It is not uncommon for celebrities or people who have money, to be targeted by frivolous lawsuits. A suit brought against celebrity bad boy Justin Bieber has the makings of a “money grab” written all over it. Plaintiffs Suzanne and Jeffrey Schwartz, former neighbors of the pop star, have filed legal documents complaining that Bieber “terrorized” them while he lived next door to them for three years.
They seek to sue the star for all that he is worth, or at least that is their hope. Although Bieber’s lawyers are asking the judge to limit any possible damage compensatory charges to $25,000, the couple is countering the request and saying that what was done to them was worth way more than that.
Contained within the legal documents of the case is the fact that, in 2014, Bieber offered to settle with the couple for not only assault and battery, but for emotional distress. When the case was first tried, Bieber was ordered to pay the Schwartzes almost $90,000 in restitution, which according to records has already been paid in full.
Bieber also pleaded no contest to a misdemeanor charge that stemmed from his dealings with the Schwartzes for vandalism. The Schwartzes claimed that he egged their Calabasas, California house on January 9th, 2014.
If anyone else had egged a house, it would be unlikely that a jury would award them $90,000 , but that is exactly the amount that Bieber has already paid. He was also put on two years’ probation for the incident and ordered not to have any contact with the Schwartzes going forward. In addition, he was ordered to attend anger management classes, which he apparently completed without complaint.
That was not enough for the Schwartzes, however. According to their complaint, their torture was so extensive that their emotional distress is ongoing. They claim that they suffer emotionally from the egging on their house and that it could have led to a slip and fall case, not to mention the drug use next door, verbal confrontations, and parties that were thrown over the three years that they lived next door to the pop star. They also allege that his excessive speeding down the street was so dangerous that they were fearful of walking outside the confines of their gate.
Schwartz insists that when he confronted Bieber about his speeding and asked that he slow down, Bieber’s team of bodyguards arrived at his residence and there was a very terse exchange. Schwartz also alleges that after the exchange, one of the bodyguards made anti-Semitic comments to him.
The damages the Schwartzes are suing for include emotional distress. They claim that they have stomach aches, headaches, and they can’t sleep at night due to all the terror that Bieber and his crew put them through. They say that what they were subjected to is worth way more than what they collected for the egging incident.
When they filed for assault and battery charges, they included emotional distress in the Los Angeles Superior Court in March of 2015 and are suing for an unspecified amount. Currently the suit is seeking a jury trial to hear the case.
The couple maintains that they were tormented for over nine months with offensive behavior that disrupted their daily lives and continues to cause them distress. They claim they were constantly harassed, and that they also have been inundated with fans’ negative and angry comments about the actions taken against the pop star.
Bieber’s defense team has filed a motion to seal the deposition, which is set to be released to the public in video form. The precedence of Donald Trump’s taping in the University case being sealed is being used by the defense. The star’s defense team believes it is a similar case to argue.
Whether the Schwartzes will win or not is up to the jury. There is no doubt, however, that many people have been subjected to unruly neighbors’ behaviors. But they don’t get to win hundreds of thousands of dollars in damages. In most instances when a neighbor is egged, it is cleaned up and the people move on. For celebrities, that is the curse of being in the public eye. The Schwartzes lawsuit sounds more like a money grab than a case that has any real merit.