Brian Johnson - Senior Counsel

Brian Johnson is Senior Counsel in Tyson & Mendes’ Northern California office. His practice focuses on general liability, personal injury, complex construction, products liability, and general business matters.

Mr. Johnson is an experienced litigator, having represented individuals and businesses in state and federal courts for over a decade.   He has successfully resolved client matters through trial, summary judgment motions, and alternative dispute resolution. Mr. Johnson enjoys handling complex, scientific, and highly technical types of litigation.  He has significant environmental and complex litigation experience with RCRA, Clean Air Act, Clean Water Act, and Proposition 65 cases.  Mr. Johnson believes positive working relationships between counsel yield positive client results.  Where appropriate, he will work to resolve client matters informally or through extrajudicial means before litigation commences or in its earliest stages.

Mr. Johnson graduated magna cum laude from Augusta State University in 2000 with a B.A. in Political Science and International Studies.  While earning his B.A., he studied abroad in Greece and Russia as a Board of Regents Scholar.  He earned his J.D. with a certificate of specialization in environmental law in 2004 from Tulane University Law School in New Orleans, Louisiana.  An early litigator, Mr. Johnson co-chaired a RCRA trial in the Federal District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana as a student attorney and member of Tulane Environmental Law Clinic.  Mr. Johnson is a member of the California Bar and the Federal District Court for the Northern District of California.

In his free time, Mr. Johnson enjoys music, travel, cooking, and anything outdoors.  He performs with a group of attorney musicians who perform rock and roll shows for residents and patients at California hospitals and long-term care facilities.

Recent Posts

Court Dismisses Plaintiff’s Claim Alleging Discrimination for Grocer’s COVID-19 Mask Requirement

In Giles v. Sprouts Farmers Market, Inc., Case No. 3:20-cv-02131 the United States District Court for the Southern District of California entered an “Order Dismissing Complaint,” dismissing a plaintiff’s lawsuit alleging violations of Title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act and Unruh Act.

Shopping Center Owes No Duty to Enhance Security to Prevent Random Assault on Patrons

Summary of the Ruling
In a decision filed June 24, 2019, a California appellate court held: (i) a shopping center owner’s general knowledge of the possibility of violent criminal conduct on its premises is insufficient alone to create a duty to provide protection against foreseeable third-party criminal acts; (ii) a prior burglary, broken window and assault were insufficient to support finding that third-party criminal conduct was sufficiently…

California Court Finds Expert’s Reliance on Medicare Rates Does Not Violate Collateral Source Rule

In a decision filed on March 14, 2019, a California appellate court held there was no violation of the collateral source rule where expert testimony referencing a plaintiff’s collateral source payments was made to provide a reasonable value of damages and helps the jury with context and background of the issues. (Stokes v. Muschinske (Mar. 14, 2019, No. B280116) Cal.App.5th [2019 WL 1513208].)

Jury Awards Full Defense Verdict in $22 Million Airport Shuttle Case: Tyson & Mendes Law Firm Successfully Defends Airline Coach Service, Inc.

SAN FRANCISCO (April 18, 2019) – Following a 5-week jury trial, a San Francisco County jury on April 18, 2019, found an airport shuttle service and one of its drivers not liable for injuries the plaintiff alleged he suffered while riding on an airport shuttle. Attorneys in Tyson & Mendes LLP’s Northern California office, Partner Jim Sell and Senior Counsel Brian Johnson, represented the two defendants and secured a full defense verdict in a case in which the injured plaintiff sought $22 million in damages. “We successfully framed this trial around responsibility,” Mr. Sell said. “By acknowledging and accepting our client’s responsibility for providing accessible safety features in our vehicles, we exposed plaintiff’s refusal to accept any of his own responsibility for his injuries.”

Court Rules Delay in Accepting Defense Constitutes Bad Faith

Summary of the Ruling

A federal district court in Washington ruled a general contractor’s insurer acted in bad faith when it waited for more than one year to agree to defend it in an underlying construction defect action. In Rushforth Construction Co. v. Wesco Insurance Co. et al., Case No. 17-cv-1063, (W.D. Wash. Apr. 3, 2018), Judge John Coughenour for the Western District of Washington said reasonable minds could not disagree that the delay on the part of the insurer was “frivolous and unfounded.”  The Seattle judge granted partial summary judgement in favor of the general contractor, Rushforth.

A Win for Design Professionals – A Late Certificate of Merit Could Result in a Time-Barred Claim

On May 5, 2014, George Sutherland sustained injuries when, while working as a crane operator, his crane became unstable and fell over. Sutherland brought an action almost exactly two years later, on May 3, 2016. His complaint alleged a cause of action for negligence against defendant Curtis Engineering Corporation. Curtis Engineering Co. provided engineering services to Sutherland’s project and at the worksite where Sutherland’s…

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