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Paradine v. Goei

Court of Appeals of Colorado, Sixth Division

April 19, 2018

Robert PARADINE, Plaintiff-Appellant,
v.
Esmond GOEI, Defendant-Appellee.

Page 869

         Boulder County District Court No. 16CV30186 Honorable Norma A. Sierra, Judge

          Jung & Associates, P.C., Ronald D. Jung, Boulder, Colorado; Weston M. Cole Law Office, LLC, Weston M. Cole, Littleton, Colorado, for Plaintiff-Appellant.

         Jester Gibson & Moore LLP, Marcel Krzystek, Jay S. Jester, Denver, Colorado, for Defendant-Appellee.

         OPINION

         BERNARD, JUDGE

         [¶1] Does the Colorado Wage Claim Act, sections 8-4-101 to -123, C.R.S. 2017, bar claimants from piercing the corporate veil to hold an individual personally liable for unpaid wages? We answer that question "no."

         [¶2] We ask and answer that question in the case of plaintiff, Robert Paradine, who appeals the trial court's order that granted a motion for judgment on the pleadings that defendant, Esmond Goei, had filed. Because of our answer and our resolution of a second issue, we reverse the court's judgment and remand for further proceedings.

         I. Background and Procedural History

         [¶3] Plaintiff served as the Chief Financial Officer and Vice President of Administration for a corporation called Aspect Technologies, Inc. Defendant was the Chief Executive Officer.

         [¶4] Plaintiff sued defendant and Aspect, raising three claims: a claim under the Wage Claim Act, fraud, and breach of contract. He alleged that defendant and Aspect owed him about $8100 in unpaid wages.

         [¶5] Defendant filed a motion for judgment on the pleadings under C.R.C.P. 12(c). The trial court granted the motion and dismissed the three claims against defendant with prejudice. (The claims against Aspect are still alive.) After denying plaintiff's motion to reconsider, the court certified its order dismissing the claims against defendant as a final judgment under C.R.C.P. 54(b).

         II. Analysis

         A. Standard of Review and C.R.C.P. 12(c)

         [¶6] We review C.R.C.P. 12(c) judgments on the pleadings de novo. Fischer v. City of Colorado Springs,260 P.3d 331, 334 (Colo.App. 2010). Courts generally disapprove of such judgments. Colo. Criminal Justice Reform Coal. v. Ortiz,121 P.3d 288, 294 (Colo.App. 2005). Historically, this meant that we would affirm a judgment on the pleadings "only if it appear[ed] beyond doubt that the party asserting a claim [could] prove no set of facts in support of the claim that would entitle the party to relief." Id. "This standard [was] essentially ...


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