A Santa Monica apartment tenant was awarded $825,000 in damages for invasion of privacy by landlord. The 80 year old man and long time tenant lived in a two bedroom, rent-stabilized apartment in the defendants’ 10-unit apartment building. After the plaintiff was taken away from his home on a Section 51050 hold in October 2013, a written notice was given to all of the tenants in the building informing them of what had happened.
According to the plaintiff, the notice given by the defendants contained highly personal information. The notice was written to foster fear and encourage a letter-writing campaign the defendants’ could use to have the plaintiff removed. Once removed, the unit could then be rented at full market-rate. Following this notice the plaintiff was humiliated and shunned by neighbors.
The defendant’s claim discrimination, elder abuse, and other claims have no factual basis. Defendants claim that the private facts and information was disclosed by the police and fire departments, and the letter was not a public notice, but only given to those members inside the building. Defendants also claim plaintiff suffered no harm and the alleged shunning was false as the plaintiff was not social with other tenants before the incident occurred.