At Rosenthal Law Group, we represent clients in business
litigation arising from a variety of different conflict situations. In a recent case,
we represented a client in the 17th Judicial Circuit for Broward County
in Case No: 10-3515CACE 12.
In this case, attorneys Alex Rosenthal and Amanda Jassem Jones prevailed
at trial against Martino Tires Co. of Flamingo Falls and its president,
Anselme "Andy" Martino in a claim for breach of
commercial lease and guaranty. Our client was awarded a judgment for damages of nearly
$695,999.53 against both Martino Tires and Andy Martino.
Our client sought our representation after they encountered problems arising
from a lease agreement entered by Martino Tires in 2000 for an auto repair
facility located in Pembroke Pines, Florida.
After the defendants entered into the lease and guaranty, the property
was sold several times and the lease was assigned by each owner during
each property sale. However, in 2009, Martino Tires vacated the leased
premises and stopped paying the plaintiff (our client) rent. Several months
later our client changed the locks and retook possession of the property.
The plaintiff eventually found a replacement tenant, but due to the fluctuations
in the commercial leasing market, the market rent obtained was far less
than the lease rate in the lease for Martino Tires.
We filed a lawsuit on behalf of our client, seeking damages arising out
of breach of the lease and against Andy Martino personally for breach
of guaranty. In legal terms, a guaranty is a pledge to agree to be responsible
for another party's debt or contractual performance if the other party
fails to perform on the given contract.
In this case, Martino Tires argued that the landlord had improperly retaken
possession without legal process; however, that claim failed to hold up
in court. Andy Martino claimed that the guaranty was not enforceable against
him personally and that our client didn't have grounds to sue on the
guaranty because it had not been specifically assigned by the prior owner
as a part of the assignment of the lease.
After reviewing all of the evidence and listening to testimony, the trial
court rejected the defendant's defenses. In particular, the trial
court rejected the guarantor's argument that the guaranty was not
enforceable against him and that the landlord didn't have a standing
to enforce the guaranty, despite the fact that the lease assignments did
not specifically mention the guaranty as being assigned.