Any Lawyers in the house! Need advice on possible small Class Action lawsuit

Discussion in 'After Hours Lounge (Off Topic)' started by Joe Spratley, May 21, 2004.

  1. Joe Spratley

    Joe Spratley Stunt Coordinator

    Aug 5, 2003
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    We have a situation in our rental community that I believe could qualify for a class action lawsuit. Are there any lawyers here who could advise or anyone with some experience in class actions.

    Here's the background info:

    I and 78 other households live in a townhome rental subdivision. One day a sign goes up that is vaguely worded and says that the property is being considered for a proposed subdivision platt and to attend a Village board meeting on May 5. Translation: The owners want to convert the units from rental to homeowners.

    That's not the problem. It's unfortunate that people will have to find a new place to live but I do agree that the owner should be allowed to sell and I assume the village board will appove it.

    However, here is the problem: The company has engaged in deceptive business practices, breaches of contract, and possible fraud.

    The property manager deceptively told people that their lease was good for a year and tricked them into signing a month to month lease so they could kick everyone out as soon as it's passed instead of having to wait until their lease expires.

    She tried to trick me but I own a business, and am versed in the basics of business law, and refused to sign. I then produced paperwork on their own corporate letterhead stating they would renew my lease for another year. So they knew that I had them and they rewrote the lease for one year, however they are trying to mess with me in another way but that's not relevant to the class action suit.

    Anyway, these other people don't realize that they have legal rights and that a contract signed under deception is null and void. Several people have just moved in and will now have to pay moving expenses again. Obviously these owners are walking a legal tightrope and are counting on everyone to be too stupid to do anything about it.

    I believe I am holding the ace card that can prove everyone's case. Should I talk to a lawyer and initiate this thing? I believe there could be substantial damages awarded. I believe that we would have to wait until they actually make the move to toss people out and then make the counter move with the suit.

    I believe damages would be awarded for emotional pain and suffering, loss of wages, compensation of moving expenses, compensation of costs associated with finding a new place, etc. You know how lawsuits are these days, if you spill a cup of coffee on yourself you get several million so in something legitimate like this I think a jury would be sympathetic to the plight of the tenants.

    Any ideas?
  2. SethH

    SethH Cinematographer

    Dec 17, 2003
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    It may be worth talking it over with a lawyer, but honestly it comes down to the fact that these people did not read what they signed. It's going to be difficult to argue they were tricked into signing it because when they put pen to paper they could have read it then and there. Now, if each of these individuals had been told that they would receive a 1-year lease, then maybe . . . but I honestly think your situation may hurt the lawsuit more than help it because you proved that with a little reading and common sense it could be taken care of. If every single person in the complex had gotten screwed then you'd probably have had a better case.

    I feel really sorry for everyone who is involved in this bad situation. I hope things work out for the best.
  3. Philip_G

    Philip_G Producer

    Nov 13, 2000
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    this thread reminds me, I was considering something similar the other day.
    When I bought my townhouse I was told by the realtor (always trustworthy, right? bah) that "both sides have a seperate wall on your side, 3" of space, then another seperate wall on the neighbor's side. The only things you'll hear are thumps like cabinets closing or people running up and down the stairs"

    This isn't the case. I can hear talking, snoring, TV's and OMG it pisses me off.
    So I hopped up in the attic to investigate these walls with a length of coat hanger, and he was partly right.
    it's drywall, 3 inches, fire liner stuff, about a half inch, fire liner, 3 inches, drywall on the other side.
    They didn't use 2x4s to frame it even [​IMG]

    sorry to hijack, didn't want to make my own [​IMG]

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