Practice Areas: Workers’ Compensation, Insurance Law, Liability Defense, Subrogation & Recovery, Employment Law, Appellate
Mr. Thomas has extensive civil litigation experience. Over the past 22 years he has represented companies before federal and state courts and administrative agencies. He has litigated over 100 cases involving matters such as workers’ compensation, automobile, bad faith and employment torts. He has argued more than 50 cases before the Court of Appeals and has over 20 published cases. His experience spans from the smallest landlord tenant issues in County Court to large employment tort cases in Federal Court.
In 1993, Mr. Thomas began his career with the Colorado Compensation Insurance Authority as in-house counsel, defending workers’ compensation claims. In 1995, he joined Dufford & Brown, P.C., where his practice broadened to include employment law and other civil litigation. As a Shareholder of Ruegsegger Thomas, LLC, from 1999 to 2003, Mr. Thomas’ practice continued to focus on workers’ compensation, insurance defense and employment litigation.
Having founded Thomas Law Firm in 2003, Mr. Thomas managed 21 associate attorneys focusing on civil liability, employment and workers’ compensation defense. The firm also practiced family law under the trade name Divorce Matters. Law Week Colorado ranked Thomas Law Firm among the top 50 Colorado firms. Mr. Thomas has significant representative cases in tort, employment and workers’ compensation.
In 2017 Mr. Thomas founded Thomas Law Firm to continue his career-long focus on civil litigation. He also continues to manage the family law practice Divorce Matters.
Non-Compete and Trade Secrets
- Netstructures, Inc v. McDonald, Arapahoe District Court. Represented telecommunications client in preventing unfair competition by former employee. Instituted claims for breach of duty of loyalty, breach of contract and non-compete agreements. Negotiated settlement after preliminary injunction hearing concluded.
- Golder Associates v. Edge Environmental Inc., US District Court, Colorado. Defended new environmental engineering company from multiple claims including non-compete claims of former employer. Defended claims of breach of duty of loyalty, breach of contract, civil theft, tortious interference with contractual relations, and other claims. Negotiated settlement after summary judgment motions filed.
- Gonzales v. CCMSI, et al, Denver District Court. (Multiple Tort and Contract Claims). Defended insurance carrier from multiple tort and contract claims including breach of contract, breach of fiduciary duty, insurance bad faith, violation of the Colorado Consumer Protection Act and Fraud. All claims dismissed by summary judgment except civil fraud where Jury rendered verdict for defense after four day trial.
- Safeway Inc., v. Triad Services, Denver District Court. (Breach of Contract and Indemnification Claims). Obtained partial summary judgment for retail client on indemnification claim requiring the service company to reimburse client for injury claim.
- Moguls of Aspen v. Fagre & Benson, 956 P.2d 618, (1997). (Professional Negligence). Represented former client in legal malpractice appeal. In this precedent setting case, the court held that in an attorney/client relationship, a fiduciary duty claim is a duplication of a legal malpractice claim.
- American Compensation Insurance Company, Inc. v. McBride, 107 P.3d 973, (Colo. App. 2004). (Child Support Enforcement). Defended insurance company who paid benefits to State Child Support Enforcement from claims by father that such payments were void.
- Jiminez v. Industrial Claim Appeals Office, 67 P.3d 965, (Colo. App. 2003). Represented insurance carrier in successful defense of civil penalty claim during appeal.
- Bogue v. SDI Corp., Inc., 931 P.2d 477, (Colo. App. 1996). Represented insurance company in an appeal. Court held workers’ compensation insurance carrier not responsible for handicap van for injured worker because it was not therapeutic.
- Allison v. Industrial Claim Appeals Office, 916 P.2d 623, (Colo. App. 1995). Represented insurance carrier in successfully defending claim for civil penalties; still remains a leading case regarding penalties.
- Wild West Radio, Inc. v. Industrial Claim Appeals Office, 905 P.2d 6, (Colo. App. 1995). Represented insurance company in asserting that employee who was intoxicated to point of passing out could not be within course of employment.
- Wafford v. Industrial Claim Appeals Office, 907 P.2d 741, (Colo. App. 1995). Defended an insurance carrier from its former employee. In this precedent setting case, the court affirmed disqualification of this employee and held that an unemployment hearing officer has no duty to develop the record for former employee.
PUBLICATIONS & SPEAKING ENGAGEMENTS
Colorado Defense Lawyers Annual Conference, 1996, 2004
Colorado Bar Association Workers’ Compensation Conferences, 1997, 2003, 2005, 2007
Continuing Legal Education for Counsel on Education in Management, 2001, 2002
PROFESSIONAL & COMMUNITY ASSOCIATIONS
Colorado Bar Association
Arapahoe County Bar Association
Colorado Defense Lawyers Association
Defense Research Institute – Member
U.S. District Court, Colorado
J.D., University of Denver, 1993
B.A., New Mexico Highlands University, magna cum laude, 1989
Over 67 years of legal experience
When contacting our offices one of the first questions people will often ask our defense attorneys is “What is the chance of winning a case in Colorado?” Every case is unique and presents a different set of circumstances. For example, a case in Aurora would be defended differently from a case in Denver, or a case in Lakewood. However, the sooner you contact a lawyer, the greater your chances are of getting a favorable outcome. Our attorneys have the combined experience of handling thousands of cases throughout their careers.
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Civil Practice Areas
When a victim is injured and claims that your organization is responsible, you want to do all you can to protect your investment. Fortunately, there are multiple defenses available under Colorado law, which may defeat the plaintiff’s claim or reduce the compensation he or she can recover.
Auto Accident Liability Defense Lawyers
Car accidents are disturbingly common, but they can have a serious impact if your Denver business is implicated in the incident. Victims often go for the “deep pockets” of organizations, especially when the amount of the claim is higher than your insurance coverage.
Whether you own a business in Colorado, California, or Alabama, there are state and federal regulations to which you must adhere. If you violate a law, are responsible for an injury, or violate a person’s rights, you may find yourself the victim of a lawsuit. To protect yourself in the event of a lawsuit, have a Denver business employment lawyer on retainer. Call the Thomas Law Firm to learn more about our practice and how we can help you.
Non-compete Agreement Lawyers
A non-compete agreement is an agreement between an employer and an employee that the employee will not seek employment with a competing employer or start a competing business after employment ends. Non-compete agreements are designed to protect employers in the form of commitment from employees and to protect employers’ investment in employees.
Premises Liability Defense Lawyers
As a Denver business owner, you have a duty to maintain your property in a safe condition and to remedy any hazards that may cause a risk of injury to people who enter.
Workers Compensation Defense Lawyers
You work hard to keep your Denver business thriving and a key factor in your organization’s success is workplace safety. When accidents do happen, the associated workers’ compensation claims can take an unfortunate toll.
Wage and Hour Business Lawyer
As a Denver business owner, there are several laws and regulations by which you must abide, otherwise you risk losing money and damaging your business’s reputation. Many of those laws have to do with wage and hour disputes. The best way you can avoid wage and hour disputes is by partnering with a Denver business attorney prior to hiring employees.