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Roy Hadavi
Roy Hadavi,
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 775
Experience:  Attorney at Law Offices of Rosenstein & Associates
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In CA, my dad/his wife (my stepmom) paid out an hourly wage

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In CA, my dad/his wife (my stepmom) paid out an hourly wage to a home health care worker from 1/1/16 - 12/29/16 at their joint checking account to care exclusively for my stepmom. My dad died on 7/10/17. The home health care worker is now filing a lawsuit against my dad for unpaid OT wages. Stepmom is forwarding the lawsuit on to me since I am the personal representative of his estate even as she has the knowledge and financial records pertaining to this home health care worker. Who is responsible for handling this lawsuit and what liability (if any) would be incurred by the estate vs. his surviving spouse?

Hi. My name is ***** ***** I am a licensed California attorney with extensive labor law and estate law experience. I would be happy to provide assistance. Please give me a moment to formulate a response. Also, please keep in mind that our conversation does not include an attorney-client relationship and this is for general information purposes only.

I am sorry to hear that the health worker is bring a suit against your father's estate.

Who did the health worker list in the claim (your father, your stepmother or both)?

Customer: replied 1 month ago.
My stepmom is forwarding me the information, but sounds like worker is suing just my dad. The expenses were 100% for my stepmom paid out of a joint checking account, which she has access to. Stepmom wants to kick the responsibility to me to handle. I think she is at least 50% liable, if not 100% liable, assuming the claim is even true.

Thank you for that information.

The health care provider was for your stepmother's care?

Customer: replied 1 month ago.
Correct. 100% percent. My dad was only administering these costs and services for my stepmom (had a stroke) and only his name was registered with EDD (Employment Development Dept.). This is why I think only his name is ***** ***** in the lawsuit.

Okay. That raises an issue.

On the one hand the debt is linked to your stepmother, on the other hand your father was listed as the employer. You will have to defend the claim and either attempt to include your stepmother in the claim or file suit against her for the amount that you have to pay out from your father's estate.

Thank you so much for allowing me to help you with your question. I have done my best to provide information which fully addresses your question. If you have any follow-up or clarification questions, please ask! There is no additional fee. If I have fully answered your question(s) to your satisfaction, I would appreciate you rating my service (hopefully Excellent/5 stars!) at the top of the screen. Otherwise, I receive no credit for assisting you today. I thank you in advance for taking the time to provide me a positive rating! A BONUS is also appreciated if you feel I've earned one today.

Customer: replied 1 month ago.
I understand that I will have to defend the claim and I will include my stepmom in the claim. If the claim is in fact legitimate for say $8,000, who should have to pay this claim assuming all the medical expenses were for my stepmom? I am thinking that she should pay 100% because she is the surviving spouse and all the medical expenses were hers alone. Your thoughts?

That is correct. The claim should be paid solely by her, as it is her debt.

Customer: replied 1 month ago.
What do I need to do at this point? Do I need to hire an employment lawyer. If so, how much would this cost me to defend assuming the claim is legitimate. I have located all the financial records and can substantiate the claim of $8,700. My concern is that my stepmom will refuse to pay even though she will admit that all these medical expenses are hers.

If you believe the claim is legitimate, you can settle the matter with the opposing party and save you all the time and hassle of going through the legal process.

You can discuss with your stepmother, her paying the settlement amount. If she refuses, then you will have to file a civil suit against her for the money.

A employment/labor law attorney can certainly help with this matter. If you are just settling the matter, the attorney should be able to provide a flat-fee (not hourly) to prepare the settlement agreement. The same attorney may be able to handle the civil suit against your stepmother or you may have to hire a litigation attorney specifically for the claim against her.

The cost of litigating the matter will depend on the attorney, but an attorney may be willing to take the matter on a contingency basis. This means that they will receive a percentage of the amount that they are able to recover from your stepmother. The percentage is usually 30% if it is settled, 40% if it goes to trial and 50% if there is an appeal.

Roy Hadavi and other Employment Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 1 month ago.
Thank you for your detailed and timely responses.

You're very welcome. I wish you the best of luck!
Thank you so much for the 5-star rating! I know rating takes an additional step and I truly appreciate you taking the extra time! It's been my honor and privilege to help you with this. If I can help you in any way in the future, I'll be happy to help. For easy access, my bookmark is: Or, simply request “Roy only” in the first line of your question.

Thank you also for the bonus! It is greatly appreciated.