February Women’s Initiative Spotlight: Lynn Allen

February 12, 2018 4:52pm

Lynn Allen is the managing partner of Tyson & Mendes’ Phoenix office. After running her own practice for more than 10 years, she saw an opportunity to grow even further with the help of T&M’s unique defense methods, training program and marketing strategies. Read on to learn about some of her biggest accomplishments and how she maintains work-life balance.

Washington’s Court of Appeals Takes Commonsense Approach to Insurance Contract Interpretation

Author: Colin Hutchinson-Flaming

Guest Editor: Catie R. Johnson

February 5, 2018 3:40pm

Koren v. State Farm Fire and Casualty Company, P.3d (2017)

Washington’s Court of Appeals recently affirmed a trial court’s interpretation of an insurance contract in granting summary judgment to defendant State Farm regarding the applicability of personal injury protection (PIP) benefits in a school bus accident. State Farm’s motion argued a school bus did not qualify as an “automobile” under the policy because “automobile” is defined as a vehicle designed to carry 10 passengers or less.

Washington Court of Appeals Division III Clarifies Work Product Doctrine’s Applicability to Expert Witnesses

Author: Kyle Jones

Guest Editor: Catie R. Johnson

February 5, 2018 3:33pm

On December 14, 2017, Court of Appeals Division III addressed Washington State’s application of the work product doctrine to communications with expert witnesses in In re Estate of Dempsey.  In Dempsey, Ellen Smith sued a doctor and a clinic in connection with Michael Dempsey’s death.  Discovery disputes were contentious, so the court appointed a special discovery master to rule on them.

Is There a Doctor in the House? McCrosky v. Carson Tahoe Regional Medical Center, Medical Malpractice and Independent Contractors

Author: Jenny Silverstein

Guest Editor: Catie R. Johnson

February 5, 2018 3:27pm

I will admit I have a soft spot for those in the medical field, especially physicians. My father-in-law has been a pediatrician for almost 45 years and is passionate about the care he provides. He is also genuinely concerned about his patients’ welfare and that they are comfortable with him.

One of the things my father-in-law hates about practicing medicine is the onslaught of frivolous medical practice claims and the cost of malpractice insurance. He is painfully aware not all doctors provide the same level of care he does. He is also very aware there are genuine cases of medical malpractice and those doctors should have their licenses stripped. The way he sees it, the high cost of insurance is the price he pays to make sure children get a good head start in life.

Claim Preclusion is Not Triggered by Declaratory Judgment in Nevada

Author: Christopher Lund

Guest Editor: Catie R. Johnson

February 5, 2018 3:20pm

Boca Park Martketplace Syndications Group, LLC v. Higco, Inc., 133 Nev.Adv.Op. 114, No. 71085 (December 28, 2017).


This case involves a commercial landlord-tenant dispute. In 2002, plaintiff Higco, Inc. (“Higco”) became one of Boca Park Martketplace Syndications Group, LLC’s (“Boca Park”) tenants in a Las Vegas shopping center. The parties entered into a 20-year written lease agreement in which the parties agreed Higo would have the exclusive right to operate a tavern in the shopping center. In addition, the agreement gave Higco the exclusive right to provide gaming services (i.e., gambling) in the shopping center, excluding any current tenants which were permitted to continue providing gaming facilities if already operating the same.

When Should a UM/UIM Carrier Intervene in its Insured’s Lawsuit against a Tortfeasor in a Nevada Court?

Author: Tom McGrath

Guest Editor: Catie R. Johnson

February 5, 2018 3:14pm

When an uninsured/underinsured (UM/UIM) carrier’s insured files a third party claim against an alleged tortfeasor, the adjudication of liability and damages will be binding on the same issues regarding the insured’s first party claim for UM/UIM benefits against his/her own carrier.  In many cases, if the tortfeasor timely appears in the third party case, the UM/UIM carrier may not intervene because, presumably, the tortfeasor and/or his/her insurance carrier will be motivated to defend, liability and damages  adequately. But, in third party cases where the UM/UIM carrier has concerns about the tortfeasor’s presentation of defenses to liability and damages (such as a case where the UM/UIM carrier’s insured’s alleged damages exceed the tortfeasor’s applicable insurance limits), it may intervene to protect its interests.

