Reported Cases and Firm Accomplishments
The best evidence of Murphy & Decker, P.C.’s commitment to a positive result for every client is the record of success achieved by each of our firm’s lawyers. Below are some examples of our past work as well as individual and firm accomplishments.
Best’s Recommended Insurance Attorneys: Murphy & Decker, P.C., is proud to be included in A.M. Best’s Directories of Recommended Insurance Attorneys. Since 1927, these directories have been leading publications in the insurance defense industry and premier reference tools for locating client-recommended attorneys. The firm has been listed in the Best Directory for several years and very much appreciates the opportunity to continue our work with so many outstanding carriers and their insureds.
Highest Possible Firm Rating by Martindale Hubbell: Murphy & Decker, P.C., received an AV-Preeminent firm rating for 2023 by Martindale-Hubbell. This distinction is the highest possible rating a law firm can achieve for both legal ability and ethical standards. The firm has been AV-rated every year since its inception.
2023 Colorado Super Lawyers ®: Dan Murphy and Mike Decker were once again recognized as Colorado Super Lawyers in the 2023 edition of Law & Politics magazine. Only 5% of all lawyers in Colorado receive this honor each year.
U.S. News & World Report Best Law Firms: Murphy & Decker, P.C., was proud to be listed in the 2023 Edition of U.S. News & World Report’s Best Law Firms. Firms included in the list are recognized “for professional excellence with persistently impressive ratings from clients and peers.” Achieving a ranking indicates “a unique combination of quality law practice and breadth of legal expertise.”
Best Lawyers in America: Mike Decker was selected for inclusion in the 2023 edition of The Best Lawyers in America for his work in the areas of Construction Law and Commercial Litigation. He has received this honor every year since 2014.
Claims Dismissed Against Apartment Building Owner: In July 2022, Dan Murphy and Ryan Thompson successfully represented the owner of an apartment building in Wyoming after the owner was sued for personal injuries. Dan and Ryan argued that the plaintiff failed to properly serve the building owner within the statute of limitations. The plaintiff argued that service was proper but records subpoenaed from the registered agent for the building owner showed that no service had actually occurred. The plaintiff voluntarily dismissed all claims against the firm's client.
Victory for Community Association: In May 2022, Mike Decker successfully defended claims made against a community association by a neighboring landowner. The plaintiff landowner alleged that improvements made to a river by the community association improperly reduced the water available to the plaintiff for irrigation of its land, which were subject to a decreed water right. The association denied all claims. Mike argued that the plaintiff's claims were made too late and that all claims were barred by the statute of limitations. The judge agreed and entered summary judgment in favor of the firm's client on all claims.
Successful Arbitration for Community Association: In December 2021, Mike Decker represented a mountain community association in a dispute with its property management company over the fees charged and services provided by the management company. After a week long arbitration, the arbiter found that the property management company had breached its contract. The property management company's claims were all denied. The arbiter also ordered the property management company to pay for all of the attorney fees and costs incurred by the firm in its representation of the association.
Trial Victory for Owner/Developer: In November 2021, Mike Decker and Eric Lee represented a property owner/developer in a payment dispute with an architect. The architect claimed it was owed hundreds of thousands of dollars for design work it performed at the request of a potential tenant. The building at issue was never actually built. The firm's client did not hire the architect and never asked it to perform services. After a full trial, judgment was entered in favor of the firm's client on all claims.
Judgment for Hotel Franchise: In October 2021, Mike Decker and David Anderson successfully represented a hotel franchise against claims for personal injury alleged by a plaintiff who claimed injuries after falling in shower of his guest room. The hotel was owned and operated by a franchisee of the firm's client at the time of the incident. Mike and David argued that the Premises Liability Act was the plaintiff's exclusive remedy, and that it did not permit a claim against the firm's client because it was not a "landowner" for the premises at the time of the incident. The judge agreed and entered judgment in favor of the firm's client on all claims.
