Ten residents of a Santa Monica apartment building owned by Donald Sterling’s companies are suing their landlords for allegedly taking too long to serve and execute an eviction notice on a tenant who they say has turned their lives “upside down” for months with disruptions and threats.
The Los Angeles Superior Court lawsuit was brought by Rachel and Piero Dusa, Arthur J. St. Clair, Heidi and Nels Trusdell, Alexander and Melissa Julian, Gaetano DiCarlo, Shane Abramovich and Katrina Leno. The defendants are the Donald T. Sterling Corp. and Beverly Hills Properties LLC.
The suit filed Friday alleges breach of the implied covenant of quiet enjoyment and breach of privacy rights. The plaintiffs seek at least $2 million in damages.
An attorney for Sterling could not be immediately reached.
The tenants live in the Santa Monica Sandpiper building on Fifth Street. Their suit states that the alleged problem tenant, John Clyde Walton, is known as “Arrogant Hollywood” and has made numerous postings on YouTube.com with a camera that he carries with him. He also has filed numerous lawsuits “attempting to extort money from people and institutions he threatens,” the suit states.
“Since October 2017, plaintiffs’ lives have been turned upside down,” the suit states.
Walton, who is not a defendant in the lawsuit, befriended an “infirmed individual” who lived in the building and executed a plan to move the woman out and change the locks on the unit, the suit states. But before the woman moved, she, the man she lived with and Walton engaged in arguments that prompted tenants to call Santa Monica police numerous times, according to the lawsuit.
“In addition to ousting the woman, (Walton) began to target and terrorize plaintiffs,” the suit states.
Walton threatened a tenant walking toward him and also yelled at a 5- year-old boy and the child’s mother, making a menacing gesture with his hand implying that he could slice open her throat, the suit alleges.
Walton caused another resident to run away in fear as he took images with his video camera, the suit states.
In November, the tenants warned their landlords that Walton had become a “squatter” and that Santa Monica police had told them the problem was between them and the property owners, the suit states.
“Your tenants are worried and shaken,” the tenants wrote in their notice to the Sterling companies. “Doing nothing is not an option.”
But despite multiple such pleas for help, the landlords did nothing, the suit states.
Sterling’s companies at minimum should have distributed a bulletin to tenants explaining the alleged problems with Walton and that steps were being taken to correct them, according to the complaint.
Instead, management sent tenants the clear message that “You’re on your own,” the suit alleges.
In January, Walton set up a desk on the third floor common area and began glaring and insulting people who walked by, the suit states.
Management served a notice to Walton in late December or early January to leave, prompting him to retaliate against one couple by taunting them and their child, the suit states. The landlords have not informed tenants about the status of the eviction efforts of Walton in the courts, according to the complaint.
“Plaintiffs … allege that despite current efforts by defendants to finally evict (Walton), (he) will remain on the premises for at least through March 2018,” the suit states.