Minnie Driver’s Hollywood Hills neighbor won a round in court Friday when a judge ruled he can move forward with a lawsuit alleging the actress interfered with his plans to build a home on his property by blocking his access and throwing bricks onto his land.
Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Rita Miller found there were triable issues in the complaint brought by Daniel Perelmutter against the Oscar nominee, alleging trespass, private nuisance and intentional infliction of emotional distress.
Elizabeth Bright, one of Driver’s lawyers, argued that Perelmutter has not shown any economic damages or any “outrageous conduct” on the part of the actress to support his emotional distress claim.
But the judge said the two were not necessarily needed.
“You can have severe emotional distress without economic damage,” Miller said.
Perelmutter’s wife, Mary Lou Perelmutter, agreed to drop all her claims against Driver, whose countersuit against the couple for nuisance, trespass and emotional distress is still pending trial along with the underlying complaint on April 9.
In his lawsuit filed in May 2016, Perelmutter says he and his wife bought the property in December 2013 with the intention of building a new home. Driver moved into her home in late 2014, the suit states.
Perelmutter alleges that Driver has blocked access to their shared driveway on Woodrow Wilson Drive and that she installed an electronic gate with the promise the couple would have access. But according to the complaint, electronic access was cut off, forcing the Perelmutters to manually open the gate with a switch on the inside of the gate until Driver allegedly had the switch disabled.
“Over the course of an 18-month construction project, Driver hurled insults at Perelmutter and his workers, threw bricks and other materials onto Perelmutter’s property, sped at Perelmutter with her vehicle and made obscene gestures,” according to Perelmutter’s court papers.
Driver also threatened to have some of the construction workers deported, according to Perelmutter’s court papers.
Perelmutter alleges that Driver’s alleged conduct has caused him significant anxiety.
“Driver was out to harm Perelmutter in any way that she could,” Perelmutter’s court papers state.
In 2017, a judge in a separate action found that a wall Perelmutter built along the top of Woodrow Wilson Drive encroached on the driveway easement and ordered it removed.
–City News Service
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