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November 2016

Gordon & Rees Team Defeats Putative Class Action Claims Against Self-Storage Facilities

Gordon & Rees attorneys Craig J. Mariam, Jason Suh, Suzanne Marinkovich, and Jason Shon recently secured dismissal of a putative class action against their storage facility clients, with prejudice to the plaintiff’s claims.  

The plaintiff, a former tenant at one of the storage facilities, filed a complaint in state court which was then removed to the United States District Court of the Eastern District of California. The complaint alleged various statutory violations related to alleged inadequate training and disclosure requirements under the California Insurance Code, Business & Professions Code, and the Unfair Competition Law, along with individual claims based on a lien imposed after the plaintiff defaulted on his storage unit rental payments. Specifically, the plaintiff alleged he was told that purchasing self-storage tenant insurance was “required by law” and that the lien-related notices mailed to him following his default were deficient because they failed to contain certain statutorily required disclosures.  

The case was procedurally complex, involving cross and third-party indemnity actions against agents responsible for implementing the self-storage insurance processing system at the facilities. Discovery issues aside, the flaws in the plaintiff’s core claims came to the forefront when the firm took the plaintiff’s deposition and secured testimony severely discrediting the plaintiff’s allegations and his ability to represent the putative class.  Facing a slew of additional witness depositions, including that of the plaintiff’s attorney who was identified as having played a surreptitious role in setting up the case, counsel agreed to voluntarily dismiss all claims with prejudice, resulting in a complete victory for the clients.

Craig J. Mariam
Jason Shon
Jason W. Suh


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