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Big Win for Rosenthal Law Group in Breach of Commercial Lease & Personal Guaranty Case

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.