Judgment for Concrete Contractor: In September 2021, Dan Murphy and Eric Lee prevailed on all claims made against a concrete subcontractor. The plaintiff was injured after crashing his bicycle. Plaintiff alleged that the concrete was installed defectively. Dan and Eric filed a motion for summary judgment arguing that all claims were barred by the six year statute of repose for construction defect claims. The Court granted the motion and entered judgment in favor of the firm's client on all claims.
Victory for Restaurant: In September 2021, Mike Decker and David Anderson defended claims made against a restaurant after a customer slipped and fell on a patch of ice on the sidewalk outside the restaurant. Because the restaurant was leasing its space and had no responsibility for exterior maintenance, Mike and David argued that it was not responsible for the ice and could not be liable under the Premises Liability Act. The judge agreed and entered judgment in favor of Mike and David's client on all claims.
Trial Victory for Association: In August 2021, David Anderson represented a community association that was sued by one of its members. The plaintiff member claimed that the association was not assessing fees properly for delinquent payments and other violations. After a trial, judgment was entered in favor of the association on all claims.
Successful Trial for Construction Company Employee: In July 2021, Mike Decker and Eric Lee successfully defended an employee of a construction company who was accused of causing permanent injuries to a plaintiff after a motor vehicle accident. Plaintiff claimed that her permanent injuries would cause her to experience pain and limit her activities for the rest of her life. The employee admitted liability for the accident but disputed any damages claimed by the plaintiff beyond some limited medical care immediately after the accident. After a full trial, the jury agreed and rejected all of the plaintiff's claims for pain and suffering, physical impairment, emotional distress, or future medical care. The only damages awarded to the plaintiff were the small amount of medical care costs incurred immediately after the accident.
Judgment for Owner of Shopping Mall: In June 2021, Greg Lindsay successfully represented the owner of shopping mall that was being sued for personal injuries after the plaintiff fell on ice in the parking lot. The fall occurred after business hours. Greg argued that the plaintiff was a trespasser and that the mall owner did not have any liability to her under the Premises Liability Act. The judge agreed and entered judgment in favor of Greg's client on all claims.
Victory in Wyoming Supreme Court: In April 2021, Dan Murphy and Eric Lee successfully enforced an arbitration provision in a legal malpractice dispute. The plaintiff insisted that she had the right to bring suit against the firm's client in Wyoming state court. Dan and Eric argued that all claims were required to be arbitrated. After extended argument, briefing, and appeal, the Wyoming Supreme Court eventually agreed and ordered that all claims were required to be arbitrated.
Summary Judgment for Manufacturer: In October 2020, Mike Decker and Eric Lee successfully represented the manufacturer of fencing products against a claim for emotional distress damages alleged by the owner of a thoroughbred horse. The owner claimed significant emotional trauma after finding the injured horse with its leg stuck in the fence. The judge agreed that Wyoming law prohibits emotional distress damages for property damage claims under the circumstances of the case and granted summary judgment to the firm’s client on all claims for emotional distress.
Summary Judgment for Manufacturer: In March 2020, Mike Decker and David Anderson obtained summary judgment for the manufacturer of a chair. The plaintiff alleged that finger was amputated while she was eating at a restaurant due to an alleged defect in the chair. Mike and David argued that the claims against their client were barred by the terms of an applicable Asset Purchase Agreement. The Court granted a motion for summary judgment on all claims alleged against the firm’s client.
Successful Trial for Contractor: In February 2020, Mike Decker successfully represented a contractor client during the jury trial of a personal injury claim. The plaintiff alleged that she suffered permanent and lifelong injuries due to a collision between her vehicle and a truck being driven by one of the contractor’s employees. The contractor admitted liability for the accident but denied the causation and extent of the damages being claimed by Plaintiff. At the conclusion of the trial, the jury awarded Plaintiff less than 15% of the damages she sought at trial.
