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Court News: Court Ruling in favor of World Market Center sued by Tenant Bel Air Lighting

Posted by: on Thu, Aug 16, 2012

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August 2012

A Las Vegas District Court recently found that Bel Air Lighting could not sue its way out of a lease with World Market Center due to low foot traffic in the new World Market Center buildings constructed in downtown Las Vegas. District Court Judge Elizabeth Gonzalez recently found that World Market Center tenant, Bel Air Lighting, never received a legally enforceable promise and never showed any damages in the form of lost sales. Hence, the court ruled after a five-day trial in favor of World Market Center and opened the possibility that Bel Air could be ordered to pay the Landlord tens of thousands of dollars in attorneys’ fees.

Bel Air was asking for a cost free end to its lease and a rent refund dating back to the filing of the lawsuit in March of 2011. The suit by the tenant against the landlord was an unusual attempt to break its lease after the business in the furniture market failed to meet expectations. Bel Air argued that it had agreed to take a showroom based on promises that it could be on a floor with other lighting companies in Building C on the 10th floor. However, when the building opened in 2008, the economy was struggling and the floor was dotted with vacancies. Since 2008, WMCV has sued literally dozens of tenants for breach of their lease agreements in theWorld Market Center.

Although Bel Air was apparently the first tenant to initiate suit as a plaintiff, other tenants are also seeking similar relief in the form of counter-claims in response to complaints filed by World Market Center for past and future rental payments. Each case in unique and results and outcomes may vary. Some of the facts unique to the Bel Air decision were that Bel Air took advantage of discounts that World Market Center offered, such as rental discounts of one-half off of the rent in 2009, followed by a 25 percent discount in rent for 2010 and then a ten percent discount during 2011. Bel Air’s rent in 2012 jumped to $27,000 per month until expiration of the lease in June of 2013.