A drama between millionaire neighbors has come to a head, after a court battle over a wall resulted in a whopping $162,000 legal bill for one side. The judge has now stepped in, advising the couple to wave the white flag and make amends with their neighbor, Debbie Ranford.
Liz Peck, who is the creator and operator of an organic children’s clothing line, and her husband Adam, a singer-songwriter, had accused Debbie of “trespassing” by building a roof extension to her flat in East Dulwich.
A builder’s overzealous use of building material landed this millionaire couple in a sticky situation when they took their neighbor to court over a minor boundary issue. The judge awarded them a measly $250 in damages but left them to foot a whopping $162,000 legal bill.
It’s clear that this couple might have been better off using a nutcracker instead of a gavel to deal with the issue.
However, the Pecks are not giving up yet! They have been given the green light to appeal Judge Monty’s decision and are hoping to upgrade their payment from a fancy dinner to at least a weekend getaway.
Though Mr. Justice Roth urged two feuding neighbors to call a truce in their never-ending war, the millionaire Peck couple were granted permission to appeal a ruling that left them with a pitiful $250 compensation. Of course, the judge warned them that the legal costs could spiral even higher.
According to Roth, the legal bill for a dispute over a loft room has already reached astronomical heights. Despite the claim for damages being limited to$15,500, both sides have already forked out huge sums for their legal battles.
The judge urged the former friends to put their differences aside and mediate to reach an agreement. “This case was a financial disaster for Mr. and Mrs. Peck,” he said. “Let’s not waste even more money on arguing about costs. Seek to settle this bitter dispute and save your money.”
According to Mrs. Peck, when she agreed to the Party Wall Notice, she thought there would be a clear separation between her property and her neighbor’s. But after the construction of the extension, she was left with the unsettling feeling that her neighbor was getting a little too close for comfort.
In an attempt to dodge the costly trial, Mrs. Ranford made the Pecks a generous offer of $16,200 to put an end to the dispute, but they rejected it like a cold cup of tea. Now, in their appeal, the Pecks plan to argue that the damage to their property is worth more than the pocket change they were awarded.
We suppose time will only tell whether this debacle was worth the effort.