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Florida Attorneys Prevail in Final Arbitration Hearing

Fort Lauderdale partner Geralyn M. Passaro and attorney Stephanie H. Carlton recently prevailed in a binding arbitration matter in Miami-Dade County on behalf of a car dealership client.

Claimant, a former customer of our new and used car dealership client, entered into a written agreement to purchase a truck on credit from our client using a buyer’s order. Claimant agreed to provide a down payment, to trade in his prior vehicle for a negotiated value, and to also obtain financing for any remaining balance through a third-party lender. Claimant agreed to apply for a financing loan with our client’s assistance following the execution of the agreement and buyer’s order. When Claimant failed to secure financing, as required under the terms of the agreement, he demanded our client return the trade-in vehicle and return his down payment while the truck remained in his possession. After our client denied the request, Claimant alleged our client had materially misrepresented and deceived Claimant into believing he would qualify for financing of the truck. Subsequently, Claimant filed a claim for common law fraud as well as a claim that our client violated Florida’s Deceptive and Unfair Trade Practices Act (FDUTPA).

Litchfield Cavo LLP attorneys Geralyn and Stephanie contended that Claimant failed to meet his burden of proof on either claim in their entirety, as Claimant failed to prove he suffered any actual damages, as required under both causes of action. Our attorneys proved that Claimant’s FDUTPA and fraud claims were both without merit. In December 2021, the Arbitrator denied Claimant’s demand of more than $30,000 and ruled in favor of our client.

Geralyn practices primarily in the area of commercial and complex business litigation with an emphasis on representation of agents and brokers, directors and officers, lawyers and other professionals in liability and community association matters. She also handles complex personal injury, trucking accident, toxic tort defense and wrongful death actions in addition to construction and employment liability matters.

Stephanie focuses her legal practice on insurance coverage defense for her clients. She has additional experience handling property damage disputes and general liability claims.