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Former Tenants Receive $4 Million Settlement For Hazardous Living Conditions

Posted by Denis Zilberberg
Filed in Mold Exposure

In 2019, tenants of a Paso Robles’ apartments filed a class-action lawsuit alleging the complex had severe mold problems, dangerous gas, and electric lines, and vermin infestations. The property’s owners had refused to make the necessary repairs. In a matter of weeks, a judge issued the property owners a temporary restraining order, requiring them to halt collecting rent until repairs were made. Instead of repairs, the landlords shuttered the business, giving the tenants $1,000 to relocate and returning their security deposits.

If you have been exposed to mold or another type of toxin, reach out to the Santa Barbara mold and toxic exposure attorneys at the Law Offices of John B. Richards.

The Eventual Settlement

The Grand View Apartments was a 54-unit Paso Robles apartment complex, located on Spring Street. The repairs needed to improve the tenants’ living conditions in 2019 would have cost the property owners $2.5 million. The issues were a laundry list of conditions violating the California health and safety codes, including:

  • Mold exposure
  • Bedbug and cockroach infestations
  • Sewage backups
  • Holes in the ceiling
  • General substandard conditions

When Ebrahim and Fahimeh Madadi, the Santa Barbara couple who owned the property, chose to close their business, the tenants’ attorneys argued that forcing them to vacate was a retaliatory act against them for attempting to better their living conditions.

The judge ruled on behalf of the landlords, and in 2020, they sold the Grand View Apartments for $7.7 million. The complex underwent renovations and was renamed, Vista Robles. New tenants now occupy the apartments.

The previous tenants were forced to move, but their lawsuit soldiered on. The San Luis Obispo Legal Assistance Foundation (SLOLAF) says a superior court judge will approve a $4 million settlement at a Dec. 15 hearing.

The Grand View’s former tenants must submit claims to receive money upon approval of the settlement. The settlement funds will depend on their length of residency, spanning from May 2015 to Feb. 2020. Ex-tenants can also apply for more settlement funds if they suffered more severe health issues or lost more property because of the apartment’s derelict conditions.

“We can’t undo the harm that the tenants of Grand View Apartments suffered, but we are very happy that they will receive some compensation for their suffering and property losses,” SLOLAF spokesperson Stephanie Barclay said in a statement. “We hope this case sends a loud clear message to other residential property owners that they need to provide clean, safe, habitable housing for their tenants.”

When Should I Contact A Lawyer?

Mold and toxin exposure are often hidden dangers. Behind walls and ceilings, these unseen terrors can lead to significant long-term consequences for your health and property.

The Santa Barbara mold and toxic exposure attorneys at the Law Offices of John B. Richards have the experience needed to investigate claims and help our clients recover the compensation they need to heal and feel safe again. This compensation often includes:

  • Coverage of medical bills
  • Lost wages
  • Pain and suffering damages
  • Other unforeseen damages

When you need a Santa Barbara mold and toxic exposure attorney, contact us for a free consultation of your case by clicking here or calling 805-683-2736.


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