Jury starts deliberations in HOA lawsuit

The Copper Sands Homeowners Association is seeking an $8.9 million jury verdict in a breach-of-contract case against a California management company.

Jurors began deliberating Wednesday following a monthlong trial in U.S. District Court in Las Vegas.

The homeowners association alleges Cannon Management breached its management agreement by failing to maintain and repair the common areas of the community, located at 8101 W. Flamingo Road, and by failing to bill and collect adequate assessments for the community’s maintenance and repair.

According to court records, the property’s 360 units were built as apartments in 1997. In 2004, the project was purchased by a San Diego investment company, Pacifica Enterprises Inc. in the name of its affiliate Copper Sands Realty LLC, which converted the apartments to condominiums.

Attorney Terry Wike, who represents the homeowners association, told jurors Wednesday that Cannon should have billed Copper Sands Realty $5.9 million for needed repairs but instead collected just $71,000. Wike said an additional $3 million is needed to pay for relocating residents during the repairs.

The HOA originally sued Copper Sands Realty in Clark County District Court in April 2008. In March 2010, the association added several defendants, including Cannon Management. The case was removed to federal court the following month, but only the single breach-of-contract claim against Cannon survived for trial.

Cannon attorney Robert Carlson told jurors Wednesday that his client had no involvement in the construction, conversion or sale of the Copper Sands homes and did not cause the conditions that require repair.

“Yet they want to hold Cannon Management responsible to fix them,” he said.

According to court records, Cannon was property manager at Copper Sands from early 2005 to 2007.

“There is no evidence Cannon agreed to be financially responsible for any original construction conditions or the expense for any recommended repairs for same,” according to the company’s trial brief.

U.S. District Judge Gloria Navarro presided over the trial, which began Jan. 4. Jurors deliberated for about two hours Wednesday without reaching a verdict. Their discussions are scheduled to resume Thursday morning.

SOURCE: http://www.reviewjournal.com/news/las-vegas/jury-starts-deliberations-hoa-lawsuit

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