LOS ANGELES (May 12, 2022) – Nationwide civil litigation defense firm Tyson & Mendes LLP announced today a major victory in a $30.6 million sexual assault jury trial against Norwalk-La Mirada Unified School District, in which the jury awarded less than 3% of the plaintiff’s demand at trial.
The case, known as Doe v. Norwalk-La Mirada Unified School District, involved an alleged incident of sexual assault involving two special-needs high school students. The incident occurred in a high school bathroom and was reported to school administration by another student who provided cell phone video footage. The case proceeded to trial on the claim of negligence against the school district. Plaintiff was represented by Taylor & Ring (Sonya Ostovar, David Ring) the school district was represented by Tyson & Mendes (Emily Berman, Harry Harrison).
At the trial, the defense highlighted common sense and reasonableness, including in any potential award to plaintiff. Defense counsel Emily Berman also noted the defense’s highlighting of the responsibility taken by the school district to provide reasonable supervision to its students, the policies and procedures that were in place on its campus, and responsibility for its conduct on the day of the incident. Witness testimony was provided about the role the district plays in the community and readying its students for bright futures, while showing the deep care its teachers and paraeducators have for their students.
After the two-week trial, the jury was asked to consider an award of in excess of $30 million to the plaintiff. After deliberations, the jury returned a verdict awarding a total of $702,000 in damages to the plaintiff. Since the large majority of fault was attributed to the student perpetrator rather than the school district, the total award against the school district for both economic and non-economic damages was approximately $370,000. Defense counsel Harry Harrison commented “While the award against the district was just over 1% of what his lawyers asked the jury to award, there are no winners in this trial. We are very thankful to the jury for reaching a fair and just verdict in this tragic case.”
Tyson & Mendes has spent 20 years protecting its clients’ interests and delivering justice both inside and outside the courtroom. For more information, visit tysonmendes.com.
About Tyson & Mendes LLP
Celebrating 20 years of taking back justice for all, 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, Iowa, Illinois, Massachusetts, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Tennessee, Utah, Washington, and Wisconsin.
The firm is most widely recognized for winning the landmark Howell v. Hamilton Meats California Supreme Court case, which 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.
Ashley Bendas, J. Walcher Communications