619-232-8151 Practicing in San Diego since 1962

Steve Grebing Secures $2.2 Million Arbitration Award for Commercial Landlord Client Following Breach of Lease

August 3rd, 2017

Steve Grebing recently obtained a $2.2. million verdict for one of the firm’s commercial real estate clients.  The dispute involved the tenant’s efforts to break a long-term lease with an argument that the Conditional Use Permit governing the allowable use of the property had expired or was no longer valid.  The tenant vacated the property without performing any rehabilitation efforts, and stopped paying rent.  The commercial landlord initiated an arbitration proceeding though JAMS.  The arbitrator ultimately rejected the tenant’s justification for breaching of the lease, and awarded to the client the value of the remainder of the lease, as well as the cost to rehabilitate the property, attorney’s fees and costs.

Steve Grebing Obtains $178,000 Award for Homeowner Client in Dispute Against Kitchen Remodel General Contractor

August 3rd, 2017

A homeowner client got into a dispute with his kitchen remodel general contractor performing work at his residence.  The homeowner was dissatisfied with the work of the general contractor, and demanded the general contractor repair it in accordance with industry and Building Code standards.  Upon further investigation, the homeowner discovered the general contractor compromised structural components of the house.  The contractor refused to correct and finish the work, and then walked away from the job, leaving the project incomplete.  Grebing, on behalf of the homeowner, initiated an arbitration proceeding and obtained an award of $178,000 in favor of the homeowner, including arbitration costs and other related expenses.

Steve Grebing, Amy Simonson and Andrew Servais Obtain $2.9 Million Jury Verdict in Products Liability/Breach of Contract Case Against National Plumbing Supplier and Manufacturer

August 3rd, 2017

Steve Grebing, Amy Simonson and Andrew Servais recently obtained a favorable verdict from a jury on behalf of a public municipality as against a national plumbing supplier and product manufacturer relating to defects associated with the supply and installation of an automated meter reading system (AMR).  The municipality procured the AMR system from the national supplier following sales presentations and representations concerning the viability of the system, and also contracted for its installation.  Due to issues with its own performance and defects associated with the product, the supplier/installer was unable to render the AMR system operational to the standards set forth in the contract.  Before the installation was complete, the supplier/installer left the project and refused to honor the warranty associated with the AMR system.  The municipality initiated litigation against the supplier/installer and manufacturer seeking to recover the monies it had spent on the project.  After a three-week trial, Grebing, Simonson and Servais obtained a jury verdict of $2.9 million in favor of the municipality against the supplier/installer and manufacturer, with the claim for the recovery of attorneys’ fees, costs and interest remaining to be heard.

Steve Grebing and Amy Simonson Successfully Defend Managers of a Development LLC Against a $64 Million Claim of Breach of Fiduciary Duty by a Minority Member

August 3rd, 2017

Steve Grebing and Amy Simonson successfully defended two managers of an LLC against claims of gross negligence and breach of fiduciary duty after efforts to develop a substantial commercial project in Riverside County failed.  A minority member of the development LLC argued, in a derivative claim, the actions of the managers caused the project to fail, resulting in a $64 million loss to the company.  Grebing and Simonson argued the managers acted within the appropriate standards for the management of the company and in accordance with the business judgment rule.  At trial, Grebing and Simonson obtained a defense verdict in favor of the managers, with all claims against them being rejected by the Court.

Corey Garrard obtains jury verdict in his clients favor on breach of contract and fraud claims

July 1st, 2017

 

The firm’s client entered into a sales agreement for the purchase of a car with someone holding themselves out as an agent of a used car dealership. While the client had never been to the dealership, he believed the seller was its agent based on the seller’s representations and having observed the seller purchase and repair salvaged cars on behalf of the dealership. After making full payment the client received the car but did was not given title. Eventually becoming suspicious of the seller, the client called the dealership to demand title be delivered. The dealership declared the seller was not its agent and that the car would be reported stolen if not returned immediately. Shortly after, the client received a telephone call from someone claiming to be a police officer and threatening arrest if the car was not returned immediately. Before the lawsuit was filed the seller disappeared and has not since been found.

