Good businesses are built on good contracts. Protecting and enforcing those contracts is critical to success. Tonkon Torp’s trial lawyers know how to protect your contractual rights, and how to avoid impractical and wasteful disputes that can cripple your business.
At Tonkon Torp, we take a businesslike approach to business litigation. We understand that litigation is one tool that can be used to address a broken promise and remedy harm done to a client’s business. When you need to aggressively pursue or defend a lawsuit, we play to win. But we also understand that successful litigation is about achieving your goals without losing focus on business objectives or breaking your budget.
Services + Industries
In 2021, Tonkon Torp defended its client Sprinklr, Inc. in one of the largest Oregon-based commercial lawsuits to be filed in recent years. The complex case between Sprinklr and plaintiff Opal Labs began in 2017 and involved the high-end technology of two sophisticated companies offering services in content marketing.
Tonkon Torp achieved a significant arbitration win involving two clients, a California-based technology company and its patent litigation law firm. Tonkon Torp was originally retained to represent the tech company in obtaining declaratory and injunctive relief against a litigation finance company that had been engaged to fund the client’s patent enforcement litigation.
Tonkon Torp recently achieved a complete appellate win on behalf of its client, Leif Hansen, in the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. In 2018, Tonkon Torp attorneys Steve Olson, Paul Conable, and Meg Houlihan represented Hansen individually and in a proposed class action against his auto insurer, GEICO, for refusing to pay for digital scans of his truck as part of the truck’s repair following a collision. Hansen sued for breach of contract under his insurance policy and breach of the implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing. The federal district court dismissed the complaint for failure to state a claim. That dismissal prompted an appeal to the Ninth Circuit, which was led by Bob Koch and Meg Houlihan.
Tonkon Torp represented 45 Northwest farmers in a dispute with an East Coast commercial bank over who should receive the proceeds from the sale of the farmers’ radish seed crop. Find details and more featured cases here.
In arguably one of the biggest and most complicated civil trials in Portland, Tonkon Torp secured a complete jury trial victory for Con-way, a $5.5 billion American multinational freight transportation company. Find details and more featured cases here.
Claims from Sale of Business
Prepared arbitration claim and strategy on behalf of clients who sold second-generation family business. Clients did not receive the payments they were entitled to under the sale agreement because the buyer disputed the accuracy of the company's financial statements and asserted rights to offset for indemnity claims. Assisted clients in negotiating a favorable payment structure, which resolved the accounting and indemnity disputes.
Defended Utility from Construction Lien Claim
Obtained favorable ruling dismissing $3.5 million claim brought under construction lien and unjust enrichment legal theories following bench trial.
Walker v. Metro One
(Multnomah County Circuit Court/Oregon Court of Appeals) – Obtained damages for an investor at trial for breach of convertible promissory note where company had refused to issue shares; successfully defended appeal.
Allianz Global Risks US Insurance Co. v. ACE Property & Casualty Insurance Co. et. al
Following a seven-week jury trial, secured a complete victory for Con-way, a $5.5 billion American multinational freight transportation company. At issue was the question of responsibility for some portion of defense and indemnity costs associated with three Superfund sites, including the Portland Harbor, and over 1500 asbestos lawsuits. Tonkon Torp successfully argued that certain of Con-way’s historic insurance policies did not apply to claims against the current property owner.
Defended manufacturing client against multi-million-dollar contractual indemnity and tort claims. Obtained complete defense victory after arbitration hearing.
Representation of Second-Generation Business Owner
Defended and successfully resolved claims for breach of agreements that were made in connection with the transition of a family business from one generation to the next.
Sustained venue (after a full day evidentiary hearing) in federal action for a regionally-based client suing a company headquartered in the eastern United States, leading to a favorable resolution for the client.
McCormick & Schmick Restaurant Corp., v. Professional Facilities Management, Inc.
(U.S.D.C. Case No. 3:10-cv-362-pk) – Represented PFMI in defense of breach of contract and business tort claims filed by McCormick and Schmick relating to a repair and maintenance contract for a chain of 93 restaurants. Also filed counterclaims on behalf of PFMI for breach of contract and business torts. The case was settled on a confidential basis.
WHI Hotel, LLC, et al. v. Wilsonville Holiday Partners LLC, et al.
Defended Wilsonville Holiday Partners (WHP) against claims for breach of warranty and misrepresentation in a hotel property sold by WHP to buyers in 2008. The buyers claimed that alleged defects in the hotel allowed water intrusion from the roof and windows. The case was tried to a jury in Washington County Circuit Court. Plaintiffs sought damages of $5 million and punitive damages of $15 million. After the jury had deliberated to impasse, the case was settled on terms favorable to the client, for a small fraction of the amount sought by plaintiff, and the settlement consisted mainly of forgiveness of a note from buyers to seller for seller financing of a portion of the purchase price.
City of Albany v. SVC Manufacturing Inc.
Defended SVC, a subsidiary of PepsiCo Americas Beverages, in a $105,000,000 breach of contract action filed by the City of Albany after SVC terminated a development agreement pursuant to which SVC was to build a Gatorade plant in Albany.
Thomas Michael Anderson, as Trustee of the Timothy P. Moyer Trust, et v. Sturgeon et. al.
(Multnomah County Circuit Court) – Defended president of property management company against claims for breach of contract and breaches of fiduciary duty. Obtained summary judgment dismissing complaint in its entirety.
Tinn v. EMM Labs, Inc.
Won a multi-million dollar federal court jury trial on behalf of our client EMM Labs, a Canadian manufacturer of high-end audio equipment. Defeated the plaintiff’s claims under a distribution agreement and prevailed on our client’s counterclaim.
McLean v. Saltchuk, King County Superior Court
Represented three brothers who sold their family trucking business in several proceedings in both court and arbitration. The claims involve indemnity and other issues under a Stock Purchase Agreement, real estate matters, professional malpractice, and taxation.
City of Portland v. Severn Trent Systems
Successfully asserted claims of nearly $50 million on behalf of the City of Portland arising out of defects in the new utilities software billing system.
Greenbrier Leasing v. Albany & Eastern RR
Successfully asserting claims for breach of contract and promissory estoppel seeking damages of $1.5 million arising from failure to honor lease obligations.
Burlington Northern & Santa Fe RR v. Gunderson, Inc.
Prevailed on summary judgment against a nearly $15 million claim filed in Texas arising out of a train derailment in Nebraska.
Successfully defended a large manufacturing company against products liability and breach of warranty claims filed in the U.S. District Court, District of Nebraska by establishing that plaintiff’s alleged losses were caused by a component part manufacturer and by plaintiff’s own negligence.
Union Pacific RR v. Greenbrier Rail Services
Representing a railcar manufacturer in a series of related lawsuits arising from train derailments in Kansas, Nebraska and Wyoming. Plaintiff alleges that products manufactured by Greenbrier failed, causing damages in excess of $10 million.
(Multnomah County Circuit Court) – Successfully represented local investment management firm in dispute with a Los Angeles based finance company concerning a structured finance transaction. The opponent sought more than $20 million in compensatory damages plus additional punitive damages, alleging fraud and breach of contract. Successfully prosecuted Client’s damages claims for more than $1.8 million for breach of contract and non-payment of note obligations.
Services + Industries
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We encourage you to contact us if you have further questions about our firm or our experience. For your protection, we cannot represent you until we know that doing so will not create a conflict of interest. Accordingly, please do not send us any confidential or secret information about any matter that may involve you until you receive a written statement from us that we represent you (an engagement letter).
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