Steve Festor has successfully mediated disputes alleging pregnancy discrimination, disability discrimination, age discrimination, sex discrimination, national origin discrimination, race discrimination, retaliation, harassment, wage and hour violations, Equal Pay Act violations, and personal injury. While he specializes in mediating employment matters, Steve also has experience litigating and resolving many types of commercial litigation matters. Steve’s interpersonal skills and his refusal to give up on resolving a matter are the hallmarks of his mediation practice.
NOTABLE CASES AS A LAWYER
Steve litigated cases for 25 years. He started his career practicing insurance defense and business litigation. He then specialized in employment law and class actions with the law firm of Bendich, Stobaugh & Strong, P.C. Steve’s notable cases include:
Fowler v. Guerin, 889 F.3d 1112 (9th Cir. 2018), cert. denied 140 S. Ct. 390 (2019). Class action by teachers who did not receive the interest they were due when they transferred retirement plans. The Ninth Circuit held that the Director of the Department of Retirement Systems unconstitutionally seized the teachers’ interest under the Taking Clause of the United States Constitution. Case is still pending.
Demetrio v. Sakuma Bros. Farms, Inc., 183 Wn.2d 649 (2015). Amicus attorney on appeal in class action by farm workers for paid rest breaks.
Moore v. Health Care Authority, 181 Wn.2d 299 (2014). Class action by employees for health benefits. Washington Supreme Court affirmed trial court’s ruling on viable methods to calculate damages in a class action. $80 million settlement.
Probst v. State Dep’t of Retirement Systems, 167 Wn.App. 180 (2012). Class action by employees for retirement benefits. The Court of Appeals ruled that the Department of Retirement Systems’ actions were arbitrary and capricious. $5.5 million settlement.
Wash. State Nurses Ass’n v. Sacred Heart Medical Center, 175 Wn.2d 822 (2012). Amicus attorney on appeal in class action by nurses for overtime pay.
Dolan v. King County, Pierce Co. No. 06-2-04611-6, 172 Wn.2d 299 (2011). Class action by public defenders for retirement benefits. Washington Supreme Court affirmed trial court’s ruling that public defenders were misclassified as independent contractors. Settlement with class members receiving pensions at a present value of $130 million.
Storti v. University of Washington, King Co. No. 04-2-10979-9 (2004). Class action by University of Washington faculty for 2% raise promised in employee handbook. The University provided the faculty back pay and raised salaries across the University. $17.45 million settlement.
Mader v. Health Care Authority, 149 Wn.2d 458 (2003). Class action by community college faculty for health benefits. Washington Supreme Court ruled the faculty are eligible for health benefits. $11 million settlement.
Vizcaino v. Microsoft, 290 F.3d 1043 (9th Cir. 2002). Class action by Microsoft contractors and temporary employees for employee benefits. The Ninth Circuit affirmed the trial court’s ruling on attorney fees after the class prevailed.
Mader v. Department of Retirement Systems, King Co. No. 98-2-30850-8 SEA (1998). Class action by community college faculty for retirement benefits. $12 million settlement.
Martini v. Boeing, 88 Wn.App. 442 (1997). Court of Appeals affirmed jury verdict against Boeing for failing to accommodate employee with sleep apnea.
Hairston v. Seattle City Light, King Co. No. 95-2-01141-1 (1995). Jury verdict of $400,000 in case involving race discrimination, harassment, and retaliation.
Burnstead v. JML, et al., King Co. No. 93-2-13145-3 (1993). Bench trial finding breach of fiduciary duty and negligent misrepresentation in partnership for the construction and sale of Echo Falls golf course.
Yates v. Valley Paving & Const, Inc., Skagit Co. No. 92-2-00660-2 (1992). Jury verdict lower than offer of judgment in auto accident case alleging traumatic brain injury.