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Barry Reagan Cases 2016

1. Wilson v. Tran

This was a jury trial in Santa Ana, in which a two-year-old toddler drowned in a swimming pool. The toddler’s father sued for wrongful death. The child’s mother had brought the toddler to her parents’ home while they were out of town. The mother was not feeling well and fell asleep on the couch. Mr. Reagan represented a great-grandmother who was staying at the house at the time to watch her other grandchildren who are playing with the toddler. Mr. Reagan was only assigned this case approximately three months before trial; all discovery was previously completed. The jury found that the drowning was ultimately caused by the mother failing to watch after her daughter and not the fault of Mr. Reagan client who never accepted responsibility for watching after the little girl. Prior to trial plaintiff made a policy limits demand of $300,000.00. At trial, plaintiffs counsel asked the jury if $5,000,000.00 was enough or if $10,000,000.00 was too much to compensate plaintiff.

2. Krapivkin v. Newcastle Manor HOA

This was a jury trial in Van Nuys. After plaintiffs moved into their condominium unit, the HOA replaced a rooftop air conditioning unit. The air conditioning unit caused vibration throughout plaintiffs’ unit and arguably violated the Los Angeles Noise Ordinance. Plaintiffs sued for loss of use, diminution in value emotional distress. Plaintiffs’ counsel attempted to “reptile” Mr. Reagan’s client. Plaintiffs’ demand was never less than $1,000,000.00 and their counsel suggested $3,800,000 to the jury. Plaintiffs’ counsel even commented that he spent more on his birthday party then the HOA settlement offer of $25,000.00. The case proceeded to trial in Van Nuys. Mr. Reagan’s primary defense was that the HOA adequately responded to the complaints and relied upon the contractor and consultants in reducing both the noise and vibration. The jury returned a unanimous defense verdict.

3. Buehler v. Baum

This case was tried in downtown Los Angeles to a jury consisting mostly of tenants. Plaintiff tenants sued Mr. Reagan’s client (landlord) for breach of the warranty of habitability with respect to mold, insects and electricity. A fire destroyed the garage and portions of the house that plaintiffs’ rented. The electrical panel was the original fuse box from the 1950s. Unpermitted wiring was found in the garage. Mr. Reagan argued that plaintiffs were responsible for the fire because they converted the garage into a recording studio, that they overload of the electrical system and were the ones replacing the blown fuses. The jury returned a defense verdict. At the FSC, the plaintiff served defendant with a CCP 998 offer for $500,000.00.

4. Chan v. Los Feliz Towers HOA

Plaintiff was a renowned architect who purchase a condominium. Before moving in, plaintiff elected to completely remodel the unit. During construction, plaintiff discovered corroded pipes and a permanently tied open fire damper. A heated dispute arose concerning responsibility for the corroded valves resulting in a significant delay in construction. He claimed a one-and-a-half year delay in construction. Plaintiff was seeking over $300,000.00 in damages – additional rental expenses of $50,000.00, storage expenses of $9000.00, increased construction costs of $18,000.00, non-economic damages of $212,000.00 (re: the threat of physical injury due to the fire damper issue) and attorneys’ fees. The case was tried by judicial reference to the Honorable Robert Letteau. Judge Letteau granted a defense judgment finding that even if the HOA delayed in repairing the common valves, the delay did not result in compensable damages to the plaintiff as plaintiff did not complete his project for at least another year after the HOA had repaired the valves.

5. Sands v. Walnut Gardens

This case was tried in Van Nuys. Plaintiffs resided in a condominium that suffered water damage from the roof leak and plumbing line. Plaintiffs never repair their unit. There was no evidence of maintenance or repair by the HOA of the roof or plumbing lines even though other buildings throughout the complex had significant problems. The HOA simply did not have the funds to make the repairs. In trying the case, however, plaintiffs failed to designate any expert witnesses or present any evidence as to why there was a roof leak or a plumbing leak. Judge Johnson granted non-suit in favor of Mr. Reagan’s client. At the MSC, plaintiff had demanded $150,000.00.

6. Tariff v. Janopas

This case was tried in Glendale before Judge Matz. Mr. Reagan received his file 13 days before trial – no discovery was served on plaintiffs; and Mr. Reagan’s client did not have any expert witnesses. This was a liability case were Mr. Reagan’s clients intentionally covered a backyard drain in their backyard. Water pooled more than 12 inches against plaintiffs’ house resulting in water intrusion. Plaintiffs were inflexible in their pre-trial demand requesting $60,000.00. Mr. Reagan argued that original construction defects were a main contributing factor to plaintiffs’ damages. Judge Matz agreed and found 65% responsibility for the unnamed developer. The court only awarded $5,180.00 to plaintiffs finding Mr. Reagan’s client 35% liable. Plaintiffs’ counsel failed to timely file a memorandum of costs and motion for attorneys fees and the court refused to grant a CCP 473 motion.

7. Surjue v. 555 Evergreen HOA

This case was tried in Central Civil West in downtown Los Angeles. Mr. Reagan represented the HOA and it’s property manager. During a winter storm, many units suffered water damage, Unfortunately, the HOA failed to perform any maintenance on the roof. The HOA’s insurance company settled all the claims except the plaintiffs who refuse to settle. Plaintiffs’ unit sustained the most damage – to all the upstairs rooms; water actually went down the stairs and damaged the hardwood floor and kitchen on the first floor of the unit. Plaintiff claimed mold contamination of all their personal property in excess of $300,000.00, and condominium repair damages of $110,000.00. Plaintiffs never repair their unit. Moreover, they were seeking at least five years for loss of use. Finally, plaintiffs made personal injury mold claims. Plaintiffs’ counsel requested a $1,000,000.00 verdict. The jury awarded a total of $90,000.00, less than 10% of what was requested at trial. Mr. Reagan obtained a defense verdict for the property management company.

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