Homeless Man Wins Lawsuit Against Tire Store Over Loud Music

A homeless man living in an encampment next to a San Rafael tire store has successfully sued the business for playing excessively loud music, which he claims was an attempt to drive away the homeless population. Bruce Gaylord, a resident of the Mahon Creek Path encampment who suffers from schizoaffective disorder, filed the lawsuit against East Bay Tire Company after enduring three nights of continuous, high-volume music.

“It was painful,” Gaylord told KGO-TV. “That’s how loud it was. Rock concert loud.” The

music, which homeless advocate Robbie Powelson measured at 50-118 decibels, far exceeded San Rafael’s noise ordinance.

East Bay Tire assistant manager Robbie Derho denied that the music was intended to target the homeless, claiming it was used for security purposes and to deter criminal behavior from the encampment. Derho stated that employees had witnessed illegal drug use and prostitution, and the store had been vandalized by gunfire.

However, Marin County Judge Sheila Shah Lichtblau sided with Gaylord, issuing a temporary injunction preventing the store from playing music that violates city noise limits.

The judge’s order appears to strike a fair balance, as the music’s volume and duration were extreme and have been identified as a form of psychological torture by the United Nations.