Gray•Duffy Establishes that Client’s Alleged Slope Movement Not the Cause of Extensive Damage to Homeowners’ Properties

January 2013

Overview

Michael Eisenbaum of Gray•Duffy’s Encino office successfully negotiated the settlement of a more than $2 million claim against the firm’s homeowner’s association client for $5,000.

Discussion

John Klein, et al. v. Standard Pacific, et al.

Gray•Duffy represented the community’s Master Homeowner’s Association (HOA), which was named by the plaintiffs as a defendant, along with the developers of the project in a lawsuit involving 15 single-family homes. The developer made an initial demand of $2,066,882 to the HOA as part of the overall cost of repair which wasapproximately $7,000,000. The plaintiffs’ theory against the HOA was that the common area slopes owned and maintained by the HOA were failing, causing the plaintiffs’ properties to suffer soil movement which needed to be stabilized. After extensive investigation and discovery, Mr. Eisenbaum was able to establish that it was unlikely that the slopes were causing the problems on the individual lots, and that the HOA had a well-established, ongoing maintenance program for the slopes and maintained extensive records. Ultimately, through several rounds of mediation, the plaintiffs agreed to accept $10,000 to settle the case, with half of that amount being paid by the HOA’s landscape contractor. Thus, on behalf of the HOA, the case was ultimately settled for $5,000.

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.