LOS ANGELES (CN) – Tenants of a dilapidated downtown building say United National Insurance and its attorneys, Nixon Peabody, owe them $497,500 for dropping two code violation cases against their “criminally convicted slumlord.” Tenants in the Superior Court class action claim they had a deal to drop the cases against landlord David Behrend in exchange for $497,000, which the insurance company refuses to pay.
Tenants say their building “was in horrendous condition and the subject of multiple code violations.” They say the deal was made “in order to stop paying for the defense of Behrend in the face of two imminently pending trials.”
The Aragon Action and the Enciso Action, one of which was a certified class action, claimed Behrend neglected his building and tenants.
But the tenants say in the new complaint that the money was never paid and the defendants never intended to pay it.
The tenants say they were given a copy of a check, a small fraction of the amount they were promised, and nothing else.
They allege breach of contract, promise without intent to perform, fraud and deceit and negligent misrepresentation. The claim the class consists of about 90 people.
Guillermo Rodriguez and Benedicta Aragon filed on behalf of the class, which is represented by R. Paul Katrinak. They also sued the insurer’s attorney, Gregory E. Schopf, and Nixon Peabody.