LiMandri & Jonna Succeed on Summary Judgment in Plaintiff's Case - Winning the Case and Avoiding the Entire Cost of Trial
LiMandri & Jonna recently secured summary judgment for its client, a homeowners association in Pacific Beach (“the HOA”), in a case which the HOA brought to force a condominium owner to undo the unapproved portions of a remodel he undertook in his unit.
THE DETAILS OF THE CASE
The HOA governs all of the condominiums and penthouses in a high-rise in Pacific Beach. The HOA came to us after one condominium owner installed a second bathroom in his unit without the HOA’s approval. The HOA has to approve all remodel plans to ensure that the proposed remodel does not negatively impact other owners in the high-rise, or the high-rise itself.
The homeowner engaged in a complete remodel of his unit, but the plans which the HOA approved did not show the second bathroom which the homeowner installed. That second bathroom was positioned in the entry area of the unit, right next to the kitchen. As a result, its toilet drained into the same sanitary drain as the kitchen sink. Every unit below the remodeled unit only has its kitchen sink flow into that sanitary drain. The problem with the second bathroom was that the sanitary drain to which the toilet was connected had a history of back-ups, i.e., there was the potential that the units below the remodeled unit would have sewage back up into their kitchen sinks.
When the HOA found out about the second bathroom, it quickly informed the homeowner that the second bathroom was not going to work. But the homeowner disagreed, refused to get rid of his second bathroom, and we had to get involved.
Here, going to trial could have cost hundreds of thousands of dollars. But we were able to position the case so that the HOA could win everything it wanted through a motion for summary judgment – saving the HOA a lot of time and money.