Early Sullivan Prevails in the Second Appellate District of California

Scott Gizer, Diane Luczon, and Padideh Zargari successfully prevailed in Charles Johnson v. Sun West Mortgage Company Inc. et al. The Court of Appeal affirmed the lower court’s ruling on Early Sullivan’s motion for summary judgment in favor of Sun West Mortgage Company, finding that the trial court properly excluded an expert witness declaration in its entirety when granting the motion and finding that Sun West had no liability to Plaintiff. This was a putative class action matter wherein the Plaintiff asserted that Early Sullivan client, Sun West Mortgage Company, had engaged in an illegal kickback scheme with its insurance broker whereby Sun West received below market services in exchange for securing a commission for the broker from the Sun West’s forced placed flood insurer.

The Court of Appeal examined the expert declaration and report, and found that the trial court properly exercised its discretion in granting Sun West’s objection to exclude the witness’s declaration, which had been the basis for arguments that the defendants supposedly had “vastly” overcharged the plaintiff and others for forced placed insurance. In examining the subject declaration, the trial court found it to be “unreliable,” with some parts “simply arbitrary, unverifiable, and unfalsifiable.” The Court of Appeal further affirmed the trial court’s decision that Sun West had not engaged in any improper conduct.

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