Trump Miami Resort Loses Suit Over Paint It Didn't Pay ForBy and
Golf and spa also ordered to cover supplier’s attorney fees
Litigation hinged on a lien the supplier used in the case
One of President Donald Trump’s luxury golf resorts in Florida was ordered by an appeals court to pay a local supply company that wasn’t paid in full for paint used to spruce up the property’s 10 lodges in 2014.
Trump National Doral Miami must pay The Paint Spot more than $32,000 plus attorney’s fees of about $390,000, meaning the total Trump must hand over is almost triple the original paint bill of $142,530. The ruling was issued Wednesday by Florida’s Third District Court of Appeal in Miami.
“The case should never have reached this stage,” Daniel Vega, attorney for The Paint Spot, said in an interview. The property’s owner "refused to ever consider any type of reasonable settlement," he said.
Before becoming president, Trump and his companies had been sued hundreds of times across the U.S., with many of the lawsuits claiming Trump had failed to pay contractors. One such claim in 2000 sought $10 million for unpaid consulting fees to renovate New York’s San Moritz Hotel. That case was settled. Another contractor filed a $348,000 claim for exterior stone work on Chicago’s Trump Tower, a case that Trump won.
Trump purchased the Doral Resort and Spa in 2012 and renamed it before renovations. The Paint Spot sued Trump Endeavor, the entity set up by the Trump Organization to manage the property, in 2015 claiming it hadn’t been paid for paint it supplied to a subcontractor doing renovations at the resort. According to court filings, almost $33,000 of the total bill wasn’t paid for supplies provided between November 2013 and September 2014.
Trump never claimed there was anything wrong with the supplies, but at one point during the litigation the Trump team said it "had already paid too much for the paint," Vega said. Trump fought the suit claiming The Paint Spot didn’t file a proper construction lien against the resort in order to secure payment.
During a trial, a project manager for Trump testified that M&P Reynolds Inc., which subcontracted its work to The Paint Spot, wasn’t paid in full because the resort had already paid it "a decent amount of money of the contract."
"There was still a lot of work that needed to be completed so we used the money, M&P’s remaining balance, plus additional funds to pay to get the work done," Jamie Gram, the project manager, said at trial, according to the appeals court ruling.
Trump’s attorney, Bruce Rogow, said he wasn’t involved in the original trial, but that the case was appealed over whether Florida’s lien law would be strictly interpreted or if “substantial compliance” was sufficient.
“All that was left was to get a determination of how the lien law would be construed,” he said. “We respect the opinion of the appellate court.”
— With assistance by Bob Van Voris