Recent Mobilehome Park Case Successes

Success

Every situation is different, every case is different and every outcome could be different. With the powerful combination of good clients; good causes; and the knowledge, skill and mobile home park expertise that Tatro & Lopez, LLP, brings every day,we have achieved some great results recently and helped hundreds of homeowners and residents.

De Anza Cove HOA, et al. v. City of San Diego

Practice Area: Land Use / Zoning / Class Action

Outcome: $32 million judgment

De Anza

Description: The City of San Diego, which owns and operates the De Anza Cove mobilehome park, tried to close the park and evict all the homeowners without adhering to California law and the Mobilehome Residency Law which requires the City to help relocate all the people who are going to lose their homes when the park closes. Certified as a class action on behalf of hundreds of homeowners and residents, the case was successfully tried and judgment was entered against the City at an estimated value of $32 million, including the Court ordering the defendant to pay attorneys' fees and costs. Instead of as little as $4,000 per home as the City originally offered to pay, the Court judgment resulted in an average of over $75,000 per home.

Mission Valley Village HOA v. Archstone (Class Action)

Outcome

Settlement estimated at over $7 million, with the defendant ordered to pay all attorney fees and costs.

Description

The Mission Valley Village Mobile Home Park was a senior citizen retirement community located in the Mission Gorge area in San Diego. After Archstone - a Fortune 500 company that is renowned nationwide for developing apartment complexes - bought the property and took over operations in 2007, Archstone announced its plan to close the park and build luxury condominiums. But rather than close the park and pay the legally required relocation benefits, Archstone indefinitely put the park closure on hold, then hiked rents park-wide. Residents' home values plummeted and the fixed-income seniors were immediately faced with an uncertain future and dire economic hardships.

Tatro & Lopez, LLP, filed a class action on behalf of all homeowners and residents. After sometimes-contentious litigation, we resolved the case and obtained a court-approved settlement for 70 households valued at over $7 million, but the benefits of the settlement were estimated to potentially reach $13 million for the homeowners and seniors. Peter Zamoyski, who represented the homeowners throughout this litigation, remarked, "This extraordinary settlement agreement came about only after a long series of tough David against Goliath battles.

At the end of the day, these senior citizens are standing tall and proud after going toe-to-toe against a Fortune 500 company that seemed to have all the power and financial muscle that one can imagine." Zamoyski added, "This court-approved settlement guarantees residents' legal rights and financial benefits, all of which give the elderly residents of the park a renewed sense of economic stability and certainty. It provides peace of mind for them and their families knowing that, regardless of the timing of the park closure or their own personal situations, they have guaranteed, well-known options that can't ever be taken away."

Abbit v. City of San Diego et al.

Outcome

$3.6 million settlement on the eve of trial. "We are relieved to have some vindication for the terrible ordeal we endured," said Ernie Abbit, president of the De Anza Cove Homeowners Association.

Description

After the City of San Diego took over operation of the De Anza Cove Mobile Home Park in Mission Bay in 2003, the city and its handpicked management and security companies embarked on a series of tactics designed to coerce residents into leaving the park before receiving the relocation benefits the city owes them.

We represented 250 individual homeowners and residents and sued the city, its former management company and its armed security company for the way they ran De Anza Cove and the things they began doing to residents, like tearing down the park's storage areas, market, playground and laundry facilities; taking out all the furniture and amenities from the common areas; passing unlawful park rules; towing vehicles without proper notice; failing to maintain common areas; and installing klieg lights, barbed wire fencing and a guard shack at the entrance. The oppressive environment this created drove many residents out of the park.

As the first series of cases were set to go forward with trial, the defendants sought to mediate the case and offered $3.6 million, which our clients found reasonable and accepted.