was eventually dismissed by the owner with no payment being made by the Surety. Thereafter, the Firm turned to the Principal and recovered all of the Surety’s losses.

Orjias v. Colorado Insurance Center, Inc., Delta District Court, Case No. 2013CV30054. Patrick Hustead. In this action for bad faith denial of insurance benefits, after a detailed and exhaustive investigation of the Plaintiff’s business practices, the Firm conclusively established that Plaintiff was not entitled to the overwhelming majority of claimed damages. The Firm was able to achieve settlement on the client’s behalf for less than 10% of the initial demand.

Charken Construction, Inc. v. Roberts Construction Co., et al., Laramie County, Wyoming District Court, First Judicial District, Case No. 172-501 (First National Insurance Company of America). Patrick Hustead and Connor Cantrell. Complex contract surety dispute involving years-long litigation related to a Wyoming Department of Transportation project. The case involved payment and performance bond claims, allegations of bad faith, and affirmative claims by the Principal. The Firm negotiated a successful settlement and obtained a substantial award against the indemnitors. After the trial, when nearly all hope was lost for any significant recovery, the Firm’s outside-the-box thinking led to the recovery of a six-figure settlement involving assertion of rights of the Surety related to the Principal’s malpractice claims against its lawyers in the underlying case.

ACME Corp. v. National Insurer, U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado. Patrick Hustead. In this massive insurance bad faith case involving a large commercial property, the Firm delivered unexpected results to its client on multiple levels. After securing a dismissal of the original Plaintiff, the Firm successfully litigated the standing of the first Plaintiff to the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals and recovered the client’s costs and attorneys’ fees in the process. Once the correct party was substituted, the Firm delivered a successful litigation strategy that took apart the Plaintiff’s claims and led to a resolution of the case for millions of dollars less than what the Plaintiff had initially sought.

Komyatte v. Rossignol, et al., Grand County District Court, Case No. 2012CV261.  Ski case. Product liability and negligence action resulting in personal injury. The Plaintiff argued that his injury was due to improper equipment design and manufacturing. The Firm, through aggressive discovery efforts, use of the foremost experts, and consultation with the international designing engineers was able to convince Plaintiffs to give up and voluntarily dismiss his claims against our client with no money exchanged. A complete success for the client and its insurer.

John Does v. Smith Field Services, LLC, et al., Mesa County District Court (Names changed for confidentiality purposes). Patrick Hustead. Oil tank explosion resulting in personal injury with life-altering and permanent injuries. The potential damages extended into the millions. The Firm, through early discovery efforts, comprehensive evaluation, and strategic positioning in depositions, was able to convince Plaintiffs to resolve their claims against our clients with prejudice, for a fraction of that amount. A successful and substantial benefit for the client and their insurer.

Insurance Company of the West v. The Hatle Trust, UTA, et al., Eagle County, Colorado District Court, Case No. 2014CV30359. Patrick Hustead and Connor Cantrell. In this surety matter, the Firm received claims on five separate subdivision improvement bonds related to the construction of a new development and golf course community in Gypsum, Colorado. Using a novel defense based on the fact that the town had retained a new developer, the Firm staved off any claim by the town. The Firm’s efforts led to a resolution that resulted in the complete discharge and release of the bonds, without the Surety having to pay any funds. The Firm also successfully prosecuted an indemnity action in which the Surety was essentially made completely whole.

Smith v. Clean Solutions, LLC, et al., Douglas County District Court (Names changed for confidentiality purposes). Patrick Hustead. Premises liability personal injury matter with substantial and complex spinal injuries and permanent impairment issues. Multiple parties were involved, as well defense and indemnification issues. The case extended over several years, with changes of venue, last minute continuances, multiple discovery and expert disputes, multiple mediations, and even simulated/mock trials. Our client stuck to our original evaluation, forcing the matter to a head on the eve of the second trial date, and ultimately came away with a favorable resolution.

Doe v. Fireman’s Fund Insurance Company, Nebraska Supreme Court. Patrick Hustead. Multifaceted insurance bad faith claim. In a complete and total victory for its client, the Firm obtained summary judgment at the district court level and then had that result affirmed by the Nebraska Supreme Court.

Animal Care and Health Integration, Inc. v. Delta Construction of Northern Colorado, Inc. v. Roberts Excavating, Inc. Broomfield County District Court, Case No. 2012CV100.  Construction Defect action. After a long battle, our client was dismissed without a settlement payment being made.


Signature Centre Investments, LLC v. Fenimore Drywall, Inc., Jefferson County District Court, Case No. 2011CV4170. Patrick Hustead. Construction Defect Case. In this construction defect case, the owner of a commercial office building alleged that a subcontractor had failed to properly construct a soffit framing system in conformance with applicable codes and specifications, resulting in detachment of multiple metal panels causing damage to property below. Extensive investigation and expert analysis confirmed miscalculations in Plaintiff’s engineering theories, and that responsibility for panel detachment was likely due to factors unrelated to the framer’s performance. The Firm was able to achieve settlement of the Plaintiff’s claims for less than 10% of the initial demand at mediation.

Del Norte RHF Senior Housing, Inc. v. A/C Lightning Protection Services, Inc., Denver District Court, Case No. 2012CV4557. Patrick Hustead. Construction Defect Case. In this construction defect action, the owner of a senior citizen apartment community asserted claims against the installer of a lightning rod system, located on the building’s parapet wall. Plaintiff alleged that the installer created penetrations in the building’s exterior insulated finish system (“EIFS”), causing water to enter the units below. After aggressive discovery, the Firm established that the 30 year old building had experienced long-term and systematic leaking due to the failure of the EIFS system, and not as a result of the system installation. Settlement included some minor expenses to address isolated issues, but wholly avoided the cost of replacing the entire EIFS system, a seven-figure repair for which the Plaintiff had advocated during litigation.

U.S. ex rel. Custom Grading, Inc. v. Great American Ins. Co., U.S. District Court for the District of New Mexico, Case No. 2012CV1313 WJ/KBM. Patrick Hustead and Connor Cantrell. Surety Indemnity Case. The Firm continued its proven track record of being on the forefront of developing law in the surety world. In this surety indemnity action, the Firm argued for and obtained the dismissal of a Principal’s claim against the Surety for breach of the duty of good faith and fair dealing. Before the case, the question of a surety’s tort duty of good faith to a principal was undecided in New Mexico. In yet another reported decision for the Firm, the Court’s opinion can be found at 952 F.Sup.2d 1259.

