Representative Settled Cases
Examples of Civil Disputes Settled with the Assistance of DDR:
- Claim by shoring/soil anchor subcontractor against general contractor on commercial building seismic renovation project for unpaid contract balance, interest, attorneys fees and statutory penalties. Cross-complaint by general contractor for delay damages, interest, and attorneys fees. Settled at mediation.
- Action for breach of contract by architectural firm against homeowners who retained plaintiff to investigate and report on deck leaks. Plaintiff claimed agreed-upon scope of work also included other items. Defendants claimed that scope of work was narrower than claimed by plaintiff, and that plaintiff performed work that was unnecessary and overbilled. Settled at mediation.
- Action by contractor for claimed balance due in excess of $200,000 for remodeling work performed by Plaintiff on Defendants’ home. Defendants claimed that Plaintiff’s work was improperly performed and incomplete, causing Defendants to have to hire another contractor to correct and complete the project. Plaintiffs cross-complained against Plaintiff for the costs of correction and for disgorgement of sums paid (claiming that Plaintiff was improperly licensed), and against subcontractor that allegedly performed the substandard work. Settled at mediation.
- Action for damages by contractor for balance claimed to be owing by defendant homeowners for deck repairs performed by Plaintiff. Defendants claimed that they already paid Plaintiff for everything that was within Plaintiff’s bid. Settled at mediation.
- Action for damages by purchasers of $2.3M home against developer and general contractor for construction defects and diminution in value arising out of defectively constructed decks, overhangs, and balusters, causing $270,000 in repair costs, and $160,000 in loss of rental income (Plaintiffs had planned to temporarily move due to work requirements, and rent to the subject home during their absence). Defendants disputed the defect claims and the extent of Plaintiffs’ claimed damages. Settled at mediation.
- Multi-party action for damages of approximately $2,000,000 arising out of construction and product defects against general contractor and window manufacturer by homeowner in connection with extensive remodel of his home, to correct extensive water intrusion problems arising out of original construction. General contractor cross-complained against plastering, waterproofing, and sheet metal subcontractors and window manufacturer. Defendants disputed Plaintiff’s claimed scope and cost of repair; cross-complainants disputed proportionate liability. Settled after initial Mandatory Settlement Conference, follow-up mediation sessions, and numerous follow-up phone conferences.
- Breach of contract action by homeowners against cabinet manufacturer and retailer, and against interior designer, as a result of claimed damages arising out of defects in kitchen and bathroom cabinetry ordered in connection with extensive remodeling project. Plaintiffs also claimed damages due to delay in delivery of cabinetry. Plaintiffs also claimed substantial damages for loss of use of their home, as a result of their inability to use kitchen for extended period of time. Defendants denied liability and disputed the nature and extent of Plaintiffs’ claimed damages. Settled at mediation.
- Action for damages by owner of resort hotel against major insurance brokerage company. Plaintiff’s Florida hotel suffered $1.2 million in damages from a hurricane, and its insurance claim was denied by its property insurer on the basis that the hurricane deductible exceeded the claimed loss. Plaintiff claimed that the broker failed to provide adequate coverage for this type of loss. Defendant broker denied liability, claiming that it breached no duty to Plaintiff, and that Plaintiff was aware of the deductible. Settled day after mediation for mediator’s proposal.
- Action by forensic accounting expert for unpaid balance claimed to be owed for expert consulting services provided to Defendant in connection with Defendant’s divorce. Plaintiff claimed that he was owed $160,000 for his services, plus interest, attorney’s fees, and the lost value of his time spent in attempting to collect the balance. Defendant claimed that Plaintiff overcharged for his services, and that his input concerning the divorce caused her to accept an inadequate divorce settlement. Settled after mediation and follow-up phone conferences.
