Tyson & Mendes Secures Complete Defense Verdict in CO Construction Defect Case: Firm saves small business subcontractor client nearly $900,000

Tyson & Mendes Secures Complete Defense Verdict in CO Construction Defect Case: Firm saves small business subcontractor client nearly $900,000

Denver (April 18, 2024) – Nationwide insurance and civil litigation defense firm Tyson & Mendes LLP saved their client, a Colorado-based small pool company, nearly $900,000 by securing a full defense verdict in a complex construction defect case involving allegations of negligence and breach of contract. (Ironshore Specialty Insurance Company A/S/O Brinkman Construction, Inc., an Arizona corporation v. Pool & Spa Company, a Colorado limited liability company)

Tyson & Mendes’ Central Regional Managing Partner Michael Drews represented Pool & Spa Company in the trial in Colorado’s Adams Country District Court. The plaintiff, Ironshore Specialty Insurance Company, claimed Pool & Spa Company failed to design and install a leak collection system under a pool and spa at an Aloft Hotel, leading to differential movement and pool heaving caused by water seeping into expansive soils. Prior to trial, Ironshore Specialty Insurance, Co. paid out 85% of the costs to demolish and repair the faulty pool and spa.

Drews used Tyson & Mendes’ proven defense methods throughout the trial, including responsibility, reasonableness, and common sense to assist jurors in navigating the complicated case. While a soil report presented by plaintiffs at trial required the design and installation of a leak collection system, Drews was able to show the bid, proposal, and subcontract did not include the leak collection system. Drews successfully argued the leak collection system was not specified in his client’s scope of work and given custom and practice and the expense – a defense expert testified such a system costs $30,000 – it was reasonable to expect that such a request would have been specifically noted in pool and spa shop drawings.

Before trial, the Court ruled that since the pool company had entered a design-build contract, it was responsible for its retained pool engineer despite an existing independent contractor agreement. Drews, while accepting responsibility for hiring the engineer, urged the jury to use their common sense in assessing evidence that established the pool engineer’s drawings never included a leak collection system, despite being revised multiple times. Drews further argued (and the jury ultimately agreed) that when the general contractor and architect separately stamped the drawings, it constituted a complete “approved submittal,” necessarily confirming the plans and specifications were followed.

Although never needing to be decided by the jury, using another proven Tyson & Mendes defense method, Drews provided the jury with a number, sponsoring$16,000 as a counter to the nearly $900,000 sought by the plaintiff. Jurors ultimately assessed only 15% fault to Tyson & Mendes’ client, amounting to a defense verdict as to all four claims for relief in the complaint, as Colorado is a modified comparative fault state. “Responsibility, reasonableness, and common sense won the day in this case. We’re thankful to the jury for recognizing that the plaintiff was most at fault, through a lack of oversight and by failing to recognize the leak collection system had not been included in the pool and spa shop drawings ultimately approved by the general contractor that they complied with the plans and specifications,” said Drews.

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



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