Summary Judgment for Sidewalk Contractor: In August 2019, Dan Murphy and Eric Lee obtained summary judgment for a contractor sued in a catastrophic personal injury case. The plaintiff was injured while riding his bike over an area of sidewalk where the contractor had performed work. He suffered more than $1 million in claimed damages. Dan and Eric argued that the claims against their contractor client were barred by the statute of repose based on the time that had passed since their client completed its work. After extensive briefing, the Court granted summary judgment in favor of the firm’s client on all claims. Claims Dismissed Against Flooring Contractor: In January 2019, Mike Decker and David Anderson represented a contractor that installed flooring on the plaintiff's stairs. The plaintiff alleged that he suffered significant injuries after falling down the stairs due to defects in the installation. Mike and David argued that the plaintiff's claims were entirely barred by the statute of limitations and filed a motion to dismiss. The Court granted the motion and dismissed all claims against the firm's client.
Summary Judgment for Convenience Store: In November 2018, Dan Murphy and David Anderson obtained summary judgment for the owner of a convenience store in a catastrophic personal injury case. The plaintiff alleged that the lawsuit was filed on time because the store knew about the lawsuit before the statute of limitations expired, and numerous affidavits were submitted to support that argument. Dan and David countered with several opposing affidavits that refuted the plaintiff's position. The judge agreed with the firm’s motion, and granted summary judgment to the firm's client on all claims.
Dismissal of Claims Against Hotel Client: In May 2018, Mike Decker and Eric Lee obtained a dismissal of all claims alleged against the owner of a hotel in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. The plaintiff claimed severe injuries after he allegedly slipped on ice outside of the hotel lobby. However, the attorney who filed the lawsuit on behalf of the plaintiff was not licensed to practice in Wyoming. The lawsuit was filed shortly before the statute of limitations would have expired. Mike and Eric filed a motion to dismiss the lawsuit because it was not filed by a licensed attorney. The judge agreed and dismissed the claims. Because the statute of limitations had since run, the plaintiff was barred from pursuing any further claims against the firm’s client.
Dismissal of Claims Against Casino Clients: In March 2018, Mike Decker successfully represented two casinos accused of serving alcohol to an impaired driver who subsequently injured the plaintiffs in a significant motor vehicle accident. Plaintiffs were claiming catastrophic damages of over $1 Million. Mike filed an immediate motion to dismiss based on Colorado’s Dram Shop Act and the failure of the plaintiffs to plead sufficient facts to support their claims. After the motion was filed, the plaintiffs dismissed all claims against the firm's clients.
Dismissal of Claims Against Civil Engineer: In March 2018, Mike Decker and Greg Lindsay successfully represented a civil engineer in a drainage dispute. The plaintiff alleged that his home and property suffered water damage due to design and construction errors that occurred during a roadway project near his home. When the plaintiff failed to provide the certificate of review required by Colorado law in order to file claims against a design professional, Mike and Greg filed a motion to dismiss. The Court granted the motion and all claims against Mike and Greg’s client were dismissed.
Successful Appeal for Community Association: In December 2017, Mike Decker obtained a favorable opinion from the Colorado Court of Appeals. The firm’s client filed suit against a commercial unit owner to compel compliance with the governing documents for the community association. Following trial, the court entered judgment in favor of the firm’s client and ordered immediate compliance with the association’s requirements. The opposing party appealed. The Court of Appeals affirmed the trial court’s judgment in favor of the firm’s client and confirmed the need for immediate compliance by the commercial unit owner.
Dismissal of All Claims Against Firm Clients: In July 2017, Mike Decker and Danielle Bergman successfully represented a casino and two casino employees accused of false imprisonment and malicious prosecution. After conducting some initial discovery, Mike and Danielle demanded that the plaintiff dismiss all of his claims or face a motion for fees and costs. Plaintiff voluntarily dismissed all claims against the firm’s clients.
Defense Verdict for Contractor Employees: In November 2016, Dan Murphy and Mike Decker successfully defended personal injury claims against three employees of a highway contractor. The plaintiff fell while working on an elevated bridge and alleged that the three employees were liable because they directed him to work in an unsafe way and without necessary fall protection. After a week-long jury trial, judgment was entered in favor of all three clients on all claims.
