Justia Commercial Law Opinion Summaries

Articles Posted in Landlord - Tenant
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Hong, the president of ENA, sought to open a restaurant with a license to serve beer and wine in a building owned by 524 Union, which had housed restaurants for many years. After leasing the premises, ENA was unable to open because the San Francisco Planning Department determined that an existing conditional use authorization for the property was no longer effective and a new one could not be granted. ENA sued the lessors, claiming false representations and failure to disclose material facts regarding the problems with the conditional use authorization. A jury awarded ENA compensatory and punitive damages. The court of appeal held that the jury’s verdict on liability, including liability for punitive damages, is supported by substantial evidence. Hong’s testimony was substantial evidence supporting the jury’s verdict. Additional support was provided by evidence of email correspondence around the time Hong entered the lease. The trial court employed an improper procedural mechanism in reducing the amount of the punitive damages award but the jury award was unsupported and Hong effectively stipulated to the reduced amount. View "ENA North Beach, Inc. v. 524 Union Street" on Justia Law

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Respondent Atlantic Coast Builders and Contractors, LLC brought an action against its landlord, Petitioner Laura Lewis, for negligent misrepresentation, unjust enrichment, and breach of contract.  Atlantic also sought a return of the security deposit it paid pursuant to its lease with Lewis.  The master-in-equity entered judgment in favor of Atlantic, and the court of appeals affirmed. The landlord appealed, arguing the appellate court erred in its return of the security deposit and in calculating its damages award. Upon review, the Supreme Court found that the court of appeals erred in concluding the issue regarding the security deposit was preserved for review. Because the deposit issue was not preserved, the landlord was entitled to retain the deposit. Consequently, Atlantic's damages were reduced by $3500. The Court affirmed the appellate court as to the entry of judgment against the landlord for negligent misrepresentation and unjust enrichment. View "Atlantic Coast Builders and Contractors v. Lewis" on Justia Law

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Landlord leased commercial real property to Tenant. Landlord granted Tenant permission to renovate the property on the condition that Tenant would pay for the renovations. Tenant thereafter contracted with Contractor to perform the work. When Tenant defaulted on its payments to Contractor, Contractor filed a lien against Landlord's property. Contractor thereafter filed a complaint against Landlord and Tenant, asserting various claims and seeking to foreclose on its lien. The district court granted Landlord's motion for summary judgment, concluding that, pursuant to Wyoming's lien statutes, a valid mechanic's lien did not exist because Landlord did not agree to pay for the renovations to the property and that Tenant was not acting as Landlord's agent in contracting for the improvements. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding (1) the district court correctly interpreted Wyo. Stat. Ann. 29-2-105(a)(ii) to require a finding of agency between the landlord and tenant before a mechanic's lien may attach to the landlord's property for work performed at the tenant's behest; and (2) in this case, that relationship did not exist.View "Redco Constr. v. Profile Props., LLC " on Justia Law