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$11,000,000 – Insurance

Arbitration award arising from fire damage claim after a contested appraisal process.

$4,000,000 - Business Dispute

Jury trial verdict in U.S. District court arising out of defendant’s theft of proceeds from the sale of a hotel in which plaintiff had a 50% interest.  The jury awarded $1.5 million in compensatory, and $2.5 million in punitive damages, but reduced the award by $500,000 due to plaintiff’s alleged failure to mitigate damages.  Rubinstein vs. Keshet Inter Vivos Trust, et al., United States District Court, Southern District of Florida Case No. 0:17-cv-61019-KMW.  On appeal, the $500,000 reduction was reinstated.  Rubinstein vs. Yehuda, 38 F.4th 982 (11th Cir. 2022).

$2,000,000 – Insurance Bad Faith

Settlement for insured after insurance company failed to pay full arbitration award in favor of insured, resulting in a lawsuit for bad faith. 

$1,700,000 –Entertainment/Idea Theft

Plaintiff alleged that he and defendant had originated the idea, and had co-written the treatment for what ultimately became a popular network television drama. Defendant excluded Plaintiff from the development of the property, wrote the pilot himself and took all of the credit and compensation. $1.7 million settlement to plaintiff.

$1,500,000 – Employment Class Action

Class action by nurses against hospital alleging failure to provide statutory meal and rest in violation of the California Labor Code. 

$1,500,000 – Entertainment/Idea Theft

Plaintiffs alleged that they had conceived of the idea for a novel television series based on a well-known historical figure and had pitched it to a studio executive three times during his career, while he was at different companies.  At one point the defendant’s company had signed a development deal with plaintiff for the series, but it was not picked up.  Years later, after the defendant moved to a different company, that company moved forward with a similar project.  Defendant claimed that the idea had been brought to him by a third-party, and was not based on plaintiff’s idea.  The case settled after the firm defeated defendant’s motion for summary judgment.

$1,200,000 - Business Dispute

Plaintiff consultant helped build defendant’s “EB-5” immigrant investor business. Defendant promised Plaintiff that Plaintiff would receive a share of Defendant’s revenue from any venture that came into fruition. Plaintiff assisted on four such ventures but Defendant refused to pay Plaintiff anything. $1.2 million settlement to plaintiff.

$1,000,000 – Personal Injury

Negligent maintenance of escalator caused Plaintiff’s foot to become entrapped in the “comb” piece of an escalator as she was attempting to disembark, resulting in the amputation of her big toe. 

$954,000 – Construction Defect

Negligent construction of estate property in Santa Barbara, CA.

$895,000 - Entertainment

Plaintiffs entered into a joint venture with defendant to develop a video game based upon an Oscar-winning motion picture.  After committing years of effort to the project, as well as their own money, plaintiffs discovered that defendant’s principal, a world-famous motion picture director, had a professional relationship with a convicted child molester.  When plaintiffs requested that defendant distance itself from the child molester and take related remedial actions, defendant refused.  Plaintiffs then exited the project and sought recovery of lost anticipated profits and the value of their services.  $895,000 settlement to plaintiffs.

$874,000 – Business

Court judgment after bench trial in Rubinstein vs. Fakheri, Los Angeles County Superior Court Case No. BC 630004: Defendant claimed that he did not borrow any money from plaintiff, and relied upon the absence of any loan documents, as well as testimony that the money plaintiff transferred to defendant was actually owed by plaintiff to a third party. The Court rejected those arguments.  Affirmed on appeal in Rubinstein v. Fakheri (2020) 49 Cal.App.5th 797.

$750,000 –Insurance Bad Faith

Plaintiffs lost their home in a fire, and tendered a claim to their insurance company.  Insurance company rescinded the policy after discovering that plaintiffs had allegedly made false statements on their application.  Plaintiffs sued insurance company for bad faith, and insurance agent for making unauthorized, false representations on plaintiffs’ insurance application.  Total policy benefits were $310,000. 

$750,000 – Medical Malpractice

Physician failed to report malignant tumor diagnosis for four months. 

$680,000 – Business

Court Judgment after Bench Trial in case against California City.  Plaintiff built a recreational center for defendant city, for which plaintiff was to receive land zoned for residential use. City failed to re-zone land, and plaintiff sued City for the value of services rendered.  Eagle International, Inc. vs. City of California City, Kern County Superior Court Case No. S-1500-CV-272082, LHB

$680,000 – Landlord/Tenant Dispute

Tenant suffered permanent injuries after being exposed to dangerous levels of lead paint during landlord’s renovation of the property.

$640,615 – Fraud and Negligent Misrepresentation (Bench Trial on Cross-Complaint)

The judgment includes an award of punitive damages in the amount of $480,461. 

$635,000 - Business Dispute

Plaintiff law firm was fired by its recording artist client, after client’s business manager misrepresented to client how much fees he was paying to the law firm. $635,000 settlement to law firm.

$605,000 – Employment (Wrongful Termination)

Plaintiff was employed by defendant retailer as Vice President of Operations. Plaintiff alleged that he was terminated unlawfully and without cause, as part of defendant’s effort to replace tenured executives with younger, less expensive employees.

$603,568 – Entertainment

Binding arbitration award in a favor of producer in a case involving the breach of a film distribution agreement.  Early in the case, the firm successfully obtained a pre-judgment writ of attachment and was able to levy on hundreds of thousands of dollars of revenues owed to the distributor.  Beautiful Ordinary, LLC vs. First Look Studios, Inc., JAMS Case No. 1210028136

$587,000 – Partnership Dispute

Plaintiff brought real estate opportunity to defendant with the expectation that plaintiff and defendant would partner on the opportunity. Defendant ultimately acquired the real estate for himself.

