Neighbor's junk and security cameras cause emotional distress and invasion of privacy. $59K. Los Angeles County.

Summary

Neighbor's misuse of easement between homes causes emotional distress and financial loss to plaintiff.

The Case

The Result

  • Gross Verdict or Award: $59,200
  • Award as to each Defendant:

    $59,200

  • Economic Damages:

    $19,200

  • Non-Economic Damages:

    $40,000

  • Trial or Arbitration Time: 6 days.
  • Jury Deliberation Time: 6 1/2 hours.
  • Jury Polls: 10-2 for defense on Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress; Other Causes of Action 9-3 on a few questions.
  • Post Trial Motions & Post-Verdict Settlements: Permanent injunction to be issued & added to the damage verdict.

The Attorneys

  • Attorney for the Plaintiff:

    Law Office of Diane Goldman by Diane Goldman, Woodland Hills.

  • Attorney for the Defendant:

    Steven E. Weitz, Porter Ranch.

The Experts

  • Plaintiff’s Medical Expert(s):

    Nam Cho, D.D.S., oral surgery, Glendale.

  • Plaintiff's Technical Expert(s):

    Lance Friedman, realtor, Sherman Oaks.

Facts and Background

  • Facts and Background:

    Plaintiff and defendant have lived next door to each other for over 10 years. There is a walkway/easement between the two houses.

    Over the past 7 years, defendant has used the easement for junk and discarded items, impairing plaintiff's "egress and ingress" in the easement. Defendant also posted eight security cameras on her property, some of which captured and recorded plaintiff's living space. The parties entered into a partial settlement in mediation in May, 2014, which the defendant breached. The lawsuit alleged claims for breach of contract, intentional infliction of emotional distress, invasion of privacy, and nuisance.

  • Plaintiff's Contentions:

    Plaintiff contended that defendant's hoarding and placing discarded items in the easement constituted a nuisance; that defendant's use of security cameras, insinuating herself in plaintiff's private conversations, and peeking into plaintiff's windows invaded her privacy; that defendant intentionally sent nasty, cruel, and uninvited e-mails causing plaintiff severe emotional distress; and defendant's failure to remove items from the easement, parking in the easement, and failure to redirect her security cameras breached the mediation agreement.

    Plaintiff claimed she suffered severe emotional distress, a decrease in the value of her home, and other financial losses as a result of defendant's breach of the mediation agreement.  Plaintiff  also had to replace a fence that defendant intentionally damaged.

  • Defendant's Contentions:

    Defendant offered evidence that her conduct was not outrageous, that plaintiff did not suffer severe emotional distress as result of conduct by defendant, that defendant's security cameras were installed for defendant's own security purposes, that plaintiff installed security cameras pointed at defendant's property, and plaintiff placed discarded items in the easement.

Injuries and Other Damages

  • Physical Injuries claimed by Plaintiff:

    Emotional stress, which caused grinding of teeth (resulting in a cracked tooth that had to be removed). Emotional distress that was addressed with psychological counseling/therapy.

  • Decreased value of the fair market value of plaintiff's home; also preventing her from selling the property. Lost costs paid for the mediation (in which the agreement was signed by the parties).

Special Damages

  • Special Damages Claimed - Past Medical: About $10,000
  • Special Damages Claimed - Past Lost Earnings: $3,000

Disclaimer

This is not an official court document. While the publisher believes the information to be accurate, the publisher does not guarantee it and the reader is advised not to rely upon it without consulting the official court documents or the attorneys of record in this matter who are listed above.

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