In a highly complex wage-theft case, a Fresno County judge has ruled that about 250 escrow officers who were misclassified as exempt employees are entitled to receive overtime back pay from 2003 to 2012 from North American Title Co.

In addition, Superior Court Judge Jeffrey Hamilton said about 340 escrow officers can sue North American for millions of dollars in unpaid overtime and for not getting rest or lunch breaks from 2004 to 2012.

In all, the rulings could cost North American about $40 million, said Fresno attorney Nicholas “Butch” Wagner, whose law firm of Wagner, Jones, Kopfman and Artenian has been in a nine-year legal battle with North American Title Co. on behalf of hundreds of escrow officers who worked for the company.

Wagner said he plans to sue North American on behalf of the escrow officers and their lost wages.

Fresno Bee Decision