Could it possibly be the case of Russell Barnard v. City of Santa Monica, et al.?
Following is an excerpt from Goodstein & Berman LLP's Newsletter;
In a case that made local headlines (including coverage in the Santa Monica Lookout News and Santa Monica Daily Press), Goodstein & Berman LLP represented the defendant and prevailing party, the City of Santa Monica, in Russell Barnard v. City of Santa Monica, et al., LASC Case No. BC 281367. In the lawsuit, which was filed in 2002 but did not reach trial until August 2005, the plaintiff, a local restauranteur and business man, sought nearly $23 million in damages for the City's alleged breach of a contract to develop and operate "Club Route 66," a nearly 20,000 square foot restaurant and entertainment complex planned to be built on the famed Santa Monica Pier.
The plaintiff had accused the City of breaching the contract and acting in bad faith by interfering with his efforts to develop the property for more than 10 years, and by refusing to amend the contract to expand the building site to accommodate the plaintiff's approved building plans. The City, in turn, accused the plaintiff of stalling the project for more than a decade while he unsuccessfully searched for investors and lenders willing to put up the more than $5.5 million required to construct.
After more than four weeks of testimony, the jury returned a defense verdict on the plaintiff's complaint, finding that the City did not breach any express or implied obligation under the Lease. Moreover, the jury found that the plaintiff had breached the lease himself by failing to meet the deadlines for performance and failing to construct the premises. The verdict also entitles the City to recover more than $1 million in attorneys fees and costs from the plaintiff.
Hope this helps.
I am good friends with Mr. Goodstein of Goodstein & Berman.