The plaintiff tenant class received final approval from the Court for their $1.5 million negotiated settlement of damages allegedly sustained after being made to endure substandard housing conditions and illegal rent increases by their landlords at their residential rental property. The net settlement proceeds (after fees, costs and administrative expenses) of approximately $1 million dollars will be divided among the class members according to a formula based mainly on each class members’ length of tenancy at the subject property. The proceeds of any uncashed settlement checks will go to benefit Esperanza Community Housing Corp, a nonprofit organization offering support to low-income families and promoting affordable housing to low-income Latino tenants.
Los Angeles County Superior Court
Case No. BC347852
LOS ANGELES, Oct. 13 — “Plaintiffs’ attorneys Daniel J. Bramzon and Albert Robles of BASTA, a Los Angeles based public benefit corporation specializing in tenants’ rights, has announced the settlement of a class action on behalf of a group of tenants who resided at the Vendome Apartment building located at 975 North Vendome Street in Los Angeles.
Arellano, et al. v. Koltai, et al., LASC case no. BC347852
Represented tenants from a small apartment building in Silverlake made untenantable by fire a couple of days before Christmas 2005. The property was exempt from any rent control laws. BASTA obtained certification of a limited class, and, after nine months, settled the case at mediation for the tenants’ statutorily required relocation fees totaling approximately $193,500. Resolved in 2006.
More than three years ago, Daniel J. Bramzon left big firm life to found the nonprofit BASTA, Inc., to fight for tenants’ rights.
Since then, he has witnessed the ugly side of landlord-tenant disputes.
“Our attorneys have been offered $50,000 bribes,” Bramzon told USC Law students Feb. 27. “Our attorneys have been imprisoned. Our attorneys have been assaulted while … examining properties.