In the case of Mandarelli, et al v. Power Line Industries, Inc., filed in the Circuit Court of Hillsborough County, Brick Business Law filed and won a motion for contempt and sanctions resulting in a rare final judgment sanction in the case.
The Plaintiffs sued Brick’s client under a number of theories of liability such as breach of contract and fraud alleging that Power Line Industries sold a defective product to the Plaintiff and defrauded him. Brick counter-sued on behalf of its client for defamation due to videos that the Plaintiff posted on YouTube claiming that the product was defective and the Defendant was deceiving the public.
The Firm aggressively executed its litigation strategy, including motion practice and discovery, over the course of a year of litigation. The Plaintiffs were continually dilatory and obtuse in their responses. Due to the Plaintiff’s tactics, Brick filed a Fla. R. Civ. P. 1.380(b) motion for contempt and sanctions, arguing at the hearing that the Court should find that the Plaintiffs’ tactics constituted the “rare circumstance” which justified the ultimate sanction of the striking of the Plaintiff’s claims and dismissal of the lawsuit, plus contempt of court and an award of Brick’s attorney’s fees and costs. The Court heard Brick’s Motion on June 4 and ultimately issued its Order on September 4 granting all relief requested in the Motion.
Litigation often includes battles over “discovery” – the process of requesting and providing answers, documents and testimony. Discovery battles are often hard-fought and can ultimately determine the outcome of the case because it is the main avenue used to establish the evidence. It is critical to have counsel who uses all avenues within the ethical and legal bounds of the law to obtain such evidence and, conversely, to minimize the impact of harmful evidence. Of course, there are boundaries to such advocacy. If one side breaks the applicable rules or law, an appropriate motion, such as the one in this case, can literally win or lose the case before it ever goes to trial. However, such an outcome is extremely rare as courts are reluctant to have a case’s outcome determined simply due to a litigant (or their attorney’s) acts during discovery. When appropriate, this type of motion and ruling saves significant time, money and exposure for the litigant who can successful argue for this outcome. Having an attorney who knows how and when to push these issues is an absolute necessity for a Florida business litigation client.
Brick Business Law was founded in 2015 with a focus on business and civil litigation matters. We offer free client consultations on such matters. To set up a consultation, please call us at 813-816-1816 or visit us at www.brickbusinesslaw.com.