Los Angeles, CA commercial litigation attorney David Ribakoff talks about a memorable business dispute case involving a client with onset of dementia.
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A memorable business dispute case that I handled involved my representation of an elderly couple who had a very successful business, and as part of their business they built out a hundred square foot complex in Ventura County. During the course of their ownership of that building they had some issues that presented themselves along the way. Fast forward a little bit, their business sort of declined and they decided to sell the building.
In the process of that sale they didn’t disclose certain things that came up during the course of their ownership to the buyer and then it came across to the buyer after the fact. The buyer sued them for fraud and breach of contract and all of that. What came out during the course of discovery was that my client, the person who didn’t make the disclosures, was suffering from onsets of dementia I think that he didn’t disclose things because he didn’t remember things to disclose.
This was a case that I was able to win even though we technically lost at trial, and the reason I say that is because before trial we took advantage of a statute by making an offer of compromise, and what that did was it set the bar for what the plaintiff had to exceed at trial in order to be considered the prevailing party. We got a judgment, the judgment was against us but it was lower than that bar that was set and so at the end of the day we were able to persuade the court that we were the prevailing party and recover all of my client’s attorney’s fees as a result.