People v. Alexander, (ACE USA), Denver County District Court, Case No. 2012CR03125 Patrick Hustead and Connor Cantrell. Surety Indemnity Case. What began as a standard surety payment bond claim turned into one of the strangest cases the Firm has ever handled. The Firm’s investigation into the claim led to the discovery that the Surety’s indemnity agreement was the part of an elaborate fraud scam by the owner of a local construction company, who forged several signatures and notarizations of same on the indemnity agreement. The Firm’s efforts led to the arrest, extradition to Colorado, prosecution, and ultimate felony conviction of the perpetrator. The Firm obtained a restitution judgment in favor of the Surety, and the perpetrator is making payments monitored by the Denver District Attorney Economic Crimes Unit to repay the Surety for its losses.

McDirt Excavation, Inc. v. Granite Re, Inc., et al, U.S. District Court for the District of South Dakota. Civil Action No. 2011CV5061. Patrick Hustead and Connor Cantrell. Surety Indemnity Case. The Firm defended this Miller Act claim brought in South Dakota Federal Court related to a road paving project in the Black Hills National Forest near Mount Rushmore. After months of discovery and several rounds of depositions, the Firm negotiated a settlement whereby the Firm’s Surety client paid nothing and recouped most of its attorney’s fees and costs. A near total victory for the Surety.


Smith v. Fireman’s Fund Insurance Company, U.S. District Court for the District of Wyoming. Patrick Hustead and Connor Cantrell. The Firm successfully defended Fireman’s Fund against allegations of bad faith by the Plaintiff, a former Undersecretary in the Department of Defense. The Plaintiff sought well in excess of one million and claimed that Fireman’s Fund acted in bad faith. Using an aggressive strategy that involved delicate legal maneuvering and retaining world-renowned experts in the government artifacts arena, the Firm dismantled the Plaintiff’s case, ultimately reaching a settlement for less than ten percent of the Plaintiff's demands.

Excel Construction, Inc. v. Town of Lovell, Wyoming, et al.(Travelers Casualty and Surety Company of America) Big Horn County, Wyoming District Court, Civil Action No. 018799. Patrick Hustead and Connor Cantrell. Contract surety dispute. Travelers' Principal alleged delays and impacts, while the Town alleged faulty work and brought a performance bond claim. After two appeals to the Wyoming Supreme Court and nearly three years of litigation, a positive settlement was reached - Travelers was made completely whole.

Yagos/Furze v. Reliance Industrial Products, et al., Denver County District Court, Case No. 2011CV3749. Patrick Hustead. Petroleum drilling rig personal injury action with life-altering and permanent injuries. The potential damages extended well-above $10 million. The Firm, through early discovery efforts, comprehensive evaluation, and strategic positioning in depositions, was able to convince Plaintiffs to voluntarily dismiss their claims against our client with prejudice, with no money exchanged. A complete success for the client and their insurer.

SBC v. Safeco Insurance Company et al., Denver County, Colorado District Court, Case No. 2011CV7732. Patrick Hustead and Connor Cantrell. Complex contract surety dispute. The Owner default-terminated Safeco’s Principal and, after determining that the Principal was wrongfully terminated, Safeco denied the claim. The Owner then sued for bad faith, claiming nearly $10 million in damages. Litigating against the biggest firms in the Intermountain West, the Firm finally convinced the Owner to relent and agree to a settlement for a tiny fraction of the Owner’s original demands.

Smith v. Physician Health Partners, et al., U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado, Civil Action No.10-CV-2206-REB-BNB. Patrick Hustead and Connor Cantrell. Civil rights/medical malpractice case. The Plaintiff, an inmate with the Colorado Department of Corrections, brought claims under the Eighth Amendment and 28 USC 1983. The Firm represented a physician responsible for providing general medical services to the inmates. The Firm aggressively defended the doctor and the Court agreed with the Firm’s position, completely dismissing all claims against the doctor and awarding costs.

First Citizens Bank v. Moritz Title, et al., (no lawsuit filed). Patrick Hustead. Professional liability defense that also showcased the real estate expertise of the Firm. The bank attempted to foreclose on a property that had been recently sold after their lien was not addressed at closing. Representing the title company, the Firm dismantled their arguments and the bank agreed to accept a fraction of the total value of its lien, withdraw the foreclosure action and remove its lien on the property.

Mertz v. S&H Sheet Metal, et al., Denver County District Court, Case No. 2011CV4286. Patrick Hustead. Gas explosion. The Firm was brought in to take over this complex personal injury and property damage case just weeks before trial. Causation and fault were highly disputed. The Firm defeated key joint and several liability motions that would have dramatically altered the client’s exposure, the potential for settlement and trial strategy. The parties were thus able to reach a resolution prior to trial, protecting the client from what likely would have been a large multi-million dollar verdict.

D.R. Horton v. Rocky Mountain Drywall, Inc., Adams County District Court, Case No. 2012CV51. Patrick Hustead. Construction defect case. A national builder asserted that a subcontractor had failed to properly install its drywall product, resulting in systematic failure of the product and resulting damage. The Firm exploited errors in the general contractors’ expert’s testing and analysis and, confronted with its expert’s failures, the builder had no choice but to voluntarily withdraw all claims against its subcontractor, resulting in a complete victory.

1460 Little Raven, LLC v. Van Tilburg, Banvard, Soderburgh, Inc., et al. v. United Masonry, Inc., et al., Denver County District Court, Case No. 2010CV7796. Patrick Hustead. Construction defect case. The Firm, on behalf of two subcontractor third-party defendants, argued that the general contractor failed to assert these claims in a timely manner, and they were therefore precluded by the applicable statutes of limitations and repose. The Court agreed, and entered summary judgment in the subcontractors’ favor. The Court also held that the general contractor was responsible for the subcontractors' reasonable attorneys' fees and costs.


Fronterra Village Multifamily Community Association v. Pulte Homes v. Drywall Services Residential, Inc. JAG, File No. 2009-1894A. Patrick Hustead. Verdict/Award in favor of our client/third-party defendant, DSRI. This was a multi-unit development construction defect case. Following a two-week arbitration, in which Pulte made DSRI the primary target in a $10,000,000 damage claim, the Arbiter found Pulte liable to the Association, but awarded a full defense verdict for DSRI, even awarding DSRI all of its costs for defending against Pulte’s claims.

