Gray Duffy Establishes Client’s Alleged Slope Movement Didn’t Cause Extensive Damage to Two Homeowners’ Properties: Resulting in Settlement for Less Than %.04 of Original Claim

July 2013

Overview On behalf of the firm’s HOA client, Michael Eisenbaum of Gray•Duffy’s Encino office successfully negotiated a claim of approximately $900,000 for a total of $2,500. Discussion Heidi Healy, et al. v. Taylor Morrison of California, LLC Scott Richardson v. Taylor Morrison of California, LLC                                                                           The lawsuit involved two single-family homes in San Clemente, California. Gray•Duffy represented the community’s Master Homeowner’s Association (HOA), who was named by the developer in its cross-complaint, contending that the HOA’s common area slopes were negligently maintained by the HOA, and as a result were failing, causing the plaintiffs’ properties to suffer extensive soil movement. 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 the HOA had a well-established, ongoing maintenance program for the slopes with extensive records.  Ultimately, through several rounds of mediation, a settlement was negotiated directly with the plaintiffs, who agreed to accept $10,000 to settle the case, which was split 4 ways among the HOA, its landscape contractor, its irrigation vendor, and its landscape consulting firm. Thus the HOA’s contribution was $2,500 for its portion of the settlement. Later, the entire case was resolved for $363,000.  

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.