James Souza (Subcontractor): [SETTLED DIRECTLY WITH PLAINTIFFS]
This case involved 71 single family homes located and venued in San Diego. Plaintiffs’ were represented by Fred Adelman, Esq. and Michael Fairchild, Esq. of Milstein, Adelman & Kreger. Developer was represented by Shawn Morris, Esq. of Morris & Sullivan. Kennedy & Souza was retained to represent Just-Star Construction, a masonry block wall subcontractor.
As part of our initial investigation, the paralegal working on the file noted that masonry block wall issues were only being alleged at one of the homes worked on by Just-Star Construction and the Plaintiffs’ fully burdened cost of repair was $1,000. Attorney James Souza of Kennedy and Souza contacted Mr. Morris and informed him of this fact and requested a walk away demand. Mr. Morris stated he had an AI from Just-Star’s carrier and “Just-Star would be in the litigation for the long haul.”
Mr. Souza then called Mr. Adelman and negotiated an Issue Release for all homes worked on by Just-Star related to masonry block walls. Mr. Adelman was willing to provide the Issue Release on the condition that Just-Star stipulate to re-enter the litigation should further discovery reveal a basis for liability against Just-Star. Securing the Issue Release from Plaintiffs allowed Mr. Morris to recommend to his client to settle with Just-Star for $1,500. We note that every single attorney at Kennedy & Souza have negotiated similar settlements on behalf of “nuisance value and/or no exposure” subcontractors. In many instances we have been successful in obtaining Dismissals without prejudice for a waiver of fees and costs on the condition that we stipulate to re-enter the case should further discovery reveal a basis for liability against our clients. To date we have not had to reaccept service on behalf of a single client.