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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’s 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 the roughly $4,000 per home that the City originally offered to pay, the court judgment resulted in an average payout of over $75,000 per home.

Zoological Society v. Doe Steel Contractor

Practice Area: Construction Defect.

Outcome: $1 million settlement.

Description: We represented the Zoo against a steel contractor that failed to properly fabricate steel used in animal enclosures. Defendant argued that Zoo waived the right to contest defects in the fabrication process, and argued another trade was responsible for the defects. The case settled in the Zoo’s favor for $1 million.

E-Band Communications v. NexxCom Wireless

Practice Area: Business litigation.

Outcome: $1.49 million judgment.

Description: We represented E-Band Communications, a manufacturer and seller of high-speed wireless networking equipment. NexxCom Wireless purchased equipment from E-Band, but left a balance due of over half a million dollars. E-Band brought a claim for breach of contract and fraud against NexxCom, who then counter-sued our client for allegedly defective products. After a year of contentious litigation, a 10-month discovery dispute ensued, during which we successfully proved that NexxCom had destroyed electronically-stored information relevant to the case. We won severe sanctions that accelerated the case to judgment E-Band’s favor in the amount of $1.49 million.

Abbit v. City of San Diego et al.

Practice Area: Litigation/Mass Torts.

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

Description: We represented 250 individual residents and sued the City, its former management company, and its armed security company for tearing down DeAnza Cove Mobile Home 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. “We are relieved to have some vindication for the terrible ordeal we endured,” said Ernie Abbit, President of the De Anza Cove Homeowners Association.

Mission Valley Village HOA v. Archstone (Class Action)

Practice Area: Class Action/Mobile Home Parks/Land Use.

Outcome: Settlement estimated at over $7 million, 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 a Fortune 500 company bought the property and took over operations in 2007, it 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. A class action was filed on behalf of all homeowners and residents. After some contentious litigation, we resolved the case and obtained a court-approved settlement valued at over $7 million.

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. We successfully tried the case and obtained a judgment in the amount of a full refund, plus punitive damages against the dealer for committing art fraud.

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.

Plaintiff patient v. Defendant medical group (Confidential settlement)

Practice Area: Medical Malpractice.

Outcome: Maximum allowable under MICRA.

Description: Our client went into surgery for a routine hysterectomy, during which the surgeon unknowingly nicked her colon, causing internal bleeding. She returned to the hospital, where she underwent emergency surgery to repair her colon and colostomy placement. Defendant hospital argued that Plaintiff made a full recovery and that injury to the colon is a known risk of hysterectomy surgery. We settled the case for the maximum amount allowable by law.

Pfaff v. Confidential land owner.

Practice Area: Construction Defect.

Outcome: High six-figure confidential settlement.

Description: Unpermitted grading caused massive flooding on a neighbor’s property, causing extensive property damage. We represented the neighbor whose property was damaged, and the case settled for high six-figure confidential settlement on the eve of trial.

Redwood Capital Group v. Doe Insurer

Practice Area: Insurance Bad Faith.

Outcome: $250,000.

Description: Insurer refused to defend or indemnify insured, arguing claim was not timely tendered. The particular facts of the case indicated that the key issue was governed by a split of authority in California. The parties filed cross-motions for summary judgment. On the eve of the Court’s ruling on summary judgment, insurer settled the case for $250,000.

Eyler v. Doe Insurer

Practice Area: Personal injury/UIM.

Outcome: Policy-limits recovery.

Description: Our client bicyclist was hit by car while riding his bicycle in Solana Beach. The collision was so violent that he flipped over the car and was catapulted into the middle of the road. His bicycle cleat was ripped from his bicycle, and he sustained a torn Achilles tendon requiring surgical repair, a broken elbow, and shoulder injury. We settled for policy-limits with the at-fault driver, but our client’s own underinsured motorist insurer disputed causation of our client’s Achilles injury, arguing that it was pre-existing. For about a year, the insurer refused to pay more than a small fraction of our client’s policy limits. We pushed forward with discovery, during which defendant insurer’s own medical physician concluded in a written report that the Achilles injury and resulting surgery were caused by the crash. We then demanded full policy-limits payment, which our client received within a week of our renewed demand.

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 858-244-5032.

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