Recovering Millions After a Technology Meltdown (PDF-611kb)
Recovering Millions After a Technology Meltdown
“A costly, 20-month saga of futility and frustration came to a formal close Wednesday when the Los Angeles Unified School District announced that it had settled a dispute with the contractor that installed its payroll system …”
—Los Angeles Times, November 27, 2008
In early 2007, the Los Angeles Unified School District was blindsided by a spectacularly public and very costly debacle involving its Enterprise Resource Planning system implementation. For several months, a brand-new payroll computer system was underpaying, overpaying or entirely failing to pay tens of thousands of the District’s 84,000 hardworking employees.
While still grappling with how to fix the system and work out issues with an infuriated teachers union, the District engaged Pillsbury to pursue a breach of contract lawsuit against the payroll system integrator. Together with District personnel, Pillsbury litigators scaled mountains of documents and interviewed large numbers of witnesses to master the complicated technology, to route out the failings of the system integrator, and to develop a legal strategy to recover significant damages.
Armed with a detailed and ready-to-be-filed complaint, Pillsbury litigators launched what became multiple rounds of highly sophisticated negotiations. Those negotiations culminated in a settlement of $15 million in cash and waived fees, publicly praised by the District’s chief counsel as the best possible outcome for the District.