A Los Angeles Superior Court judge brought an end Thursday to a restraint-of-trade lawsuit against the owners of the Oakridge Mobile Home Park in Sylmar and a Van Nuys mobile-home dealer by approving a $1-million cash settlement for 157 tenants of the park.
Under the settlement approved by Judge Christian E. Markey Jr., tenants who filed and remained plaintiffs in the class-action suit would receive no rent increases for two years and annual increases after that would be limited to 6%.
Tenants alleged in the 2-year-old suit that the park's owners made an illegal agreement with Fuller-Western Sales Inc. of Van Nuys, the mobile-home dealer, to shut other dealers out of the park and force incoming tenants to buy from Fuller-Western exclusively. The tenants alleged that the prices they had to pay for the homes were unusually high.
Oakridge is owned by a network of companies and partnerships overseen by the La Habra-based Continental Mobile Housing Inc. The company's attorneys argued that the exclusive sales arrangement was designed to make sure that Oakridge homes were sold by a trustworthy dealer.