Two years after filing their class action lawsuit over living conditions similar to those in the slums of the Grand View apartments, the former tenants of the Paso Robles complex settled the case for more than $ 4 million.
“We cannot repair the damage suffered by the tenants of Grand View Apartments, but we are very happy that they are receiving compensation for their suffering and material loss,” wrote Stephanie Barclay, Legal Director of the Assistance Foundation legal of San Luis Obispo (SLOLAF). To New times.
SLOLAF, the Hutkin Law Firm and General Counsel Jude Basile worked together on behalf of the former tenants.
In May 2019, SLOLAF and the Hutkin law firm represented 200 apartment residents who filed a complaint against Grand View owners Ebrahim and Fahimeh Madadi and property manager Nicole Davis for failing to take care of the pest infestations. and insects as well as other poor living conditions. Previous New times reports stated that tenants often had to pay for repairs themselves. The lawsuit also alleged that landlords and the property manager used to fail and refuse to return security deposits even after their tenants had left.
Although court orders ordered Grand View to resolve these issues and not collect rent, an SLO County judge authorized the sale of the 55-unit property. This effectively caused the eviction of tenants and the closure of the building in 2019.
“Thanks to the leadership of SLOLAF and with the help of the non-profit community, including People’s Self-Help Housing, Paso Robles Housing Authority and Housing Authority of San Luis Obispo, most of the tenants have been relocated to more housing. safe and improved, ”said Barclay.
Community members donated approximately $ 60,000 to help tenants, she said. The Koto Group and Doug Wetton Properties of Santa Barbara and Southern California, respectively, purchased the building in 2020. They renovated the property and renamed it Vista Robles. The new owners said some of the former tenants at Grand View Apartments have even asked to return.
The settlement received preliminary approval on September 15. The $ 4 million will be distributed to former tenants based on the length of their stay at the resort from May 2015 to February 2020. Barclay said even though they represented 200 people before the settlement, she expects to more to achieve now.
“Former tenants who have suffered particularly serious injuries or material losses suffered at Grand View can apply for enhanced compensation,” she said.
Barclay said the funds would only be distributed after receiving final court approval on December 15. Eligible tenants can submit a request to receive their share of the settlement. The legal team is currently working to alert as many former tenants as possible. Former residents can contact the Hutkin Law Firm at (805) 544-1500. Lawyers will help them complete the claim forms at Paso Robles Downtown City Park on September 26 from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m.
“We hope this matter sends a strong and clear message to other residential property owners that they need to provide clean, safe and livable housing for their tenants,” said Barclay. ??