COMPLEX SECURITIES FRAUD LITIGATION
- Multiple actions for damages by over 400 plaintiffs, represented by 13 different law firms located throughout California, with total claims of over $100 million, filed in 7 California counties and coordinated for all purposes in Marin County Superior Court, against multiple defendants represented by 6 different law firms located in multiple California counties. Plaintiffs generally alleged that they were defrauded in connection with investments they made in numerous real estate projects across the country, as well as in various related entities. Defendants generally denied liability in the civil actions as well as in parallel criminal actions. Defendants were covered by diminishing limits Directors and Officers insurance policies, with starting limits amounting to a small fraction of the total claims, and which continued to erode with ongoing defense costs. Cases settled after in-person mediation session, followed by multiple follow-up phone conferences and email communications over the course of approximately 1 year, during which numerous issues arising out of the multiple, competing claims against the limited and diminishing sources of recovery were addressed and resolved.
- Action for damages for sexual harassment and hostile work environment/constructive wrongful discharge by former restaurant hostess against restaurant and its owner/manager. Plaintiff claimed the manager continuously made sexual advances to her, hugged and kissed her without her consent, and requested sexual favors. In addition to wage loss, Plaintiff claimed to be suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, requiring ongoing psychological counseling. Defendant denied the alleged acts of sexual harassment, and claimed that Plaintiff quit after receiving verbal warnings regarding her work. Settled at mediation.
- Action under Title VII of Civil Rights Act for religious discrimination by apartment resident manager who claimed she was constructively discharged by being required to work on Sundays. Defendant claimed that plaintiff was permitted but not required to work on Sundays, and that plaintiff refused to return to work after quitting. Settled at mediation.
- Action for damages for wrongful discharge and failure to reimburse work-related expenses by former maintenance engineer of defendant rehabilitation hospital. Plaintiff claimed that his personal tools were stolen from the workplace, that defendant employer failed to properly reimburse him for them, and that employer thereafter terminated him after falsely accusing him of stealing a desk which plaintiff said his supervisor told him that he could take. Defendant claimed that plaintiff was fully reimbursed for any tools that were stolen, that he wasn’t required to bring his own tools to work, and that he lied when confronted about the missing desk. Settled at mediation.
- Action for damages arising out of alleged harassment and wrongful discharge by former data entry clerk. Plaintiff claimed that he was fired in retaliation for his complaints against former supervisor whom he believed had been harassing him. Defendant denied the allegations and claimed that plaintiff was fired for insubordination after he refused the supervisor’s instructions to not a use work entrance that was reserved for other employees. Settled at mediation.
- Action under Fair Employment and Housing Act by public entity employee who claimed that he was demoted, with reduced salary, as a result of a workplace injury, despite receiving a high performance evaluation shortly before the demotion. Plaintiff further claimed that Defendant failed to make a reasonable accommodation for his physical problems resulting from the workplace injury. Defendant claimed that Plaintiff wasn’t “demoted,” but was instead reverted to his original position due to his failure to satisfactorily complete the training for the higher position. Settled at mediation.
- Action for harassment motivated by disability in violation of Fair Employment and Housing Act, and for infliction of emotional distress, by employee against employer and former supervisor. Plaintiff claimed her former supervisor had “befriended” her in order to gain access to her home, so that she could steal Plaintiff’s prescription pain medication used by Plaintiff to treat a medical condition. Defendant employer claimed that it was not responsible for non-work-related conduct of former supervisor and that no act of disability discrimination or harassment had occurred. Both defendants denied liability and disputed nature and extent of Plaintiff’s claimed damages. Settled at mediation.
- Action for damages by former office manager of doctor’s office who claimed that she was constructively wrongfully discharged because she threatened to report defendant’s claimed unlawful hiring of another employee who took hours that should have been given to plaintiff. Plaintiff also claimed that she wasn’t paid for all hours worked before she left her employment, and that she was also entitled to waiting time penalties and attorneys’ fees. Defendant denied plaintiff’s claims and further claimed after-acquired knowledge of plaintiff’s having written unauthorized prescriptions which would have justified her termination. Case settled following mediation and numerous follow-up phone conferences.
