Agam v. GavraAnnotate this Case
Shortly before the collapse of the housing market, the Gavras, Agam, and Cohen formed a partnership to purchase, subdivide, and build two or three houses for resale in Los Altos Hills. They purchased and subdivided the property into three lots, but financial issues and personality conflicts derailed their plans. Between 2009 and 2011, they sold the vacant lots, losing close to $1.3 million on the project. In 2009, Agam and Cohen sued the Gavras for breach of the Partnership Agreement and breach of their fiduciary duties to the partnership. The Gavras filed a cross-complaint alleging breach of contract. Cohen reached a settlement with the Gavras and the cross-actions between Agam and the Gavras proceeded to trial. The court rejected the Gavras’ breach of contract claim and concluded they had breached both the Partnership Agreement and their fiduciary duties. The court awarded Agam more than $700,000 in reliance damages on the breach of contract claim, no damages on the breach of fiduciary duty claim, and about $245,000 in attorney fees. The court of appeal affirmed, rejecting the Gavras’ argument the trial court misallocated the burden of proof on Agam’s breach of contract claim and challenge to the sufficiency of the evidence.