Victory at the Court of Appeals for Commercial Property Owner: In October 2016, Mike Decker and Andrew Figel represented a commercial property owner who had previously been subject to a default judgment in favor of two former tenants. The tenants alleged over $1 Million in damages but the trial judge awarded only a small amount of damages as part of the default judgment. The tenants appealed and argued that the trial judge abused her discretion by failing to award all of the damages they presented at the damages hearing. Following full briefing, the Court of Appeals agreed with the trial court and refused to award the tenants the excessive damages they were claiming.
$3 Million in Claimed Damages Dismissed for Wrongful Death Claim: In August 2016, Dan Murphy and Andrew Figel significantly limited potential damages in a wrongful death action in a case of first impression. The husband and children of the deceased were seeking recovery of over $3 Million in damages for the future life care of a special needs child. Dan and Andrew filed a motion arguing that these damages were not recoverable under the Wrongful Death Act because they were not caused by the death of the child’s mother and that any required benefits were covered by public benefits. The trial court agreed and prohibited the plaintiffs from further pursuing these damages.
Judgment for Subcontractor Client: In July 2015, Dan Murphy obtained summary judgment in favor of his subcontractor client. The case involved the construction of an exclusive hotel and resort in Vail, Colorado. The plaintiff general contractor was seeking the recovery of more than $15 million in alleged damages. The Court dismissed all claims against the firm's client based on the doctrine of claim preclusion.
Judgment in favor of property manager: In June 2015, Mike Decker represented the property manager for an apartment building. The plaintiff claimed injuries from a fire in the building and alleged that the property manager was responsible due to claimed building code violations and the claimed failure to evict the tenant believed to have caused the fire. After a five-day jury trial, the jury found that the property manager had no liability and assessed 100% of the fault to the tenant.
Trial victory for firm client: In May 2015, Mike Decker successfully represented a community association that was sued by a member of the association. The member claimed that the association failed to remedy water intrusion and other damages to the member's property. After a three-day trial, the association prevailed on all of the claims alleging property damage. The member was also ordered to provide access to its property as required by the governing documents.
Judgment for Firm Client: In May 2015, Dan Murphy represented an actuarial group that had been sued following the dissolution of a health insurance company. The plaintiff was a third party investor that argued the failure to properly value the health insurer resulted in the loss of his investment. The total damages alleged exceeded $3 million. Dan filed a motion for summary judgment arguing that the "shareholder standing rule" precluded the claim. The judge agreed and granted summary judgment in favor of Dan's client on all claims.
Judgment and award of attorney fees for firm client: In November 2014, Mike Decker successfully represented a firm client in a commercial dispute. The client provided earnest money to be held in trust as part of an anticipated commercial business transaction. Ultimately, the transaction did not take place and the client requested the return of funds. The other party refused to return the funds. It argued that the funds were not being provided in trust, or, alternatively, that the amount deposited was reduced significantly by costs incurred during the due diligence period. Following a jury trial, judgment was entered in favor of the firm’s client on all claims. The judge awarded attorney fees and costs to the firm’s client after the entry of the jury’s verdict.
Summary judgment for firm client: In September 2014, Mike Decker obtained summary judgment for a firm client on all claims made by the plaintiff. The client was a community owners association that had been sued by an owner of community property. The plaintiff claimed a variety of personal injuries due to alleged maintenance practices at the community property. In an earlier lawsuit, Mike had obtained a dismissal of the plaintiff’s claims against the client with prejudice. A motion for summary judgment was filed arguing that the prior dismissal prevented the plaintiff from pursuing his claims against the association in the new lawsuit. The district court agreed and entered summary judgment in favor of the firm’s client.