- Wage and hour claim by former employee of restaurant who claimed that defendant employer failed to compensate him for all hours worked and for missed meal and rest periods, failed to pay appropriate overtime premiums, and failed to maintain accurate timekeeping records or provide plaintiff with accurate paystubs reflecting hours actually worked, all in violation of the California Labor Code and Industrial Welfare Commission Wage Order No. 5. Plaintiff further claimed that he was entitled to waiting time penalties, liquidated damages and civil penalties, and attorneys’ fees. Defendant denied that plaintiff worked all of the hours he claimed, or that he was denied meal or rest periods, or that its timekeeping records were inadequate. Defendant further claimed that plaintiff quit his employment after physically attacking a co-worker, as a result of which his claims were barred by the doctrine of unclean hands. Case settled through mediation and follow-up phone calls.
- Action for bodily injuries arising out of pedestrian-vehicle accident. Plaintiff garbage truck driver was struck by defendant’s vehicle when plaintiff crossed the road to return to his truck after speaking with driver of another garbage truck, which was stopped on opposite side of road. Plaintiff landed on his head and sustained skull fracture and brain injury. The accident happened early in the morning shortly after defendant left his home to go to work. Plaintiff claimed that the accident resulted from defendant’s negligence in failing to wipe off his fogged vehicle windows, crossing a double yellow line to drive around a stopped garbage truck with yellow warning lights flashing, and driving too fast for the conditions. Plaintiff claimed to have suffered serious and permanent brain injury with permanent cognitive deficits, headache, fatigue, and emotional issues, which have ruined his marriage and disabled him from employment. Plaintiff’s claimed economic damages for past and future medical care and loss of income were in the range of $4.5 to $8 million. Plaintiff’s wife claimed loss of consortium. Plaintiff previously settled with defendant driver’s insurance carrier for policy limits (which were minimal), and pursued claim against defendant’s employer for the bulk of the claimed damages, claiming that defendant was in the course and scope of his employment when the accident happened. Plaintiff further claimed that the “special errand” exception applied to the “going and coming” rule, which would have otherwise precluded liability on the part of the employer. Defendant employer denied liability, claiming that defendant was not on a special errand but was simply commuting to work when the accident happened. Defendant also claimed that there was significant comparative negligence on the part of the plaintiff in failing to look both ways before crossing the road to get back to his truck. Intervenor workers’ compensation carrier sought reimbursement of medical and disability benefits paid on behalf of plaintiff. Case settled at mediation.
- Action for damages arising out of bicycle-pedestrian accident on a mountain road. Plaintiff was riding her bicycle with a group of friends when they came upon a hunter who had parked his truck partially in their lane of travel. Plaintiff attempted to maneuver around defendant, who was in the process of crossing the 2-lane road after closing a gate, but lost her balance, made slight contact with defendant, and fell. Plaintiff suffered broken pelvis, torn rotator cuff, and related injuries; shoulder surgery was unsuccessful and future surgery is likely. Defendant denied liability. Settled at Mandatory Settlement Conference.
- Action for damages by an 81-year-old female pedestrian who was on her way to her regular swim at a local indoor pool. Plaintiff claimed she was struck while crossing the street by a car that was rear-ended by Defendant, who ran a red light. In addition to a broken ankle, scrapes and bruises, Plaintiff claimed to have received a concussion, resulting in post-concussion syndrome, including ongoing headaches and decreased mental acuity. Although Defendant admitted liability, the nature and extent of her injuries (especially the post-concussion syndrome) were disputed. Settled at mediation.
- Action for damages by pedestrian in cross-walk who was struck by vehicle that had been rear-ended by Defendant. In addition to neck and lower back injuries, Plaintiff claimed his pre-existing ulcerative colitis was seriously aggravated by the accident. Defendant admitted liability but disputed nature and extent of claimed injuries. Settled at mediation.
- Action for bodily injuries arising out of auto accident. Plaintiff was the right front seat passenger in a truck driven by a co-worker, on his way to work, when an oncoming van driven by defendant made a left turn into plaintiff’s path. Defendant admitted liability for settlement purposes. Plaintiff claimed left shoulder injury, requiring surgery, with residual impairment. Plaintiff further claimed two years of wage loss from his manual labor job and significant medical expenses. Defendant denied that plaintiff’s left shoulder injury was caused by the subject accident, claimed that plaintiff’s job was going to end regardless of the accident, and further claimed that plaintiff’s claimed damages were exaggerated. Workers’ Compensation carrier sought reimbursement for benefits paid to plaintiff. Case settled at Mandatory Settlement Conference.