At trial, Corey argued the dealership was responsible for the acts of the seller because it had entrusted him with enough responsibility to create an impression in the public that the seller had authority to sell cars on behalf of the dealership. The jury agreed. Additionally, Corey presented evidence that the phone call from the alleged police officer was in fact an employee of the dealership. Again the jury agreed and, on this point, were persuaded the defendant dealership’s fraudulent acts justified punitive damages.  The case settled before the punitive damages phase.

Chris Todd and Corey Garrard obtain summary judgment, dismissing injured worker’s claims against custom home builder

May 2nd, 2017

Wingert Grebing’s client had been engaged by a wealthy individual to oversee construction of an ocean view, Sunset Cliffs home.  During installation of an elegant, glass enclosed spiral staircase, the independently contracted worker fell in the opening around which the staircase ascended. The injured worker sued Wingert Grebing’s client, among others, on the theory it had created – and retained control over – a dangerous condition. The dangerous condition was alleged to have been a combination of flimsy protective paper on the stair case, combined with removal of a temporary guard railing.

Mr. Garrard, taking the lead during argument on the motion, and Mr. Todd, submitting his third successful Privette summary judgment motion to three different branches of the Superior Court in the past year, argued that the injured worker was the primary source of his own injuries.  Given that the custom home builder did not affirmatively contribute to the cause of the worker’s injuries, summary judgment was granted.

The injured worker had earlier rejected a five-figure settlement proposal from the home builder’s liability carrier.  The proposal had been offered in the interest of justice, before the successful summary judgment motion was heard.

Charles Grebing and Ian Friedman obtain arbitration defense verdict and $310,664 attorneys’ fee award on behalf of local real estate broker

April 3rd, 2017

Plaintiffs filed a class action against a San Diego-based real estate broker, it’s agents, and a third-party real estate services company.  Plaintiffs alleged breaches of fiduciary duty, violations of Civil Code section 1710, violations of Business and Professions Code section 17200, constructive fraud, unjust enrichment and requested an accounting.  The Complaint alleged the real estate broker used a software sublicense program as a “kick back” for referral of real estate settlement services.

Grebing and Friedman first successfully defeated the class action complaint by compelling the named Plaintiffs’ claims to individual arbitration.  After a three-day arbitration hearing, the arbitrator found that the “facts are the polar opposite to the factual inferences drawn from the pleadings” and entered an award in favor of Wingert’s clients.  Following the arbitration, the arbitrator granted Wingert’s Motion for Attorneys’ Fees and awarded the firm and its clients $310,664 as reasonable attorneys’ fees and costs.

Andrew Servais and Charles Grebing Obtain Appellate Court Affirmation of Dismissal of Claims Against Local Firm and Recover Over $100,000 in Attorney Fees and Costs

March 23rd, 2017

Wingert Grebing’s client represented numerous plaintiffs in three lawsuits in federal and state court against developers and promoters of a hotel which sold its rooms as profit generating condo units.   Following dismissals of each underlying lawsuit, including one in which a class was certified, the developers sued Wingert’s clients for malicious prosecution.

Within a month of being retained, Charles and Andrew prepared and filed Anti-SLAPP motions on behalf of the firm and individual partners contending the underlying lawsuits were prosecuted with probable cause and therefore protected by the SLAPP statute.

After both sides submitted thousands of pages of pleadings, testimony and exhibits from the three underlying lawsuits, the Trial Court found in favor of Wingert’s client dismissing the lawsuit which was then appealed.

The Court of Appeal affirmed the Trial Court’s order in full in a 59 page opinion that can be found here:  http://www.courts.ca.gov/opinions/nonpub/D068887.PDF

Wingert then recovered over $100,000 in attorney fees and costs incurred in securing the dismissal through appeal.

Andrew A. Servais to be a featured speaker at the 24th annual Fair Housing Laws & Litigation Conference

February 9th, 2017

Andrew Servais will speak at the 24th Annual Fair Housing Laws & Litigation Conference.   Andrew will be addressing ethics issues facing Fair Housing litigation attorneys for the sixth consecutive year. Read Andrew’s bio here.

Ian Friedman named 2016 Young Attorney of the Year by San Diego Defense Lawyers

January 30th, 2017

Ian Friedman was named the 2016 Young Attorney of the Year by the San Diego Defense Lawyers (“SDDL”).  The award was presented on January 28, 2017 at SDDL’s annual installation dinner.  Ian is a four-year attorney whose practice focuses on professional liability defense, business litigation, and personal injury law. You can read his full bio here.

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