FAIRFIELD — A Fairfield bail bondsman, a twice want-to-be sheriff’s candidate, lost his appeal Friday in San Francisco of a jury’s award of $450,000 to a pair of Vallejo residents who sued him.
Donald and Terry Gordon sued Toler after he showed up at their home in 2008 looking for a guy who had signed off on a bail bond promissary note.
The Gordons told him they did not know the guy Toler was looking for and asked him to leave. Toler was armed, refused to leave and made threats that placed the Gordons in fear for their safety. Terry Gordon called 911, and at some point thereafter Toler was arrested but charges were eventually dropped.
Toler contended he did nothing to threaten the Gordons, but he conceded during the jury trial that his conduct “certainly (was) intimidation.”
After the confrontation at the Gordons’ home, Toler sued them claiming they interfered with a contractual relationship, defamed him and committed assault and battery on him. In response, the Gordons filed a countersuit against Toler for malicious prosecution, intentional infliction of emotional distress, and assault.
Toler, on the eve of trial in 2012 and acting as his own lawyer, dropped his lawsuit against the Gordons. The Gordons did not drop their part of the lawsuit – they had a lawyer by then, Kelly Trujillo, who said the jury’s decisions hopefully taught Toler a lesson.
After a two-day trial, the jury deliberated less than an hour before deciding for the Gordons.
Toler was slapped with a judgment of $150,000 for malicious prosecution, intentional infliction of emotional distress, and assault. Jurors tacked on an additional $300,000 in punitive damages.
Toler, still acting as his own lawyer, appealed the verdict.
Reach Jess Sullivan at 427-6919 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/jsullivandr.