Attorneys for 97-year-old Burlingame woman file suit to stop eviction from home of 60 years

February 26, 2016
KRON 4 News

Lawyers for a 97-year-old woman facing eviction in Burlingame filed a lawsuit on Friday.

Marie Hatch is fighting to stay in the home she has lived in for over 60 years.

She said the original owner made a promise she could stay in the cottage on the 600 block of California Avenue until she died.

The house has been passed down through three generations. Marie has been paying rent to the widower of the original owner’s granddaughter.

The lawsuit filed in San Mateo County states that Marie Hatch moved into her Burlingame cottage more than 60 years ago at the request of her friend Vivian Kroeze, who owned the property and needed companionship.

The suit states that Hatch was promised a lifetime tenancy. The promise was honored by Kroeze’s daughter and granddaughter.

“There was no need to write down the promise as the two women trusted each other completely,” the lawsuit states. “(Kroeze) repeated her promise to her family, neighbors, and many friends.”

But in 2006, the granddaughter was murdered and her estranged husband, David Kantz, took over collecting rent. This month, his attorney told Hatch and her 85-year-old roommate to vacate within 60 days.

Now, the landlord wants to evict Marie and her roommate and sell the house. Her lawyer said he is in breach of contract and that the eviction is “elder abuse.”

The lawsuit also claims damages for the apparent anguish brought on by the eviction proceedings that would lead to Hatch — who suffers from agoraphobia, cancer and other ailments — leaving a home she has lived in for more than 60 years.

“It’s really just devastating her health. And even her family is worried what this will do if it continues. And as a consequence, we filed a lawsuit. We felt it was necessary to file this lawsuit,” Marie’s lawyer Nanci Nishimura said.

Marie’s lawyer is working pro bono on the case and expect to go to trial.

“To try to put these women out on the street in total disregard of the promise made … is despicable,” Nishimura, an attorney from Cotchett, Pitre & McCarthy representing Hatch, said in a statement.

The lawsuit is seeking damages for alleged elder abuse stemming from the “enormous harm” this eviction notice caused Hatch, who her attorneys said had an attack of heart palpitations and visited an emergency room after receiving the warning... (To read the entire article, please click HERE)