Arwin D Priest, a Colorado professional engineer and owner of Priest Engineering, Inc. and PE Inc., was the subject of a lawsuit in 2012 by an employee who he failed to pay wages. Despite meeting all of the appropriate statutory requirements for payment for unpaid wages, the employee did not receive her wages as required by law. She instituted a lawsuit in Denver County Court for the failure of Priest’s company to pay her about $8500 in wages which she was due. Arwin Priest testified at the trial, as did the employee, which took place in 2013.\r
Denver County Judge Bohning ruled in the favor of the employee and awarded her about $8500 in unpaid wages. Because of the willful failure of Arwin Priest to pay wages as required by law under the Colorado Wage Claim Act, along with the company and its current owner Pablo Duran, County Court Judge Bohning awarded the employee an additional $7500 in civil penalties, for a total judgment of $15,000.\r
Additionally, Judge Bohning found the employer (for whom Arwin Priest was the President while the employee worked there) was liable for more than $7000 in the employee’s costs of litigation and more than $42,000 in attorney fees. The total amount awarded to the employee and her attorney in 2014 was about $68,500 – which is about $60,000 in addition to the wages which Priest failed to pay in the amount of $8500.\r
In addition to a total judgment in excess of $68,500, Judge Bohning ordered that – if the employer wanted to appeal judgment on appeal – the employer would need to post more than $82,000 with the court to make sure that the employer paid the judgment in full, plus all additional attorney fees and costs incurred on appeal.\r
The employer was unsuccessfully represented by attorney Nick Avila of Denver. All the court records and filings are available to the public through the Denver County Court, Courtroom 175, Judge Bohning, presiding for the Clerk of the Court’s Office on Bannock Street in the City and County Building in Denver.