- Action for damages arising out of bodily injuries sustained by plaintiff furniture store manager when sign fell and struck him on his head. Plaintiff claimed closed-head brain injury, with residual cognitive deficits and headaches. Defendants were manufacturer of sign and sign designer. Complaint in intervention by workers’ compensation carrier. Defendants denied liability and disputed nature and extent of claimed injuries. Settled at mediation.
- Action for bodily injuries by 61-year-old woman arising out of trip-and-fall off of a curb in front of a restaurant. Defendant landscaping company contracted with the city to repave streets and sidewalks, and Plaintiff claimed that, because of delays in finishing the paving work, there was a dangerous condition of uneven asphalt where she stepped off sidewalk, causing her to break her foot. Defendant denied liability and disputed damages. Settled at mediation.
- Action for damages by nightclub patron against nightclub and the designer and manufacturer of a slide that could be used to enter the club. Plaintiff claimed that the slide was negligently and defectively designed, causing him to suffer a serious leg fracture with residual injuries. Plaintiff claimed serious wage loss, medical expenses, and general damages. Defendants denied that the slide was unsafe, and disputed the nature and extent of Plaintiffs’ claimed damages. Settled at mediation.
- Action for bodily injuries arising out of accident at defendant golf course. Plaintiff was employed by a catering company to drive a golf cart around the course to supply golfers with food and beverages. Plaintiff claimed that she lost control of the cart while, in accordance with defendant’s instructions, she was attempting to drive her cart off the cart path in order to allow a golfer’s cart to pass by. Plaintiff’s cart struck a tree, and the steering wheel caught her hand, causing a severe fracture of her major wrist, requiring surgery and resulting in permanent partial loss of use and ongoing pain. Defendant denied liability and claimed that accident could not have occurred in the manner claimed by Plaintiff. Settled following Mandatory Settlement Conference and follow-up mediation.
- Action for damages for bodily injuries by customer of defendant storage facility who was attacked by a pit bull on defendant’s premises. The pit bull was owned by Defendant’s manager. Claimed injuries included puncture wounds to the wrist, and injury to the right retina allegedly resulting from Plaintiff having jerked his head violently in response to the dog’s attack. Defendant claimed that Plaintiff had called the dog over to him, told the Defendant’s manager that he (the Plaintiff) had experience with dogs, and attempted to play with the dog. Defendant further claimed that he called the dog away from Plaintiff before there was any contact, and that no attack occurred. Settled at mediation.
- Action for bodily injuries allegedly sustained by Plaintiff at defendant drugstore. Plaintiff claimed that she slipped and fell on water on an aisle floor while she was reaching for a product on the shelf. She further claimed that defendant store maintenance company negligently allowed the use of a defective floor cleaning machine, which left water on the floor. Plaintiff claimed back, neck, and knee injuries, and exacerbation of underlying cervical, lumbar, and thoracic disc narrowing. Defendants denied that the floor cleaning machine was defective, or that there was water on the floor, or that there was notice to either of them of any dangerous condition. Defendants also disputed the nature and extent of Plaintiff’s claimed injuries. Settled at mediation.
- Action for bodily injuries by landfill employee whose hand was severely and permanently injured when a “bird bomb” fired from a starter’s pistol he used for purpose of scattering seagulls away from an adjacent airport exploded immediately after being fired (instead of after first having reached the appropriate altitude), resulting in amputation of two fingers. The defendants included the manufacturer, distributor, and retailer of the “bird bomb,” and the manufacturer of the propellant. Plaintiff’s employer filed a lien for reimbursement of substantial workers’ compensation payments. Plaintiff claimed the “bird bomb” exploded prematurely due to design and manufacturing defects in the “bird bomb” and the propellant. Defendants denied liability, and contended that the accident could not have occurred in the manner claimed by Plaintiff, but that instead Plaintiff must have fired the “starter’s pistol” with his fingers in front of the barrel. Settled following Mandatory Settlement Conference and follow-up phone calls.