$500,000 - Copyright

Plaintiff alleged that he co-authored a song, the copyright to which was infringed by a popular hip-hop artist.

$450,000 – Personal Injury

Female tenant suffered serious injuries when a kitchen cabinet collapsed and fell on her arm. 

$425,000 – Personal Injury

Bicyclist was injured when a truck passed too closely and a metal component attached to the truck pierced his arm. 

$350,000 –Landlord/Tenant

Extensive mold growth and lack of proper maintenance at Malibu beachfront apartment caused the tenant to become ill and the premises uninhabitable. 

$350,000- Landlord / Tenant

Plaintiffs sued landlord for failure to provide habitable premises, including mold on balcony, inadequate drainage and electrical wiring, and faulty heating.  The settlement also included one-year free rent.

$346,000 –Fraud

Court Judgment after bench trial.  Plaintiff sued her deceased brother’s estate for misappropriating Plaintiff’s savings. Defendant initially prevailed at trial, on the ground that Plaintiff had the burden of proof as to how much money was misappropriated, and Plaintiff could not state with certainty that amount. Plaintiff appealed and the Court of Appeal Reversed (Case No. B267586), holding that because Plaintiff had entrusted her money to Defendant, the Defendant had the burden of proof to demonstrate what happened to Plaintiff’s money. The matter was remanded for a re-trial, and Plaintiff was awarded judgment in the amount of $346,000. Panich vs. Portney, Los Angeles Superior Court Case No. BC 516496.

$343,000 –Breach of Contract

Jury Verdict in U.S. District Court.  Plaintiff employee sued former employer and principal for breach of contract and fraud.  The verdict includes $100,000 in punitive damages.  Sivak vs. Versen, United States District Court, Southern District of California Case No. 3:06-cv-00416-LAB.

$300,000 - Family / Real Property

Plaintiff and defendant purchased investment property at time when they thought they were married. Later adjudicated never to have been married. Defendant controlled property and refused to share income with plaintiff.

$300,000 – Condominium Law

Property damage to single family residence in gated community caused by intrusion of sub-surface water due to negligence by HOA. 

$300,000 - Copyright

Plaintiff created new costume designs for classic Disney characters, to be used in merchandising by Disney licensee. Plaintiff paid a small fee by Disney licensee but did not sign any document transferring her copyrights.

$250,000 – Entertainment

Binding Arbitration Award in favor of producer in case against international distributor.  Kimmel International, LLC vs. CDI Compagnia Distribuzione Internazionale S.P.A., AAA Case No. 50140T002912.

$250,000 – Employment (Sexual Harassment)

Female employee was propositioned by her lesbian supervisor. 

$240,000 – Medical Malpractice

Failure by OB-GYN to properly diagnose and treat monochorionic-monoamniotic pregnancy.  (MICRA limit is $250,000).

$225,000 – Entertainment

Failure to pay and properly account to producer for profits from exploitation of motion picture.  The settlement included a reversion of all rights in the motion picture.

$220,000 - Employment

Plaintiff employee worked as an assistant for defendant’s clothing company. Defendant terminated plaintiff shortly after she gave birth, claiming that plaintiff’s job was being eliminated. Plaintiff alleged that she was terminated due to her pregnancy.

$210,000 – Entertainment

Breach of contract by film distributor.  The settlement also included a quitclaim to producer of all rights granted.

$205,000 – Entertainment

Negligence by major film laboratory which resulted in the loss of film elements to unfinished documentary film.

$195,000 - Employment

Defendant employer terminated plaintiff employee, ostensibly for poor performance. Plaintiff, however, was enjoined from performing most of her job functions, due to a non-compete clause plaintiff signed when she was previously employed by defendant’s competitor. Defendant promised plaintiff that it would indemnify plaintiff against any claims asserted by her former employer, but refused to do so.

$175,000 – Entertainment

Breach of agreement by well-known screenwriter to pay his behind the scenes “script doctor” a portion of his writing fees.

$162,500 – Employment (Wrongful Termination)

Employee was terminated after he requested an accommodation due to his disability.  The case settled after the firm defeated the defendant’s motion for summary judgment. 

$150,000 – Employment (Sexual Harassment)

Employee was forced into quid pro quo romantic relationship with her supervisor based on threats of retaliation.

$115,000 - Employment

Plaintiff employer sued defendant employee for resigning her job after defendant’s former employer enforced a non-compete provision against defendant. Defendant cross-complained against plaintiff, alleging that plaintiff knew about the non-compete and promised to indemnify defendant against any claims by her former employer.

$2,700,000 - Shareholder Dispute

Plaintiff owned 45% of corporation and her brother owned 55%.  Brother effectively excluded Plaintiff from the operations of the business and allegedly engaged in self-dealing.  In lieu of expensive litigation, the parties agreed on an appraisal and buy-out process.  The Plaintiff successfully argued against a “minority share discount,” and was ultimately paid 45% of the appraised value of the corporation.

$950,000 - Employment

Plaintiff was the Chief Executive Officer and minority shareholder of a manufacturer of personal care products.  He was abruptly terminated when he discovered and complained about improper preferences being granted to a customer owned by the majority shareholder’s family, and about that customer’s various EPA violations.

Note: The above cases are actual results obtained by the attorneys at Tesser | Grossman LLP. Although our trial and litigation experience is extensive, not all of the results we obtain for our clients may be publicized or reported.