Summary Judgment for Commercial Landlord

Court Awards Commercial Landlord Over $1 Million

Anthony Ostlund client Cedar Point wins its breach of lease claims against Pei Wei and recovers more than $1 million.

For months before the lawsuit started, Pei Wei had been playing games to try to convince Cedar Point to forfeit hundreds of thousands of dollars in future lease payments.  The gamesmanship went too far when Pei Wei stopped paying rent, forcing Cedar Point to start a lawsuit.  We fought hard for Cedar Point and we successfully recovered all of the money it was entitled to.” –Phil Kaplan, Attorney for Cedar Point

Client Issue

Our client, Cedar Point, owns the Cedar Point Shopping Center in St. Louis Park, Minnesota. Cedar Point used to lease space in the building to Pei Wei, a fast food restaurant chain. The lease term went through 2023. But in 2018, Pei Wei stopped paying rent as a strategy to negotiate a buyout of the remaining five years of its lease at an extreme discount. In response to Pei Wei’s intentional breach of the parties’ lease agreement, Cedar Point hired Anthony Ostlund to enforce its contractual rights, including its right to accelerate Pei Wei’s rent.

The Anthony Ostlund Approach

After notifying Pei Wei that Cedar Point was accelerating Pei Wei’s rent, Anthony Ostlund immediately started two separate lawsuits against Pei Wei, one to evict Pei Wei from the premises and one to recover monetary damages. Pei Wei did not oppose the eviction action, but it fought the damages lawsuit every step of the way.

At the outset, Pei Wei raised a number of meritless defenses that threatened to needlessly complicate and drag out the litigation. In order to get Cedar Point to a judgment as efficiently as possible, with minimal discovery and without a trial, we filed a series of motions designed to narrow the issues and eliminate Pei Wei’s defenses, one by one.

Result Achieved

Within six months, we won multiple awards totaling over $1 million. The watershed moment followed Phil Kaplan’s summary judgment argument, when the Court ruled from the bench that Cedar Point was entitled to an immediate payment of nearly $950,000 in accelerated rent, penalties and interest, an unusually fast and decisive outcome highlighting Phil’s targeted approach. The Court later ordered Pei Wei to reimburse all of the legal fees and costs it forced Cedar Point to incur to litigate.

Cedar Point SC, LLC v. Pei Wei Asian Diner, LLC, State of Minnesota, Hennepin County Court File No. 27-CV-18-17250 (2019)