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Florida Construction Law News

04DEC 2014

Construction Law Success Story: Judgment Denying Lien Foreclosure Claim

by David S. Harrigan, Esq.

The Florida law firm of Cole, Scott & Kissane, P.A. recently obtained a judgment following an October 2014 bench trial in Miami, Florida, completely denying the Plaintiff’s construction lien foreclosure claim.

Florida construction attorneys David Salazar and Steven Befera defended the Eden Roc Hotel in a construction lien foreclosure lawsuit filed by a subcontractor, American Engineering & Development Corporation, for the balance claimed as owed for construction services on the Eden Roc Hotel in the amount of $948,265.50, plus interests, fees, and costs. The plaintiff is a site and utilities contractor that allegedly performed approximately $2,000,000.00 of work in connection with the Eden Roc renovations project in 2008 and 2009.

In opposition to the plaintiff’s lien claim, CSK argued that the plaintiff failed to substantially perform under its subcontract due to flood damages Eden Roc sustained in 2009 following the plaintiff’s illegal dewatering into Eden Roc’s storm water drainage wells and failure to deliver to Eden Roc a functional storm water drainage system. CSK argued that the plaintiff had no lien rights to enforce pursuant to Florida law, and that even if the plaintiff could show substantial performance under the subcontract, Eden Roc was entitled to a set-off in the amount of flood losses that were in excess of the amount of the plaintiff’s lien claim. The Court agreed on both grounds.

The Court entered a judgment in favor of Eden Roc, holding that the plaintiff failed to substantially perform, that it willfully and materially breached its subcontract, and that even if the Plaintiff had substantially performed, Eden Roc was entitled to a set-off in the amount of flood losses in excess of the value of the plaintiff’s lien.  The Court also found that Eden Roc was entitled to attorney’s fees and costs under Florida’s Construction Lien Statute.

Posted By David S. Harrigan, Esq.

David S. Harrigan is a Partner in CSK’s Construction Group and practices in the Orlando office. Mr. Harrigan is a Board Certified Specialist in Construction Law. He concentrates his practice primarily on construction litigation matters, including construction defect and contract claims, on behalf of architects, engineers, developers, contractors, and subcontractors, professional liability claims and general business disputes on behalf of design professionals, and premises liability claims on behalf of property owners.