Motivational speaker Tony Robbins will help pay the rent for an 85-year-old woman recently evicted from her Burlingame home, her lawyer told the Daily Journal Friday.
Georgia Rothrock was supposed to leave her home on California Drive April 17 after she and 97-year-old roommate Marie Hatch were served with a notice to vacate by landlord David Kantz back in February.
Hatch filed an elder abuse claim against Kantz but then died March 3.
Rothrock did not know where she would end up until Robbins made the offer, attorney Paula Canny said.
She will be moving to a Belmont complex for seniors perhaps as soon as next week and Robbins has agreed to supplement her rent, Canny said.
It was Kantz’s attorney, Michael Liberty, who brought Robbins into the picture, Canny said.
Robbins has dug into his own pocket a couple of times this year to help others who are struggling, including earlier this week when he donated $24,000 to a 100-year-old Riverside County woman who was evicted from her home two weeks ago. In February, Robbins reportedly donated $25,000 with a promise of another $25,000 to save a Tenderloin soup kitchen run by nuns from closure in San Francisco.
Meanwhile, the elder abuse claim filed against Kantz by Hatch will continue as a judge dismissed an anti-SLAPP complaint Friday.
Hatch was evicted after living in the same home on California Drive for 66 years. She had been promised by three generations of family that she could stay in the home until she died.
But new owner Kantz moved to evict her and Rothrock, who were only paying a combined $960 a month in rent.
Hatch, however, died in March but a judge granted her son, Gary, the right to be named a successor in interest for his mother to continue the elder abuse claim.
The complaint against Kantz alleges the eviction notice helped lead to Hatch’s deteriorating health and ultimate death.
Kantz then filed an anti-strategic lawsuit against public participation, or SLAPP, saying it was his First Amendment right to free speech to give notice to his tenants that they must vacate the premises.
A judge dismissed that complaint Friday.
Rothrock has resided at the home for 32 years and the eviction gained national attention.
“In my view, Marie Hatch died of a broken heart, from a broken promise,” Nanci Nishimura, a lawyer with Cotchett, Pitre and McCarthy, said previously.
She said the “callous” eviction caused her client’s death.
Gary Hatch, 74, still works and provided emotional and financial support for his mother until her death.
“My mother didn’t deserve to be treated like an old piece of furniture that could be thrown away. She really suffered badly after she learned she was being evicted,” Gary Hatch said after his mother’s death.
His mother had been promised that she could live in the house for life based upon a decades-old contract with Vivian Kroeze but the estranged husband of Kroeze’s granddaughter, Kantz, started eviction proceedings initially just before the holidays.
Under California law, elder abuse claims survive the death of an elderly plaintiff.
After being served with eviction papers in February, Hatch suffered from heart palpitations and anxiety attacks and was rushed to the emergency room. Later that month, knowing the landlord’s intended appraisal of the home was looming March 3, Hatch’s mental and physical health deteriorated and she was admitted into the hospital.
She returned home March 3 and died of heart failure while her son held her hands.
Rothrock had also cared for Hatch up until her death.
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