Tyson & Mendes Prevails for Client in Wrongful Death Bench Trial: San Diego Judge Assigns Significantly Less Fault for Gate and Entry Systems Company in Indemnity Suit

Tyson & Mendes Prevails for Client in Wrongful Death Bench Trial:  San Diego Judge Assigns Significantly Less Fault for Gate and Entry Systems Company in Indemnity Suit

SAN DIEGO (May 16, 2023) – Following a 5-day bench trial in the Superior Court of California, County of San Diego involving multiple cross complaints, a presiding judge has ruled in favor of an Anaheim-based gate and entry systems company defended by nationwide civil litigation and insurance defense firm Tyson & Mendes.

According to lead counsel for the defense Christopher Schon, a Tyson & Mendes partner who works in the firm’s San Diego office, the trial stemmed from an underlying wrongful death case which had been resolved.

“The case involved a resident of an upscale gated community who died after the community’s barrier arm on a security gate struck him,” Schon said. “Ultimately the case had settled with each defendant – the property owner, the property management company, our client, and the property owner’s gate maintenance company — settling for equal amounts each, but with one defendant reserving the right to come after the other two for equitable indemnity. As a result, the property owner and property management company filed a new complaint against our client and the property owner’s gate maintenance company. Everyone then filed cross-complaints.”

The purpose of the trial, Schon continued, “was to divide fault between our client and the others for the settlement. In this case, we determined being found 33% or less at fault would have been considered a win for our client.”

Following the trial, the presiding judge assessed the majority of the fault to the property owner and its property management firm, both of which for years had received reports that the community’s gate systems and barrier arms operators were old and needed to be replaced. “Our client was found to be substantially less at fault than 33%, which means that ultimately we saved them a significant amount of money,” Schon said.

Schon, who led the defense, with Senior Counsel Mitchell Malachowski serving as second chair, said his team used core Tyson & Mendes methods to defend their client. “We argued our specific number should be substantially less than 33%. The judge ultimately agreed, finding the majority of fault lies with the property owner and property management company. Fault was also found against the property owner’s gate maintenance company, which further decreased the amount of fault found against our client. “By personalizing our corporate client and its role in the case, and by giving a number and taking some responsibility for the incident, we were able to achieve a successful result for our client.”

Serving 19 states nationwide, Tyson & Mendes is one of the fastest growing civil defense firms in the U.S. The firm has established itself as a leader in driving down damages awards and reducing the likelihood of Nuclear Verdicts® – often defined as jury awards in excess of $10 million. Using a unique set of proven defense methods, the firm saved clients more than $1.07 billion in 2022.

For more information and to view career opportunities, visit tysonmendes.com.


About Tyson & Mendes LLP
Tyson & Mendes LLP is a nationwide, AV-rated litigation and trial firm specializing in insurance defense and protecting its clients from Nuclear Verdicts®. Robert Tyson and Patrick Mendes founded the firm in 2002 to defend corporations, insurance companies, and their clients in civil litigation matters. The firm has experienced tremendous growth in the past two decades, with offices across the U.S. serving clients in Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Iowa, Illinois, Massachusetts, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Tennessee, Washington, and Wisconsin.

The firm is most widely recognized for winning the landmark Howell v. Hamilton Meats California Supreme Court case, which forever changed the state’s litigation landscape by significantly impacting the damages a plaintiff may recover. Robert Tyson is also the author of the Amazon Bestseller Nuclear Verdicts®: Defending Justice for All, the first playbook for the defense on how to avoid runaway jury verdicts.

For more information, visit tysonmendes.com.


Media Contact:

Ashley Bendas, J. Walcher Communications

ashley@jwalcher.com, 619-295-7140




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