Firm Sues Seascape Ridge HOA on behalf of Three (3) Generations of Aptos Family; Case Settles on Doorsteps of Trial for Settlement Package of Over $2,000,000

April, 2017 (Aptos, California):  Attorneys Terence O'Hara, Ryan Hagan and Mary Ann O'Hara successfully litigated claims in Santa Cruz Superior Court against the Seascape Ridge HOA that resulted in a $2,000,000 settlement on behalf of their clients, the Nicholson family.  

Firm successfully defends builder in CSLB arbitration over claimed construction defects
June, 2017 (San Francisco, California): Attorney Ryan Hagan represented a contractor who remolded a house for a mental health professional who claimed numerous construction defects and chose CSLB arbitration process for her remedy. Attorney Hagan cross-claimed for damages and interest for unpaid sums. Arbitrator Clark Thiel rejected the majority of her defect claims and entered a net award to the builder. 

Terence J. O'Hara, APC Attorneys Obtain Successful Binding Arbitration Result for Client in $10,000,000 Construction Defect Claim by The Irvine Company, LLC 

November 14, 2013 (San Jose, California) updated: Terence J. O'Hara, APC attorneys Terry O'Hara and Stephen Dreher successfully defended their client San Marino Plastering (a specialty lath and plastering subcontractor) against a $10,000,000 apartment construction defect claim asserted by The Irvine Company, LLC, one of the largest real estate developers and property owners in the United States.  The arbitrator, Charles Sink, Esq., awarded Irvine $2,156,201 in his Final Award dated November 14, 2013.

         In denying Irvine's request to recover its AAA arbitration fees, arbitrator Sink commented: "There was a genuine battle of well-qualified experts over the standard of care and the technical reasons for why the Project suffered such extensive damage, and both owner and plastering subcontractor had excellent counsel". . .  and that "both sides had valid positions and presented them earnestly and with conviction."

         The Irvine Apartment Communities division is responsible for the development, leasing and management of its 125 apartment communities located throughout California.  In recent years, Irvine Apartment Communities has sued numerous Bay Area general contractors and subcontractors seeking recovery of hundreds of millions of dollars it spent for water intrusion repairs, mold abatement, structural re-design and business interruption damages at many of its Silicon Valley communities.  The projects include, but are not limited to,  Franklin Street Apartments in Redwood City, Cherry Orchard Apartments in Sunnyvale and numerous complexes at the North Park Apartments in San Jose.
         The subject property for this lawsuit is the "Pines B-1 at North Park" complex located near the old Agnews State Hospital site in North San Jose. The 233 unit complex was built for Irvine in the 2000-2002 timeframe by general contractor Segue Construction and numerous specialty subcontractors, including San Marino.
         Mediator Jerry Kurland orchestrated settlements with Segue and all subcontractors (except San Marino) for over $18,000,000.  Of that amount, Segue paid $11,000,000 and assigned its contract rights to Irvine.  Irvine then sought to recover the remainder of its claimed damages (in excess of $10,000,000) at arbitration from San Marino.  Irvine attorney Peter Dessau of the San Jose based Miller Morton Caillet & Nevis law firm argued that since Irvine "settled around" San Marino, San Marino was jointly and severally liable for all of Irvine's unrecovered damages, including lost rents, lost profits, tenant relocation costs, litigation expenses and other economic damages resulting from the disruption to the community during repairs to the complex.   Irvine's lead expert was Karim Allana of ABB (Palo Alto, CA).

        During the two month long proceeding, Mr. O'Hara and Mr. Dreher counter-argued to arbitrator Charles Sink, Esq. that Irvine over-reached in its suit, that San Marino was not legally responsible in tort or contract for all of the $10,000,000 of unrecovered repair and economic loss damages claimed by Irvine.  According to Mr. O'Hara: "Steve and I thought the [AAA] arbitration proceeding was fair and balanced.  Mr. Sink's rulings were based on careful consideration of the evidence and the law.  Irvine and its excellent litigation team certainly left no stone unturned in seeking recovery of their money.  Mr. Dessau and his group were quite the adversary.  This was one of those rare occasions where the little guy came out ok."

        Mr. O'Hara and Mr. Dreher called three expert witnesses to testify at arbitration: engineer Andy Fennell of SCL (Lafayette, CA), specialty contractor Michael Roberts (Southern California) and forensic accountant R. Dixon Grier of MDD (Walnut Creek, CA) .  Mr. O'Hara noted: "Andy, Mike and Dixon conducted themselves with style and class at arbitration.  We appreciate their extraordinary late-night efforts preparing for their testimony."

    Congratulations to Terry and Steve on their hard-fought win. For more information about this excellent result, please contact Mr. O'Hara at 408.380.7880 or email him at


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