April 21, 2023
Astanehe Law Files Suit on Behalf of Displaced Oakland Tenant at BART-Owned Rental Housing
Not content with running its barely functional rapid transit system, BART inexplicably ventures into the rental housing business to disastrous results. Approximately 300 Oakland tenants remain displaced for nearly five (5) months after a historic rainstorm flooded the BART-owned building and destroyed the electrical system. On Friday, April 21, 2023, Astanehe Law filed suit in the Alameda County Superior Court on behalf of a single mother living out of boxes in an AirBNB. BART is a slumlord.
Oakland, California – On Friday, April 21, 2023, Astanehe Law, a leading Northern California tenant rights law firm, filed a lawsuit on behalf of a single mother living in an affordable housing unit owned by the San Francisco Bay Area Rapid Transit District (“BART”). The lawsuit names six (6) Defendants – UrbanCore Development, LLC, Coliseum Transit Village One, LP, Coliseum Development Partners, LLC, FPI Management, Inc., PACH Affordable Housing, LLC, Pacific Housing, Inc. – and will soon name BART as an additional defendant. Currently, Astanehe Law is investigating other potential wrongdoers, and expects to name additional defendants in the case.
The plaintiff’s claims stem from the loss of her home at the Coliseum Connection apartment complex in Oakland, California, after historic rainfall brought upon by the New Year’s Eve atmospheric river event inundated her apartment complex’s parking garage with six (6) feet of water. The accumulated water entered the garage because the defendants failed to clean several storm drains adjacent to the property. After over an estimated one (1) million gallons of water entered the parking garage, the water breached the electric box, leaving the entire apartment complex without power indefinitely.
The plaintiff and her young son were forced from their home. Because the defendants have not yet restored power – nearly five (5) months after the New Year’s Eve storm – the plaintiff and her young son live out of boxes while moving between motel rooms. The prolonged displacement has significantly affected the plaintiff and her son’s mental health.
It will likely take years for the plaintiff and her son to heal from the emotional trauma that BART and the other defendants inflicted upon them. The plaintiff lost employment due to the displacement. As a result, her son’s academic performance has deteriorated. He often feels too overwrought to attend school.
The complaint, filed in Alameda County Superior Court, alleges that BART and the other defendants failed to adequately maintain the adjacent storm drains, which caused the accumulated water to enter the parking garage and cause the electrical failure. The complaint further alleges that BART and the other defendants have not performed repairs timely or adequately. The complaint also alleges that BART and the other defendants allowed an onsite property manager to sexually harass the plaintiff – including commenting on her body and repeatedly requesting a romantic relationship while performing his property management duties – for approximately one (1) year. Finally, the plaintiff also alleges that the property manager engaged in a sustained and agonizing harassment and retaliation campaign against her for her efforts to improve the apartment complex.
Despite knowledge of these issues, BART and the other defendants allowed these issues to persist, which caused the plaintiff to suffer significant financial and emotional damages.
“It is unclear exactly why BART – a public transit agency – is a residential landlord,” the plaintiff’s attorney Michael M. Astanehe commented in a statement, “Although inexplicable in nature, one thing is clear: BART is a slumlord. And, the District’s days of slumlording are numbered. We shall litigate this matter until BART improves its landlording business or exits the business entirely.”
The lawsuit is currently pending in the Alameda County Superior Court.
Astanehe Law is committed to tenant rights. As one of California’s leading tenant rights law firms, Astanehe Law has filed hundreds of cases against unscrupulous slumlords throughout the state. In addition to obtaining redress for the plaintiff, Astanehe Law believes BART will learn from this incident and institute reforms to improve its landlording business.
About Astanehe Law
Astanehe Law is committed to tenant rights. Astanehe Law has filed hundreds of cases against unscrupulous slumlords throughout the state as one of California’s leading tenant rights law firms. In addition to obtaining redress for the plaintiff, Astanehe Law believes BART will learn from this incident and institute reforms to improve its landlording business.
Michael M. Astanehe