Case Spotlight: West Ocean Association v. Viewcor Long Beach I, L.P., et al., Los Angeles Superior Court Case Number NC057920
In a complex construction defect case that lasted over four years and with a trial spanning over two months, LGP effectuated a result at trial that saved our clients approximately two-thirds of the Plaintiff’s claimed cost to repair the project, and resulted in a verdict that was half of the amount requested by Plaintiff during closing argument.
The case involved a 246 unit, two tower high-rise condominium project located in Long Beach, California. The Plaintiff was the homeowners’ association, comprised of members with ownership interests in the project. The primary construction defect claim of the plaintiff surrounded the large window wall, with claims implicating plumbing, electrical, HVAC, architectural and automatic fire sprinkler issues also being alleged.
LGP, represented by founding/managing partner Bruce W. Lorber and partner J.D. Turner with the support of senior associate Gillian L. Gregory and paralegal Sina M. Gudmundson, began the trial by successfully defeating many of the Plaintiff’s claims and expert opinions during California Evidence Code section 402 hearings, resulting in nearly $5 million of the Plaintiff’s claims being dismissed by the court before the case was brought before the jury. These dismissed claims included the Plaintiff’s lack of standing to pursue certain of its allegations that involved the interiors of the individual condos. The dismissed claims also included the barring of certain of the Plaintiff’s expert witness opinions on the basis of improper extrapolation arising out of the fact that only 39 of the 246 units were inspected, with only 9 units destructively tested by the Plaintiff.
After successful cross-examination by Mr. Lorber of the Plaintiff’s primary expert, Karim Allana, whose opinions accounted for over $9.7 million of the Plaintiff’s total claims as trial commenced, the jury awarded just over $5 million based upon his opinions, or 52% of the damage claims asserted by Mr. Allana.
During closing arguments, Plaintiff requested over $10 million in total damages, not including any Stearman claims or claimed costs awardable by statute. Of note, Plaintiff’s lowest settlement demand had been just shy of $9 million. The jury returned its verdict for just over $5.5 million.*
*The information provided herein is for informational purposes only and should not be relied on as legal advice. The result described herein is specific to the facts and circumstances of this case. Every case is different and other cases or claims may not bring results similar to those described herein. You should consult a lawyer if you need help with legal matters. No attorney-client relationship is or can be established by reviewing the information herein or on our website or social media or by communicating with our firm by email or through social media messaging.