Hermosa Beach wins round in Macpherson Oil case - The Daily Breeze: "Adding another chapter to a long legal saga that has ensnared Hermosa Beach for more than a decade, the city has won a chance to argue before a state appellate court that it should not pay damages to Macpherson Oil for breaking a contract to drill in town more than a decade ago. Less than three weeks before a jury was set to determine how much Hermosa owed the Santa Monica-based oil company, the 2nd District Court of Appeal granted the city's writ Monday, City Attorney Michael Jenkins said. Both parties will now argue their sides in a downtown Los Angeles courtroom Dec. 7. At this stage, the protracted lawsuit centers around how much money Hermosa Beach owes for breaking its 1992 lease agreement with Macpherson. City leaders voted about six years later to deny drilling permits after voters approved a proposition banning present and future oil drilling projects in town. Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Joanne O'Donnell ruled in February 2008 that the city indeed broke its contract and owed damages, but left it to a jury to decide exactly how much. Don Macpherson Jr., the company's president, has long asked for $500 million in damages, a figure city leaders contend would bankrupt the tiny municipality."
Mistakes can be expensive for cities...and for HOAs. But how many owners know that they are ultimately personally liable for their directors torts and breaches of contract?