Tyson & Mendes Saves Client Nearly $1.2 Million in Florida Admitted Liability Car Accident Case

Tyson & Mendes Saves Client Nearly $1.2 Million in Florida Admitted Liability Car Accident Case

Jacksonville, Florida (May 9, 2024) – Nationwide insurance and civil litigation defense firm Tyson & Mendes LLP has achieved a defense verdict in an admitted liability policy limits tender rejection case involving a rear-end auto accident delivering a verdict of just over one-tenth of the plaintiff’s asserted damages. (Wellman v. Anderson 2020-CA-3383).

On October 31st, 2018, plaintiff and defendant were in a car accident, and the plaintiff’s vehicle sustained moderate damage. The defendant’s vehicle was totaled, and the airbags deployed. Subsequently, the plaintiff received treatment for a spine injury including a lumbar fusion surgery and another surgery due to post-surgical complications.

At trial, plaintiff asked jurors to award $1,400,000. Ultimately, the jury awarded just $616,000, less than half of plaintiff’s demand, covering all past medical bills, $6,000 in future medical and $10,000 for past pain and suffering. After set-offs, the verdict will be approximately $153,000.

“We had a powerful defense strategy and retained numerous experts to opine on causation and damages, including a damages expert, life care planner and an engineer,” said Holly Howanitz, Tyson & Mendes Jacksonville managing partner who argued the high-stakes case in Duval County’s 4th Judicial Court.

But the defense faced an uphill battle. Most of its experts were stricken, requiring several strategic changes mid-trial. According to Tyson & Mendes partner Rob O’Malley who led the case with Howanitz, the team, which also included Jacksonville partner Catherine Crawley, worked hard to overcome the strategic shift.

“Cases like this test your resolve. There is always a path forward; the challenge is to find it under all circumstances,” said O’Malley.

Howanitz said the favorable outcome resulted from extensive use of the firm’s proven defense methods of common sense, accepting responsibility, and arguing pain and suffering throughout the four-day trial.

“We were reasonable in our defense and relied heavily on common sense – admitting liability and accepting responsibility as best we could with the restrictions from the motion in limine,” said Howanitz.“We are pleased the jury delivered a reasonable verdict in this case and wish the plaintiff well.”

Serving 21 states nationwide, Tyson & Mendes is one of the fastest growing civil defense firms in the U.S. and is proud to offer one of the fastest and clearest paths to partnership for its attorneys of any mid-sized law firm in the U.S. The firm is honored to be recognized as a 2024 Best Law Firm by Best Lawyers’, named a 2024 Best Company to Work for: Law Firm by U.S. News & World Report, awarded the 2023 Liberty Mutual Insurance External Law Firm Partner of the Year Award, awarded the No. 1 “Ceiling Smasher” in Law360’s 2022 Glass Ceiling Report for female equity partnership, and shortlisted for Financial Times’ 2022 Innovative Lawyers North America Award.

For more information and to view career opportunities, visit www.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, Missouri, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Texas, Washington, and Wisconsin.


Media Contact

Molly Pincherli/Jean Walcher, J. Walcher Communications
molly@jwalcher.com / jean@jwalcher.com, 619-295-7140



Keep Reading