27th Aug 2017

Clay Townsend After 14.5M Verdict with Keith Mitnik, John Dill and Jim Balletta.

The Florida 5th District Court of Appeal Affirms the $15 Million Dollar Judgment in the Orlando Gateway Case After 2014 Jury Trial and Dismisses the Appeal in a Related Case and Imposes Sanctions.

On May 16, 2017, the Florida 5th District Court of Appeal entered two decisions which affirmed, per curiam, three final judgments (for $2,500,000, $12,000,000 and $15,376,475 with accruing interest) and related orders if favor of our clients. The 5th DCA issued mandates on June 5, 2017 ending all appeals in the matter (see below).

After a two-week trial in the Complex Business Litigation Court, an Orange County jury issued the verdicts in favor of plaintiffs Good Gateway LLC and SEG Gateway LLC for contract, fraud, conspiracy, and other tort claims against Chittranjan K. Thakkar and his companies, NCT Systems, Inc., Niloy and Rohan, LLC, Orlando Gateway Partners, LLC and Nilhan Hospitality, LLC. The claims related to the Orlando Gateway mixed-use development near Orlando International Airport.

The plaintiffs were represented by Clay M. Townsend, Keith R. Mitnik, and John W. Dill of the Business Trial Group of the Morgan & Morgan law firm in the underlying case and jury trial, with additional representation on the appeal by The Carlyle Appellate Law Firm and counsel Shannon Carlyle, John Bogdanoff, David Monaco and Earle Peterson.

The two appeals were filed in 2014 and, after years of litigation and appellants’ delays, including removal to federal bankruptcy court, oral argument was held on May 11, 2017. Clay Townsend, Keith Mitnik and the Carlyle Firm represented the plaintiffs in the final appellate briefing and Keith Mitnik led the oral argument. The Thakkar parties were represented by Jamie Moses of Holland and Knight, LLP, and Andrew Roy and Brad Saxon of Winderweedle, Haines, Ward and Woodman, P.A. The decisions mean that Thakkar and his counsel lost on all of the eight issues which they asserted in the SEG Gateway, LLC appeal( Case No. 5D-3962), and all of the five issues in the Good Gateway, LLC appeal( Case No. 5D14-3964).

The case was filed in 2009. The plaintiffs were working with Orlando Gateway Partners LLC on a $500 million mixed-use development project. The plaintiffs alleged that Orlando Gateway Partners LLC and related Thakkar defendants conspired to transfer certain portions of the development in order to deprive the plaintiffs of their equity in the property. On the eve of a sheriff’s sale, defendants put the properties in bankruptcy and, after years of litigation where defendants were held in contempt, the properties have now been sold to satisfy creditors.

In a related case, on May 1, 2017, the 5th District Court of Appeal dismissed the Thakkar parties’ appeal and imposed sanctions on the Thakkar parties and their counsel pursuant to Florida Statute 57.105 (Case No. 5D17-0872).

Townsend, Mitnik and Dill are with the Morgan & Morgan Business Trial Group – a team of trial attorneys focused solely on contingency-fee business litigation cases. The Business Trial Group has successfully recovered millions of dollars through verdicts and settlements in a wide-variety of commercial litigation and securities cases. To discuss your legal rights or learn more about the Business Trail Group, contact us at (407) 245-3505 or BTG@forthepeople.com; ctownsend@forthepeople.com( 407) 418-2075, or kmitnik@forthepeople.com.

You may view Orders and Affirmations listed in this article below:

5th DCA Mandate SEG – 05 June 2017

5th DCA Mandate GG – 05 June 2017

5th DCA PCA Affirming SEG Judgment 5D14-3962

5th DCA PCA Affirming GG Judgment 5D14-3964

Florida 5DCA-Order Dismissing BKGD Appeal of Final Judgment v OG in Smith Dec Action

OGP Order of Contempt and Bench Warrant for Thakkar – 18 AUG 16

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