The Real Deal Miami

Federal judge rules against Trump at Florida tower

May 19, 2011 01:01PM

Residents in a Trump condominium building have won a small victory in court against the real estate mogul.

A federal judge has denied a motion from developer Donald Trump’s lawyers to dismiss a major claim in a lawsuit filed by apartment owners at the Trump International Hotel and Tower Fort Lauderdale, according to the New York Times. As The Real Deal previously reported, Trump allegedly misrepresented his involvement in several Florida buildings that bear his name but were developed by a third party.

Judge Adalberto Jordan of the Southern District of Florida said he was not swayed by the lawyers’ arguments that “the purchase agreement contradicts the alleged misrepresentations made by Mr. Trump.”

Trump was paid for the use of his name, and when the building found itself in financial difficulties, he exercised his right to terminate the licensing contract, and removed his name. The building remains unfinished.

Alan Garten, a lawyer for Trump’s company, underplayed the significance of the ruling. “To be clear,” he told the Times, “Judge Jordan did not validate any of the buyers’ claims, but simply determined that the plaintiffs had satisfied the bare minimum pleading requirements to allow the case to go to the next stage.” [NYT]