- Action for bodily injuries incurred when plaintiff, who was taking a shower in the apartment of relatives she was visiting, leaned onto porcelain bathroom sink in order to reach into medicine cabinet, and fell as a result of sink becoming detached from wall and shattering upon impact with floor. Plaintiff sustained serious laceration to left wrist, severing an artery, tendons and nerves, and resulting in two surgeries, over one year of rehabilitation, residual scarring, and swelling up the underside of her left arm, and some ongoing problems with sensation, function, and pain. Plaintiff claimed that the wall-mounted sink (which had no pedestal or legs) was improperly mounted to wall, a condition which defendant landlord failed to discover and correct. Plaintiff also contended that the sink was defectively designed. Defendant landlord denied liability and claimed that he performed all required reasonable inspections, that the sink was solidly attached to the wall with no prior complaints from any tenants, and that accident resulted from defective design of sink. Defendant sink manufacturer also denied liability, and claimed that sink was properly designed, and that accident resulted solely from its having been improperly installed. Case settled on eve of trial after Mandatory Settlement Conference and multiple follow-up phone calls.
REAL ESTATE/LANDLORD-TENANT/NEIGHBOR DISPUTES
- Commercial landlord-tenant action by owner of commercial building against former tenants for non-payment of rents; cross-claims by tenants for breach of buy-sell agreement and assumption of lease obligations. Settled at mediation.
- Action by commercial building landlord against two attorney tenants for back rent. Defendants claimed offsets for overcharge for mismeasurement of office space and building security issues. Settled at mediation.
- Action for damages by property owner against neighbor who has an easement for septic, ingress/egress, and “recreation” over lower portion of plaintiff’s property. Plaintiff claimed the easement is invalid, and that defendant has been abusing the easement by storing construction materials and maintaining a dilapidated shed. Defendant claimed the easement is valid. Settled at mediation.
- Action for damages against mortgage loan broker, plaintiffs’ ex-wife and current husband, and bank. Plaintiff owner/contractor of single-family home remodeled for disabled daughter claimed he lost equity through loans arranged by mortgage broker in connection with sale of home and purchase of replacement home for daughter, ex-wife, and current husband. Plaintiff further claimed that bank improperly arranged for loan to defendants with cash-out, depleting plaintiff’s equity in the property. Settled at mediation as to two of the three defendants.
- Action for damages and revocation of easement by buyer of home on portion of lot that was “split off” by owner of adjacent apartment building. Plaintiff had nonexclusive easement on portion of lot that was apartment building’s parking lot, but claimed that her lot size is less than minimum requirements, and that she cannot sell her property without a lot line adjustment. Defendant claimed that county had given him permission to sell the home. Settled following mediation and follow-up phone calls.
- Pre-litigation claim by real estate investor/mortage broker/seller of S.F. condo to buyer who moved into property pursuant to month-to-month lease pending financing and close of escrow. Buyer couldn’t obtain financing due to claimed fraud of original mortgage broker, and offered to substitute a different, qualified buyer. Buyer demanded return of money erroneously paid into escrow over and above initial deposit. Settled at mediation.
- Cross-complaint by purchaser of apartment building against sellers, for alleged non-disclosure of bodily injury claim by former tenant. Underlying bodily injury claim was previously settled, and purchaser pursued cross-complaint against sellers for costs of defending underlying bodily injury action and for pursuing indemnity action. Sellers claimed that all appropriate disclosures were made, that purchasers’ defense costs were unreasonable, and that purchasers weren’t entitled to recover costs of prosecuting indemnity action under purchase agreement. Settled at Mandatory Settlement Conference.
- Action for damages by purchaser of single-family home against seller’s realtor; cross-complaint against buyer’s realtor. Plaintiff claimed that lot line was misrepresented by defendant realtor, and that lot was smaller than represented. Defendant denied any misrepresentations in the transaction, and claimed that all information conveyed by her was given to her by the builder and the seller. Settled at mediation.
