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Articles

Playhouse trial delayed yet again

Bill Warner, Ojai Valley News reporter
The cost phase of the lawsuit against the Golden State Water Company (GSWC) for damages to the Ojai Playhouse Theater has been postponed again, this time from July 6 to July 14.
Brett Templeman, part of the legal team representing Playhouse owners Khaled and Walid Al-Awar in their suit against GSWC, said the postponement was because of scheduling issues in Ventura County Superior Court and not the result of any action taken by attorneys for either side.
In a tentative ruling June 2, Superior Court Judge Vincent O'Neill found for the Al-Awar's causes for action against GSWC. The ruling came after closing arguments in the bench trial's liability phase, upholding the plaintiff's specified causes of negligence, nuisance, trespass and inverse condemnation.
The Playhouse and the adjacent Village Jester restaurant have been inoperative since July 20, 2014, when the premises at 145 E. Ojai Ave. were flooded by a water main break.
Repairs to the Playhouse were underwritten by GSWC, but in January 2015 a dispute between GSWC's primary and secondary insurance carriers brought all construction to a halt. The Al-Awars filed suit in November 2015.
The case is scheduled to reconvene July 14 at 10 p.m. in courtroom 41 of the Ventura Superior Court at 800 S. Victoria Drive in Ventura.
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