Sitar Bhatt - Associate

Sitar Bhatt is an Associate in Tyson & Mendes’ Phoenix office. His practice focuses primarily on general liability, personal injury, premises liability, and bad faith litigation. Mr. Bhatt has successfully represented individuals and businesses in Arizona state and federal district courts as well as arbitrations.

Mr. Bhatt has successfully resolved a variety cases involving personal injury, property damage, and insurance coverage. Mr. Bhatt has won at multiple arbitrations saving his clients over $100,000. He has also successfully settled multiple bodily injury and property damage cases.

Mr. Bhatt earned his J.D. in 2011 from Arizona Summit Law School. He is licensed to practice law in Arizona. Mr. Bhatt is a member of the Arizona Association of Defense Counsel.

In his free time, Mr. Bhatt enjoys spending time with his wife and his family. He is an avid sports fan who loves watching and playing all sports.

Recent Posts

The “Reasonably Susceptible” Interpretation Considerations of Parole Evidence in Arizona

Recently, the Arizona Court of Appeals, Division Two, revisited the “reasonably susceptible” analysis in determining whether to consider parol evidence to interpret a contract. In Donsen v. Farmers Insurance, No. 2 CA-CV 2017-0174 (October 3, 2018), plaintiff Samuel Donsen (“Donsen”) filed a complaint against Farmers Insurance (“Farmers”) claiming breach of contract, declaratory relief, insurance bad faith, and interference with contract. Donsen filed the lawsuit after suffering injuries in an automobile accident in which he incurred approximately $22,000 in medical expenses. A portion of his medical expenses were paid by workers’ compensation benefits. Donsen also recovered $15,000 from the third-party tortfeasor and, pursuant to A.R.S. § 23-1203(D), was required to reimburse his workers’ compensation insurer in the amount of $8,750.

Substantively Differing Laws Mean No Class for You

Ferrara v. 21st Century North America Insurance Company Background

In Ferrara v. 21st Century North America Insurance Company, No. 2 CA-CV 2017-0195 (September 10, 2018), the Arizona Court of Appeals Division Two reviewed whether plaintiff Cynthia Ferrara’s (“Ferrara”) motion for class certification complied with the requirements of Rule 23, Ariz. R. Civ. P.

Dogs, Strict Liability and Summary Judgment

Recently, the Arizona Court of Appeals affirmed a trial court’s decision, which granted defendants’ summary judgment motion finding the strict liability and negligence claims failed based on the lack evidence to support such claims.

Stipulated Dismissal Does Not Trigger Issue Preclusion

Thomas Kopp, et al., v. Physician Group of Ariz., Inc., et al., No. CV-17-0222-PR (July 9, 2018) – Opinion

In a recent opinion, the Arizona Supreme Court ruled a dismissal with prejudice does not, on its own, trigger issue preclusion. Thomas Kopp v. Physician Group of Arizona, et. al. No. CV-17-0222-PR (July 9, 2018) – Opinion. In doing so, the Court overturned a 73 year old ruling in DeGraff v. Smith, 62 Ariz. 261, 269-70 (1945) that a dismissal with prejudice is a judgment on the merits that carries preclusive effect.

Arizona Court of Appeals Allowing Assignments of Post-Loss Benefits

When an insured assigns its rights to post-loss benefits to a third-party, under the insurance policies, can the third-party bring a breach of contract claim against the insurer? According to an Arizona Court of Appeals holding, post-loss assignments of benefits under insurance policies are valid despite anti-assignment provisions. Farmers v. Hon. Udall and EcoDry, No. 1 CA-SA 18-0081 (June 12, 2018).

Tiered Case Systems on the Horizon in Arizona Civil Court

At the end of 2015, the Committee on Civil Justice Reform was established as part of the Arizona Supreme Court’s strategic agenda to promote access to justice and improve the court process to better serve the public. Recently, the Arizona Supreme Court approved the procedural reforms proposed by the Committee. These rule changes go into place July 1, 2018, and are important to note for purposes of preparing to successfully defend civil litigation claims.

Reliance on Existing Record Enough to Set Aside a Default Judgement

The Arizona Supreme Court recently considered whether a defendant must submit additional evidence outside the existing record to establish a “meritorious defense” in a motion to set aside a default judgment under Arizona Rules of Civil Procedure 60(b).[1] The Supreme Court held in Gonzalez v. Nguyen, No. CV-17-0017-PR (April 12, 2018), a defendant may rely on the existing record and a trial court has broad discretion to determine whether a matter should be decided on the merits.

Update to Arizona Legislative Actions 2018

Note: This article is an update to the article which appeared in the March newsletter regarding Arizona Legislative Actions 2018.

The 53rd Arizona Legislature began its Second Regular Session on January 8, 2017, and within the first two weeks, saw an introduction of more than 700 bills. This has been a busy legislative session. March 23, 2018, is the deadline for bills passing the House to be heard in a Senate standing committee and bills passing the Senate to be heard in a House standing committee. The proposed bills cover a wide variety of subjects with potential impact on insurance defense litigation.

Update to Arizona Legislative Actions 2018

Note: This article is an update to the article which appeared in the February newsletter regarding Arizona Legislative Actions 2018.

The 53rd Arizona Legislature began its Second Regular Session on January 8, 2017, and within the first two weeks saw an introduction of more than 700 bills. This has been a busy legislative session. Indeed, as of February 9, 2018, more than 900 bills had yet to clear their first committee. The proposed bills covered subjects ranging from, in relevant part, vehicle liability insurance, obtaining medical records, judgment renewal, construction contracts, and confidentiality agreements involving sexual assault and harassment claims.

Update on 2018 Arizona Legislative Actions

The 53rd Arizona Legislature began its Second Regular Session on January 8, 2017, and within the first two weeks saw an introduction of more than 700 bills. The proposed bills covered subjects ranging from vehicle liability insurance, obtaining medical records, judgment renewal, and confidentiality agreements involving sexual assault and harassment claims. We provide a brief overview of select proposed bills which may have a notable impact in the insurance defense arena if approved.

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