- Pre-litigation claim by owners/sellers of single-family home against buyers and buyers’ and sellers’ agents for liquidated damages under Purchase and Sale Agreement that failed to close as result of buyers’ inability to obtain financing. Buyers denied liability. Settled at mediation.
- Pre-litigation claim by uphill neighbor to force downhill neighbor to remove or shorten trees that had grown to a height that impacted uphill neighbor’s view of the Bay, which in turn diminished the value of her property. Downhill neighbor contended that the subject trees were long-established “heritage trees,” and that their impact upon uphill neighbor’s view was minimal. Settled at mediation following site visit.
- Action and related cross-action by Tenants in Common in vacation home at ski resort. Parties had been long-time friends, and Plaintiffs invested in vacation home owned by Defendants, to be used by them and their families with the parties sharing expenses. Plaintiffs wanted to sell their undivided half interest, but were unable to find a buyer. Defendants offered to buy out their interest, but the parties could not agree upon a price. Defendants also cross-complained for expenses they claimed should have been paid by Plaintiffs. Settled at mediation.
- Action for breach of contract, fraud, and elder abuse by Plaintiff father against Defendant adult son and daughter-in-law, arising out of real property investment entered into between father and son. Plaintiff claimed that he had been misled as to the terms of the investment and as to certain promissory notes that were signed by Defendant in connection with the deal, and as to the son’s intent as to the true purpose for which the real estate was going to be used. Defendants denied liability, and claimed that a forensic accounting revealed that payments made to Plaintiff pursuant to the notes were usurious. Settled at 19-hour mediation.
- Action by Plaintiff mother to set aside joint tenancy deed to Plaintiff’s home, which Plaintiff recorded in favor of Defendant adult daughter allegedly in return for Defendant’s agreement to move in with Plaintiff and provide care for her and Defendant’s now-deceased father for the rest of their lives. Plaintiff claimed that she never intended for entire property to pass to Defendant to exclusion of Defendant’s numerous siblings. Settled through follow-up phone conferences following mediation.
- Action by architect and long-time tenant of single family home against owner/landlord. Plaintiff claimed that he had performed and paid for extensive renovations to the home, that defendant agreed to pay for the renovations by way of rental discounts on a long-term lease, that although the renovations exceeded the original budget, defendant had approved the additional work, and that defendant refused to renegotiate a lease extension that would recognize payment for all of the renovations. Defendant claimed that Plaintiff was fully compensated for all agreed-upon renovations, and that Plaintiff performed work that was not authorized. Case settled through two mediation sessions and several follow-up phone conferences and emails, with both sides accepting mediator’s proposal that bridged the gap on remaining issues.
- Action for damages by former tenant of defendant’s apartment building who claimed that she was constructively evicted as a result of defendant’s failure to properly respond to water leak, leading to development of mold. Mold sampling by plaintiff and defendant reflected elevated levels of mold on surfaces and in air. Plaintiff also claimed that all of her personal property had to be discarded, and that she had to undergo psychological treatment for anxiety and depression resulting from loss of personal property and having to relocate, and from fear of physical injury. Defendant claimed that his response to plaintiff’s complaints was appropriate, that plaintiff suffered no injuries as a result of mold exposure, and that her claimed damages were exaggerated. Settled at mediation.
- Action for damages by distributor of multi-level marketing dietary supplement products. Plaintiff claimed that Defendants, who worked Plaintiff’s booth at a trade show, breached oral agreement with Plaintiff by placing a new customer on Plaintiff’s “strong, left leg” distribution chain, thereby depriving Plaintiff of commissions on sales generated by new customers and those below them. Defendants denied that the agreement required them to place the new customer on Plaintiff’s “right leg,” and that the new customer would not have signed up for product if Defendants had placed her as Plaintiff claims they should have. Settled at mediation.
- Action for damages between former members of limited liability companies formed to develop and operate gas stations. Properties were sold, leaving approximately $700,000 in escrow to be divided between the former partners. Each claimed that it was entitled to more than half of the net proceeds of sale. Plaintiff claimed that Defendant never made the capital contribution that he claimed to have made going into the projects, and that Defendant misappropriated company funds. Defendant claimed that he made the initial capital contribution, and that Plaintiff made a “sweetheart” deal with a third party for the sale of one of the properties, to the detriment of Defendant. Settled for mediator’s proposal after mediation and follow-up phone calls.
