The Daily Business Review recently reported on how a South Florida circuit court entered a final judgment and award for attorney fees exceeding $20 million against a landlord accused of hiring a private investigator to impersonate a hotel guest and make multiple false noise complaints to deceive local government authorities.
Shutts & Bowen partners, Steven M. Ebner and Jamie B. Wasserman, on behalf of their client, Sobe USA LLC, accused the defendant, 940 Ocean Drive LLC, of carrying out this scheme to terminate the lease of one of its tenants, plaintiff Sobe USA LLC, to bring in a new tenant on more financially favorable terms for the landlord.
“Landlords or any clients should not be engaged in impropriety, or you will get punished for it,” Ebner states. “We were able to procure body cameras from code officers, and were able to recognize that on at least two occasions, it looked like it was the same individual who complained.”
Ultimately, Miami-Dade Circuit Judge Valerie Schurr found that the landlord’s actions were intentional, fraudulent, and malicious, she awarded the tenant nearly $18 million in damages. Additionally, the court awarded the plaintiff $2.1 million in attorney fees.
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About Steven M. Ebner
Steven M. Ebner is a partner in the Miami office of Shutts & Bowen LLP. He serves as Co-Chair of the firm's Business Litigation Practice Group. Steven previously served as a member of the firm’s Executive Committee and was also the Managing Partner of the Miami office from 2011–2015. Steven regularly represents a wide variety of clients, including financial institutions, real estate developers, property owners, general contractors, and other Fortune 500 companies in diverse and complex business disputes. He routinely advises clients involved in commercial disputes, insurance litigation, product liability, and trust and estate litigation.
About Jamie B. Wasserman
Jamie B. Wasserman is a partner in the Ft. Lauderdale office of Shutts & Bowen LLP, where she is a member of the Business Litigation Practice Group. Jamie has been recognized as a "Rising Star" in Business Litigation by Florida Super Lawyers and the Daily Business Review. She regularly represents physicians, physician group practices, and licensed healthcare facilities in business and corporate litigation and arbitration matters. She also represents developers, commercial landlords, and lenders in real estate litigation matters and partners or members of legal entities in business disputes. Jamie is also experienced in drafting employment agreements, including non-competition and non-solicitation agreements.
Related News Links:
- “Miami-Dade Judge Hits Nakash Family With $17M Judgment,” The Real Deal (November 9, 2022)