Judges’ pages with homestead in case of fraud | information
A Circuit Court judge has largely sided with the City of Homestead in a fraud case brought by the former resident of the city’s sports complex, La Ley LLC.
In this case, Lay Ley has claimed up to $ 3 million in damages for claiming they were defrauded when the city failed to provide them with a recent traffic pattern study. They failed to convince Circuit Court Judge Gill S. Freeman. In the end, Homestead came out of the lawsuit with a profit of around $ 300,000.
The city won a positive verdict on fraud and a counterclaim for $ 613,871.91 for unpaid utilities. However, the judge was on Lay Ley’s side when the claim came up for failing to add her to the city’s insurance as an additional insured. He was unable to collect a $ 334,836.00 theft for which the city was held liable.
See LAW 2A
The administration sees the result as a resounding win. They had refused to settle the case because of the word “fraud” attached to it and would cast a shadow over the picture the city is trying to fix.
“We were very pleased with the results of the trail,” said Joe Serota of Weiss Serota Helfman Cole & Bierman, who tried the case for the city. “I am pleased that the judge recognized that the city was not guilty of any allegations of fraud or wrongdoing.”
At the heart of the case lay in a traffic pattern study that was conducted for the group of Keys Gate Schools that were due to start operating next to the sports complex.
When the schools were fully operational, La Ley claimed in her lawsuit that traffic was blocking the entrance to the complex events, making it difficult to get started on time.
Judge Freeman noted in his findings that testimony suggests that La Ley and a school representative met and reached a solution. At the same time, at all meetings with the city, and at all times when La Ley directors addressed the city council, traffic patterns were never brought up.
As for the insurance, La Ley and the city had an agreement that the complex would remain under the Homestead policy and that the company would pay premiums. When the complex experienced a theft and tried to file claims, they were denied because the city never added them as additional insured. Therefore the judge awarded him the amount for the loss.
They may have lost this battle, but the city feels they have won the war.
“The city was facing a $ 3 million claim and we had a juggernaut in our favor,” Serota said.