2019 Cases and News
- Maria E. Dalmanieras won a case in the Florida State Appeals court defending a Hotel from liability. Below is an article from Law360 about the case.
- In Reynolds v. Towers on the Park Condo., 178 A.D.3d 416 (1st Dept. 2019), the New York office of Boyd Richards Parker & Colonnelli, P.L. obtained dismissal of a condominium unit owner’s claim that two amendments to the condominium’s declaration were invalid because of defects in recording the amendments. The first challenged amendment changed the condominium’s declaration and by-laws to lower the voting threshold to amend the declaration from 80% of all unit owners to 66 2/3%. The second challenged amendment permitted unit owners to lease their units. The Appellate Division, First Department upheld dismissal, holding that the failure to properly record the amendments were “technical defects, insufficient to invalidate the amendments.”
Patricia I. Murray and Frank Colonnelli won a summary judgment in favor of a Property Owners Association. Owners of an individual parcel of land sought to invalidate certain Amendments to the Declaration of Covenants and alleged a breach of fiduciary duty claim against the Association. The Court awarded judgement in favor of the Association, finding the doctrine of res judicata barred the claims and that the Association, under the law, owed no fiduciary duty to the individual unit owners. The Court also ruled that the Association was entitled to collect attorneys fees and costs in the litigation.
- Bryan Mazzola is featured on an article on Mondaq about a New York Cooperative. Take a look from the link below.
- William Peters, a Partner in our Fort Lauderdale office, recently obtained summary judgment in favor of an ATV owner who was sued by a young man that injured himself while joyriding an ATV in a reckless manner at hunting camp. The Plaintiff alleged that the Defendant left the keys in the ignition in violation of Florida’s unattended motor vehicle statute, which was evidence of negligence per se. Mr. Peters convinced the Court that the statute did not apply because it was not intended to protect someone who impermissibly took the vehicle, and because leaving the keys in an ATV at a hunting camp did not present a danger to the public at large.
- In Frankel v. Bd. of Mgrs. of the Cent. Park W. Condo., et al., 177 A.D.3d 465 (1st Dept. 2019), the New York office of Boyd Richards Parker & Colonnelli, P.L. obtained dismissal of a condominium unit owner’s claims alleging that a condominium board had breached its fiduciary duties by setting parking fees artificially low. Dismissal was upheld by the Appellate Division, First Department, which held that the condominium board acted in accordance with the powers conferred by the condominium’s by-laws. The applicable by-law gave the condominium board “the right to rent parking spaces and set the rent for them.” The decision to set parking fees was thus protected by the business judgment rule. The First Department further ruled that “[t]he fact that any individual board member has access to a parking spot…is not a financial interest” that would support a claim of self-dealing sufficient to overcome the business judgment rule.
- In Pettus v. Bd. of Directors, 2019 NY Slip Op 83545(U) (1st Dept. Nov. 7, 2019), Pettus v. Bd. of Directors, 63 Misc.3d 133(A) (App. Term 1st Dept. Mar. 22, 2019), and Pettus v. Yee, 65 Misc.3d 142(A) (App. Term 1st Dept. Oct. 25, 2019), the New York office of Boyd Richards Parker & Colonnelli, P.L. was able to obtain sanctions barring a habitual vexatious litigant from appealing decisions of the New York State Supreme and Civil Courts without first showing good cause and that his appeals were meritorious. These holdings resulted from a years-long pattern of misuse of the judicial process by a serial litigant, which involved the New York office of Boyd Richards Parker & Colonnelli, P.L. obtaining numerous dismissals of the plaintiff’s complaints and denials of his prior appeals.
- David S. Kasdan is featured in two articles about a co-op in Washington Heights, New York. Take a look from the links below.
- Maria Dalmanieras from the Miami office obtained a summary judgment for her client, the property owner of a shopping complex, in Broward County. Plaintiff claimed that she was injured after tripping in the parking lot. Ms. Dalmanieras successfully proved that Plaintiff could not confirm what had actually caused her to fall, resulting in a summary judgment in the property owner’s favor based on no liability.
- Florida Trend’s Legal Elite named W. Todd Boyd a winner in Commercial Litigation. This title is granted to a prestigious set of attorneys voted by members of the Florida Bar.
- Superlawyers named four current attorneys at B.R.P.C. winners of the Superlawyer award in 2019. This award is given by Superlawyers after a candidate is nominated through independently research and peer evaluation. They are as followed:
- Peter Restani General, Personal Injury – Products, Construction Litigation, Personal Injury – Medical Malpractice
- Jacqueline L. Aiello Employment Litigation, Real Estate, General Litigation, Employment & Labor
- Jennifer L. Steward Civil Litigation, Real Estate, Civil Rights, Appellate, Professional Liability
- Elaine D. Walter Appellate
March New York Cases:
- Gary S. Ehrlich and Matthew T. Clark of Boyd Richards successfully appealed a decision of a trial court’s refusal to grant a mixed-used condominium a license fee under RPAPL § 881 because a neighboring building was granted a license to install protective work on the condominium’s property during a construction project. The trial court originally granted the adjacent building, a major cultural and philanthropic institution, was not required to pay a license fee although installation of protective work effectively closed the pocket park that serves as the condominium’s main entrance. The New York Supreme Court, Appellate Division for the First Department reversed, unanimously held holding the trial court had abused its discretion by failing to consider the parties’ prior course of dealing, condominium residents’ loss of use and enjoyment of parts of the building, and diminution on sale and rental values of condominium units when it declined to award a reasonable license fee.
- Bryan Mazzola and André Haynes obtained dismissal of the complaint on behalf of a co-operative corporation and its president, in a lawsuit brought against them by two shareholders who owned a professional unit in the coop. Plaintiffs alleged, among other things, that the apartment was smaller than another similar professional apartment but was issued the same number of shares after the apartment was reduced in size over thirty years ago, that illegal alterations were performed by the board in the apartment, and that the apartment’s doorway is not ADA compliant. plaintiffs’ lawsuit sought to compel the board to reduce the number of shares allocated to the apartment, and have the violations corrected or their apartment restored to its condition before the alteration and to have the doorway made ADA compliant. In dismissing the complaint, the court held that, among other things, the business judgment rule protected the board’s decision not reduce the number of shares allocated to the apartment.
- Jennifer Stewart and André Haynes successfully defended summary judgment on behalf of a general contractor who signed two estoppel certificates to the plaintiff (the entity assigned two invoices from the defendant’s subcontractor), which both state that defendant owes a sum certain for the work performed and has no claims of any nature against those amounts. In denying summary judgment, the court held that plaintiff failed to establish a prima facie case, because the defendant alleged that the subcontractor failed to adequately perform his work and that defendant was entitled to a write-off as a result.