Tom Butt
  E-Mail Forum – 2023  
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  Judge Denies City's Attempt to Get Out of Suncal Lawsuit
June 28, 2023

The City Attorney was handed yet another costly defeat in his effort to extricate the City of Richmond from litigation resulting from the RPA-controlled City Council’s failure to transfer the 30 percent developable area of Point Molate, including Winehaven, to Suncal (Winehaven Legacy, LLC), for development. Instead of selling to Suncal for $45 million, the City Council sold it to Point Molate Futures, LLC for $400.

On April 6, 2023, Contra Costa County Superior Court judge Clare Maier entered an Order overruling the City of Richmond's demurrer and ruling that Suncal's lawsuit against the City of Richmond for damages of hundreds of millions of dollars was not barred and could go forward.

The Court held oral argument on the matter with Robert Feldman representing Plaintiff and Dennis La with Aleshire & Wynder for the City. The Court summarily dismissed all of the City's objections, pointing out that depriving the Plaintiff of damages in the event of a material breach by City "would be unjust."

The City of Richmond filed a cross-complaint in April 2023, alleging that Suncal had failed to pay millions of dollars in agreed reimbursements and indemnification to the City.

The last hearing on the matter was on June 12, 2023. Both sides informed the Court that "discovery was ongoing" and the next hearing was set for November 15, 2023.