Practice Areas

Construction Litigation

The firm has experience representing design professionals, developers, contractors, subcontractors and suppliers. The firm has handled all aspects of construction-related litigation, including design or construction defects; delay, disruption and acceleration; earth movement; job-site injury and many others.

In recognition of the fact that construction litigation can be protracted and expensive, Tyson & Mendes is dedicated to providing cost-effective service to its clients. The firm is a strong proponent of alternative dispute resolution where appropriate, and the firm is also actively involved in construction dispute avoidance counseling on behalf of clients. This involves the review and negotiation of contracts in order to minimize risk, as well as negotiation and resolution of disputes to prevent litigation.

The principals have extensive trial and arbitration experience in both state and federal courts, and before the American Arbitration Association and other arbitration forums. Consistent with the firm’s emphasis on cost-efficiency, each client’s goals are carefully reviewed at the outset of litigation. Specific litigation strategies are developed only after the client’s goals are considered, and the most efficient and cost-effective manner of achieving those goals is determined.

Posts about Construction Litigation

Does a Construction Manager Owe a Duty to Third Parties for Economic Loss on a Project Based on a Negligence Cause of Action?

Date: April 20, 2017

“An action in negligence requires a showing that the defendant owed the plaintiff a legal duty, that the defendant breached the duty, and that the breach was a proximate or legal cause of injuries suffered by the plaintiff.” (Ann M. v. Pacific Plaza Shopping Center (1993) 6 Cal.4th 666, 673.) Duty, however, is a legal issue and must be determined by the court. (Isaacs v. Huntington Memorial Hospital (1985) 38 Cal.3d 112, 124.)

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Toxic Torts: An Overview

Date: June 16, 2016

A toxic tort is a legal claim for harm caused by exposure to a dangerous substance. Typically, a plaintiff claims exposure to a chemical caused the plaintiff’s injury or disease. Toxic torts can arise out of a wide variety of factual situations, such as exposure to air, land, and groundwater contaminated with hazardous substances. Many traditional theories of tort liability and defenses may be utilized in toxic tort cases.

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Public Contract Code Section 7107 Does Not Apply If Retention Funds Are Not Withheld

Date: June 7, 2016

In Blois Construction, Inc. v. FCI/Fluor/Parsons (2016) 245 Cal.App.4th 1091, the Court of Appeal held a general contractor’s obligation to pay retention payments does not arise until the general contractor receives retention proceeds from a project owner. Specifically, Public Contract Code Section 7107, which requires public entities to release retention proceeds to contractors within 60 days of completion of the project, is not applicable if retention payments were not withheld.

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Do You Really Need to Attend Every Mandatory Settlement Conference?

Date: June 7, 2016

As an adjuster, you have likely noticed the growing number of mandatory settlement conferences ordered by the Court in construction defect actions requiring your personal attendance. With a high volume case load, you are always looking for opportunities to spend your time efficiently and effectively. Sometimes, you feel like there is a good reason why you should not have to personally attend a mandatory settlement conference on behalf of every subcontractor. “There must be a way to resolve the dispute without being at the Court in person,” you think. Fortunately, your retained counsel can help!

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Court of Appeal Rejects Primary Carrier’s “Other Insurance” Position

Date: June 7, 2016

In the recent case, Certain Underwriters at Lloyds, London v. Arch Specialty Insurance (April 11, 2016, 2016 WL 1436362) the Court of Appeal of California for the Third Appellate District had occasion to consider the application of other insurance clauses in the context of successive primary general liability insurance policies. Facts of Case Arch Specialty […]

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Cosmetic Conditions or Functional Damage: What’s the Difference?

Date: September 9, 2015

Imagine an adjuster gets called out to a property after a loss, assesses the damage, and discusses the scope of loss with the insured. Everything is going smoothly, until the insured (or his contractor or public adjuster) points out small marks on most of the roof tiles on several of the slopes. The adjuster did […]

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The Privette Doctrine – What does it Mean to Homeowners?

Date: June 9, 2015

Among the worries involved in constructing or remodeling your home, liability for a contractor’s employee who gets hurt on the job should not be one. A line of cases starting with Privette v. Superior Court (1993) 5 Cal.4th 689, commonly referred to as the Privette Doctrine, explain the limitations of a homeowner’s liability for work […]

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Arizona Case Law Update

Date: May 28, 2015

PREEMPTION BNSF Railway Company v. Seats Inc., Arizona Court of Appeals, Division One, decided May 5, 2015 Facts: Jeffery McKinney, a train conductor employed by BNSF Railway Company filed a claim under the Federal Employees Liability Act (“FELA”) alleging he sustained serious injuries due to an unsafe seat on a BNSF locomotive. McKinney’s claims are […]

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The Debate over Regulation of Inadequate Replacement Cost Limits in Homeowners’ Policies Continues

Date: May 6, 2015

The April 8, 2015 decision of the California Court of Appeals in Association of California Insurance Companies v. Jones, held that the state’s Insurance Commissioner had overstepped his authority in attempting to regulate the content and format of replacement cost estimates under homeowners’ insurance policies. A number of fire victims, whose homes had been lost […]

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Appellate Court Lets Broad General Release Stand in SB 800 Case

Date: April 7, 2015

Under California’s SB 800 “Right to Repair Act,” may a builder obtain a “reasonable release” to resolve a construction defect claim in exchange for a cash payment? If so, what is a “reasonable release” under SB 800? Facts Plaintiff, David Belasco (“Belasco”), purchased a newly construction home in Manhattan Beach from builder, Gary Wells (“Wells”). […]

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