Attorneys James Bulthuis and Kim Stephens recently secured an arbitration award against the multinational REIT Landmark Dividend for breaching a settlement agreement.
Tousley’s client was a small business in Redmond who was displaced by Sound Transit’s light rail line. The client owned a self-storage business and leased a small portion to Landmark for a cell tower. Kim and James helped their client negotiate a $16.7 million sale of the property in lieu of condemnation. They also negotiated a split of the proceeds with Landmark through a settlement, in exchange for Landmark terminating the wireless carriers’ subleases on the tower. Removal of the wireless carriers was a condition to Sound Transit’s purchase of the property. When Landmark failed to perform, the sale of the property to Sound Transit failed to close, resulting in Sound Transit condemning the property through eminent domain.
The arbitrator sided with Tousley’s client, finding that Landmark breached the settlement agreement, causing the sale to fail. The arbitrator awarded Tousley’s client over $2 million in damages, including prejudgment interest and reimbursement of the client’s attorneys’ fees for both the arbitration and the condemnation action that the client needlessly went through due to Landmark’s breach. The result was a phenomenal victory for the client and reflects the importance of having counsel who deeply understand both eminent domain law and the mechanics of real estate.