On June 11, Brick Business Law prevailed in the final hearing in a case involving claims of conversion, breach of implied in fact contract and civil theft pursuant to Fla. Stat. 772.11. Brick represented a national seller of home environmental products which had a long-standing relationship with a vendor for the storage and transportation of its marketing materials. After the termination of the arrangement, the vendor failed to return the subject property. Brick’s client made multiple attempts to get its property, but the Vendor refused. Brick sent the required civil theft demand letter to the future defendant; however, the vendor persisted in refusing to return the property, claiming it was not owned by Brick’s client. Thereafter, the lawsuit was filed in Hillsborough County Circuit Court.
Florida Statute 772.11 is known as Florida’s Civil Theft Statute. It carries a higher burden of proof, requiring the Plaintiff to prove the case by a “clear and convincing evidence” standard rather than the “greater weight of the evidence” standard that is prevalent in most civil cases. The statute permits a Plaintiff that proves that he is the victim of civil theft to recover triple actual damages, attorney’s fees and costs. However, there is a significant strategic consideration required prior to filing a civil theft claim because if the Plaintiff is unable to prove that his evidence meets the heightened burden, he can be liable for the Defendant’s attorney’s fees and costs. Despite the risk, Brick pursued the Defendant for statutory civil theft damages.The Court found that Brick’s client’s evidence met the standard required to obtain triple damages, plus attorney’s fees and costs, ultimately rewarding Brick’s client the full amount of damages requested.
Brick Business Law focuses its practice on Florida litigation of business issues. The firm litigates cases related to the protection and prosecution of business’ interests in regard to breach of contract, civil theft, collections, real estate, consumer, employment and other related issues. The Firm offers a free initial consultation, which can be arranged by calling the Firm’s main phone number at 813-816-1816 or by visiting the contact page on the Firm’s website.