So I have been keeping my ear to the grounds of the various cases against CitiApartments and the Lembis. The short answer to "what has been going on" is that the two cases filed on behalf of tenants is almost over. The case filed by the San Francisco City Attorney's Office is still progressing.
In the cases filed by the individuals, there was a flurry of activity in the past few months, This included a couple of motions to compel by the various parties. The discovery commissioner made a few Solomonic decisions so no one apparently got everything that they wanted (or so I have been told). A deposition of did happen, but the parties have been very mum about what actually happened during it. Whatever happened during the deposition of the CitiApartment personnel sparked a very quick round of settlement negotiations. All I know for certain is that settlement agreement which came about because of these talks is confidential.
Now, as many lawyers will tell you, this could mean a number of things. However, it is interesting to note that this was came about after the initial deposition of the CitiApartment people. On the one hand, it could mean that the number crunchers from the CitiApartment insurance company decided that the cost of defense was outweighed by potential liability and they made an offer. Of course, it could also mean that the deposition went particularly well for the tenants which forced the CitiApartments people to come up, in conjunction with their insurers, with a real settlement proposal rather than risk a trial with some damaging.
Aren't confidential settlements great? A multitude of sins can be swept under the rug with them.
Of course, the City and County of San Francisco's case against the Lembis and CitiApartments is apparently still on going.