10/08/2019

Pro Bono Help Compensates Nevada Homeowners for Water Damage

A Client Success Case Study

THE BACKGROUND

In July 2017, Keith and Amber Trimble were living their dream. They had just moved into their first home in Reno, Nevada. They had a healthy three-year old son and another baby on the way. Their dream quickly turned into a nightmare. Within a week of moving into their new home, the entire first floor flooded from a leaking outside spigot that leaked water into the walls and under the floor.

The water damage was extensive and posed a significant risk of mold, making their home uninhabitable and unsafe, particularly for a toddler and pregnant mother. The Trimbles were forced to move out of their new home and into temporary housing for more than three months while their home was desaturated and repaired, an extensive process that included removing and replacing the floors and drywall.

THE CHALLENGE

The Trimbles learned that the seller had rented the home for several years and contracted with a property management company. They also discovered there had been two previous flooding incidents causing water damage to the inside of the home while the tenant occupied the property - both caused by the same defective outside spigot. The property management company knew about both incidents and attempted to make repairs only after the first incident. No information about the defective spigot, flooding incidents, or previous property damage was disclosed to the Trimbles before they bought their home.

THE METHOD

Keith Trimble served in the Air Force from 2003 to 2006. After a tour in Iraq, he joined the Nevada Air Guard for several years, where his service continues. As a current guardsman, Keith has access to a program that provides veterans with access to pro bono legal services.

As a retired member of the JAG Corps, Holland & Hart attorney Dick Schulze frequently provides pro bono services to service members. The Nevada Air Guard contacted Dick asking for legal help on behalf of the Trimbles. Dick consulted litigation partner, Matthew Hippler, who agreed to help the Trimbles recover damages to compensate them for the disruption to their lives and home.

THE RESULT

The Trimbles brought an action seeking $120,000 from the former property owners and the property management company based on violations of Nevada property disclosure laws.

After depositions of the defendants, the Trimbles learned even more distressing information about what the sellers and the property management knew and did not reveal. With a strong case, Holland & Hart arranged for a settlement conference so that the Trimbles did not have to continue to wait for the case to be resolved.

The strategy worked. The Trimbles negotiated a substantial settlement with the defendants that fairly compensated them for their damages and allowed them to move on with their lives.

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