Maurice O. Berry vs. Long Island Village Owners Association, Inc
Former Partner Lecia Chaney represented the Plaintiff, M.O. Berry in this declaratory judgment, breach of contract and negligence against his homeowner’s association. Berry sued the association for its failure to dredge the canals that are an integral part of the community and for which he purchased his home in 2005. He specifically chose a home in order to sail his 40′ boat after the Board assured him they dredged regularly which was verified in the covenants, conditions and restrictions.
Berry filed the instant lawsuit against the Association for breach of contract, DTPA, fraud, negligence and a declaratory judgment action ordering that they dredge to -6.5′ mean sea level (MSL) the original depth of the canals. Berry also filed defamation charges against the Board President, Patricia Burke. The case went to trial in February 2014. The 11 member jury came back with a 10-1 verdict in favor of Berry on his breach of contract and negligence case. (The judge granted Defendant’s Motion for Directed Verdict on Berry’s fraud and DPTA claims.) The jury rendered a “no” finding on the defamation claim against Burke.
With interest and stipulated attorney fees of $75,000, a final judgment was entered for $253,000 on April 2, 2014. Estimated costs of the ordered dredging are approximately $850,000.