Laguna Run/Laguna Reserve Litigation

This case is entitled Joshua Akeem, et al. v. Dasmen Residential, et al., USDC No. 19-cv-13650 and consolidated cases, Section “M”. It is pending in Federal Court in New Orleans. This lawsuit originated in the Civil District Court for the Parish of Orleans, State of Louisiana. Plaintiffs filed this action on behalf of themselves and others similarly situated seeking damages resulting from the negligent ownership and management of the former and current owners and former and current property managers of an apartment complex located at 7001 Martin Drive in New Orleans, Louisiana, pursuant to La. C.C. art. 2315. The subject apartment complex was formerly known as “Hidden Lake Apartments,” and it is currently known as “Laguna Run Apartments.” The Defendants are Eastlake Development, LLC, RH East Lake, LLC, Latter & Blum Property Management, Inc., KFK Group, Inc., KFK Development, Dasmen and Lynd. (A second lawsuit was filed on behalf of residents of Laguna Reserve.)

Plaintiffs allege that the tortious conduct of the Defendants has caused the conditions of the property to deteriorate such that the property poses an unreasonable risk of harm to the residents. The unreasonably dangerous conditions of the property include but are not limited to: widespread water intrusion issues, widespread mold growth and exposure, widespread plumbing problems, inadequate security, infestation with roaches and other insects, inadequate lighting conditions, inadequate security, and a plethora of other dangerous conditions which creates an unreasonable risk of harm to the residents.

Plaintiffs allege the Defendants breached their respective duties to maintain the leased apartment unit in a reasonably safe condition and to inspect, to identify and repair any defects therein. The Defendants breached their duties to ensure that each building, and each apartment unit, in its complex was in compliance with the City of New Orleans’ Building Code. The Defendants breached their duties to ensure that the apartment complex did not constitute a public nuisance. Moreover, the Defendants breached their duties to protect the health, safety, and welfare of the general public and the occupants of the apartment units for the purpose of human habitation. All of these duties were breached by the Defendants, thereby causing harm to the Named Plaintiffs/Proposed Class Representatives and a putative class of similarly situated persons.

The status of the case is that the parties are conducting discovery. They have exchanged written requests for the production of information and for the production of documents. In August 2020, the parties will begin conducting depositions. The Court has set a deadline of November 9, 2020 to complete discovery efforts. On December 17, 2020, the Court will consider whether it should certify this case to proceed as a class action.

Right now, you should provide our office with copies of all medical records and billing expenses that you believe are related to this lawsuit. You should provide our office with a list of doctors who have treated you for all related medical issues. You should provide us with a listing and photographs and videotapes of any damages to your property as a result of water intrusion. If your apartment has not already been tested for the presence of mold, please let us know as soon as possible. If you have incurred any loss of property or money as a result of the defendant’s negligence please provide it to our office.

Laguna Run, Laguna Reserve, Carmel Brooks Update
Dated: February 5, 2021

Federal Court is still not holding any jury trials or hearings in person due to Covid-19. It is been very difficult to conduct depositions via Zoom, but we have done so. Several former employees of Dasmen Residential have been deposed. A few Plaintiffs have been deposed. City Council member Cyndi Ngyugen and Zachary Smith from the City’s Safety and Permits Department have been deposed.  Extensive written discovery requests have been exchanged and answered by the parties.

At this time, there is a briefing deadline of April 27, 2021 to file a class certification brief. 

In March 2021, the parties will participate in a settlement negotiations meeting called a “Mediation.” In preparation for mediation, Shavon Dickerson, a paralegal with The Bagneris Firm will be calling all existing clients to update their claims information. Please be patient with this process as there are many people involved in this case.