Washington D.C. Jury Award $1.55 Million to Homeowner in Case Against Developer.
WASHINGTON, Dec. 20, 2022 /PRNewswire/ -- Five-year legal battle ended with a jury awarding more than $1.55 Million to Mamie Preston against Todd Ragimov. The D.C. jury reached its verdict on November 4, 2022, after a four-week trial presided by Associate Judge Ebony M. Scott. Preston was represented by Tesfaye Mohamed, senior attorney at Anacostia Law Group.
Preston filed the suit against Ragimov following damage to her Columbia Heights home in Washington, DC. According to court records, Ragimov, through LLC, purchased property adjacent to Preston’s and began construction. Shortly after, Preston and another neighbor’s homes sustained serious damages. Specifically, on August 10, 2017, someone called 911 to report construction at Ragimov’s property, frantically yelling, the “walls are cracking” and “about to collapse.”
Emergency responders rushed to 3644 13th Street NW and evacuated 14 people fearing imminent collapse. According to government report, “workers of the site were reported to have fled.” At trial, an eyewitness testified that she saw Ragimov at the scene, seemingly lurking and to avoid detection by officials and emergency responders.
Delaine Engelbart, an Expert Master Code Professional, testified that her investigation uncovered multiple code violations. Another expert, Luyi Yan, a Structural Engineer with over 40 years of experience, testified that the underpinning work was faulty. Court records showed that contractor was not licensed and Preston alleged Ragimov made fraudulent statements.
Following four-week trial, the jury returned verdict against Ragimov finding Ragimov liable for Fraud by clear and convincing evidence, the jury also found for Preston on the negligent claim and awarded her more than $1.55 Million.
“The jurors saw through Ragimov’s tall tales. Cutting corners to maximize profit is playing with innocent lives, and when a builder chooses to ignore building codes, danger is around the corner.” said Tesfaye Mohamed, attorney for Preston. “I believe Ragimov made series of bad decisions endangering the lives of his neighbors and destroying their homes. It didn’t help his case to try and blame other for his own actions.” says Mohamed. “We are pleased that we were able to obtain the justice our client deserved. This verdict, although it will not undo the trauma our client endured for 5 years, will allow her to repair the serious damage to her home. I also hope it changes how Ragimov conducts his business in the District. Better fail with honor than succeed with Fraud” Mohamed added.
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SOURCE Anacostia Law Group