Rothschild v. Schwartz
In this matter at a former firm, I represented plaintiff in a landslide case in Malibu. He was the owner of a gorgeous, ocean view piece of property that was featured in the TV show, “The Bachelor,” as the bachelor pad for the first three seasons. Plaintiff brought suit alleging that his neighbor caused a landslide on the back of his property due to broken drainage pipes that drained onto plaintiff’s property. While there was geological evidence that supported this theory, there was also a city memo stating that a building inspector had ordered a contractor to stop draining a koi pond on plaintiff’s property because it was causing a landslide. Despite the memo, our experts thought it highly improbable that the landslide resulted just from draining the koi pond and concluded that long term drainage problems caused by the neighbor’s broken drainage pipes were the cause. This case was highly complex in terms of the civil engineers and geological technicians from both sides agreeing on a reasonable grading and repair plan as well as a realistic cost estimate. It went back to mediation three times at the request of the trial judge and we settled for an amount that satisfied plaintiff and allowed him to properly fix the slide area.