Summary judgment in premises claim: In July 2014, Dan Murphy obtained a summary judgment for their client on a premises liability claim. The plaintiff filed suit alleging personal injuries due to a slip-and-fall in the parking lot of supermarket. The firm’s client was the snow removal company hired to remove snow at the premises. The motion for summary judgment argued that the snow removal contractor was not a “landowner” under the Colorado Premises
Liability Act because the contractor was not in possession of the property or conducting an activity on the land at the time of the alleged incident. The district court agreed and entered summary judgment in favor of the firm’s client.
Dismissal of all claims against firm’s clients: In July 2014, the district court upheld the dismissal of all claims against Mike Decker’s clients in a premises dispute. The dispute arose from a lease for commercial space. The plaintiffs alleged that they were improperly locked out of the premises by the firm’s clients, who were the building owner and its property manager. The court eventually dismissed all claims due to the plaintiffs’ failure to make sufficient
disclosures required by the Colorado Rules of Civil Procedure. The plaintiffs filed a motion to reconsider that was denied on all points.
Judgment and attorney fees for firm client: In March 2014, Mike Decker represented a commercial property association at trial. The case began when the association made claims against one of its members for unpaid assessments. The owner brought counterclaims alleging that the assessments were improperly made and that the practices of the association had caused her to incur substantial lost revenue in the operation of her business at the involved property. Following trial, judgment was entered in favor of Mike’s client on all claims. The association defeated all of the counterclaims that were alleged against it and it was awarded the entire amount of the outstanding assessments claimed plus interest, litigation costs, and attorney fees.
Defense verdict for Wyoming traffic control subcontractor: In October 2013, Dan Murphy obtained a defense verdict for a traffic control subcontractor in Wyoming. The plaintiff motorcycle rider was severely injured in an accident that occurred in a construction zone. The plaintiff alleged that the accident was caused by poor road conditions and a lack of adequate traffic control. Immediately prior to trial, two other subcontractor defendants settled with the plaintiff. The defendant general contractor settled with the plaintiff following the second day of trial. The firm's client went to verdict as the lone remaining defendant. At the end of a two-week trial, the plaintiff's counsel asked the jury to deliver a verdict in excess of $11 million. The jury returned a defense verdict in favor of the firm's client on all claims.
Judgment for Snow Removal Contractor: In September 2012, Mike Decker and Danielle Bergman obtained a judgment in favor of a snow removal contractor. The firm’s client was hired to remove snow at a townhome complex. The plaintiff alleged that a few days after a snowstorm he was injured when he slipped on ice that had formed on the front porch of a townhome. Mike and Dani argued that under the terms of the maintenance contract their client had no duty for the condition of the property several days after a snowfall event. The judge agreed and entered judgment in favor of the firm’s client on all
claims made by the plaintiff.
Claims against client dismissed by Wyoming court: In October 2011, Dan Murphy and Eric Kirby filed a successful motion to dismiss all claims against their client in the U.S. District Court for the District of Wyoming. Dan and Eric demonstrated that the plaintiff failed to comply with applicable service rules. Relying on cases from various jurisdictions, Dan and Eric convinced the judge that it was appropriate to dismiss the claims against their client due to the plaintiff's violation of the rules.
Dismissal of all claims against commercial food supplier: In September 2011, Mike Decker was able to get all claims against his client dismissed in a case involving alleged E. Coli contamination. Mike's client supplied beef to a commercial restaurant and the plaintiffs claimed they were injured after eating at the restaurant. The claims against Mike's client were dismissed after demonstrating that all of the beef supplied by the client had been properly tested and found to be free of contamination. The case continued against other parties.
Summary judgment for clients entered by Wyoming court: In May 2011, Dan Murphy and Eric Kirby obtained a summary judgment for their clients, who were individual representatives of a corporation sued in Wyoming. The case involved claims for negligence and strict product liability related to a slope stabilization project. Dan and Eric convinced the court that the claims were filed outside the time allowed by the applicable statute of limitations.
Summary judgment for developer: In April 2011, Mike Decker obtained a summary judgment for his clients in a case involving alleged construction defects at a large shopping mall. The current owner of the mall alleged over $3 million in damages. Mike represented former developers for the mall property. Less than a year after the lawsuit was filed, the judge entered summary judgment in favor of Mike's clients on all claims. The case continued against many additional parties.