- Action for damages by plaintiff computer quality assurance employment agency against bank to whom agency had provided temporary employees to staff bank’s computer upgrade project. Bank cross-complained against Plaintiff and its principals, claiming that agency’s co-owner had failed to disclose his status as co-owner of the agency when he took a full-time position as a bank officer in charge of the QA program, creating a conflict of interest arising from fact that employee and his co-defendant wife were making secret profit on temporary employees supplied to the defendant bank by the plaintiff agency. Settled at mediation.
- Fee dispute between two law firms that represented plaintiffs in complex inverse condemnation action. Plaintiff law firm sued co-counsel for additional fees claimed to be owed to it and for accounting of funds recovered on behalf of plaintiffs in underlying action. Case settled at mediation.
- Action by plaintiff computer lock manufacturer for unpaid balance for product it provided to defendant distributor. Cross-complaint by defendant distributor alleging that products were defective, that Plaintiff solicited business from Defendant’s customers, and that Plaintiff wrongfully terminated the distribution agreement. Settled for mediator’s proposal after mediation and follow-up phone calls.
- Action for damages by plaintiff investor/restaurant owner against defendants restaurant and co-owner/chef, for alleged mismanagement by minority owner. Plaintiff also claimed that Defendant co-owner breached shareholder agreement by refusing to convey additional shares to Plaintiff, making Plaintiff majority shareholder, as called for in agreement if certain targets were not met. Defendant co-owner/chef denied mismanagement, and claimed that agreement to make Plaintiff majority shareholder was unenforceable. Settled at mediation.
- Action for breach of contract and breach of fiduciary duty by plaintiff minority shareholder in tree-trimming business against defendant company and its majority shareholder, arising out of claimed failure to make payments due under stock purchase agreement, and out of alleged failure to provide workers’ compensation insurance that would have otherwise covered Plaintiff’s job-related injury. Defendants claimed that the company was unable to make the subject payments, that the co-owner breached no fiduciary duty to Defendant regarding the workers’ compensation issue, and that Plaintiff’s own conduct adversely affected the company’s income. Settled at mediation.
TRUST AND PROBATE
- Probate petition by adult children of decedent, alleging elder abuse by Respondent surviving spouse. Petitioners challenged decedent’s will, leaving entire estate to Respondent except for a $65K pay-on-death bank account for Petitioners. Petitioners also sought enforcement of will, now revoked by Respondent, leaving certain of decedent’s property to Petitioners. Respondent denied allegations of elder abuse, and claimed that will was valid and enforceable. Settled at Mandatory Settlement Conference.
- Will contest by adult daughters of deceased father against father’s new wife. Plaintiffs claimed that decedent left family home to them; defendant claimed that plaintiffs were cut out of decedent’s will because they would not accept her into the family. Settled at 12-hour mediation.
- Probate dispute between father and adult daughters over grandmother’s estate. Petitioner daughters had father removed as trustee, claiming that he had mishandled trust assets by spending too much on rehabilitation of real property prior to sale, and had improperly paid himself compensation out of trust assets. Father disputed daughters’ contentions and claimed he was entitled to half of what was remaining in estate. Settled after 20-hour mediation, followed by 6-hour follow-up session.
Action for damages for alleged wrongful repossession of vehicle after plaintiff was discharged in bankruptcy. Plaintiff claimed that lender had released its lien rights and that the repossession was unlawful. Plaintiff claimed monetary damages for the value of the vehicle, consequential damages, and emotional distress. Defendant denied liability, or that it had released its lien rights to vehicle. Defendant further claimed that bankruptcy discharge prevented only a deficiency judgment for past payments, that plaintiff was obligated to make post-bankruptcy payments in order to keep the vehicle, and that plaintiff’s claimed damages were exaggerated. Case settled through follow-up phone calls following mediation.