A judge ruled Tuesday that two of Justin Bieber‘s ex- neighbors can seek more than $25,000 from the singer, who they claim caused them emotional and physical distress by making threats, including death threats, and speeding inside their gated Calabasas community.
Lawyers for Bieber had sought to limit any potential damages stemming from the lawsuit filed by Jeffrey and Suzanne Schwartz to a maximum of $25,000, but the judge said she was not convinced by their argument.
“Plaintiffs point out that they claim to experience daily emotional distress with physical manifestations such as headaches, stomach aches and sleeplessness, as well as humiliation, anger and anxiety as a result of the incidents underlying this action,” Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Holly Fujie wrote. “Based upon the evidence provided, the court cannot conclude that plaintiffs’ claims necessarily involve less than $25,000.”
The judge’s decision finalized a tentative ruling she issued last week.
Bieber’s attorneys argued in their court papers that the plaintiffs did not lose any income, never saw medical professionals nor took medications for their alleged emotional distress, and are not claiming any unreimbursed property damages.
The couple sued Bieber in March 2015, seeking unspecified damages. The lawsuit states that Jeffrey Schwartz was working in his home office when he heard Bieber’s Ferrari speeding and skidding to a stop about 9 a.m. on March 27, 2013.
Schwartz says he went over to Bieber’s house and asked him to drive slower because children often play in the neighborhood. The plaintiff claims Bieber responded by motioning to his two bodyguards, who asked Schwartz to leave.
As Schwartz complied and turned to walk away, Bieber charged him and threatened to kill him, according to the lawsuit, which also alleges that the bodyguards held the plaintiff as the singer continued to threaten him and spat in his face.
Bieber’s lawyers counter in their court papers that their client denies he was racing and instead maintains Schwartz was mad at him because of the loud sound of the Ferrari’s engine. They claim Jeffrey Schwartz repeatedly yelled to Bieber, “Who do you think you are?”
Bieber’s lawyers acknowledge in their court papers that the singer told Schwartz, “Get off my property or I’m gonna shoot you,” but they say Bieber missed when he tried to spit on the man.
The plaintiffs’ lawyers filed additional new court papers last week asking that they be allowed to amend their clients’ lawsuit to allow them to add two allegations of civil rights allegations, alleging that Jeffrey Schwartz was subjected to anti-Semitic remarks by a Bieber bodyguard in May 2013. The Schwartzes’ lawyers also oppose a motion by Bieber’s lawyers to seal his deposition from the public.
“The way to avoid public dissemination of despicable conduct is to stop engaging in inappropriate behavior…,” the Schwartz attorneys state in their court papers. “Justin Bieber’s violent attacks … have escalated to the point where his conduct is now a matter of public safety.”
The lawsuit also alleges the couple also suffered emotional distress after Bieber threw eggs at their home in January 2014, resulting in more than $80,000 in property damage.
Bieber’s attorneys countered that the singer paid for all the couple’s claimed property damage and there is no evidence they suffered any physical injuries.
Bieber, now 22, no longer lives in the plaintiffs’ neighborhood.
–City News Service