Gordon & Rees San Diego Partner Matt Kleiner obtained an affirmance of the judgment in favor of the defense following a seven-week jury trial. In the underlying action, San Diego Partners Jason Meyer and Todd Konold successfully defended an environmental services company which allegedly did not properly complete an asbestos abatement job at the plaintiff’s house. The plaintiff alleged that the only feasible remedy was to demolish and rebuild her house. In addition to claims of negligence, breach of contract, and nuisance, the plaintiff also made claims of fraud and deceptive practices against a disabled person, which claims carried potential exposure to punitive damages, treble damages, and attorneys’ fees.
Based on defenses that the plaintiff had been deceitful, fraudulent and even threatened witnesses to earn favorable testimony, the jury returned a verdict in favor of the company after concluding the plaintiff and her experts lacked any credibility. On appeal, the court of appeal found substantial evidence supported the verdict and affirmed the judgment. The court reasoned: “[g]iven the various incidents of perjury, forgery, and witness intimidation that came to light during trial, it is highly likely that by the close of evidence [plaintiff] had lost all credibility with the jury.”