Florida Case Law Update

Author: Danielle Vukovich

Guest Editor: Catie R. Johnson

February 5, 2018 3:10pm

Amica Mutual Insurance Company v. Willis[1]

In an insurance coverage suit, the Second District Court of Appeal affirmed the trial court’s ruling, which found an uninsured motorist policy exclusion invalid because the policy did not include a reciprocal limitation on liability coverage. In this case, Appellee Willis was walking when she was hit by an uninsured golf cart. Her uninsured motorist carrier, Appellant Amica Mutual Insurance Company, denied her benefits for damages resulting from the accident because her policy did not consider golf carts as uninsured “motor vehicle.” The Court of Appeal found the uninsured motorist exception in Appellant’s policy is inconsistent with the underlying purpose and statutory intent of uninsured motorist coverage. Uninsured motorist coverage was created in order to enable an insured to receive the same recovery he or she would have received had the tortfeasor been covered by a liability policy. Thus, the Court held uninsured motorist coverage must be reciprocal to liability coverage which exceeds that required by law.

South Florida Judge Grants New Trial to Trucking Company Based on Alleged Improper Exclusion of Intoxication Evidence

Author: Haldon Greenburg

Guest Editor: Catie R. Johnson

February 5, 2018 3:01pm

Recently, a South Florida judge granted a trucking company’s motion for a new trial based on the exclusion of evidence regarding plaintiff’s intoxication [1] This ruling highlights the relevance of Florida’s intoxication defense in civil action tort claims.

The suit was brought by plaintiff against the owner of a tractor-trailer and the driver of the tractor-trailer, arising out of an early morning accident in which the driver of the tractor-trailer improperly turned into plaintiff’s lane, thereby colliding with plaintiff’s motor vehicle.[2]  Defendants admitted the driver of the tractor-trailer was negligent, and his actions contributed to causing some of plaintiff’s damages, but also contended that plaintiff was negligent, resulting in or contributing to his own damages.[3]

Social Legislation, Collateral Source Rule and Limiting Future Damages

Author: Doug Baier

Guest Editor: Catie R. Johnson

February 5, 2018 2:52pm

What is the Collateral Source Rule?

Generally, any compensation a plaintiff has received from a source other than the person who is found to be legally responsible is considered a “collateral source.” These payments may not be introduced into evidence at trial and they will not reduce the amount of damages recoverable from defendant. Today, the effect and extent of the Collateral Source Rule varies state to state.

Colorado Case Law Update

Author: Nathan Berkeley

Guest Editor: Catie R. Johnson

February 5, 2018 2:50pm


Walker v. Ford Motor Co., 2017 CO 102, 406 P.3d 845 (R’Hrg denied 12/18/17)

Plaintiff motorist brought a products liability action based on strict liability and negligence claims against an automobile manufacturer alleging the driver’s seat was defectively designed. After the trial court instructed the jury to apply either the consumer expectation test or the risk-benefit test to determine whether the seat was defectively designed, the jury returned a verdict in favor of the motorist in the amount of nearly $3 million dollars.

Colorado Law on the Question: When Did You Retain Counsel?

Author: Kathryn Lee

Guest Editor: Catie R. Johnson

February 5, 2018 2:44pm

We have all seen it. Months go by with very little treatment and the injuries/symptoms are minimal, until plaintiff retains an attorney. Then, suddenly, there are a slew of new and costly treatments, new claims and spontaneous diagnoses. It is clear in some cases, once an attorney is retained, it can alter not only the claimed injuries and treatment, but the course of the case itself. This is why it is crucial to ask the question during deposition: “When did you retain counsel in this matter?”

Colorado Supreme Court Shakes Up Offset Rules For Insurers Charging Multiple Premiums

Author: Raymond K. Wilson Jr.

Guest Editor: Catie R. Johnson

February 5, 2018 2:41pm

In Calderon v. American Family Mutual Ins. Co., 383 P.3d 676 (2016), the Colorado Supreme Court reviewed an action filed by Calderon against his own automobile insurer after being struck by an uninsured motorist. The facts of the case were undisputed: an uninsured driver ran a stop sign, collided with Calderon, and Calderon sustained injuries that rendered him unable to work for over a month.

California Case Law Update

Author: Leslie Price

Guest Editor: Catie R. Johnson

February 5, 2018 2:35pm


McMillin Albany LLC v. Superior Court 2018 WL 456728 California Supreme Court (Opinion Published January 18, 2018)

Plaintiffs sued developer and general contractor McMillin Albany LLC in 2013 for numerous construction defects in 37 single-family homes which were built after January 2003. Plaintiffs’ common law causes of action included claims for negligence, strict product liability, breach of contract, breach of warranty, and a statutory claim for violation of the construction standards set forth in Civil Code § 896. Defendant requested Plaintiffs agree to a stay of the litigation so the parties could proceed through the informal process contemplated by The Right to Repair Act, Civil Code, §§ 895–945.5. Plaintiffs refused the request and the trial court denied the motion for stay, relying on Liberty Mutual Ins. Co. v. Brookfield Crystal Cove LLC (2013) 219 Cal.App.4th 98, 163 Cal.Rptr.3d 600.

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