Successfully mediated a case brought by Successor Trustee on behalf of a family trust relating to the sale of two adjoining commercial properties owned by the trust against their Real Estate Broker/CPA and attorney. The suit alleged causes of action for professional negligence, breach of fiduciary duty, financial elder abuse, fraud and concealment. Plaintiffs alleged that the Trust (through its 72-year-old infirm, widowed Trustee, who died months after the real estate purchase agreement was executed) entered into a listing agreement with the defendants for the sale of the property based on the defendants’ representations that they could assist in dealing with the myriad liens on the properties while marketing and selling them for future development. Plaintiffs alleged that defendants’ tortious conduct caused them to enter into a binding contract for a sales price of $9 million dollars when the actual market value was over $14 million dollars, that defendants demanded a six-figure commission despite having failed to obtain the statutorily required Agency Disclosure, and that when plaintiffs discovered that the sales price was below market value, they refused to perform and were then sued by the buyers for specific performance. Plaintiffs claimed damages for the difference between the sales price and the alleged market value, recission of the commission obligation, statutory treble damages for elder abuse, and punitive damages. Defendants were uninsured. The mediated settlement agreement was reached five days prior to trial.
Hon. Paul Burdick (Ret.)
96 North Third Street Suite 350 San Jose, CA 95112