Since 2001 Greenstein & McDonald has prosecuted numerous tenant lawsuits throughout the San Francisco Bay Area and beyond including cases for wrongful eviction, harassment, habitability and defective conditions as well as multiple-unit tenant cases. Our settlements and verdicts in tenant actions alone total more than $60 million.
The following are some representative samples of our verdicts and settlements.
In 2018, after three years of litigation and on the eve of trial, Greenstein & McDonald secured the largest settlement of a single case for tenants in Northern California history and the second largest in state history. This was a fire case which are difficult to litigate successfully. We represented 48 Plaintiffs who were burned out of their homes by a devastating fire at a Mission District property. We conducted extensive discovery and employed numerous experts to evidence the cause and origin of the fire as well as the landlord’s wrongdoing. We obtained a record $6,755,000 for our clients.
Greenstein and McDonald settled Davis, et al., v. Busk for $3,825,000 on behalf of 124 tenants was the largest settlement for tenants in Northern California for almost 14 years. This was a case which was heavily contested by the Defendant for nearly three years and came within 1 week of trial before it settled. Read more.
On October 5, 2017, Greenstein & McDonald obtained the largest ever known judgment or settlement for one unit in the country, and the most significant jury verdict in a California tenant case in at least 15 years, in the San Francisco wrongful eviction and harassment case Dale Duncan, et al., v. Anne Kihagi, et al. Read more.
In Pierre, et al., v. Cox, Greenstein & McDonald represented 13 tenants in a legal action against their landlord for his violation of Oakland’s Just Cause for Eviction Ordinance (“Measure EE”). The case was heavily contested for over 2½ years, and the jury trial took nearly 8 weeks. The tenants had their rights vindicated, achieving excellent results after trial – over $538,000 in damages and $1,052,400 in attorney fees. On Appeal, prior to Plaintiffs’ briefing deadline Defendants agreed to pay Plaintiffs $1,800,000, over 90% of the amount then due from the Judgments, accumulated 10% interest and appeal-related fees. Read more.
Greenstein and McDonald confidentially settled a multi-unit habitability case in San Francisco County Superior Court for $1,500,000.
In 2015, Greenstein & McDonald secured a confidential settlement of a multi-tenant lawsuit for $1,350,000 in San Francisco County.
Greenstein & McDonald recovered $1,250,000 for tenants in a few units for a habitability and personal injury case.
In 2015, Greenstein & McDonald obtained a confidential settlement of a multi-tenant lawsuit for $1,050,000 in San Francisco County.
In Hammond v. Lee, Greenstein & McDonald represented 2 tenants wrongfully evicted by their landlords who improperly used the Ellis Act to remove the tenants from their long time homes. After litigation and prior to trial, we obtained a $995,000 settlement for our clients.
In 2018, Greenstein & McDonald represented a single San Francisco tenant who was forced out of his home by an owner move in eviction. We were able to prove that the owner never moved in and that the unit was re-rented at market rate. After litigation we secured a settlement of $950,000 prior to trial.
In 2016, Greenstein & McDonald secured a confidential settlement of a multi-tenant lawsuit for $825,000 in San Francisco County.
In 2016, Greenstein & McDonald secured $825,000 for a single unit habitability case.
In Luc v. Chiu, Steven J. McDonald and a law partner represented the tenant at trial and on appeal in a wrongful eviction action. The total award of over $600,000 including attorney fees and costs was upheld on appeal. Subsequently, the tenant and counsel secured a verdict of $160,000 plus additional attorney’s fees, for the landlord’s unlawful attempt to avoid collection on the prior judgment by fraudulent conveyance of property.
In 2016, Greenstein & McDonald obtained a confidential settlement of a multi-tenant lawsuit for $750,000 in San Francisco County.
In Allen, et al., v. Legacy Partners Landing, LLC, et al., Greenstein & McDonald secured a $750,000 settlement for tenants living in an apartment complex in Oakland. The case involved the owners turning the complex into a construction zone, creating a nuisance for the tenants, who were never relocated.
In Bess, et al., v. SRV Bay Citi Properties DE, LLC, et al., Greenstein & McDonald (in conjunction with co-counsel) represented tenants who reported slum like conditions in their Tenderloin apartment building. The conditions included bed bug infestation, broken elevator, lack of security, and inadequate repair and maintenance. The case was brought against companies run by the Lembi family (CitiApartments) and against a receiver who took over the property after it was on the verge of foreclosure. Prior to trial, we recovered $700,000 for our clients.
Greenstein and McDonald secured a $650,000 confidential settlement for a wrongful eviction case in San Francisco County.
In Moore v. Wall, et al., Greenstein & McDonald represented a tenant who suffered damages from a fire in her apartment. During litigation, we successfully argued that the landlords were negligent in failing to investigate and discover an electrical defect that caused the massive blaze that destroyed the clients’ home and belongings. On the eve of trial, we succeeded in obtaining a $550,000 settlement.
Ken Greenstein obtained a $500,000 confidential settlement in a multi-unit habitability case in Alameda County.
Greenstein & McDonald has succeeded in obtaining numerous recoveries in wrongful eviction cases in the $300,000 to $600,000 range.
In Camyre, et al., v. Home Realty Investment & Construction, et al., Greenstein & McDonald represented tenants who were displaced out of their home by a fire. The landlord delayed repairs and allowing tenants to return and eventually used the Ellis Act to permanently evict the tenants after they demanded to return to their home. We argued the landlord’s actions violated various laws and obtained a $400,000 settlement prior to trial.
Greenstein and McDonald has worked closely with tenants’ rights organizations to address business practices of CitiApartments and other Lembi family companies, which at one time owned over 7000 rental units in San Francisco. Greenstein and McDonald successfully prosecuted as counsel or co-counsel on 10 major lawsuits for tenants in over 30 San Francisco buildings against CitiApartments and related companies, all but one of which ended in confidential settlements (See Bess, above).
In Fellows v. Fisher, Greenstein & McDonald represented a tenant who was wrongfully evicted from her home via the owner move-in (OMI) provision of the San Francisco Rent Ordinance. We secured a $300,000 settlement prior to trial for our client.