Board of Commissioners of Larimer County, Colorado v. Delta Construction of Northern Colorado, Inc., et al., Colorado District Court, Larimer County, Civil Action No. 08CV1258. Patrick Hustead. The Firm represented the general contractor responsible for the construction of several buildings comprising the Larimer County Fairgrounds in Loveland, Colorado. After completion of the project, the County asserted various deficiencies in the assembly of the buildings, and sued for repair costs in excess of $25 million. After narrowing the scope of the County’s claim through dispositive motions and effective discovery, the Firm achieved settlement, contributing only a small fraction of the multi-million dollar amount ultimately paid to the County.

HCCMIS and Certain Underwriters at Lloyd’s London v. Travel Guard Group, Inc., Denver County District Court, Case No. 2010 CV 5003.  Patrick Hustead. The Firm pursued a subsidiary of one of the world's largest insurers, for the settlement its client, entered into as a result of an action brought against it by an insured. The insured lost his leg to an infection and brought claims against the client for all of it. The Firm settled the insured’s claims and then pursued the defendant for indemnity. The Firm went toe-to-toe with one of the largest law firms in the country and obtained a settlement that recovered a majority of its client’s settlement with its insured.

McWhinney 409CC, LLC v. Dohn Construction, et al (no lawsuit filed).  Patrick Hustead and Connor Cantrell. In this construction defect case, the oppositions was represented by one of the largest firms in the Rocky Mountain Region, and threatened hundreds of thousands of dollars in damages related to differential foundation movement. The Firm jumped on the case, immediately reviewing the construction files and inspecting the building. Turning the tables, the Firm convinced the owner to drop the claim in exchange for a settlement of under $5,000. Facing untold thousands in attorney’s fees, costs, and potential exposure, the Firm’s early, proactive actions resolved this construction defect action without ever getting to Court.

William H. Fairbanks v. Liberty Mutual Insurance Company, et al, Denver District Court, Case No. 08CV9046.  Patrick Hustead and Connor Cantrell. Another example of the Firm making its clients whole. After the Principal lost at trial, the Firm intervened on appeal, resulting in a substantially reduced settlement, all of which was paid by the Principal. Liberty Mutual was facing several hundred thousand dollars in exposure in the underlying case, and the Firm’s efforts not only avoided any loss for, but it attorney’s fees were all recovered. A total success.

Simpsons v. Kennedy Construction, LTD, et al. JAG, File No.: 2009-0026. Patrick Hustead. This construction defect case involved a large single-family custom home near New Castle, CO. The Firm was retained replace initial counsel after the trial and in light of a six-figure award of fees, think “outside the box”, pursue a settlement and (after Plaintiffs refused to compromise on fees and costs) to find a way to convince the Arbiter to strike his award of fees and costs. Through a novel approach, the Firm was successful and saved our client and carrier (and cost the Plaintiffs) over $389,000. The Firm also played an instrumental role in pursuing separate claims against various subcontractors and obtaining an overall positive resolution.


Fidelity and Deposit Company of Maryland, et al. v. Torix General Contractors, LLC, et al., United States District Court for the District of Colorado, Civil Action No. 07-cv-01355-LTB-MJW. Patrick Hustead and Connor Cantrell. Another multi-million dollar jury trial victory for the Firm and its client, F&D. In this complex construction delay case, F&D and its Principal, an excavation subcontractor, filed suit against the general contractor alleging damages related to the construction of a large concrete utility tunnel in Boulder, Colorado. F&D asserted its claims pursuant to the terms of an indemnity agreement executed in its favor several years earlier. The general contractor then brought counterclaims against F&D for breach of its performance bond. After three years of intense litigation, the general contractor summarily rejected a six-figure offer of settlement from F&D before trial. Big mistake. Following the three-week trial, the jury awarded F&D the total of all of its losses, found for the Principal on its affirmative claim, and against the general contractor on all of its counterclaims. The verdict was well over $4,000,000. Ultimately, the Firm’s efforts made F&D whole, to the tune of over $1,250,000.

New Salida Ditch Company v. United Fire & Casualty Company, United States District Court for the District of Colorado, Civil Action No. 08-CV-00391-JLK-KMT. Patrick Hustead. In this bad faith breach of insurance contract action, the Plaintiff asserted that United Fire had improperly failed to defend and indemnify it under a liability policy. United Fire denied the claim as excluded from coverage under the policy’s Total Pollution Exclusion. On top of its alleged breach of contract damages, the Plaintiff also sought attorney’s fees and double damages to the tune of over half a million dollars under Colorado’s new bad faith statutes. The Firm filed a motion for summary judgment and Judge Kane agreed, granting UFC’s Motion in full. The Plaintiff appealed, but the Tenth Circuit upheld Judge Kane's ruling. The result was a complete victory.

Heritage Greens at Legacy Ridge, LLP v. Air Mechanical, Inc. et al., Colorado Court of Appeals, Civil Action No. 09-CA-2639. Patrick Hustead. In this construction accident case, the Plaintiff appealed a prior entry of summary judgment to the Colorado Court of Appeals. Acting as lead counsel on behalf of 12 defendants, the Firm argued that Plaintiff had misconstrued certain requirements under C.R.C.P. 54(b), and as a result, failed to timely file its appeal. In its motion to dismiss the appeal, the Firm set forth an exhaustive review of numerous trial court orders, and conclusively established that Plaintiff was not entitled to proceed on appeal. The Court of Appeals agreed, resulting in a complete victory for the client.

The Vail Corporation v. Outwest Construction, et al., Eagle County District Court, Civil Action No. 2008CV284.  In this negligence and trespass to land dispute, Vail’s chairlift was damaged during summer lift maintenance operations, when a delivery truck trespassed on Vail’s property and drove underneath and in the way of the lift while attempting to enter an adjacent construction site through a non-designated access point. The resultant collision damaged chairs, and required a full replacement of the entire haul rope. As blame was asserted in all directions, the Firm calmly proceeded to trial against the trespassing delivery company. After the first day of trial, a mistrial was declared due to an unrelated juror issue, however, as was evident from subsequent juror interviews, the effective presentation of Vail’s primary witnesses proved devastating to the defense’s position. Shortly thereafter, the delivery company folded, agreeing to Vail’s settlement demand. Another happy HLF client.

