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Beverly Hills Doctor Sues Douglas Emmett for Fraud, Breach of Contract


Posted: October 30th, 2017


Case details

Case Number: SC125673
Case Title: JAMSHID NAZARIAN VS DOUGLAS EMMETT 1998, LLC ET AL
Case Type: Breach Rental/Lease (not UD/Evict) (General Jurisdiction)
Filing Date: 4/8/2016
Court: Santa Monica Courthouse (Los Angeles County)
Status: Dismissed

Case Summary

In April 2016, Dr. Jamshid Nazarian, a medical doctor practicing at the Douglas Emmett-owned facility at 8920 Wilshire Blvd., Beverly Hills, filed suit against the Douglas Emmett, Inc. subsidiary Douglas Emmett 1998, LLC, alleging charges of “Breach of the implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing; fraud; breach of contract; and specific performance.”

Specifically, Dr. Nazarian complained that during lease renewal negotiations Douglas Emmett allegedly “intentionally concealed the fact that it had already planned to relocate him” from his current and preferred office suite (which he thought he was renewing) to a different office “just months after signing the Lease Renewal.” Dr. Nazarian alleged that he was “informed and believes and on that basis alleges that Douglas Emmett had already signed a lease with another tenant to lease the Property, before it executed the Lease Renewal with Nazarian.”

Dr. Nazarian argued that “Douglas Emmett intentionally concealed any mention of relocating Nazarian to another unit in the building to induce him to enter into the Lease Renewal.”

A request for dismissal with prejudice was filed in February 2017.

Amended Complaint narrative

Based on the Amended Complaint narrative, in February 1990, Dr. Nazarian entered into an agreement with Douglas Emmett’s predecessor owner of the property at 8920 Wilshire, Advent Realty to lease property “for the purpose of operating his medical practice.”

“Accordingly,” the complaint continued, “Nazarian has continuously occupied the Property for the past 26 years. Throughout this time, Nazarian has built a reputable name for his practice, much of which is due to the prime location of the Property.”

Dr. Nazarian’s complaint asserted that his office location, near two other medical offices with clientele that overlaps in demographics with his own practice and in turn provided numerous referrals to his office, was a key factor in his business growth.

His office lease, however, “contains a provision whereby Douglas Emmett can elect to move Nazarian to another unit in the building that is the approximate size as the Property.” If Douglas Emmett gave proper notice of its intent to move the tenant, according to complaint, Dr. Nazarian would have 30 days to relocate to the newly designated space or terminate the lease. Douglas Emmett would be “responsible for, among other things, paying the cost of moving Nazarian's furniture and equipment to the other unit.”

In September 2014, Dr. Nazarian and his representatives began negotiating a lease renewal with Douglas Emmett for suite 501 at 8920 Wilshire. In August 2015, based on Dr. Nazarian’s account, the parties agreed in writing to a renewal to commence on January 1, 2016. “In consideration of the Lease Renewal, Nazarian agreed to pay an increased amount to lease the Property.”

The complaint asserts an unexpected twist (our emphasis):

However, at the time Nazarian signed the Lease Renewal, Douglas Emmett intentionally concealed the fact that it had already planned to relocate him to another unit in the building (Suite 611) without disclosing the same to Nazarian.”

The complaint continues (again, our emphasis):

In fact, Nazarian is informed and believes and on that basis alleges that Douglas Emmett had already signed a lease with another tenant to lease the Property, before it executed the Lease Renewal with Nazarian.

Dr. Nazarian claims to have been “shocked and surprised” when informed that “Douglas Emmett would be forcing him to relocate his long established medical practice just months after signing the Lease Renewal.” Quoting the complaint:

“Certainly, Nazarian would not have signed the Lease Renewal with Douglas Emmett, and certainly not at a higher rate, had he known that Douglas Emmett recently signed a lease with another tenant for the Property and Douglas Emmett was planning to relocate Nazarian to a unit of much lesser value. In addition, Nazarian would certainly not have begun the process of constructing a new surgical suite for the Property had .he known he would never be able to utilize it due to the relocation.”

Indeed, the complaint asserts: “Douglas Emmett intentionally concealed any mention of relocating Nazarian to another unit in the building to induce him to enter into the Lease Renewal.”

Concluding the complaint narrative, Nazarian purportedly agreed to the relocation to suite 611, however, Douglas Emmett allegedly “now refuses to relocate Nazarian to Suite 611, in direct violation of the Relocation Provision in the Lease.”


Answer to First Amended Complaint

In August 2016, Douglas Emmett responded with an answer to Dr. Nazarian’s amended complaint with a “general denial” of the allegations. The company claimed, among other arguments, that the complaint “fails to state facts sufficient to constitute a cause of action,” is “barred by the statute of limitations,” and that the plaintiff “lacks standing” and “failed to take reasonable measures to mitigate his alleged damages.”

Douglas Emmett sought that the amended complaint be dismissed with prejudice, that it recover its costs of suit incurred and that there by a trial by jury.”


Request for Dismissal

On February 10, 2017, a “Request for Dismissal with Prejudice” was filed with Los Angeles County Court. The dismissal was signed by Dr. Nazarian.

Download Case Filings

Date Document
2016-06-23 FIRST AMENDED COMPLAINT
2016-08-04 ANSWER TO FIRST AMENDED COMPLAINT
2017-02-10 REQUEST FOR DISMISSAL