MI RYONG SONG vs. SUK K. LEE
Jury Trial July 2011
Christopher E. Faenza; Sung Ho (Sean) Kim
Christopher Faenza and Sean Kim obtained a defense verdict on behalf of Suk Ki Lee in a breach of contract lawsuit, in which plaintiff sought over $1.2 million in damages.
Plaintiff, Mi Ryong Song, claimed that Suk Ki Lee improperly and unlawfully gave or disclosed the terms of a confidential settlement agreement to George Oh. Later, George Oh allegedly instituted a will contest concerning the estate of his father, James Oh. Plaintiff alleged that the inflammatory allegations which formed the grounds upon which the will contest was based were derived in material part from George Oh’s knowledge and reading of the confidential settlement agreement.
James Oh passed away in March of 2008. James Oh was the father of George Oh and Linda Oh. At the time of his death, James Oh was married to Mi Ryong Song.
Plaintiff claimed that in July of 2008, George Oh and Linda Oh instituted a will contest, wherein they contested the validity of a will dated September 20, 2000, which left the entirety of James Oh’s estate to Mi Ryong Song. Later, in February of 2009, during the pendency of the will contest, the confidential settlement agreement was produced in response to discovery. In April of 2009, there was a meeting between Suk Ki Lee, Mi Ryong Song, and Eugene Kim. At that meeting, defendant, Suk Ki Lee, allegedly told plaintiff that he did, in fact, give the confidential settlement agreement to George Oh.
Plaintiff, Mi Ryong Song, asserted claims for breach of contract, intentional interference with prospective economic advantage, negligent interference with prospective economic advantage, and punitive damages.
In defense, Mr. Faenza and Mr. Kim contested liability contending that Mr. Lee never gave nor disclosed the confidential settlement agreement to George Oh, let alone any person. They also contended that during the April 2009 meeting, there was no mention of an unlawful disclosure of a confidential settlement agreement. Rather, at the April 2009 meeting, Mi Ryong Song and Mr. Lee discussed a dispute concerning ownership of Super Center Concepts stocks. The ownership dispute of Super Center Concepts stocks relates to the ownership of Superior Grocers. Superior Grocers is one of the largest independently-owned chain of grocery stores in Southern California.
During trial, plaintiff’s “independent witness” Eugene Kim admitted that at the April 2009 meeting, the three only discussed the ownership dispute of Super Center Concepts. In addition, Eugene Kim admitted that he does not know about the background of the settlement agreement and the lawsuit for which it was settled.
Moreover, Mr. Faenza and Mr. Kim contended that plaintiff, Mi Ryong Song, filed the instant lawsuit in a coordinated attempt to intimidate and harass defendant, Suk K. Lee. Following the April 2009 meeting, plaintiff filed three lawsuits from the end of June 2009 through mid July 2009. Two of the lawsuits were filed against Mr. Lee.
On the first day of trial, plaintiff dismissed her causes of action for intentional interference with prospective economic advantage and negligent interference with prospective economic advantage. Plaintiff proceeded to trial on her breach of contract claim.
This case was tried in Los Angeles County, in Los Angeles, before the Honorable Mark Mooney. The trial lasted for one week.
After approximately two hours of deliberations, the jury returned a verdict in favor of Mr. Lee on the remaining cause of action for breach of contract.