Parker Excavating, Inc. v. Safeco Insurance Company of America, et al., United States Bankruptcy Court for the District of Colorado, Case No. 08-19552-MER. Patrick Hustead and Connor Cantrell. This was a bad faith payment bond case in which the Firm’s client, Safeco, issued a payment bond to the general contractor on a highway re-paving job in northern Colorado. The claimant subcontractor, sued the general contractor for more than $500,000 in damages and asserted a bad faith claim against Safeco for its handling of the claim. Complicating matters was the fact that the case was proceeding in Bankruptcy Court as a Chapter 11 Adversary Proceeding. Nevertheless, and demonstrating its broad range of expertise, the Firm negotiated a settlement at mediation in which the general contractor agreed to pay a significantly reduced sum in exchange for a complete dismissal of the case, including the claims against Safeco. The Firm’s client paid nothing, not even attorney’s fees. A total success.


Employers Mutual Casualty Co. v. Chavez Sheet Metal, Inc., et al, Denver District Court, Civil Action No. 2008CV913.  The Firm represented a Surety in an indemnity action against bond Principal and its individual indemnitors. After securing judgment against the indemnitors for losses sustained by EMC, the District Court granted the Firm’s request for a Writ of Execution, transferring title of all of Chavez’ assets to EMC and paving the way for liquidation. After strategically agreeing to satisfy a major tax lien, the Firm successfully converted an already pending tax sale into a full-blown auction of all assets at minimal expense to the Surety. Successful advertising ultimately brought more than 100 well-qualified buyers from around the country, helping the Surety to recover more than $330,000 of its losses.

Windmill Creek Ass’n v. Windmill Creek, LLC, et al., Arapahoe County District Court, Civil Action No. 08CV809.  The Firm represented the developers of a 320 condominium project in Centennial, Colorado. After completion of the project, unit owners sued for repair costs in excess of $57 million. After filing numerous effective motions which narrowed the scope of the Association’s claim, the Firm achieved a significant settlement, equaling only a small fraction of the Association’s original demand.

Abraham v. RockResorts at Cordillera, et al., Case No.:   2008CV13.  The Firm represented the property manager, spa owner, and massage therapist in a personal injury action for neck injuries, surgeries, and impairment and disfigurement that alleged resulted from a massage at a high-end resort in Edwards, CO. The Firm defended the matter based on causation, employing various experts in the orthopedic world, as well as in the massage therapy world. The matter was favorably resolved without expense to the Firm’s clients.

Douglas Fields v. Westover Construction, Inc., Larimer County District Court, Case No.  09-CV-396.  The Firm represented a general contractor, Westover Construction, Inc., in a six-digit personal injury claim brought by a general contractor injured on the job. The claim was wholly defeated based on immunity of the general contractor as a statutory employer. The Plaintiff voluntarily dismissed the claim before the Answer was even filed.

Rudolph Richman v. Jeff Pennette, Summit County District Court, Civil Action No. 08CV176.  As part of the Firm’s representation of Vail Resorts and its many corporate affiliates, the Firm represented a Keystone Resorts employee against claims of malicious prosecution. The Firm vigorously defended the case, and the Court agreed with the Firm’s position, granting summary judgment an all of the Plaintiff’s claims and ordering the Plaintiff to pay the Firm’s costs.

Anheuser-Busch v. Thissen Construction, et al. (G&N Construction). Case No: 07CV442.  The Firm represented subcontractor in a multi-party construction defect action involving an addition to Anheuser-Busch’s brewery warehouse in Ft. Collins, Colorado. There were multiple construction issues related to the construction of the roof, and there were multiple efforts by the owner, the general contractor and various engineers and product manufacturers to remedy the issues with the metal panel roof, none of which were successful. The Firm supported and maintained a defense of lack of causation. The Firm was able to extract the client out of the matter in the early stages of this suit, thereby saving the client and the insurance carrier significant time, inconvenience, business disruption, expenses and fees.


Hartford Fire Insurance Company v. United States, United States Court of Federal Claims, Case No. 07-774C.  The Firm represented Hartford Fire Insurance Company regarding affirmative claims against the United States associated with a Miller Act bond claim initiated by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. Hartford had stepped in as the completing surety on two projects for the VAMC in Denver, Colorado. In completing the projects, Hartford incurred substantial amounts of additional expenses related to work performed on the projects that was out of the scope of the original contracts. Hartford sued the United States in the Court of Federal Claims and the Firm later negotiated a substantial settlement covering the Surety’s out-of-pocket and construction expenses.

Home Design Services, Inc. v. B&B Custom Homes, LLC, et al, United States District Court for the District of Colorado, Civil Action No. 1:06-cv-0249.  The Firm represented sixteen different Defendants in a complex copyright infringement case in Federal Court. The Plaintiff accused our clients of infringing the Plaintiff’s copyrighted architectural designs and claimed tens of millions in damages. It took nearly three years to convince the Plaintiff’s lawyers that the Firm was prepared to try the case, and HLF eventually settled the case for a fraction of the Plaintiff’s initial demands.

Mark Popejoy v. Steamboat Property Maintenance, Inc., Routt County District Court, Civil Action No. 04CV178.  The Firm negotiated a major settlement for its client, Steamboat Property Maintenance, staving off bankruptcy and protecting them from years of heartache. When HLF became involved, Steamboat Property Maintenance had already incurred a $13 million default judgment for failing to appear. Using a little-known exception to the Rules and case law from the early 1900s, the Firm convinced the Plaintiff to set aside the judgment and dismiss the case for pennies on the dollar.

Thermo Development, Inc. and Thermo Development Two, Inc. v. Division 7 Construction Co., Inc., et al., Denver County District Court, Civil Action No. 06CV6821.  Victorious Summary Judgment in a construction defect case against the Firm’s client, a sealant contractor. The Firm successfully defeated the Plaintiffs - developers of a condominium complex in Denver, Colorado – by successfully applying Colorado’s Statute of Repose. Case dismissed.


