Gray•Duffy Negotiates Settlement for $150,000 Less than Original Demand in Neighbor Dispute

August 2012

Overview

Michelle MacDonald of Gray•Duffy’s Encino office obtained a favorable resolution of a complex nuisance, trespass and boundary line neighbor dispute.

Discussion

Ndiforchu v. Frederick K.C. Price, et al.

The plaintiffs are neighbors of the defendant who hired Gray•Duffy’s general contractor client to build an elaborate 10,000-square-foot residence. The scope of the project included demolition of an existing structure, complete removal of a concrete foundation and the construction of the new home surrounded by a six-foot concrete wall.

Prior to the commencement of the project, the plaintiffs attended meetings with the local planning commission to complain about the size of the residence. After construction began, the plaintiffs continued to contact city officials asserting problems with noise, dust and vibrations which purportedly damaged their home. The plaintiffs further alleged that the defendants trespassed on their property and located the boundary wall beyond the property line. During the trenching for the property wall, they claimed that the defendants exposed the roots of a 60-foot Canary pine tree on the plaintiff’s land which ultimately required that the tree be removed.

Shortly after the lawsuit was filed, the plaintiffs made a demand for approximately $200,000 to resolve their claims. Prior to the completion of discovery and the depositions of the parties, Gray•Duffy attorney Michelle MacDonald negotiated a settlement of $50,000 or approximately 25% of the amount originally sought, which was computed as the value of the mature tree, the damaged landscaping and the cost of tree removal and replacement.

Please Note: This article is necessarily general in nature and is not a substitute for legal advice with respect to any particular case. Readers should consult with an attorney before taking any action affecting their interests.