The Real Deal Miami

Trump asks judge to toss suit over failed Fort Lauderdale condo

December 13, 2013 03:00PM

Rendering of the Trump International Hotel & Tower in Ft. Lauderdale and Donald Trump

The Donald stands alone as the remaining defendant in a lawsuit concerning the stalled Trump International Hotel & Tower, and has asked a judge to dismiss the case.

Investors in the project accuse the real estate heavyweight of fraud in the inducement, violations of Florida’s Deceptive and Unfair Trade Practices Act, negligent misrepresentation and fraudulent concealment, and are attempting to recover their lost deposits associated with the project.

A Borward Circuit judge ruled in favor of Trump earlier this month, opting not to revisit a prior rejection of punitive damages during a Nov. 1 hearing, and Trump is now asking that the case be dismissed.

Trump’s attorney, Herman Russomanno III said because Trump was not the project developer, he “can no longer be held liable for any of these alleged misrepresentations.”

Joe Altschul, the plaintiffs’ attorney, argued in court that it wasn’t obvious to investors that Trump was not the project developer. Though SB Hotel was specifically named as the developer, promotional materials described Trump as being in partnership with them, the Daily Business Review reported.

But even if Trump misrepresented his role as suggested, purchase agreements warned against relying on promotional materials and the real estate crash was the primary reason investor deposits were lost, Russomanno said.

SB Hotel head Roy Stillman directed the project, and settled with about 100 investors along with the other defendants. [Daily Business Review]Julie Strickland