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David Ramirez - Senior Counsel

David Ramirez is an AV rated Senior Counsel in Tyson & Mendes’ San Diego office. His practice focuses primarily on general liability, commercial and residential construction, and insurance litigation. Mr. Ramirez’s extensive litigation experience includes representing individuals and businesses across all California state and federal district courts.

Mr. Ramirez has successfully resolved a variety of cases involving complex business, construction defects, insurance coverage, and class action disputes. Recently, Mr. Ramirez successfully completed a three-month long, multi-million-dollar trial which resulted in a unanimous defense verdict on behalf of his client. Mr. Ramirez also successfully settled a number of cases on behalf of developer/builder entities as well as subcontractors, material providers and suppliers.

Mr. Ramirez earned his J.D. in 1988 from University of San Diego School of Law. He is licensed to practice law in California and is a member of the San Diego Defense Lawyers. He was named one of the “Top Lawyers in San Diego” for Complex Litigation by San Diego Magazine from 2013 to 2017; “Top Lawyers in Southern California” for Litigation by Los Angeles Times for 2013, 2014 and 2015; and “Top Lawyers in California” for Litigation by American Lawyers Media for 2013 and 2014.

In his free time, Mr. Ramirez enjoys spending time with his family. He is also an avid oenophile, having served at wine judging and other events.

Recent Posts

Western Heritage Ins. Co. v. Frances Todd, Inc.

Recently, in the case of Western Heritage Ins. Co. v. Frances Todd, Inc. (2019) Cal. App.5th 976, the Court of Appeals of California, First Appellate District, addressed whether a commercial condominium association’s insurance carrier could subrogate against the tenants (aka lessees) of one of its member unit owners.

McMillin Homes Construction v. National Fire & Marine Ins. Co.

In the recent decision in McMillin Homes Construction v. National Fire & Marine Ins. Co. (2019 WL 2366468) the Fourth District Court of Appeal continued a recent trend of finding coverage for additional insureds in construction related cases.

Expert Witnesses: Ryan v. Real Estate of the Pacific, Inc.

Recently, the California Fourth District Court of Appeal held that homeowners suing their real estate broker for negligence did not need an expert witness to establish the elements of their causes of action. (Ryan v. Real Estate of the Pacific, Inc. (2019) 32 Cal. App. 5th 637).   Generally, expert witnesses are required to establish the standard of care in professional negligence cases.

A Challenge to the Privette Doctrine Defense – the Retained Control Doctrine Carves out an Exception

The Privette Doctrine arises from a 1993 California Supreme Court case entitled Privette v. Superior Court (1993)5 Cal.4th 689, which provides that a higher-tiered party such as an owner or general contractor is not liable for injuries sustained by employees of a lower-tiered party such as a subcontractor on a construction project. There are, however, a number of exceptions to the Privette Doctrine. One of these exceptions is known as the “retained control doctrine.”

Court Rules Insurer May Not Pursue Subrogation Rights of Suspended Corporation

In the recent case of Travelers Property Casualty Co. v. Engel Insulation Inc. (2018 WL 6259032; November 30, 2018), The Third District Court of Appeal ruled a Complainant in Intervention could not maintain an affirmative action against subcontractors to recover attorneys’ fees and costs incurred in defending its suspended insured in an underlying action.

Product Defects and The Risk-Benefit Test

In the recent case of William Jae Kim, et al. v. Toyota Motor Corporation, et al. (2018 WL 4057248), the California Supreme Court affirmed the Second Appellate District Court of Appeal decision which previously affirmed the trial court judgment after a jury found for defendant in a product liability case. Plaintiffs claimed the pickup truck was defective because its standard configuration did not…

Establishing Professional Standards of Care Requires Expert Opinion in California

In the recent case entitled Webster v. Claremont Yoga (2018 WL 3913660), a yoga participant alleged she was injured when an instructor adjusted her posture and brought a resulting negligence suit. The Second District Court of Appeal affirmed expert opinion was required to rebut defendant yoga instructor’s expert’s declaration that the instructor’s conduct in adjusting a yoga participant’s posture during class was consistent with standard of care in the yoga industry, because a lay person’s common knowledge did not include the conduct required of a yoga instructor in a particular situation.

Think Again Before You Sign a Waiver of Liability

In Willhide-Michiulis the Third District Court of Appeal affirmed a mountain ski area was not liable for a snowboarder’s injuries caused by a collision with a snowcat[1] and snow-grooming tiller. The severely injured plaintiff snowboarder argued the ski resort was grossly negligent and thus liable for her injuries despite the liability waiver she signed as a requisite to her season-pass agreement. The Third Appellate District Court of Appeal affirmed summary judgment in favor of the defense stating the operation of snow-grooming equipment on a snow run is an inherent risk of snowboarding and as a result there was no gross negligence. Willhide-Michiulis v. Mammoth Mountain Ski Area LLC (June 27, 2018; 2018 Daily Journal D.A.R. 7020)

Contractor Licenses

In a recent decision entitled MP Nexlevel of California, Inc. v. CVIN LLC (2018 WL 3358395), the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals took a pro-contractor stance on the issue of the scope of contractor licensing.  The matter arose from a dispute over the scope of a California specialty contractor’s license. The issue was whether the subcontractor’s performance of certain work was outside the scope of its license constituting a breach…

Insurance Law: Liberty Surplus Ins. Corp. v. Ledesma & Meyer Construction Co., Inc.

In the recent case of Liberty Surplus Ins. Corp. v. Ledesma & Meyer Construction Co., Inc., (2018) 418 P.3d 400, the California Supreme Court ruled an insurance company must provide liability coverage to its corporate insured against claims of negligent hiring, retention, and supervision of its employee, who allegedly sexually assaulted a minor. This decision is “of exceptional importance to injured parties, employers, and insurance companies doing business in California,” wrote the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, in an order certifying the issue to the California Supreme Court.

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