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Trump Continues to Face Contractor Suits

Monday, August 15, 2016

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As he campaigns for votes in the battleground state of Florida, real estate developer and Republican presidential nominee Donald J. Trump continues to fend off suits in that state from contractors, including a paint supplier, who say they’ve been stiffed on his projects.

Media reports last week noted that Trump has been involved in nearly 300 pieces of litigation in the state over the years, including a recent case involving The Paint Spot, a paint supplier that had a $200,000 contract for work done at the Trump National Doral Miami, a golf resort Trump purchased in 2012.

Paint Spot Suit

The Paint Spot reportedly sued the Trump-owned venue for failing to pay $34,863 of the contract after the paint was supplied. According to the Miami Herald, Trump National held that it had “paid enough” for the paint, though it was short of the $200,000 stipulated in the contract.

Donald J. Trump
By Gage Skidmore - CC BY-SA 2.0, via Flickr

Presidential candidate Donald Trump has been involved in nearly 300 pieces of litigation in Florida, including one involving The Paint Spot, a paint supplier that alleged nonpayment for work done at the Trump National Doral Miami.

As a result of the dispute, a lien was placed on the resort, home of golf’s famed “Blue Monster” course Late last month, Judge Jorge Cueto ordered Trump National to pay The Paint Spot nearly $283,000, accounting for the unpaid bill and more than $200,000 in legal fees.

“I’m happy I have a judgment,” Paint Spot owner Juan Carlos Enrique told the Herald. “But he hasn’t paid yet.”

The Latest Lien

According to the Herald, Straticon, a construction contractor on the Trump National Doral renovation, filed a lien Thursday (Aug. 11) against the golf resort for $236,472 in unpaid bills on the renovation job. It’s the 23rd such lien filed by a contractor on the project.

Doral Golf Resort
By Cfmyers - CC0, via Wikimedia Commons

Straticon, a construction contractor on the Trump National Doral renovation, filed a lien Thursday (Aug. 11) against the golf resort for $236,472 in unpaid bills.

Trump attorney Alan Garten noted that most of those contractors have now gotten their money, and played down the significance of the missed payments.

“Payments have been made,” Garten told the Herald. “On a project of this magnitude with hundreds of contractors, 20 liens isn’t a big deal. It’s a complicated project, and what’s important is the fact things are getting paid.”

Past Suits

Earlier this summer, USA Today reported that at least 60 people or companies had at some point sued Trump for nonpayment. Trump told the paper at the time that in most cases contractors had failed to do their jobs to his satisfaction.

“Let’s say that they do a job that’s not good, or a job that they didn’t finish, or a job that was way late. I’ll deduct from their contract, absolutely,” Trump told the newspaper. “That’s what the country should be doing.”

Stiffed Architect Makes Commercial

In July, Trump’s opponent, Hillary Clinton, produced a web advertisement featuring Andrew Tesoro, an architect who says when he billed Trump for $140,000 in work done on the Trump National Golf Club in Briarcliff Manor, NY, he ended up being paid only $25,000. (The amount billed was only a part of what Tesoro’s firm did for Trump; prior bills had been paid.)

“His organization does that to everybody,” the architect said in an interview with Forbes Magazine.

Tesoro said the short nearly bankrupted his firm, though he also insisted to Forbes that he is “fond of” Trump, and thinks at heart he’s “basically a nice guy.” He said he made the Clinton ad, though, because he feels that Trump “is not well-suited for the job of president.”

Editor’s note: This story was one of our most popular of 2016, and ran in our Reader’s Choice issue on Dec. 27. Since the story first ran, Donald J. Trump has been elected President of the United States. No further details about the specific suits mentioned in this story have been widely reported. Trump has said he will not fully divest of his business interests, but will not be involved in running Trump businesses while he is in office. He is expected to lay out a detailed plan for doing so in January.


Tagged categories: Asia Pacific; Contractors; Contracts; EMEA (Europe, Middle East and Africa); Good Technical Practice; Latin America; Laws and litigation; Lawsuits; North America; Paint and Coating Sales; Trump Hotels

Comment from Dennis Carrington, (8/15/2016, 8:01 AM)

True or not. Don't we get enough lambasting of Trump on the MSM? Do we have to get it here too?

Comment from Will Fultz, (8/15/2016, 9:13 AM)

Why is this political hit job garbage on D&D? Give me a break.

Comment from Mark Anater, (8/15/2016, 9:41 AM)

It's not a "hit job" if it's true. Trump is running for president largely on his experience as a businessman. He says he wants to use what he learned running real estate developments to make government work better. It's entirely fair to question his business practices, and wonder if that is really what will deliver better services.

Comment from Tim McLaughlin, (8/15/2016, 11:19 AM)

Using business practices of not paying contractors, sub-contractors and small businessmen in order to increase wealth is not a good attribute for a future President.

Comment from ken laszczak, (8/15/2016, 12:33 PM)

being diligent about paying for work completed to spec and contract is good business. Unpaid change orders and strategic delay it a bane to our industry and should be considered if they are the culture at Trump companies.

Comment from H. J. BOSWORTH, (8/15/2016, 12:41 PM)

Your basic business man takes advantage of situations. If you have a team of lawyers that are told to F with some poor architect or supplier, the lawyers will grind the poor saps down and bankrupt them, without a second thought! A shame that both political parties are being forced to polish their respective lackluster candidates. Lackluster is used here instead of the more colorful terms warranted.

Comment from Andrew Piedl, (8/15/2016, 2:59 PM)

'20 liens isn't a big deal'.

Comment from Robert Bullard, (8/16/2016, 10:41 AM)

We have a saying hereabouts: The largest Indian tribe in the USA is now the Sosueme's. We in the construction industry realize that the tribe predominates in the halls of government procurement, corporate procurement and very wealthy individuals whose pockets are deep enough to hire blood lust lawyers. Assuming the Trump story here is true, it has every reason to appear here along with all of the other fraud and deception stories related to construction typically appear here.

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