Association of Defense Counsel of Northern California and Nevada
DEFENSE COMMENT MAGAZINE
Trials & Tribulations Submission Form
Date of Submission: 11/02/18
Contact Person for Submission: Cynthia G. Lawrence
Trial Counsel Name(s) & Law Firm:
Plaintiff’s Counsel: Eugene Haydu, Law Offices of Eugene Haydu
Defense Counsel: Cynthia Lawrence – Sims, Lawrence & Arruti
County/District and Trial Judge Name: Sonoma County –Judge Arthur Wick
Case Name: Evgenikos v. Commercial Dynamic, Inc.
Description of Trial: This matter involved a single-family home located in Bodega Bay. Plaintiff claimed a litany of construction defects including drainage deficiencies resulting in a flood, waterproofing problems, siding and window issues and various other complaints.
The causes of action included breach of contract, negligence, breach of warranty and violations of the building standards under CC § 895 et seq. Since the home was not for sale to the public, the Judge ruled that CC § 895 did not apply.
Ms. Lawrence countered by pointing out that most of the defects were caused by the plaintiffs or the plaintiff’s design professionals.
Plaintiff’s counsel requested the jury issue an award of $604,000. The lowest demand prior to trial was $500,000. Ms. Lawrence had offered as much as $300,000 with an indication of more. A CCP § 998 was issued jointly with the only subcontractor in the case for a total of $200,000.Prior to Trial, a total of $159,999 was collected from other parties.
After 6 weeks of trial, the Jury returned an award of $139,666.
As the client in this matter mentioned, “Who makes money defending a case!”