Eric Tonnsen’s practice focuses on defending serious personal injury, wrongful death, and construction defect lawsuits on behalf of corporations, contractors, insurance companies, trucking companies, and retail businesses. From local transportation businesses to Fortune 500 companies with global reach, Eric is experienced in all phases of civil defense practice including expert discovery, emergency response, complex and high-value damages evaluations, and trial. He practices out the firm’s Greenville and Charleston offices and serves as statewide counsel for insurance carriers regarding complex insurance coverage questions including issues related to priority of coverage between carriers, claimed additional insured status in construction defect litigation, and bad faith denial of claims. He has given numerous continuing education and other presentations relating to the litigation and trial of brain injury cases and the nuances of South Carolina bad faith law.
”This firm set the standard for what I look for in an outside litigation firm. They are aggressive, efficient and creative. Once a matter is in their hands, I know that it is being handled in the most professional and efficient manner possible. As General Counsel for a firm operating in nine states, I need that comfort level from outside counsel. I wish I had Tonnsen Bach in every state in which our company conducts business.Daniel Rose, Esq.Vice President & General Counsel, Rogers Group, Inc.
- Defense verdict in Anderson County Court of Common Pleas – December 2011. Week long trial involving tractor-trailer accident in which the plaintiff underwent surgeries to her knee and femur and incurred approximately $160,000 in medical bills. Plaintiff’s counsel suggested the jury return a verdict in excess of $1M.
- Defense verdict in Greenville County Court of Common Pleas – June 2012. Week long trial representing Global 500 company in personal injury case involving alleged permanent disability of a police officer. Plaintiff’s counsel requested a verdict in excess of $3M.
- Coordination of emergency response and defense of commercial carrier regarding catastrophic accident – December 2016. Logging truck accident involved the destruction of a business, five personal injury claims including claims of total disability and brain injury, and three separate lawsuits. Claims were defended from the date of the accident through resolution of two lawsuits and the trial of another.
- Minimal verdict in Greenville County Court of Common Pleas – May 2019. Week long trial in admitted liability commercial motor vehicle accident case. The plaintiff claimed a traumatic brain injury and permanent disability and sought a $4.5M verdict. The jury awarded the plaintiff $25,000.
- Defense of Fortune 50 home improvement retailer in personal injury litigation throughout South Carolina. Cases handled include false arrest, injuries to children, alleged brain injuries, and other significant personal injury.
- Defense of regional commercial motor carrier in I-85 accident in which multiple children were injured and their grandfather was killed. Involvement in case included emergency response to scene of accident and handling of matter through litigation and settlement at mediation.
Education & Experience
Eric grew up in Greer, SC, before receiving undergraduate and law degrees from the University of South Carolina. He was a member of the South Carolina Law Review where his article, Henson v. International Paper Co., A Step Backwards in South Carolina Attractive Nuisance Jurisprudence, 56 S.C. L. Rev. 835 was published and later cited by the South Carolina Supreme Court in Henson v. International Paper Company, 374 S.C. 375 (2007). After practicing with a large civil defense law firm after law school, he co-founded Tonnsen Bach Law Firm in 2012. His wife, Erin, graduated from nursing school at the University of South Carolina and his entire family, including children George and Lillian, are long-suffering Gamecock fans.
- South Carolina Bar Association
Honors & Distinctions
- AV Rated by Martindale-Hubbell
- 2016 Panelist: A Practical Guide to Managing the Defense Counsel/Insurer Relationship, Council on Litigation Management
- 2015 Instructor: Trial Academy, South Carolina Defense Trial Attorneys Association
- 2015 Panelist: Advanced Underinsured and Uninsured Motorist Law in South Carolina, National Business Institute
- South Carolina Super Lawyer in Civil Defense (2014, 2015, 2016, 2023)
- Greenville Business Magazine’s Legal Elite of the Upstate (2013, 2015, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021, 2022)
- Civil Litigation, Insurance, Business Litigation, Construction
- Best Lawyers (2020, 2021, 2022, 2023)
- Construction, Personal Injury Litigation