Johnstown Feed & Seed, Inc., et al. v. Ronald D. Heimann d/b/a RC Welding, et al., Weld County District Court, Civil Action No. 05CV2379.  Major jury trial win in a hotly disputed fire case involving the almost total destruction of a feed mill in north central Colorado. The Firm represented one of the two Defendants, both of whom were welders that had worked at the mill on the date of the fire. We offered $750,000 (as did the other welder, for a total of $1,500,000). The Plaintiffs rejected it, and at trial asked for over $13 million. The jury agreed with the Firm, and awarded the Plaintiffs nothing. We have asked the Court to award our client approximately $250,000 in costs.

Harry Ptasynski v. CO2 Claims Coalition, LLC, et al., US District Court for the District of Colorado, Civil Action No. 02CV00830 WDM-MEH.  Jury trial win in a complex oil and gas case against owners of mineral rights in the McElmo Dome CO2 Production Field in southwest Colorado. Plaintiff was a dissatisfied former member of a coalition of mineral rights owners which was formed to pursue major oil companies, including Shell and Chevron, for fraud in the sale of CO2. The underlying case settled for over $25 million. In this case, the Plaintiff accused the Firm’s clients of fraud and conspiracy and sought several million dollars in damages. We offered $125,000.00. The Plaintiff rejected it. That was a mistake, because the Federal Court jury came back and gave them nothing.

Certain Underwriters at Lloyd’s, London v. American Family Mutual Insurance Company, U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado, Civil Action No. 06CV01767 MSK-MJW.  Big victory for Underwriters at Lloyd’s and the Firm in a declaratory judgment action resulting from a fire which occurred in a four-plex townhome building. The Insured, Washington Park Townhome Association, had duplicate coverage for the property at issue. American Family took the position that coverage under its policy was excess over Underwriters’ policy and refused to pay. They even rejected our initial offer of $257,000 outright, and offered nothing substantial in response. That was a mistake – the Firm won a judgment well in excess of $300,000.


Boulder Plaza Residential, LLC v. McCrerey & Roberts Construction Company, Inc., Summit Flooring, LLC and Andy Beilicki, et al., Boulder District Court, Civil Action No. 05CV899.  Big jury trial win in a construction case against the Firm’s client, a floor installation specialist. The Plaintiff was the owner of a large, luxury condominium complex in downtown Boulder, Colorado. Plaintiff alleged that it was entitled to several million dollars in damages. After a two-week trial, the jury rejected all of the Plaintiff’s claims. Even better, the Firm’s client was awarded the full amount of his counterclaim.

But the real story in this case was in the offers of settlement. The Plaintiff’s last demand was $800,000. HLF offered $300,000.00. Not only did they recover zero, but because of the complete victory, the Court awarded the Firm’s client over $550,000 in fees and costs. The distance between rejecting a $300,000 Offer of Settlement and getting hit for $550,000 is $850,000, not to mention the hundreds of thousands of dollars expended by the Plaintiff in its futile efforts to pursue the case.

Travelers Casualty and Surety Co. v. New Mexico Department of Transportation.  The Firm represented Travelers in an affirmative claim against the New Mexico Department of Transportation. At mediation, the Firm negotiated a settlement of the pass-through claims in excess of $600,000.00 and was able to recover a significant portion of the monies paid under the Bond.

Steven H. Herter v. Native Excavating, Inc. and Rick Mewborn, et al., Routt County District Court, Civil Action No. 05CV162.  Major settlement involving high exposure liability case resulting from the collapse of a building under construction onto a consultant at the site. Injuries involved multiple back surgeries and traumatic brain injury.


Helen Andrews v. Davide Picard, Constructive Alternatives, Inc. and Laurie Skrederstu, Boulder District Court, Civil Action No. 02CV807. A residential construction case against a small family owned construction company which specializes in environmentally friendly buildings. The Plaintiff homeowner sued for everything imaginable, including fraud, and made a variety of personal claims against the Defendants for violation of the Colorado Consumer Protection Act, theft, alter ego and fraudulent transfers. Plaintiff alleged that she was entitled to hundreds of thousands of dollars in damages. After a two week trial led by Patrick Hustead, the jury rejected all of the Plaintiff's claims against the individual Defendants. The sole verdict on behalf of the Plaintiff was against the no-asset corporation for breach of contract in the amount of $45,000.00 - less than the $50,000.00 we had offered in settlement prior to the commencement of the trial, and a lot less than their last demand for $200,000.00. The Firm's clients went home very happy individuals.

Granite State Insurance Co. v. Amalgam Enterprises, Inc., Colorado Court of Appeals, Action No. 04CA931. Big win for AIG and the Firm. The Firm represented AIG/Granite State Insurance Co. ("Granite"), in connection with a Lien Substitution Bond that Granite had issued. The Trial Court entered judgment for $287,501.01 against Granite in connection with the bond just nineteen days after Granite intervened in the underlying action so as to raise defenses against the claim. Granite appealed the judgment claiming a due process violation, among other things, and was completely victorious. After oral argument, the Court of Appeals vacated the judgment in its entirety without even remanding it to the trial court. Granite was permanently absolved of any and all liability.

Silverthorne/Dillon Joint Sewer Authority; Town of Silverthorne; and Town of Dillon v. Travelers Casualty and Surety Company of America, et al. Summit County District Court, Action No. 03CV89. Construction case involving $1.7 million expansion of the Blue River Wastewater Treatment Plant in Silverthorne, Colorado. The Silverthorne-Dillon Joint Sewer Authority sued Travelers and its Principal for more than $360,000 alleging various claims including bad faith against the Surety. The case never made it to trial because the Silverthorne-Dillon Joint Sewer Authority ultimately agreed to settle and pay the Surety's Principal $265,000 and dismiss all claims against Travelers. That's a big win.


Belfor USA Group, Inc. v. Rocky Mountain Caulking and Waterproofing LLC, et al., Arapahoe County District Court, Action No. 01CV2875. Construction case defending a local subcontractor against a claim by the largest reconstruction company in the world. Big win in the face of scorched-earth tactics. The Plaintiff wanted $1,000,000, and said they would settle for $450,000. The Firm offered $75,000. They rejected it. The Firm tried the case to a jury and won. Not only did the client pay nothing, but it was awarded over $106,000 in damages. The Firm: 1. The Largest Reconstruction Company in the World: 0.

Adair Group, Inc. v. Points of Colorado, American Arbitration Association Construction Arbitration Tribunal, Case No. 77Y1100032302VSS. Another big win, this time against the largest hotel company in the world, Starwood. Five week Arbitration. They withheld $2.5 million from our client at the end of the job, then wanted an additional $2.5 million, but they were ordered to pay our client millions. The Firm: 2. The Largest Hotel Company in the World and The Largest Reconstruction Company in the World: 0.

