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William M. Slaughter and Jonathan D. Marshall Obtain Verdict for Defendants and Cross-Complainants in Nuisance and Defamation Action

Following a three-day bench trial in the Santa Monica Superior Court, Judge Bobbi Tillman issued a judgment that provided a complete victory for Defendants/Cross-Complainants, including an award of substantial damages, including punitive damages, to Slaughter, Reagan & Cole’s clients. Plaintiff, a medical doctor, and defendants, a school principal and his wife, were neighbors in a high-end condominium building located close to the water in Santa Monica. Plaintiff complained that Defendants’ small dogs were excessively noisy, but she was not able to produce evidence supporting her claim. The Court heard testimony from the manager of the building, and the current occupants of plaintiff’s former unit, that there was no noise problem. No other residents had ever complained about Defendants or their dogs. Attorneys William M. Slaughter and Jonathan D. Marshall obtained a complete defense verdict.

On the Cross-Complaint, counsel at Slaughter, Reagan & Cole worked with Defendants/Cross-complainants’ personal attorney Kevin M. Barnes, Esq. to obtain a substantial monetary judgment on behalf of their clients. Plaintiff had transmitted defamatory correspondence to the private Christian school where defendant is Head of School, falsely accusing defendant of being dangerous to children, among other libelous allegations. Counsel put on evidence that Plaintiff was recklessly indifferent to the harm these accusations could cause, and sent them even though she had no basis to believe the truth of her accusations. The Court awarded economic, non-economic, and punitive damages to Cross-Defendants in the amount of $195,000.00.