Defense verdict in auto accident case: In March 2010, Dan Murphy and Eric Kirby represented a client in a case involving a rear-end auto collision. The plaintiff claimed he was injured after being hit from behind by Dan and Eric's client. Although liability for the accident was admitted, responsibility for the injuries being claimed by the plaintiff was denied. After deliberating for four hours, the jury found in favor of Dan and Eric's client and awarded no damages to the plaintiff as a result of the accident.
Judgment for general contractor: In January 2010, Dan Murphy and Eric Kirby obtained a judgment in favor of a general contractor who was being sued by a site worker claiming personal injuries due to a fall. The plaintiff had alleged damages of at least $1 million.
Victory for electrical subcontractor: In November 2009, Mike Decker represented an electrical subcontractor in an arbitration involving alleged defects with the electrical system at a condominium project. After a three-day hearing, the arbitrator found in favor of Mike's client on all claims and awarded attorney fees and costs against the opposing parties.
Treatise on Colorado construction law: In June 2009, Mike Decker was a contributing author in the latest edition of The Practitioner's Guide to Colorado Construction Law. The new edition of the treatise is published by the Continuing Legal Education of Colorado.
Important decision by the Supreme Court of Colorado: In January 2009, Dan Murphy and Mike Decker represented a subcontractor before the Supreme Court of Colorado. The decision issued by the Supreme Court definitively interpreted provisions of AIA form contracts related to builders' risk insurance coverage and clarified the scope of claim waivers found in the form agreements. The case was remanded to the trial court for further proceedings necessary to determine the extent that the claims against Dan and Mike's client were waived.
Developer wins at the Court of Appeals: In September 2008, the Colorado Court of Appeals issued an opinion in favor of Mike Decker’s clients, a group of developers and the individual owner of a development company. The Court of Appeals upheld an award of attorney fees to Mike's clients. The trial court judge awarded the attorney fees after the claims made against Mike's clients were dismissed during the course of a multi-week trial.
All claims against clients dismissed: Mike Decker and Greg Lindsay represented a real estate broker and company who were involved with the sale of a hotel. After more than five years of litigation, a motion to dismiss filed by Mike and Greg was granted. All claims against their clients were dismissed by the trial court judge.
Real estate broker prevails on all claims: Mike Decker and Greg Lindsay represented a real estate broker and his parent company in a suit brought by the purchaser of a commercial property. Summary judgment was entered in favor of Mike and Greg's clients on all claims by the trial court. In August 2008, the Colorado Court of Appeals affirmed the trial court and held that Mike and Greg's clients were entitled to judgment on all claims.
Successful trial for general contractor: In October 2007, Dan Murphy and Mike Decker went to trial and represented a general contractor in Eagle, Colorado. The owners of a condominium unit alleged that toxic mold had formed in their unit due to construction defects. After a two-week trial, the jury returned a defense verdict in favor of Dan and Mike's client on all claims.
Defense verdict for general contractor: In September 2007, Mike Decker and Greg Lindsay defended a general contractor and two of its employees in a construction defect action brought against them by the owner of a single-family home. After a two-week trial, the jury returned a defense verdict in favor of Mike and Greg's clients on all claims.
Victory for general contractor: Dan Murphy and Mike Decker represented a general contractor who had been sued by the owner of a commercial office building. The owner alleged negligence in the construction of the exterior concrete panels for the building. The trial court judge granted summary judgment in favor of Dan and Mike's client on all claims. In September 2007, the Colorado Court of Appeals affirmed the summary judgment in favor of Dan and Mike's client.
Firm attorneys contribute to book series on Colorado construction law: In July 2007, Dan Murphy, Mike Decker, and Greg Lindsay each authored a section of The Practitioner's Guide to Colorado Construction Law. The revised series is published by Continuing Legal Education of Colorado.