Joseph J. (J.J.) Minioza Prevails in Premises Liability and Breach of Warranty of Habitability Case

September 2013

Congratulations to Joseph J. (J.J.) Minioza, a partner in our Oakland office, who recently won a defense verdict for an Ericksen Arbuthnot client after a three-week jury trial in San Francisco. The lawsuit involved a claim by the plaintiff, a retired construction worker, against the defendant, a non-profit developer based in San Francisco. The plaintiff was a tenant in a residential hotel in San Francisco and claimed that his apartment was infested with mice and uninhabitable. The defendant denied the plaintiff’s claims and asserted that the plaintiff substantially interfered with defendant’s management of the property, including its mice eradication efforts.

In his lawsuit, plaintiff asserted causes of action for Negligence, Premises Liability and Breach of the Implied Warranty of Habitability. Plaintiff sought $10.5 million in damages, consisting of emotional distress damages, rent abatement and storage costs. The jury rejected plaintiff’s claims in their entirety and rendered their defense verdict in little more than an hour. The trial judge was Judge Harry Dorfman.

Mr. Minioza can be reached at 510.832.7770 or