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San Jose, CA…Judge tosses $111 million verdict against Zell company.

December 10, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

A judge has overturned an $111 million jury verdict against Equity LifeStyle Properties in a dispute with residents of a mobile-home park the company owns in San Jose, Calif. The California Superior Court for Santa Clara County “cited excessive damages and insufficiency of the evidence to support the verdict” on the question of damages, according to a statement from Equity LifeStyle, the Chicago-based mobile-home park owner whose founder and chairman is billionaire Sam Zell. The ruling stems from a lawsuit that residents of the property, called the California Hawaiian, filed against Equity LifeStyle, alleging that it failed to maintain the property and blaming it for utility outages. A jury awarded the residents $15.3 million in compensatory damages and $95.8 million in punitive damages in April. The court has granted the real estate investment trust a new trial on the issue of damages. “We intend to continue to vigorously defend ourselves in the litigation,” Equity LifeStyle said in the statement. Lawyers for the residents were not immediately available.

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