Globe Indemnity Co. v. Travelers Indemnity Company of Illinois, Northern Insurance Company of New York,St. Paul Fire and Marine Insurance Company and Fidelity & Guaranty Underwriting Company, 2004WL1794509. Big appellate win on behalf of one of the largest insurers in the world. More important, the case has established defenses that will save insurers tens of millions of dollars, all on theories conceived of, and sold to the judiciary by, the Firm.

Maria Conseption Briones Escalara, the Mother of Oscar Briones (Deceased), Gonzolo Dena Bustos, the Father of Oscar Briones (Deceased), and Efren Dena Briones v. Union Insurance Company, .U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado, Civil Action No. 02 -F-1415 (OES). Long-anticipated victory in a hotly contested coverage dispute wherein the unrelenting Plaintiffs sought uninsured motorist benefits under a policy to which they had no entitlement. Case won totally on the Firm's motions.

Timothy Behm vs. Aspen Gold, Inc., Lake County District Court, Colorado, Case Number 03CV50. Big premises liability injury case, but we found a hole in their legal theory. Case dismissed on our Motion for Summary Judgment.


Dan Boyle v. Trevor Smith, Woodward Smith, Trina Smith d/b/a Smith Family Enterprises and Comanche Veterinary Hospital, Inc., District Court, Elbert County, Case No. 98-CV-82. Catastrophic brain injury, back injury, and soft tissue claim. Five year battle, big offers made by the Firm, yet a complete defense verdict after a two week jury trial. Even in a case with clear liability against the client. Big win for the Firm.

State Farm Insurance Company/Tracy K. Baker. Represented commercial Surety in an ultra-high profile matter concerning the embattled Arapahoe County Clerk and Recorder. No loss.

Colorado Western Insurance Company v. Mirco Technology, Inc., Jefferson County District Court, Case Number 01CV1638. Summary Judgment win for our client in a declaratory judgment action involving a third party coverage dispute. The court found our client had no duty to defend or indemnify the insured against a complex and expensive trade infringement case pending in California.

National American Insurance Company v. Masonry Corp., Robert Villasana, and Marco Villasana, District Court, Denver County, Colorado, Action Number 01CV3543. In this action to recover against the Principal of performance and labor and material bonds and the individual indemnitors, the Firm prevailed, resulting in a recorded judgment in favor of our Surety client in excess of $260,000.


Bruce Drachmeister v. 4040 E. Evans, Inc. d/b/a The Deadbeat Club, Inc., District Court, City and County of Denver, Colorado, Case No. 01CV1274. Big bar fight, big injuries, and a big victory for the Firm in a two week jury trial defending the owners of the best nightclubs in Denver.

Burt Buick-Pontiac-GMC Truck, Inc., et al. v. Truck Corral, Inc., et al., District Court, Arapahoe County, Colorado, Case No. 02-CV-642. Commercial Surety. Innumerable claimants against client CNA Surety, yet the case resolved without a glitch.

Brian Saupe v. City of Aurora, et al., District Court, Arapahoe County, Colorado, Case No. 02-CV-3902. Employment case. Arose out of the demotion of Plaintiff from the rank of sergeant to the rank of patrol officer in the Aurora Police Department. She got the case dismissed on a Motion to Dismiss including winning attorney's fees against the opposition.

Vigilant Insurance Company v. Blanchard Insurance Group, Inc., et al., District Court, Mesa County, Colorado, Case No. 01-CV-767. Simply a spectacular case involving Firm client Chubb. The Firm secured TRO's and many other forms of relief in this case against an agent allegedly issuing bonds without the knowledge of the Surety. Settlement confidential.

Underwriters at Lloyds, London/First Bank Holding Company of Colorado. Fidelity bond case for one of the Firm's oldest clients, Underwriters at Lloyd's, London. The client never paid a dime because the Firm demonstrated that there was no reason for it to do so.

Zeniada Martinez v. Leon Medina, District Court, Las Animas County, Colorado, Action Number 00CV80. The Firm made sure this case was dismissed right out of the blocks, finding a procedural flaw in the Plaintiff's action.

American International Group/Vista Gold Corp. Commercial Surety. Complex gold mining case for client AIG. Case resolved with no loss.


J.R. Simplot Company v. Legion Indemnity Company, United States District Court, District of Idaho, Case No. CIV 01-0296-S (BLW). The Firm took on Idaho's richest man, with his hyper-aggressive New York law firm at his side, and slugged it out to a standstill - until the Firm's client went broke and the Firm regretfully withdrew.

All American Protective Coating, Inc. v. Dick Anderson Construction, Inc.; and Dick Anderson Construction, Inc. v. Insurance Company of the West, Montana First Judicial District Court, Lewis and Clark County, Case No. BDV 2000-454. Contract Surety and bad faith surrounding the refurbishment of the Montana State Capitol building. Excellent settlement on difficult facts.

Westchester Insurance Company, Inc. vs. Front Range Drywall, Inc., District Court, City and County of Denver, Colorado, Case No. 02-CV-0990. Contract surety. Great settlement for the client.

Montana Pride, Inc. v. First Thunder Feeds, Inc., et al., U.S. District Court for the District of Montana (Butte), Case No. 00-CV-26-DWM. . Intellectual property case where the Firm eviscerated the opposition primarily due to the unrelenting work of the Firm.

Developers Surety and Indemnity Company v. Chief Construction Specialists, Inc., et al., U.S. District Court for the District of Montana (Butte), Case No. CV-01-66-BU-DWM. More contract surety in Montana with similar positive results.

Bijan Faraji, v. Circuit City Stores, Inc., Americans with Disabilities Act Arbitration. Patrick Hustead was the Arbiter in this case.

K/S Construction Services, Inc. v. Thyssen-Dover Elevator Company, District Court, Boulder County, Colorado, Case No. 2000 CV 1729. Another contract surety victory for the Firm against the largest elevator company in the world.

MCC Construction Corporation v. Masonry Corp., District Court, Denver, Colorado, Case No. 01-CV-3543. Contract surety. A big default and a big indemnity recovery for the contract surety client.

