Verdict Announcement: Tyson & Mendes Secures Complete Defense Verdict in Colorado Construction Defect Case

Tyson & Mendes LLP on May 1 announced it successfully defended a Colorado-based small pool company, saving the company nearly $900,000 by securing a full defense verdict. The case, Ironshore Specialty Insurance Company A/S/O Brinkman Construction, Inc. v. Pool & Spa Company, was a complex construction defect case involving allegations of negligence and breach of contract. 

Tyson & Mendes’ Northwest and Central Regional Managing Partner Michael Drews represented Pool & Spa Company in the trial in Adams County District Court. 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 paid out 85% of the costs to demolish and repair the faulty pool and spa.

While a soils 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 didn’t include the leak collection system. Drews successfully argued the leak collection system wasn’t 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 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 argued 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.

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 in a press release. 

CORRECTION NOTE: This article was updated May 1 to note Drews is the Northwest and Central Regional Managing Partner of Tyson & Mendes. 

Previous articleCorporate, Securities Partner Marty Walsh Joins Snell & Wilmer’s Denver Office
Next articleFortis Law Partners Celebrates 10 Years


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here