Recently some residents of Belmont Shores Mobile Estates in Long Beach won a significant out-of-court settlement in a Failure-to-Maintain lawsuit. The residents’ complaints included problems with the sewer system, storm drain system, and electrical system, home leveling, and inappropriate behavior by management personnel.
The final settlement was $ 4,625,000, among the largest of its kind in California. The residents were represented by the San Diego law firm of Endeman, Lincoln, Turek and Heater LLP (ELTH).
In addition, the park management company named in the suit filed for bankruptcy, after settlement payment, and sold the park management rights to the Follett Investment Properties, Co. of Gold River, CA, near Sacramento. Follett is considered one of the best mobilehome park management companies in the area.
In addition, several of the plaintiffs had a “binding arbitration” clause in their rental agreements, which might have prevented them from participating in this type of legal action. ELTH attorneys asked the Superior Court judge to declare this clause void, which he did. The defendant appealed that decision to the CA Court of Appeal, and lost.
The effort took approximately 18 months, and was a prime example of residents deciding they were going to do something about problems in their park, sticking together, hiring an excellent law firm, and seeing it through to a successful finish. All in all, a major victory for mobilehome residents’ rights, especially their right, as stated in the MRL, to the “quiet enjoyment” of living in a mobilehome park.