Beanie Baby billionaire and Biltmore Resort owner Ty Warner will go to trial after Kevin Charles Boyle, a hairstylist who leased a salon at the Biltmore but ceased to make rent, said Warner’s employee unlawfully changed the locks on him without notice.
Santa Barbara Superior Court Judge Colleen Sterne released a tentative ruling that denied Warner’s call for summary judgment. Warner had claimed he and Mark Muratori, Vice President of Operations for Ty Warner Hotels and Resorts, and Karen Earp, the Biltmore’s general manager, acted in good faith and in the hotel’s best economic interest, and that they are not liable for wrongfully evicting Boyle or causing him emotional distress. Warner also claimed he didn’t know how his lower-down employees had allegedly treated Boyle. As stated in the tentative ruling, Muratori reportedly told Boyle upon eviction, “You don’t understand. I work for Ty Warner. Ty Warner can do what he likes.”
In addition, Boyle is filing charges for alleged breach of contract and breach of good faith against Warner and Earp. In response, Warner’s property management company 1260 BB Properties, LLC filed a complaint against Boyle for allegedly breaking his lease, among other debt-related charges.
In the tentative ruling, Judge Sterne also denied Boyle’s third amended complaint, which would have added negligence and negligent infliction of emotional distress as causes of action.
The case’s next hearing will take place November 2, when the attorneys will present their arguments and Judge Sterne will give her final ruling. Boyle is represented by attorney Peter G. Bertling, and Warner is represented by attorneys Jared M. Katz and Gregory J. Scandaglia.