Wilderness Construction Company v. Safeco Insurance Company of America, District Court, City and County of Denver, Colorado, Case No. 01 CV 322 (Arbitration: JAG Case No. 02-18). The type of intellectual battle that defines the Firm. The Firm won a Motion for Summary Judgment concerning the validity of a Release. The issue involved a Release as it pertained to a later payment bond claim due to a bankruptcy trustee asserting a preference claim against the Obligee. The Release was found to bar the claim. Big win for a great client.

Marland Court Townhome Owners Association v. Broadmoor Hotel, Inc., District Court, El Paso County, Colorado, Case No. 98 CV 2755 (The Broadmoor Hotel, Inc. v. St. Paul Fire & Marine Insurance Company, JAG No. 02-0296). Defended major insurance client in dispute against the largest and most famous resort in Colorado - The Broadmoor. Excellent settlement.

Oscar Esparza d/b/a Colorado Territory Log Homes v. George Insurance Agency, et al., District Court, El Paso County, Colorado, Case No. 00-CV-3023. Agents E&O defense. The Plaintiff sued George Insurance Agency as a result of United Fire and Casualty denying coverage under his Commercial General Liability policy which Esparza purchased from George. Short story: Case dismissed with prejudice.

King Contracting, Inc. v. Planetary Utilities, et al.; Quality Paving, Inc. v. Planetary Utilities, et al.; Great American Insurance Co v. State of Colorado, et al., District Court, Denver County, Colorado, Case No. 01-CV-6002. Contract surety dispute. The Firm forced the opposition to fully reimburse the client for their losses of about $345,000 plus most of their expenses and fees ($80K out of about $110K). A routine surety case for the Firm - the Firm handled numerous payment bond cases involving innumerable subcontractors. The Firm negotiated a settlement of the affirmative claim on a secondary bond that resulted in an out-of-the-park victory for the client.


MBR Electric, Inc. v. Charles G. Williams, Inc., et al., U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado (Denver), Case No. 97-D-2675. Big win for the Firm in a surety bad faith case. Two week jury trial. The Firm was brought in a month before trial to try the case. Despite overwhelming odds, it was a total victory. The jury gave the claimant $1.00 for the bad faith claim. The client wrote the check.

Elvira Thomas, State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Co., et al. v. Robert Barger, Colorado Commodity Traders, Inc., et al., District Court, Logan County, Colorado, Case No. 00CV183. Commercial truck/multiple wrongful death claims. A dangerous case, but the Firm was successful in transferring the blame to the real parties at fault. Excellent settlement.

American Casualty Company of Reading, Pennsylvania, et al. v. Mountain States Foaming, LLC, District Court, Prowers County, Colorado, Case No. 01-CV-2. Big fire, and another big win against a Plaintiff trying to pin it all on the wrong party.

Star Insurance Company a/k/a Connecticut Surety Insurance Co. v. James Gang Enterprises, Inc., et al. District Court, Elbert County, Colorado, Case No. 00-CV-81. The commercial surety claim that would not die until the Firm finally woke everybody up and settled it.

Reliance Insurance Company v. Schuck Communities, Inc., et al.; and Schuck Communities, Inc., et al. v. St. Paul Fire and Marine Insurance Co., U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado (Denver), Case No. 97 CV 3360. The Cedar Heights Community Association, Inc., et al. v. Northern Colorado Video, Inc., et al., El Paso District Court, 97CV3360. Coverage and bad faith. Successfully negotiated a $3.5 million settlement that avoided a $20 million exposure, including almost unlimited exposure for bad faith.

James W. Neal v. RX Marketplace.com, Inc. Another complex intellectual property case for Underwriters at Lloyd's, London. Settlement confidential.

Underwriters at Lloyd's, London/Adolph Coors. First party coverage case based upon allegations of a Coors beer spill that killed thousands of fish in Colorado's Clear Creek. The insurer was right and never paid a cent. Later became a big issue in Pete Coors' Senatorial Campaign.

The Sturgis Area Chamber of Commerce v. Sturgis Rally & Races, Inc., United States District Court, District of South Dakota, Western Division, Case No. 00-5023. Intellectual property case. Involving the famous bike rally in Patrick Hustead's former back yard. Settlement confidential.


Ground Improvement Techniques, Inc., v. Merchants Bonding Company (Mutual), United States District Court for the District of Colorado, Case No. 97-WY-1203-WD. Simply a huge win for the Firm. Complex construction case involving uranium mill tailing remediation. Big win in a month long jury trial in Grand Junction, Colorado. Defeated all claims and won a $6 million dollar affirmative claim against the Obligee. Surety made whole even after spending almost $2,000,000 in fees and expenses. Also won a major Motion for Summary Judgment concerning fraud and inducement in the issuance of bonds, resulting in the oft-cited opinion, at 63 F.Supp. 2d 1272 (D.Colo., 1999).

Five Star Roofing v. Far West Insurance Company, et al., U.S. District Court for the District of Montana (Billings), Case No. CV-00-75-BLG-JDS. Surety bad faith case. Successfully resolved a complex performance bond claim and surety bad faith case for less than $100,000 arising out of a major construction/defective roof project on a medical center in Montana brought by the Bureau of Indian Affairs.

Nancy Foote v. Fikes Truck Lines, et al., District Court, Douglas County, Colorado, Case No. 99-CV-490. Truck liability. Defended trucking company on claims for brain injury, back injury, etc. stemming from an infamous 20 car pile-up in a Colorado flash-blizzard. Excellent settlement against one of the most aggressive plaintiff's lawyers in Colorado.

Wilma Miller c/b/a Double Diamond Construction v. Mills Construction, Inc., et al., U.S. District Court for the District of South Dakota, Case No. 99-4040. Catastrophic property damage case. Represented a major insurer, Fidelity and Deposit Co, of Maryland, in a complex builder's risk coverage case. Damage control case - and the damage was controlled.

Fernando Holguin, et al. v. The Palace Event Center, LLC, et al., District Court, City and County of Denver, Case No. 99-CV-3728. Highly sensitive sexual assault case. Settlement confidential.


Mark Frederickson v. Estes Park Recreation Center, et al., District Court, Larimer County, Colorado, Case No. 97-CV-578. Liquor liability. Brain injury resulting from brutal beating. Classic defense case that resulted in a fantastic settlement because the Firm was prepared to try the case and win it.

