Residents of California Hawaiian Mobile Estates Settle Case for $9,900,000

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In 2007, the residents of the California Hawaiian Mobile Estates decided that they’d had enough. Their park, once well-maintained and beautiful, had become a rundown eyesore. Park lighting was held up by rebar and duct tape. The clubhouse was dilapidated and unusable. The park’s water and electrical systems were constantly being shut off. The sewer system backed up into residents’ homes. Although the residents tried to meet with park management to correct the many issues plaguing their community, nothing ever changed.

Result of the Case

As a result of the inaction of management, the residents sued Equity Lifestyle Properties, the owner of the park. Initially, Equity was able to convince the Court that the case should go to arbitration, rather than to jury trial. The residents successfully appealed this decision, with the Appellate Court ordering the case back to the lower court to allow the residents to try the case to a jury. The jury awarded the residents $111 million in March 2014. The park owners responded by asking for a new trial, which was granted by the judge on the issue of damages. Again, the residents appealed. During the course of the appeal, the case settled.

After years of intense litigation, the residents of the California Hawaiian Mobile Estates finally settled their lawsuit against the owners of the park for $9,900,000.00.

Testimony from Jim Allen

“This has been an eight-year struggle for justice,” said Jim Allen of Allen, Semelsberger & Kaelin LLP. “These residents were intimidated and threatened by the park. When we started the case, there were 200 residents; most were scared away. At the end, we only had 61 residents left in the suit. These residents deserve every cent of their settlement.” Read more about the settlement on The Mercury News.

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