Attorney Fiano Successful At Trial In Proving Fraud, Recovering Punitive Damages
Attorney Sabato Fiano recently was successful at trial in recovering an approximate $100,000.00 lease commission owed to his client, a major regional commercial real estate broker. The case was highly complicated by the fact that the defendant property owner which owed the commission had filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy when the subject listing agreement was entered into, and thereafter sold the subject commercial property to another entity. After approximately two (2) weeks of trial, Attorney Fiano was successful in proving not only that the commission was owed, but that the failure to pay the commission and the subsequent sale of the property was part of a fraudulent scheme. Accordingly, despite the defendant property owner’s prior discharge in bankruptcy, the Trial Court nonetheless entered judgment in favor of the client against both the property owner and the entity which had purchased the property. The Trial Court awarded judgment for the entire unpaid commission, plus approximately 3 1/2 years of statutory interest at a rate of 10% per annum, plus legal fees and costs. Finally, the Trial Court awarded punitive damages – a rarity in business-related cases -- in the amount of $25,000.00. The judgment was fully satisfied less than three (3) weeks after the Trial Court’s decision, in April 2017.