A Miami court granted Bernhard Law Firm summary judgment in a condominium construction lawsuit today, finding violations of the Florida Deceptive and Unfair Trade Practices Act (“FDUTPA”) by a construction worker and his construction company. (Florida Bar disclaimer: results may not be typical. You may not have as beneficial a result). Bernhard Law Firm brought this FDUTPA lawsuit against two construction companies, a contractor, and a Miami construction worker, alleging that the defendants misrepresented their affiliation, practices, and licensing so as to obtain construction and contracting work without providing required supervision by licensed contractors. Bernhard Law Firm sued on behalf of the property owner, raising various unfair and deceptive business practices. Today, a Miami court granted summary judgment in favor of Bernhard Law Firm’s client, holding that defendants had engaged in violations of FDUTPA through deceptive business practices, and awarding damages for all losses, plus interest, attorney’s fees, and costs.
As taken from Bernhard Law Firm’s motion for summary judgment:
“This is Lincoln LLP’s action for violation of FDUTPA against the unlicensed plumber (Del Rio) and his business entity (ACPI) who misrepresented their affiliation with licensed plumbing contractor [M.C.] and his business (“MCI”), so as to obtain a complex plumbing contractor job at Lincoln’s Miami Beach condominium. After hiring and paying Del Rio/ACPI through this misrepresentation, Del Rio improperly installed plumbing in the bathroom and kitchen, thereby illegally performing unlicensed contracting. After initial inspections failed, Lincoln investigated Del Rio’s background, learned of Del Rio’s misappropriation of [M.C.]’s license number and business name, and ended the engagement. Lincoln seeks to recover his losses from Del Rio and ACPI’s deceptive and unfair business practices.
Lincoln has provided uncontroverted evidence that Del Rio and ACPI misrepresented their affiliation with a licensed contractor, bid and accepted money on this plumbing contractor job without a contractor’s license, and improperly performed the job without the training or supervision of a licensed contractor . . .
Lincoln has provided uncontroverted evidence hereunder that Del Rio and ACPI misrepresented their affiliation with a licensed contractor, bid and accepted money on this plumbing contractor job without a contractor’s license, and improperly performed the job without the training or supervision of a licensed contractor, causing damage to Lincoln’s condominium. Accordingly, Lincoln requests that this Court enter partial summary judgment against ACPI and Del Rio declaring that their actions violated FDUTPA and damaged the property, and awarding damages, attorney’s fees and court costs. § 489.113 et seq., Fla. Stat. (2013) (prohibiting unlicensed plumbing contracting practices); § 501.201 et seq., Fla. Stat. (2013) (prohibiting unfair and deceptive business practices); Anden v. Litinsky, 472 So. 2d 825, 826–27 (Fla. 4th DCA 1985 (holding president of company who contracted to construct home and falsely advised property owner he was a licensed contractor and who treated the company and himself interchangeably was guilty of violating FDUTPA and liable for damages arising from deficient construction of their residence); Greenhut Const. Co. v. Henry A. Knott, Inc., 247 So. 2d 517, 521–22 (Fla. 1st DCA 1971) (holding under statutes, builder not registered and certified by Florida Construction Industry Licensing Board could not bid for construction in Florida).”
If you have questions about business scams, construction abandonment, contractor frauds, and unfair and deceptive business practices, please contact Bernhard Law Firm at www.bernhardlawfirm.com, abernhard@ , or 786-871-3349.