Judge Orders Rihanna To Sit For Deposition In $6.9M Home Defects Lawsuit
A judge today ordered attorneys for Rihanna and a home inspection service to meet and agree on a date to take the singer’s deposition in a home defect case involving her former Beverly Hills home.
Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Yvette Palazuelos issued the order in what has become an ongoing dispute between lawyers for the 25-year-old entertainer and LaRocca Inspection Associates Inc., one of the parties Rihanna sued in August 2011.
Rihanna hired LaRocca Inspection Associates in August 2009 to do an analysis of the property for any needed repairs by the owners. She alleges they Did not make sure water seepage problems in the hardwood floors were fixed before escrow closed.
Rihanna maintains the home had numerous problems with water intrusion and that extensive leaks occurred during rains in 2009-10.
In his court papers, LaRocca attorney Gregory Pyfrom said he has tried for more than two years to take the entertainer's deposition.
Pyfrom asked Palazuelos to grant him $7,500 in compensation from Rihanna for what he said were the costs to his clients for his legal work in trying To depose the singer. The judge denied the request.
Rihanna's attorney, Miles Cooley, countered in his court papers that his client has "consistently agreed’" to be deposed.
"Instead of withdrawing its motion, LaRocca insists on carrying out a smear campaign against (Rihanna), sets forth over 120 pages of email and court documents and shamelessly reveals confidential settlement offers and mediation results,'' Cooley's court papers state.
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Pyfrom's argument "portrays a one-sided picture that omits the fact the parties had an agreement not to depose (Rihanna) until after the matter was mediated,'' according to Cooley, who said the mediation was delayed several times because of Pyfrom's vacation plans.
Rihanna bought the home in July 2009 for $6.9 million. The suit names several other defendants, including Prudential California Realty, which employed the singer's real estate agent, and the home's former owner, Adrian Rudomin.
The singer -- who filed the complaint under her real name, Robyn Fenty — alleges negligence, fraud and breach of contract.
LaRocca countersued Rihanna and the other defendants in January 2012. LaRocca alleges the singer breached their contract by not coming forward sooner to let them know about her problems with their work so they could have a chance to do another inspection.