Defense Law News
Brydon Hugo & Parker (San Francisco, CA) are pleased to announce that attorney Edward R. Hugo, assisted by Heidi K. Hugo and Jeffrey Kaufman, successfully obtained a defense verdict in favor of their client, a landlord who was sued by its tenant for damages resulting from a New Years Eve flood in 2005 in Ross, California.
The plaintiffs Danielle Bourhis and Kriten Joye, owners of clothing boutiques Brown Eyed Girl and Material Girl in Ross, claimed that their commercial landlords, Kate and John Lord, failed to warn them that the building was in a flood zone. Additionally, the plaintiffs claimed that the Lords did not do enough to prevent the water damage and also would not let them out of their lease. Bourhis and Joyce, who were represented by Raymond Bourhis, sued the Lords.
Bourhis and Joyce claimed the Lords failed to pile sandbags or install floodgates, though they knew that the property's location made it susceptible to occasional flooding and that when the New Year's Eve flood of 2005 ruined expensive merchandise and halted their business, that the Lords would not let them out of their lease.
The Lords denied the allegations and countersued, saying Bourhis and Joyce walked away from a five year lease and damaged them for approximately $60,000 in rent. Defense further argued that the building was not defective, that the flood could not have been prevented, that the plaintiffs were warned that the property had flooded in the past and that they were not liable for flooding damage.
The plaintiffs originally claimed over $9 million in alleged damaged for lost profits, but reduced their claim at trial to an estimated $750,000 in alleged diminution in value of the businesses following the flood.
The jury returned a 12-0 defense verdict after a trial spanning 5 weeks.