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Trump Company Owes $300K in Painter Lawsuit

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

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Florida’s Third District Court of Appeals has rejected an attempt by one of President Donald J. Trump’s companies to avoid paying a Miami paint store chain more than $300,000 in owed money and legal fees.

Previous Ruling

In July, Miami-Dade Circuit Court Judge Jorge Cueto ruled in favor of The Paint Spot—owned by Fernich Inc.—in a breach-of-contract suit. The company claimed that Trump Endeavor 12 LLC still owed $32,535.87 for paint used to renovate the resort Trump National Doral Miami.

Lawyer fees were also awarded at the time, and Judge Cueto had applied at 75 percent fee on top of that because the firm, Taylor Espino Vega & Touron, took the case on a contingency fee basis. The total last summer amounted to $282,949.91.

Cfmyers, Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons

In July, Miami-Dade Circuit Court Judge Jorge Cueto ruled in favor of The Paint Spot, owned by Fernich Inc. The company claimed that Trump Endeavor 12 LLC still owed $32,535.87 for paint used to renovate the resort Trump National Doral Miami.

The Trump Organization appealed that decision, citing that The Paint Spot’s owner, Juan Carlos Enriquez, filed a construction lien incorrectly by naming the wrong contractor. The appellate court decided that, while an error occurred, the Trump company failed to prove that it had been impacted because of it and that it was aware of the claim despite the error.

Ruling Upheld

“[W]e hold that the trial court correctly determined that Paint Spot substantially complied with the provisions of section 713.06(2)(a), (b), and (c), and that Paint Spot strictly complied with the time requirements of subsection (2)(a),” reads the court opinion. “We further hold that Trump failed to establish that it was adversely affected by the error contained in the NTO. We also affirm the final judgment awarding attorney’s fees.”

Daniel Vega, who represented The Paint Spot, said, "Fortunately, our client had the fortitude to endure the massive pressure of potentially having to pay Trump Endeavor's fees if it lost in order to vindicate its position that its paint materials used to improve the Trump Doral Resort were paid for.''

The Paint Spot seeks to apply the legal fees multiplier to the latest proceedings as well, which is what would balloon the amount owed to 10 times the amount of the original missing payment for the paint. The Trump company is fighting that bid.

"The factors which motivated the trial court here to apply a multiplier to reward counsel for initially taking on and litigating this construction lien matter no longer apply," according to its response for appellate fees. "Having prevailed below, the reasons for a multiplier in this appellate proceeding do not exist."


Editor's note: This story was one of our most popular in 2017, and it appeared in our Readers' Choice edition Dec. 27. Weeks after this story was published, Juan Carlos Enriquez went on record with NBC News and said that he still had not received payment. No other reports have been released.


Tagged categories: Contractors; Laws and litigation; Lawsuits; Maintenance + Renovation; North America; Paint; President Trump

Comment from H. J. BOSWORTH, (4/18/2017, 10:14 AM)

Amazing how the rich think nothing about cheating the businesses they work with! I understand that the Trump companies have cheated architects out of lots of $$ too!

Comment from Gregory Stoner, (4/18/2017, 2:00 PM)

Laws need to be passed to protect contractors from this type of abuse.

Comment from Amanda Drimmel Hibberts, (4/18/2017, 6:13 PM)

There was a Painting Contractor involved. Why no mention of them? If a lein were filed incorrectly, a lein was still filed, likely AGAINST thr Painting Contractor whom we must assume is out of business now. The Painting Contractor should not only have paid the plaintiff, but they should also be sued for the legal expenses, because for leins to be released for payment by The Trump Orginization, SOMEONE said the paint store was paid. Someone lied. We must be very cautios when mixing industry with polotics.

Comment from Amanda Drimmel Hibberts, (4/18/2017, 6:16 PM)

Sorry about the spelling... riding in the car!

Comment from James LeHouillier, (12/27/2017, 7:45 AM)

I've been cheated by the very rich. They don't care about anything but themselves.

Comment from Jimmy Parker, (12/27/2017, 11:41 AM)

The corruption and disrespect for lawful obligations entered into starts at the Head, about which much has been written. Utter disregard for waste and ruination of its business model path of middle class suppliers is consistent from lessons learned, so that now New York banks will not lend to this Head, and that he gets his funding via the German bank whose transaction sheets have been subpoened. Thank God for the law firm willing to pursue it on a contingency, as the loss of its client's revenue probably crippled the cash flow and credit worthiness of the business, and thank God for the Judges who can accurately assess truth and falsity to render a Just Result for the risk involved in a rescue operation to protect one who despite a faithful performance is left in peril by unscrupulous business ethics and practices. Now that it is Christmas time, it is evident that one of the players in this story has failed to see the light of Christ, and the other is the embodiment of the Parable of the Good Samaritan, and the Court exhibits the Judgment of Solomon.

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