Premier Boutique Business Litigation Law Firm Serving All of Florida

Rosenthal Law Group Prevails at Trial and Obtains A $1.5 Million Punitive Damage Award

Rosenthal Law Group is pleased to announce that it has prevailed following an eight-day trial before the Honorable Circuit Court Judge Barbara Areces in the 11th Judicial Circuit in and for Miami-Dade County, Florida resulting in a final judgment for its client, Fifteen Group Capital, LLC (“Fifteen”) in the amount of $273,011.85 in compensatory damages and $1,500,000.00 in punitive damages.

Rosenthal Law Group initiated a lawsuit against Defendant, Boca Aircraft Maintenance (“BAM”), an aircraft maintenance facility certificated by the Federal Aviation Administration to perform maintenance on aircraft, including the Dassault Falcon 50 Aircraft corporate jet, which is the subject of this lawsuit (“Aircraft”), after BAM’s performance of several major inspections and other required maintenance (“Maintenance”) on the Aircraft.

On or about February 8, 2019, after the Aircraft had been returned to operational service, the Aircraft had an uneventful landing at the Los Angeles International Airport. After exiting the runway, and while taxiing to the parking spot, the pilots retracted the landing flaps and a flap asymmetry light illuminated. The pilots taxied the Aircraft to its assigned parking location without incident, and upon exiting the Aircraft, noticed that the left-hand flap had become disengaged. The Aircraft manufacturer, Dassault, was called out for evaluation and repair, and determined that the left inboard flap had become disengaged as a result of a castellated nut and bolt having come off the flap. After some repairs and adjustments, the Aircraft was flown to Westar Aviation’s Maintenance Facility, in Chattanooga, Tennessee, for further evaluation. Based on this incident and the findings that resulted from the evaluation, this action ensued. Plaintiff sought damages against BAM for negligence, negligence per se, breach of oral contract, fraud, gross negligence, and punitive damages based on both, fraud and gross negligence. Plaintiff also asserted a claim for fraud and punitive damages based on fraud against BAM’s owner and President and BAM’s Director of Technical Services stemming from representations made to Fifteen regarding the training and experience of BAM’s technicians that would be performing the Maintenance on the Aircraft if Fifteen hired BAM.

On March 15, 2024, the Honorable Judge Barbara Areces entered a final judgment finding BAM and the two individuals liable on all counts. The Final Judgement stated that “Fifteen presented clear and convincing evidence that BAM was grossly negligent (as such term is defined in Fla. Stat. §768.72(2)(b)) in the performance of the Maintenance on the Aircraft, which resulted in the Aircraft being returned to Fifteen in a dangerous and unairworthy condition.” The Court found that BAM’s grossly negligent actions and omissions “were so egregious and wanting in care as to impose punitive damages against BAM to punish BAM for its wrongful conduct and to deter similar misconduct by BAM and others in the future.” The Final Judgment also stated, “that the evidence show[ed] that at every single critical decision-making point BAM made during this large, lengthy Maintenance, BAM’s choices were driven solely by unreasonable financial gain without any concern for safety or quality and were unreasonably dangerous.” The Final Judgment further stated that “Fifteen presented clear and convincing evidence of Defendants’ intentional misconduct [and that t]he Court finds that punitive damages must be imposed against Defendants to punish Defendants for their intentional misconduct and to deter similar misconduct by Defendants and others in the future.” Based on these findings, not only did the Court award $273,011.85 in compensatory damages, but also the Court awarded punitive damages in the amount of $1,000,000.00 against BAM based on both fraud and gross negligence in the performance of the Maintenance on the Aircraft and punitive damages in the amount of $500,000.00 against BAM’s President and Owner based on fraud.

Rosenthal Law Group celebrates this major victory along with its client. The trial was handled by Alex P. Rosenthal and Amanda J. Jones.