Notable Cases

De Anza Cove HOA, et al. v. City of San Diego

Practice Area: Land Use/Zoning/Class Action

Outcome: $32 million judgment

Description: The city of San Diego, which owns and operates the De Anza Cove mobile home park, tried to close the park and evict all the homeowners without adhering to California law and the Mobilehome Residency Law that requires the city to help relocate all the people who are going to lose their homes when the park closes. Certified as a class action on behalf of hundreds of homeowners and residents, the case was successfully tried and judgment was entered against the city at an estimated value of $32 million, including the court ordering the defendant to pay attorneys' fees and costs. Instead of as little as $4,000 per home as the city originally offered to pay, the court judgment resulted in an average of over $75,000 per home.

Zoological Society of San Diego v. Doe Defendants

Practice Area: Construction Defect/Development

Outcome: Settlement (amount confidential)

Description: The Zoological Society built a state-of-the-art animal hospital at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park. Soon after completion, the specialized rubber flooring began to fail, with water and urine pooling underneath, creating a dangerous environment for mold and water-borne illnesses. We brought suit against the primary and subcontractors involved in order to facilitate replacement of the defective flooring.

Mission Valley Village HOA v. Archstone (Class Action)

Practice Area: Class Action/Land Use

Outcome: Settlement estimated at over $7 million, with the defendant ordered to pay all attorneys fees and costs

Description: The Mission Valley Village mobile home park was a senior citizen retirement community located in the Mission Gorge area in San Diego. After Archstone, a Fortune 500 company that is renowned nationwide for developing apartment complexes, bought the property and took over operations in 2007, Archstone announced its plan to close the park and build luxury condominiums. But rather than close the park and pay the legally required relocation benefits, Archstone indefinitely put the park closure on hold, then hiked rents parkwide. Residents' home values plummeted and the fixed income seniors were immediately faced with an uncertain future and dire economic hardships. Tatro & Lopez, LLP, filed a class action on behalf of all homeowners and residents. After some contentious litigation, we were able to resolve the case and obtain a court-approved settlement valued at over $7 million, but the benefits of the settlement were estimated to potentially reach $13 million for the homeowners and seniors.

Abbit v. City of San Diego et al.

Practice Area: Litigation

Outcome: $3.6 million settlement on the eve of trial.

Description: After the city of San Diego took over operation of the De Anza Cove mobile home park in Mission Bay in 2003, the city and its hand-picked management and security companies embarked on a series of tactics designed to coerce residents into leaving the park before receiving the relocation benefits the city owes them. We represented 250 individual residents and sued the city, its former management company, and its armed security company for the way they ran De Anza Cove and the things they began doing to residents, like tearing down the park's storage areas, market, playground, and laundry facilities, taking out all the furniture and amenities from the common areas, passing unlawful park rules, towing vehicles without proper notice, and installing klieg lights, barbed wire fencing, and a guard shack at the entrance. The oppressive environment this created drove many residents out of the park. "We are relieved to have some vindication for the terrible ordeal we endured," said Ernie Abbit, President of the De Anza Cove Homeowners Association.

Glancy v. Thomas (Car Accident--AAA insurance company)

Practice Area: Car/Auto Accident

Outcome: $300,000 policy-limits settlement against AAA

Description: The drunk driver defendant crossed the double-yellow center divide in the road, slamming her car into the driver's side of our client's car at over 55 mph. Our client was fortunate to have survived the crash, but suffered serious personal injuries, including cervical spine and shoulder injuries, leaving her unable to work and in constant pain. Although the drunk driver had no appreciable assets, we took over the case from another attorney who was inexperienced in personal injury and litigation cases and were able to obtain a policy-limits settlement. The settlement we secured for our client was five times greater than insurance giant AAA had ever offered to the original attorney.

Brack v. Khan

Practice Area: Fraud

Outcome: Plaintiff verdict after trial and judgment of over $1.8 million

Description: Antiquities dealer Khan sold our client Joyce Brack bogus antiques under false provenances, claiming they were rare French pieces from the Malcolm Forbes estate. In reality, they were common reproductions of little value.

Homeowner v. Custom Home Builder

Practice Area: Construction Defect/Fraud

Outcome: Six-figure settlement

Description: Represented homeowner against custom builder for material defects, code noncompliance, poor workmanship, and warranty issues.

Planned Development Community v. General Contractor

Practice Area: Construction Defect

Outcome: Large, confidential settlement

Description: Represented condominium owners in large defect case in nearby desert community for problems related to poor compaction, faulty drainage, flooding, and severe cracking.

To learn more about the results or to arrange for a consultation with a lawyer, please contact Tatro & Lopez, LLP, in Del Mar, by calling 858-244-7106.