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Florida Construction Law News

22DEC 2012

Construction Group Win

by Daniel E. Levin, Esq.

David Salazar and Daniel Levin of Cole, Scott & Kissane’s construction law group recently obtained a final judgment against 9 Plaintiffs in the defense of a roofing contractor awarding the Plaintiffs zero of the $211 million in damages they alleged they sustained as a result of certain alleged construction defects and deficiencies on several commercial properties.

The Plaintiffs alleged that our client had illegally allowed another entity to use its roofing license to repair the roofs of the commercial properties after damages caused by Hurricane Wilma. The Plaintiffs added that our client contractor deviated from the standard of care by failing to perform its work in a workmanlike manner, which purportedly caused water intrusion originating from the roofs and causing dozens of tenants to terminate their leases, or otherwise be relocated to other commercial space. The Plaintiffs alleged that, as a result, they suffered damages in connection with business interruptions, lost profits, lost rental income, relocation expenses, and costs incurred or expected to be incurred in the repairs or replacement of the roofs. Because of the alleged illegal lending of the license, the Plaintiffs claimed they were entitled to treble damages pursuant to Florida Statute Section 768.0425.

Upon finally committing the Plaintiffs, in their answers to interrogatories, to the alleged damages figure of $211 million, David and Dan established that, based upon approximately 15,000 documents produced in discovery and several motions to compel production of documents, there was no way Plaintiffs could have calculated the alleged damages figures from the documents produced. Likewise, the Plaintiff’s damages calculations contained numerous mathematical inconsistencies. Through discovery, it became obvious that the Plaintiffs were perpetrating a fraud.

After filing a Motion to Strike Plaintiffs’ Pleadings for Fraud upon the Court, for Spoliation of Evidence, and Failure to Comply with the Court’s Discovery Orders, an evidentiary hearing was held and the Court entered specific Findings of Fact and Conclusions of Law, an Order Dismissing Plaintiffs’ Claims with Prejudice, and Final Judgment Against the Plaintiffs.

Final Judgment was entered against the Plaintiffs and the Court reserved jurisdiction to address our client’s claims for attorneys’ fees and costs incurred in defending the case.

Congratulations to David and Dan on a great result in this complex and difficult case.

Posted By Daniel E. Levin, Esq.

Daniel E. Levin is a Partner in CSK’s Construction Group and practices in the West Palm Beach office. Mr. Levin focuses his practice in the areas of general commercial litigation and civil litigation, with an emphasis on construction litigation. Mr. Levin’s construction litigation practice includes representation of contractors, design professionals, subcontractors, materials suppliers, manufacturers, owners, and other entities in construction defect, contract, and lien enforcement claims in state and federal court, arbitrations, and mediations. Mr. Levin has over sixty days of jury and non-jury civil trial experience representing construction industry professionals.