Wednesday, March 22, 2017

When a golf course is like a cruise line

When is a golf course like a cruise line? When it comes to civil procedure of course!

Yesterday, as part of LSV II requirements, I attended the oral arguments for TRUMP ENDEAVOR 12 LLC,  vs.  FERNICH, INC. D/B/A THE PAINT SPOT.

Daily Business Review summary here:  here 

Paint contractor The Paint Spot (plaintiff in original complaint and appellee) claims that President Trump's Doral golf club (defendant and appellant) did not pay the last $34k of a $130k paint bill as part of the renovations of the "Blue Monster" golf course. Paint Spot won in lower court and at one point there was a foreclosure auction sale scheduled for the golf club.

The appellant's main claim was that  the appellee had failed to provide timely notice of a lien to the correct party.  The Paint Spot's attorney argued that since the incorrect party had been provided by the defendant, Paint Spot had substantially performed.  Trump's attorney countered that once the error had been discovered, Trump had notified Paint Spot of the correct party, with Paint Spot confirming via email that it would serve the correct party, but never did.  Paint Spot's attorney emphasized that despite this error, Trump had treated Paint Spot as though it had filed with the correct party, even asking for lien waivers in order to partially pay Paint Spot.

The key differences in this case versus  Krupski v Costar Cruise Lines is that: (a) the defendant informed the plaintiff of the mistake, (b) the plaintiff never corrected the mistake, and (c) the defendant treated the incorrect notice as though it was valid for at least 9 months.

This $34k dispute is now almost $300k with attorney fees.

John Voss
Section C