Thomas P. Gmelich is a graduate of the University of California, Berkeley in 1989, where he attained Dean's List Honors. He obtained his juris doctorate at Loyola Law School in 1993. While in law school and upon graduation, he worked as a clerk and attorney at a prestigious Los Angeles plaintiff's firm handling all aspects of personal injury litigation, including toxic torts and chemical exposure. Prior to starting the firm, Mr. Gmelich practiced at a civil defense firm, focusing on general civil liability litigation, personal/commercial auto, private security guard litigation, recreational sports injury litigation, insurance fraud litigation, complex business litigation, construction defect and maritime and cargo loss. He has successfully defended claims against a wide variety of clients, including fitness clubs, all construction trades, product manufacturers, private security companies, and transportation companies, including ocean, rail and air carriers.
Mr. Gmelich has extensive experience in litigating insurance fraud claims and has successfully litigated "whistleblower" actions under California's Insurance Code Section 1871.7 on behalf of various insurance carriers.
Mr. Gmelich is a member of the International Health, Racquet & Sports Club Association (IHRSA) and its regional affiliate, California Clubs of Distinction (CCD). He has lectured extensively to health clubs throughout California on liability and employment issues facing the sports and recreation industry. He is a regular legal columnist for IHRSA's Club Business International magazine, the American College of Sports Medicine's Health & Fitness Journal, and California Clubs of Distinction's quarterly publication. He is also the editor and primary author of the firm's newsletter, the Sports & Recreation Legal Update, a publication that aims to educate the recreation industry on legal issues, ranging from recent case law and legislation to practical loss prevention tips.
Mr. Gmelich is also an active member of the American Society for Industrial Security (ASIS), the Retail Special Agents Association (RSAA) and the International Association for Healthcare Security & Safety (IAHSS). He has contributed articles for IAHSS's quarterly publication and RSAA's newsletter, focusing on recent case law affecting the private security industry. He is also editor of the firm's quarterly newsletter, the Premises Liability & Private Security Legal Update, which educates and advises landowners and security companies on the current legal issues in California affecting their businesses. He obtained a successful published Federal Appellate Court opinion, which provides significant liability protection for airport security companies relating to property loss claims. In Ester Dazo vs. Globe Airport Security Services, Inc., et al (2001 DJDAR 10859), the 9th Circuit upheld the liability limitation provisions of the Warsaw Convention in favor of airport security companies for property losses sustained by plaintiffs engaged in international travel.