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Slaughter, Reagan & Cole, LLP Obtains Defense Judgment for Homeowners Association in Toxic Mold Injury Case

Attorneys Barry Reagan and Chandra Beaton obtained a complete defense judgment on behalf of a homeowners association in a recent Los Angeles Superior County Court case. The Association was accused by one of its members of failing to maintain the owner's balcony and breaching its fiduciary duties to the Association membership. The plaintiff also alleged violations of the Davis-Stirling Common Interest Development Act ("Davis-Stirling Act") which is the portion of the California Civil Code beginning with section 4000, governing condominium, cooperative, and planned unit development communities in California. The Association allegedly failed to comply with the Davis-Stirling Act's requirements of financial reporting and fiscal duties of its Board of Directors.

Plaintiff claimed that he suffered from blood contamination, neurological injuries and other bodily injuries from toxic mold exposure due to water intrusion from the balcony. The homeowner sought extensive damages from the Association, including damage to his condominium and personal property, mold remediation, and diminution in value and loss of use. In addition, the plaintiff asked the Court to award punitive damages against the Association as well as recovery for his attorneys' fees and court costs. He also sought a Court order for the Association to turnover of all of its books and records under the Davis-Stirling Act.

At a bench trial our firm successfully moved for judgment in favor of the Association after the completion of plaintiff's case. Plaintiff presented numerous expert witnesses in support of his case, including a physician, a general contractor, a real estate appraiser, a homeowners' association standard of care expert and an environmental expert.

The Judge found in favor of our client in all respects and awarded plaintiff nothing. The Judge ruled that the plaintiff failed to prove any type of injury from mold exposure, failed to prove the toxicity of mold, and failed to prove that any of the Association's conduct caused plaintiff's claimed injuries or property damages.

The granting of our motion for judgment shortened the length of the trial and saved our client considerable expenses. Due to this victory, our client is eligible to be reimbursed by the plaintiff homeowner for all of its court costs, expert costs and attorneys' fees.