AP and numerous local media announced last week that residents in a manufactured home community in California won a multi-million-dollar judgment from a jury.
“A jury has awarded more than $5.5 million to 31 residents of a Southern California mobile home park1 [sic] rife with problems including sinkholes, sewage backups and rats,” said AP and KUSI.
Lead attorney against the Kort & Scott owned property “…Brian Kabateck says the residents, many elderly, lived in squalor at the property that was once a trash dump for the city of Long Beach,” per AP.
The local media news video below was posted prior to the settlement, but tees up some of the background and issues involved in what many in that area view as a scandal.
The property went into bankruptcy, prior to the judgement, per the Long Beach Post.
“The people who bought this in 2014 knew what they were buying. They paid $23.5 million and they saw this as their personal ATM machine and they didnt 1 want to do any repairs, they didn’t want to do any fixes,” attorney for the community’s residents, Brian Kabateck said, per KABC.
The defense attorney for the property owners told prospective jurors that it was known that the development was built on a landfill, explaining that residents were given disclosures about that point.
That apparently didn’t sway jurors.
After being sued for neglect and other causes of action, “owner of North Long Beach mobile home park [sic] files for bankruptcy,” according to the Long Beach Post.
“The owners of Friendly Village Mobile Home Park1, who have been sued by tenants over their alleged neglect of the North Long Beach park, filed for bankruptcy” in October, court records show.
A Beverly Hills attorney representing Friendly Village in the bankruptcy proceeding, Howard I. Camhi, did not comment to the Long Beach Post at the time, nor did Phil Woog, the Costa Mesa attorney defending Friendly Village in the civil lawsuit.
Industry veteran Marty Lavin, JD, has previously opined in several commentaries that community operators bear responsibility for business practices that instigate resident, legal, and regulatory furor. Resident groups, such as MHPHOA and GSMOL, are among those that routinely beat-the-drums about Kort and Scott, which arguably causes issues for other community owners that don’t engage in similarly controversial practices.
Last year MHProNews noted that local media failed to present another Kort and Scott community’s perspective, but in this Long Beach case, it seems that the California firm declined the opportunity.
By contrast, MHProNews reported last week on an uproar in another state, where that manufactured home community operator promptly replied to our request for comments. That community owner robustly addressed concerns by local media and that town’s officials. That prior, unrelated report, is linked further below, and a follow up to it is planned in the near term.
That’s this afternoon’s “News through the lens of manufactured homes, and factory-built housing,” © where “We Provide, You Decide.” © ## (News, analysis, and commentary.)
Footnote 1: typo and terminology errors are in the original media reports.
(Related Reports are further below. Third-party images and content are provided under fair use guidelines.)
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