Catie R. Johnson is Senior Counsel in Tyson & Mendes’ Los Angeles office. Her practice focuses on litigating state and federal general liability matters on behalf of individuals and private entities, including premises liability, directors and officers liability, motor vehicle negligence, products liability, habitability and subrogation actions, and excessive force and civil rights claims.
Ms. Johnson regularly obtains dismissals through dispositive law and motion work and protects clients from exposure to punitive damage awards by way of motion and negotiation. Ms. Johnson also implements creative and proactive negotiation skills in obtaining favorable settlements for her clients. She recently obtained a dismissal of an entire action against her client by way of demurrer in a potentially high-exposure case in which a truck severely injured a minor riding a bicycle. She also recently filed a Motion for Summary Judgment in a traumatic brain injury case arising out of a premises liability matter and obtained a dismissal with prejudice from opposing counsel in response.
Ms. Johnson received her B.A. in Sociology and Intercultural Studies cum laude from Pepperdine University – Seaver College. She earned her J.D. from Pepperdine University in 2010, with a concurrent Certificate in Dispute Resolution from Pepperdine’s highly esteemed Straus Institute. She completed an undergraduate study abroad program in Florence, Italy as well as a graduate study abroad program in London, England. She is admitted to practice in the State Courts of California and the Central and Southern Districts of the United States District Court. She was named Super Lawyer Rising Star in the Personal Injury – Defense section in 2017.
In her free time, Ms. Johnson enjoys spending time with her husband, daughter, dogs, and cats, and trying out new recipes in her kitchen.
Plaintiffs’ attorneys relish the opportunity to demand policy limits of insurers. Doing so pressurizes the claim, creating potentially disastrous results down the road for the carrier if not handled properly. What are the insurer’s duties when receiving such a demand? How does the claims representative evaluate the reasonableness of the demand? How can the carrier protect itself and its insured from an excess judgment?
Your client has been served with a complaint, and to your surprise, it includes a prayer for punitive damages. Suddenly, a standard pre-litigation claim has morphed into a potentially high-exposure case. What do you do? Take the wind out of plaintiff’s sails from day one, put up a fight, and move to strike!