Lloyd Weaver v. Rushmore Waterslide Park, LP, Circuit Court for the Seventh Judicial Circuit, County of Pennington, South Dakota, Case No. 98-1060. Recreation liability. Waterpark accident resulting in amputation. Another great settlement for the Firm's client.

Eddie Buie v. Underwriters at Lloyd's, London, Arkansas Court of Appeals, Case No. CA 01-1360. Complicated first party rescission case in Arkansas with allegations of fraud stemming from the destruction by fire of the insured's business. Case won on a Motion for Summary Judgment, which the Arkansas Court of Appeals later tossed out in a split decision. But the leverage was created and case was settled.

Underwriters at Lloyd's, London/Siebert v. Redell, Circuit Court of Taney County, Missouri, Case No. CV798-0672CC. Another rescission action on behalf of Underwriters at Lloyd's, London, surrounding the apparent intentional burning of a bar in a small town in the Ozarks. Simply a wild case that resulted in an excellent settlement due in large part to the intense investigation and development of facts by the Firm.

Judith Henry-Hobbs v. The Oligarchy Irrigation Company, et al., District Court, Boulder County, Colorado, Case No. 98-CV-2074. Wrongful death by drowning. Incredible settlement after a long, hard battle.

Camas Colorado, Inc. - Bituminous Roadways Division v. Midtown Materials & Storage Co., Inc. and Western Surety Company, District Court, County of Boulder, Colorado, Case No. 97-CV-1846. Contract surety case with a blizzard of claims and a complicated indemnity puzzle. A great resolution that went beyond the client's wildest expectations.


General Electric Company, et al. v. Certain Underwriters at Lloyd's, London, et al., U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado (Denver), Case No. 98-M-1957. Huge case; $165,000,000 at stake. The Firm went alone against three of the biggest law firms in the United States. One from New York, one from Washington, D.C., and one from New Jersey. Issue here was whether GE could attack Underwriters in state court in Colorado for bad faith, which GE desperately desired, or whether GE had to arbitrate their claims in London. GE thus brought it all to the courtroom and after a particularly brutal battle, was sent packing by the Firm. They essentially tried to out-brief and out-intellectualize the Firm, and they failed. The Firm: 1. Three of the biggest Firms in the USA: 0.

USF&G v. Industrial Construction Services, Inc., et al. District Court, City and County of Denver, Colorado, Case No. 97-CV-533. Negotiated indemnity recovery in the neighborhood of $2 million dollars in the face of a very large default involving multiple, complicated, fraudulent conveyances and affirmative claims. Utilizing TROs, injunctions and the Denver Police Department for asset seizure, the Surety was made almost whole in a spectacular recovery effort. Multiple contract defaults in complicated prison jobs across the country that were deftly handled and the big liability avoided.

Old Republic Surety Company v. 1st Stop Sporting Goods, a/k/a First Stop Sporting Goods, District Court, County of Larimer, Colorado, Case No. 97-1588-CEM. (United States Bankruptcy Court for the District of Colorado, In re: Marty Moad, d/b/a First Stop Sporting Goods, Case No. 97-16887 SBB d/b/a J&M Enterprises, Chapter 7). Commercial surety. The Firm utilized TRO's and a preliminary injunction to pursue indemnity for the surety.

Boldtech Systems, Inc. v. WOL Online, Inc., et al., District Court, City and County of Denver, Colorado, Case No. 97-CV-5570. Intellectual property case for Underwriters at Lloyd's, London.

Underwriters at Lloyd's, London/Interstate Transportation. Bad faith case. Launched the Firm as the go-to Firm for Underwriters in the Rocky Mountains.

Underwriters at Lloyd's, London/Bolder Technologies Corporation. Intellectual property case for Underwriter's at Lloyd's, London. Unraveled the opposition's case and settled it for peanuts.

Larry Wood v. Lampert Hitch, Inc., District Court, City and County of Denver, Colorado, Case No. 97-CV-4303. Product liability/wrongful death case. Allegations of trailer hitch failure resulting in a fatal rollover. Settled.


Western Surety Company v. State of Colorado, et al., District Court, City and County of Denver, Colorado, Case No. 92-CV-5906; and Danella Construction Corporation of Colorado, Inc. v. Western Surety Company v. Pioneer General Insurance Company v. Centennial Motor Company, et al., District Court, City and County of Denver, Colorado, Case No. 93-CV-2571. Commercial bond case that sprouted into a class action over tens of millions of dollars. Resulted in an appeal, 914 P.2d 451 (Colo. App. 1995). The class action was derailed in a big win for the Firm. After several years the Firm finally proved that the claims were baseless and they never got a dime. Recovered substantially all the fees incurred by the client as well. A total victory.

Mike and Joy Langstaff v. Specialty Stone, et al., District Court, Eagle County, Colorado, Case No. 94-CV-190. Brain injury case. Two week jury trial. It took the jury about 30 minutes to bring back a defense verdict. Total victory.

Contractors Bonding and Insurance Company v. Patricia A. Oliver, District Court, Prowers County, Colorado, Case No. 97-CV-578. Commercial bond case. Excellent settlement.

TIG Insurance Company/Westeel Construction, Inc., U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Colorado, Case No. 96-10515 MSK. Contract surety matter that had it all - hotly contested litigation with the Obligee, workouts, takeovers, an indemnity action and a final battle in bankruptcy court.

Board of Trustees for School District No. 69 v. Town of West Yellowstone; and USF&G v. Planet Insurance Company, et al., Montana Eighteenth Judicial District Court, Gallatin County, Case No. DV-94-672. Contract Surety. A hard fought, lengthy, complicated, multi-million dollar dispute in a difficult jurisdiction. Everything from the soil compaction to the walls to the shingles on the roof at issue. Delicate situation - Surety vs. local school. Plus indemnity. Plus pursuing innumerable subcontractors. Settlement and ultimate recovery so exceeded the client's expectations that the President of the company gave special recognition to the claim specialist who hired the Firm.

Whitefish Sand & Gravel v. Reliance National Indemnity, et al. v. USF&G, et al., U.S. District Court for the District of Montana (Missoula), Case No. 95-120-M-CCL. Seemingly endless battle surrounding the construction of a paved road by the Canadian border near Glacier National Park. The Firm gained invaluable leverage by conceiving of and developing a fraud-based rescission claim on the bond, essentially gutting the opponent's case.